A report regarding the extension of Molly Banister Drive across Piper Creek returns to Council on Monday for a third time since 2019 for first reading. In the report, administration is recommending Council remove the road extension and bridge from City plans. This means, the roadway would come out of the plans, and development of the area could continue without holding space for this road.
The Molly Banister Drive road extension and bridge is an option to alleviate some traffic pressures along 32 Street, and it would not be considered for approximately 20-30 years when traffic levels may require it. The developer has submitted an application to remove the Molly Banister Drive road extension and bridge across Piper Creek shown in The City’s long term plans, the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and East Hill Major Area Structure Plan (MASP). The road extension and bridge would connect Bower Place shopping centre with the farmland south of Sunnybrook.
In 2019, the developer applied to remove the Molly Banister Drive road extension and bridge from the MDP and East Hill MASP. In October 2020, their application was defeated by Council resulting in the road extension and bridge area being protected for future increased traffic in 20 to 30 years. In 2021, the developer applied to reduce the Molly Banister Drive road extension from a larger arterial roadway to a smaller collector roadway and provide options on where the bridge would cross Piper Creek. Council considered the application and amended the plans to reduce the roadway to a smaller four lane collector that could cross Piper Creek at Molly Banister Drive.
Following the current application from the developer, The City consulted with area residents and hosted an information session to provide more information about the application and answer questions. In total, 53 responses were submitted, 33 (62.3%) in favor of removing the road extension and bridge from City plans, and 20 (37.7%) in favor of keeping it in.
The discussion of whether Molly Banister Drive should be extended has been a recurring topic for many years. The Molly Banister Drive extension was first shown in City planning and transportation documents in the 1970’s. In 1996, a Transportation Plan Update was completed, which included the Molly Banister Drive extension; however, neighbouring residents protested the extension and asked Council to eliminate it, which Council did. In 2003, administration asked Council to include the Molly Banister Drive extension in the 2003/2004 Transportation Plan Update. Council granted the request in 2005, and approved amendments to the East Hill Major Area Structure Plan (MASP) that showed the road extension as a future option.
If Council proceeds with first reading, a Public Hearing will take place in the New Year. More information can be found at www.reddeer.ca/mollybanister
For more information, please contact:
Community & Public Relations
The City of Red Deer