Ward 10 is home to three major LRT stations in Century Park, Southgate, and South Campus. All serve as transit hubs, providing a destination for many buses in the southwest. However, despite their high profile, the LRT stations must be better integrated into their surrounding communities. As residents have rightly pointed out, there have been issues surrounding vandalism in Malmo Plains (directly adjacent to Southgate) as well as problems with easy LRT access for the underserviced “middle communities.”
I have touched upon my commitment to a 40th Avenue LRT station many times, and I believe that this is a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to better LRT integration. An LRT on 40th would serve those communities like Royal Gardens, Greenfield, and Duggan which are caught in between Southgate and Century Park. While the LRT’s provide amazing transit connection for these communities, they are in an awkward area as they are not quite a walkable distance from either station while also not being too far either. A 40th Avenue LRT station would solve this problem while also providing service to communities not mentioned, like Aspen Gardens.
In Malmo we have seen an uptick in petty crime in the area directly adjacent to the LRT stations. In working with the community and law enforcement to determine solutions to this issue, time and time again the topic of LRT integration has come up. Making the LRT safer for the community by providing better floodlights and police monitoring would help. As would removing and redesigning the berm that separates Malmo from the line but provides safe refuge for people doing illegal things.
The Century Park site has provided a testing ground for community involvement and LRT integration with the Ermineskin community being its closest neighbour. Working with community leaders and the Century Park developer, we have been able to ensure that the new transit oriented development passed by Council in June 2017 had the support of the community and supported the community. This collaboration will serve as a model for LRT integration moving forward.
The South LRT extension will also need to meaningfully and seriously consider good neighbourhood integration into Twin Brooks. This means grade separation at intersections and a community station that allows the 6300 residents of this community to have easy access to a very important part of our transportation network. The survey about this extension is now active and can be accessed here.