Heritage Valley, an area in deep southwest Edmonton, is home to an ever growing population of young families seeking to be homeowners at affordable rates. While I am a passionate proponent of densification and increasing the health and vitality of our mature neighbourhoods, I think we need to recognize the new contingent of folks who want to live in the deep southwest and accommodate them as well as possible. Recognizing Edmonton’s expansion doesn’t mean we forsake our density goals; it merely means that we are serving our citizens as best as we can, and a large part of that is our transit system.
In the 2015-2018 Capital Budget, funding for the Heritage Valley Park and Ride was approved, so we know that that space will be in place, with the potential for a shuttle bus service between Heritage Valley Park and Ride and the Century Park train station. Connecting those using the Heritage Valley Park and Ride with Century Park will be critical in ensuring the success of the Heritage Valley site. A well built and well used Park and Ride in Heritage Valley area will alleviate the heavy demand at Century Park and provide a much needed site for Edmontonians in the deep south to commute from.
Building an LRT at Heritage Valley will serve a currently underserved segment of Edmonton’s population. For many in the area who want to use transit, it requires a significant commute to the Century Park Park and Ride or a long bus ride from their neighbourhoods. We have delved into the Heritage Valley Park and Ride side of the equation but just as vital, if not more so, is the development of an LRT at the site. This would allow for convenient LRT access for the growing community as well as an easier way to integrate transit users with the main LRT network.
Heritage Valley’s transit oriented developments in the Park and Ride and proposed LRT expansion will do a number of positive things for Edmonton’s southwest. They will alleviate strains on the Century Park site, provide more convenient LRT access for Edmontonians in the deep south, and grow our transit user base.