By Вen Li
Students from east Calgary may get to school faster once the city tears down a few minor obstacles.
The widening of 16th Ave., a major student commuter route, will require the demolition of two businesses, a church and at least seven homes on the south side to accommodate two new lanes.
Currently, rush-hour traffic cutting through residential areas is a major concern for the Mount Pleasant community.
"From a community perspective, we’re really hoping that this widening is going to take some traffic out of our community," said John Attrel, Mount Pleasant community traffic study, chair and planning and land use committee member. "The measures we take at 16th Ave. are [also] going to reduce our own access to the community."
Traffic ßow restrictions like corner bulbs would increase safety for pedestrians, according to Attrel, who hopes the increased traffic brings more customers to remaining 16th Ave. businesses.
For President and owner of Rosedale Cleaners Dee Pollock, who faces demolition, expansion is less desirable.
"It will have a tremendous impact, short of not being able to survive," said Pollock. "Unless we have funds from the city, we won’t survive."
Pollock wants the city to pay for the cost of moving his existing and temporary equipment to a new location. Rosedale supplies approximately 50 per cent of Calgary’s restaurants with linens on a daily basis, according to Pollock.
Pollock has received support from elected officials, including Mayor Al Duerr and Alderman Bev Longstaff, who have traditionally supported landowners in the past in their disputes with the City.
Regardless of Pollock’s objections, the project begins in 2003, once the Corporate Properties department buys the remaining land on 16th Ave.
Both Brown and Longstaff were unavailable for comment.