Posted on June 10, 2009, a guest post by Jason Ronald
Plan It Calgary recently released news they would build a bridge through Edworthy Park as part of their 40-year plan. The bridge would be constructed within the next 10 years and would see buses run down it every 10 minutes for 15 hours a day. In response to this, I emailed the city the following letter:
Dear City Council/ Plan it Calgary,
I’ve lived within a 10 minute drive from Edworthy Park for the past 23 years. In my time here I’ve seen this city grow in many ways, and I’ve grown with it. I learned to ride a bike here, and often rode it through Edworthy Park, when I was younger. I went to school here. In fact, every class I’ve ever taken was run through this city, from Kindergarten at Wildwood Elementary to my Mount Royal College convocation this year, they were all linked back to here.
I felt pride the day it was announced the city of Calgary hit 1 million people. I’m proud when our city hosts international events such as World Skills, the National or the Calgary Stampede. Through all these events I’ve used Edworthy Park for everything from family reunions, to birthday parties, and from dates to grad celebrations. But I fear I will not be able to do this long into the future. I fear my future children will not have the same joys from the park. The council that led this city to the million person mark, has gone astray. This council is out of touch with the average Calgarian. No more does it feel like I’m being represented in this city, and nothing brings this to light more than your plans to put a transit bridge through Edworthy Park.
I abhor this plan.
I recognize Plan It Calgary is trying to increase population density in this city while increasing the effectiveness and viability of Calgary Transit—something I whole heartedly agree with—but the proposed transit bridge through Edworthy Park would destroy the park. No more would rare birds grace the trees and the cattails of the park. No more would children’s laughter ring through the park. The birds would be scared off. The children drown out by the hiss and hum of buses—driven away by the noise. This plan would destroy the pastoral beauty of the park and with it one of the only natural areas in the city. Calgary doesn’t have many of these left, and as this city becomes more densely populated, green spaces will become more important. There are other ways to create transit corridors in this city. With minimal upgrades, Sarcee Trail and Crowchild Trail could service the same needs as the proposed bridge through Edworthy Park—upgrades that would be cheaper than the construction of a new bridge. Surely this city council can see the need for this park intact.
Please do not build this bridge.