City council has directed administration to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of implementing a citywide paving program for Calgary’s gravel roads in residential, commercial and industrial areas.
The motion, backed by councillors Gian-Carlo Carra, Richard Pootmans and Ward Sutherland, calls for city staff to dig into the numbers of a paving program before November’s debates on the 2015-2018 budget.
Several Calgary neighbourhoods, such as Bowness, Parkhill and Bridgeland, as well as commercial and industrial districts, are pockmarked by gravel roads, which are prone to vehicle-jarring ruts and creating dust pollution.
“These are not just back roads that are not used by the entire community, some of the buses travel on, like 1A Street in Parkhill,” Carra said.
Paving the gravel roads typically requires adjacent property owners to split the cost of paving with the city through a local improvement program.
But that program often unfairly punishes landowners, Carra said.
“It takes a couple seniors on fixed incomes who cannot bear the cost or somebody who has a corner lot and then takes up a large, outrageous proportion of the cost and it fails and the entire neighbourhood continues to suffer,” he said.