Our Issues

… as of Sunday, October 15, 2017

  • 86 Street intersection at Argyll Road
  • Argyll's New & Bylaws– UPDATED
  • Improving Public Consultations
  • Sports Park Master Plan

  • The intersection at 86 Street and Argyll Road

    Some background: At our September 2016 AGM an issue was brought forward which asked if Argyll could discuss the risks and difficulty drivers from Argyll experience when trying to make left turns onto Argyll Road from the 86 Street intersection. Mike Nickel was in attendance at our AGM and pledged to follow up on this with the City Department responsible for it. A description of the problem was submitted. A video, which captured the danger very clearly, was recorded by a resident. Councillor Nickel conducted a meeting on December 01 with three members of Argyll and a representative from Transportation to discuss how the situation could be corrected or the risk eliminated. Their recommendations are expected to be shared fairly soon.

    Current situation: Transportation was fairly receptive to our suggestions. We held two meetings with a senior person and we were assured a solution would be presented to us after reviewing the patterns and some research into the driving infractions we noted in our concerns. We have been encouraged by their willingness to meet with us. Transportation is currently examining ways to control the direction of traffic as well as offering pedestrians more safety through a delayed crossing light and a second North-South crossing on the West corners. They are also looking at adding a curb to contain traffic in the left-turning lane for Northbound drivers. This might prevent vehicles from leaving the line up to go straight North into the neighbourhood. Timing of the lights was also discussed. As well, as expected, the current work being done for utilities and paving along Argyll Road this summer will have some impact on what they decide to do with the intersection. This also includes some evaluation of the impact of the future LRT overpass and traffic controls along 83 Street will have on this traffic pattern.

    Well, we've heard back from Transportation about what they feel is a workable solution. I am putting the full response below so everyone can see it. We likely will revisit this "old business" at the next AGM, but for now we'll have to see what the suggested changes will produce by way of results.

    The intersection of Argyll Road and 86 Street was reviewed in response to concerns regarding motorists swerving in and out of the northbound right turn lane through the intersection to avoid the delay in the northbound shared thru/left turn lane along with concerns for pedestrian safety and accessibility.

    The following improvements will be implemented at the intersection to address pedestrian safety and accessibility:

    1. The signal timing at the intersection will be adjusted to allow pedestrians to begin crossing Argyll Road on the east side before the northbound movements. This will increase the visibility of the pedestrians in the crosswalk. The adjustments to the signal timing will be in place by July 14th.
    2. A crosswalk will be installed along the west side of the intersection across Argyll Road. The installation of the crosswalk will completed as part of the Argyll roadway rehabilitation project, scheduled to be completed by September 30, 2017.

    To address concerns for motorists swerving in and out of the northbound right turn lane through the intersection, the following improvements will be implemented:

    1. A solid pavement marking line will be installed between the northbound shared thru/left turn lane and the right turn lane to indicate that lane changing is not allowed. The solid line will be supplemented with lane designation arrows to reinforce that motorists must use the northbound shared thru/left turn lane to proceed through the intersection. The pavement marking improvements will be completed as part of the Argyll roadway rehabilitation project, scheduled to be completed by September 30, 2017.
    2. An overhead Shared Thru/Left Turn Lane sign will be installed for the northbound approach to the intersection to further reinforce that motorists must use the northbound shared thru/left turn lane to proceed through the intersection. The overhead sign will be installed by Friday, June 16th.

    In addition we will also include this location in our Video Analytics program to evaluate the effectiveness of the modifications and also use the obtained data to look at any other potential modifications that may improve overall safety performance of the intersection.

    Argyll's Proposed Charter & Bylaws — UPDATE

    At our Annual General Meeting on September 24th, 2017 we presented a final draft of the proposed new Bylaws to govern our Community League. Copies were distributed on paper at the meeting but you can download a copy as a PDF HERE for looking it over. We encourage residents of Argyll to send us their remarks or suggestions regarding the proposed document which will be voted on at the next AGM. The community league will adopt a final version of the Bylaws at that meeting after which they will be submitted to the Corporate Registry of Alberta.

    As it stands we have a comprehensive document describing how our organization will operate. We've tried to keep things as simple as possible in order to avoid writing a document which might restrain the flexibility necessary to deal with issues in our neighbourhood. As we are not a large organization we have attempted to minimize the "overhead" of administering the activities of the league in order to make it more responsive as well as enable us to act quickly on behalf of residents when the need arises.

    Contact Dave Trautman by e-mail or phone if you want to comment on the current draft document or to suggest revisions which the committee will take up. Your input can help the organization in the future. Phone Dave at: 780.463.9310 (message machine) or e-mail him at: president@argyllcl.ab.ca

    Improving Public Consultation Process

    I am pleased to report the City has adopted a much-improved policy regarding Public Consultation and Engagement of the Public in policy decisions. The current council voted to adopt the new policy (and all its additional materials) in a unanimous vote in May. As a result there will be new methods applied for each of the City's departments which will serve to involve the public earlier in the planning process, include them in many levels of decision making, and allow wider input into the way in which the City approaches engagement.

    Council was made aware of all the complaints people have had in the past and they accepted nearly all of the proposals for improving the process. They showed much courage in supporting City staff to communicate more openly about what the City is planning and how it makes its decisions without it affecting their professional careers. They are also putting into place protections for participants in order for public meetings to be a safe place for people to express opinions or give useful feedback to the department representatives. There will also be a new direction for internal professional development which will emphasize the skills and knowledge required to conduct events for public engagement. As well the City has pledged to make this a priority, internally, for all departments by providing internal support and expertise from their new Engagement Branch.

    One of the more innovative aspects of this new policy is how it will serve to improve the capacity of the public and involve the community in any engagement processes. The policy suggests many supports for community groups, disadvantaged participants, cultural diversity, and limited resources for members of the public to become engaged with a Public Consultation. The City will be looking to support opportunities for organizations, as well as individuals, to develop skills and knowledge to aid them in better preparation for engagement and for improved understanding of the issues at hand. They also are opening up the professional training initiative to include members of community organizations where it seems appropriate to include them. I am very pleased with the balanced approach the City took to developing this new policy and I support it at many levels. I was encouraged to hear a change of perspective from both City staff and from Council members who did not initially support this revision to the policy. Many minds were changed and some very innovative ideas were embedded into the policy every step of the way. I can also report how many other organizations across Edmonton are pleased with the results.

    This policy goes into effect immediately. Over the past few years there have been examples of how this new approach to engagement of the public has been applied in some recent Public Meetings and consultations. Some members of the public have been expressing their surprize at how much better the process is working when some of the principles and techniques the policy describes are using in real-world situations. There are many ways this new policy will improve the consultation process, but it will be a continually shifting engagement landscape as we look into the future. The policy also proposed a "guiding" commission or steering group who would review progress and suggest changes as the world changes around this policy. I also look forward to being able to know much sooner when the City is contemplating a major change and being able to respond more effectively when sitting across of City staff during an engagement event. I have much more confidence in our community voice being heard than I had at the beginning of this journey. I also pledge to monitor the application of this policy over the next ten years to ensure it is properly applied and continues to be responsive to the needs of the public.

    I believe the new consultation process used by the City will become more consistent and will give the public more confidence in the decisions the City is making to improve the entire municipality. This work by the Council Committee on Public Engagement is being examined by municipalities across North American and in Europe for possible adoption in many other cities who struggle with failing public consultation.

    Aerial view of the park area

    Sports Park Master Plan

    The City's Parks Department made a recommendation to include the Argyll Sports Park plan in budget allocations for 2013. The decision by Council went against the recommendation.

    When the City revisits the decision to restart the planning process our community will consult residents about participating in a new design process.

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