and Alternate Transportation
Private motor vehicle transportation is, and will
be for some time to come, the main mode of transportation for residents
of Central Alberta.
For that reason, there are some urgent needs to keep drivers safe and
provide better traffic efficiency. Those needs include the current
Highway 2A between Penhold
and Innisfail, an second access road between Springbrook/Airport to Red
Deer, improvements to Highway QE2 south of the city, better access
between southeast Red Deer and the northwest industrial zone and
improvements to Highway 2A north of the city to Lacombe.
However, to reduce our dependence on private motor vehicles, we also
need to seriously consider other types of transportation as fuel prices
and traffic congestion increase.
higher priority needs to be given for the construction of rural bicycle
and walking trails. Aside from being an alternate and economical form of
getting around, they link local communities, heritage sites and
recreational facilities as well as provide for a healthy lifestyle,
recreation and an appreciation of natural areas and our agricultural
roots. In addition, they are necessary for the safety of our children
and youth by providing an alternative to walking or bicycling on busy
and dangerous highways.
While some trails can be dedicated to walkers, runners and bicyclists,
other trails could be dedicated to snowmobiles, off-road vehicles and/or
horses, depending on the needs and efforts of communities and interest
One of the more strategic, urgent and safety-specific trails that needs
to be completed soon is a Penhold to Red Deer trail. Ultimately it will
become part of the
TransCanada Trail system that creates a significant
tourism opportunity. The TransCanada Trail corridor needs to be extended
to Innisfail to the south and to Lacombe and Ponoka to the north.
Additional trail corridors need to be established from the city to
Sylvan Lake in the west and to the Delburne area in the east. Further
trail corridors linking these could then be established along the
Medicine River to Glennifer Lake, the Boomtown Trail along Highway 21
and west from Sylvan Lake to Rocky Mountain House and Nordegg. Further
down the road, more trails could develop with linkages to Pine Lake,
Buffalo Lake and Gull Lake.
the other end of the spectrum is the need for public transportation in
rural areas linking the urban and country residential communities around
Red Deer. Dedicated right of ways need to be established that could some
day evolve into a mass transit system like light commuter rail or street
As the population of the region grows with migration of people from
areas where a high level of public transit is normal, as the resident
population ages, and as the cost of fuel increases, there will be an
increasing trend to use alternative transportation if it is available,
efficient and environmentally-friendly.
As a first step, a much-needed bus service linking Red Deer, Gasoline
Alley and Springbrook/Airport is expected to begin in 2009. Transit
links to Penhold and possibly other Central Alberta communities could
For longer distances, the Red Deer Regional Airport and the proposed
high speed rail between Calgary and Edmonton show great promise in
providing options to driving the ever-increasing congestion of Highway
2. In fact, an integration between those two modes of travel would be
very beneficial to the growth and economy of the region providing that
an efficient feeder system is established from downtown Red Deer and
surrounding communities to the terminal. Rights of way need to be
determined in the very near future for various forms of rapid public
'Time For High
Speed Rail Corridors in Alberta'
'Regional Approach to Public Transit'