Looks good on paper
Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 11:43 am
On paper, we agree with City council’s decision to approve three bylaws that will amend land use and approve a new structure plan in Kings Heights. (See story on page 3).
The idea of a walkable community with businesses and residential within metres of each other is great.
You can picture families walking down from their apartment and strolling to a coffee shop, the dentist, or out for a meal.
One might say, “This concept works so well in Kensington, Marda Loop and the Mission area in Calgary so why not in Airdrie?”
Well there are a few reasons this plan might not be as good in practice as it is on paper. In downtown Calgary, a neighbourhood set up like this allows residents to do away with at least one vehicle. Because everything is mere steps from their door, families do not need two vehicles and some don’t even have one if they can commute to work and back on the bus.
Traffic congestion is not a problem in these communities because residents who live there area have alternative forms of transportation.
However, although it is getting better, Airdrie’s transit system cannot support families with no vehicle to get everywhere they need to go. Between all of us in the newsroom, we don’t know one family in Airdrie that does not own and regularly use at least one vehicle (most have two).
Council is right to ask how the developers in the Kings Heights area plan to mitigate an increase in traffic in an already busy area.
We hope all the steps are taken by the City and developer to ensure congestion in that area does not continue to get worse without a plan in place.