Gibbons to take a pass on park and ride concept

Sturgeon County is looking to take a few southbound commuters off the road by entering talks with neighbouring municipalities to support a park and ride facility north of St. Albert on Highway 2.

By Staff

Gibbons – Town Council has decided to send a letter to Sturgeon County Council advising them that they will not be participating in a proposed regional park and ride and transit facility at or north of the St. Albert boundary on Highway 2.

Responding to the Capital Region Board Green Trip Program, Sturgeon County Commissioner Chris Micek sent an expression of interest to St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse indicating a common desire among the various municipalities to propose the park and ride. At the time of Micek’s letter, Bon Accord, Morinville and Legal had provided support of the concept, but both Redwater and Gibbons had yet to respond.

Gibbons Town Manager Hank Taylor told Gibbons Town Council that Redwater had subsequently sent a letter indicating that although they supported the idea of the initiative, they would be unable to be a partner in any such project as they saw no particular advantage for their residents due to their geographical distance from St. Albert.

Taylor recommended that Gibbons should take the same approach for the same reasons and because the proposal called for one third of the project’s capital cost to be derived from a mutually agreeable cost sharing between the municipalities involved.

Deputy Mayor Doug Horner agreed with the town manager’s assessment that Gibbons residents were unlikely to derive much benefit from the proposed park and ride. “You can be at an LRT in half the time you can drive to St. Albert,” Horner said.

GreenTRIP is an initiative rolled out by the province in June that is allocating $800 million to the Capital Region for initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging public transit. Sturgeon County’s motivation in the project is that there are approximately 34,000 residents in Sturgeon County, 90 per cent of whom are believed to commute within the Capital Region and beyond. The County’s position is that the development of a park and ride facility would provide transportation options to southbound commuters.

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