The Trans-Canada Highway 1 near Chestermere has been a hot topic recently. What used to be a consistent 110 km/h has been changed to 80 km/h between Garden Road and just east of Rainbow Road. The highway 791 intersection speed limit was also reduced to 80 km/h.

The changes were made when Rocky View County residents asked Alberta Transportation to change the speed limit, resulting in drivers handling many different speeds on a relatively short stretch, going as low as 70 up to 110.

This move has created a lot of backlash; many Strathmore residents feel the speed limit change was the wrong thing to do. 

"I think it's kind of ridiculous to be completely honest. I understand there's a lot of township range roads that come onto the highway, but I think there's a lot of alternative routes that they can safely merge onto the highway in a safer area than having to reduce the speed limit on a major traffic line," Strathmore resident Jessica Beingessner says.

Beingessner added she will often take alternate routes when going to Chestermere rather than take the highway, and believes anybody concerned with speed should follow suit.

Other residents like Daniel Vantassell have similar ideas regarding alternative steps Alberta Transportation could have taken. Vantassell isn't against the idea of making the roads safer, but believes there were other steps that could have been taken.

"I don't really think it's necessary, I think they should do interchanges, proper interchanges, because it is a major highway, so it should have interstate passes," he said.

Beingessner is also worried about how this could impact our supply chain.

"There's so much freight and stuff that's getting transported and all these goods that need to get through there. They're already on a time crunch as it is, there's already delays and everything so why slow it down more?"

For others like Pat Schultz, slowing down the speed isn't the primary issue; it's the constant changes.

"I think it's too much, too radical. It goes from 110, to  80, to 70 and back to 90 again so what are you supposed to drive?" Schultz said.

"I would certainly make the speed limit all the same, instead of the up and down so much, when people pass the slower zone they take off anyways. And then there's a space where there's nothing, it's 110. So it doesn't make sense to me. And nobody lives there, why would they slow it down?"

There are also many others that view this speed limit move as a way for the police to issue more speeding tickets. The decision was made by Alberta Transportation and the RCMP was not involved in the choice, and Strathmore RCMP Detachment Commander Staff Sergeant Mark Wielgosz insisted that his detachment's only concern is safety, not earning money through tickets. Even though the RCMP had no say in the matter, it doesn't change some people's opinions.

"Honestly I think slowing it down is just going to make it... it's more of a cash grab I think for the police. I know it wasn't their decision to do it, but if they wanted to make some money that's where they can find it. I think a lot of people are getting frustrated with it." Beingessner said.

There are many different viewpoints on the change, and for some residents like Kasandra Harder it comes down to the fact that she believes it's an unnecessary inconvenience. She works at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, so she takes the road on her daily commute.

"I'm not a big fan of it. Just going to and from work, it takes extra time just to get to and from Calgary," she said.

While some Rocky View County residents may be happy to see their requested change go through, there's certainly no shortage of discontent in Strathmore.


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