About the Author

Glen Dresser is a novelist whose first book, Correction Road, was released in 2007 and shortlisted for the W.O. Mitchell City of Calgary book prize. He has also worked as a technical writer, information designer and web developer. He is currently focusing his efforts on his second novel and his first-born son, while assisting with UPPERCASE Magazine

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On the Peace Bridge

So I have to admit, the oh-so-controversial Peace Bridge is already becoming part of my life. Finley and I have walked it nearly a dozen times, and it's been open only a little more than a week. In all the hooplah and controversy, there's one aspect of this bridge that I'd like to put out there and offer my own opinion on. 

Of course, the debate is often framed in terms of priorities: inner city pedestrian traffic vs. commuter motorist traffic, with the Peace Bridge falling squarely in the former category. But it's not so clear-cut. Anyone who commutes from the NW can attest to the gridlock that occurs in the Sunnyside/Kensington area during both morning and afternoon rushhours. One particular two-block stretch in Kensington can take as much as a half-hour to travel. Unfortunately, none of 10th Street, or Kensington Road, or Memorial Drive can be expanded in any way. And at the same time, as part of the city's Transit Oriented Development strategy, some major condo developments are going into the Sunnyside/Kensington area, which will cause a spike in population in the neighbourhood. Now, imagine what happens to the existing traffic woes if a significant number of these new residents commute to work by car: it would push the neighbourhood's traffic infrastructure beyond breaking point. 

The Peace Bridge is a further step toward establishing Kensington/Sunnyside as a neighbourhood for downtown pedestrian commuters. When combined with the enhanced Bow to Bluff corridor, as well as the very necessary pedestrian crosswalk for the Peace Bridge, it will help shape the settlement of the neighbourhood and ensure that walkability to downtown becomes the major draw to the neighbourhood. While certain aspects of this project were unquestionably mismanaged, it will be an excellent long-term investment if it helps to shape the character of the neighbourhood to become increasingly pedestrian-oriented. 

*note: I originally wrote this in April, and then forgot to post it!

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