What to do about growing traffic on Highway 12 – Editorial

Municipal elections are over and we have a new town council with some members re-elected and some taking up their seats for the first time.

The task for the new council, as for the previous councils, will again be to sit down and come up with some ideas and plans on how to improve the quality of life and how to bring more economic growth and prosperity to Stettler.

In this effort, the council will probably take the cue from the long established conventional approach that Stettler is the gateway to all the communities lying east, and as such, the town will be continue to be an important milepost in the process of growing economic interaction between the eastern communities and Alberta’s corridor of economic power, that is, Highway 2 linking Calgary and Edmonton.

It goes without saying that the growth in the eastern communities of central Alberta will bring along much more transportation on Highway 12.

Although several communities in the east remain connected to the railway network, one has to admit that railway is not the means of transport of choice for most commercial businesses.

This brings us to the inevitable growth of highway traffic through Stettler in the not too distant future,

As we all know, the portion of Highway 12 that runs through the town is adjacent to the school area, where everyday dozens of children and their parents walk to and from school, crossing that avenue.

As the town looks to future development plans, one wonders whether adding a loop to Highway 12 that will bypass the centre of town is not a feasible idea.

A loop that will shift Highway 12 a few blocks south, beginning from the western entrance to town and link it to the eastern exit could prove beneficial in many ways.

Alongside reducing the traffic flow on 47 Avenue, such a move, in the long run, could add substantial value to the properties lying south of the residential districts with the significant potential of attracting new businesses, too.

Admittedly, this is a project that requires a lot of consultation, planning, and most importantly funding.

With town and county councils ready to get down to business with fresh mandates from the community, one would hope that they will be looking to the future with their eyes set on a bigger and more attractive Stettler, appealing to more people as a place to settle and raise their families.

With the area brimming with potential for growth and increased prosperity, the community will certainly be happy receiving news of novel ideas to boost the attraction of Stettler area for businesses and new settlers. The suggestion mentioned above is just one of dozens of others that could help communities in the area prosper and flourish further.

— Mustafa Eric

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