Changes planned for dangerous Chestermere intersection
Rocky View County unanimously approved a change to a dangerous intersection north of Chestermere, May 29.
As a result, users of the intersection of Paradise Road and Highway 1 will be restricted to making only right turns.
“This is a tremendously dangerous intersection and I believe we should authorize this,” said Councillor Earl Solberg, who motioned for approval.
The intersection has been the site of several collisions and near-misses over the past few years, including a fatal crash on May 2 that killed two young boys and injured a young girl and two women.
Construction will soon begin to transform the intersection from a full-turn to a right-in-right-out (RIRO). The decision was made after a lengthy consultation between Alberta Transportation (AT), the Town of Chestermere and Rocky View County (RVC).
“This is a good step in addressing the safety issues at that intersection,” said Byron Riemann, RVC General Manager of Infrastructure and Operations.
The matter was brought before RVC council when it directed staff to write a letter of acceptance to Chestermere-developer Mattamy Homes to modify the intersection.
Mattamy Homes was directed by Alberta Transportation in 2011 to address the impacts caused by construction of its Westmere Stage 6 development area.
Riemann said the development company felt changing the intersection to a RIRO would help mitigate the impacts of increasing area population on the intersection.
The majority of collisions result from vehicles coming from the south attempting to turn west onto Highway 1.
While eliminating such left turns will serve as an interim solution to the problem, Riemann said a better solution will be upgrading the interchange at the intersection of Rainbow Road and Highway 1, 700 metres west of Paradise Road, for which a timeline has yet to be determined.
“The intention is for this solution to be put in place until the Rainbow Road interchange is upgraded and implemented by the Province,” said Chestermere Mayor Patricia Matthews, adding a solution to the problem has been a major priority for the Town of Chestermere, RVC and AT for quite some time.
Riemann said some residents will likely oppose the change, which effectively eliminates a path of traffic.
At an open house which was held last November, 81 per cent of attendants indicated they were concerned about the safety of the intersection.
However, roughly half of respondents said they did not support the proposed changes without additional changes to current highway access in Chestermere.
“Some residents could see this as a negative change, as it eliminates opportunities to go where they need to go,” said Riemann.
“But it is an interim solution that will serve to increase the safety of the intersection.”