“It’s almost a daily occurrence right now, folks expressing concern or frustration about the lack of roadway access into the community,” Knack says.
Highway 16A also cuts through Parkland County’s most populated areas to the west of Edmonton, including Stony Plain, Spruce Grove and Acheson.
A few years back, community traffic concerns focused on Winterburn Road’s intersection with Highway 16A. The city expanded the offramp from that road in 2021, which Knack says helped with safety but not necessarily with congestion.
Winterburn was built under the city’s old rules in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which only required developers to build a two-lane arterial road, whereas today they are required to do four lanes. Knack is trying to work with developers to “swap” their financial obligation for a four-lane road elsewhere, and instead expand Winterburn Road.
Knack says the developer, MLC Group, has agreed, but the move would have to be approved by city administration. He says MLC Group is also talking with Melcor, the area’s other main developer, to put together design work for upgrades that could improve traffic flow on Winterburn Road.
“Right now if you go there at a p.m. rush hour, it can be upwards of 20 to 30 minutes to drive what, at any other time of day, would probably take two minutes,” Knack says.
“Part of the reason people are taking 231st is for that extremely long queueing on 215th. If you can fix the 215th thing, you probably create a scenario where people can shift back from 231st to 215th, and then that buys us some time to work on the bigger solutions on 231st.”