Event hosted by area Alderman Richard Pootmans at Glamorgan Community Hall

Residents of Ward 6 met on Oct. 24 at the Glamorgan Community Association to voice feedback and concerns existing in their community to Ald. Richard Pootmans.

Residents huddled over various information booths at the event, which included the Calgary Police, the West LRT, and development and building approvals. However, many expressed concerns with the West LRT extension.

Among concerned residents were Katarina Domic and Silvana Bonvicini from the Coach Hill area. Both said they feel that they are being pushed to accept the proposed changes to transit in their area.

“They want everybody to take the LRT because they spent big money on it,” Domic said.

Both women expressed disappointment saying they want to keep bus route 101. For Bonvinci who works downtown, taking the West LRT would mean having to take several buses just to reach the new LRT station. She estimates that this change would add 30 minutes to her commute.

“I don’t mind changes if they are good but unfortunately this isn’t affecting me in a good way,” Bonvinci said.

Gabrielle Sehustereder, a Ward 6 resident, talks with Ald. Richard Pootmans about the concerns she has about increased traffic in the Glamorgan community at the Ward 6 open house on Oct. 24.

Photo by Kian Sumalpong  and Caitlin Gajdostik

The open house, which is hosted twice a year by Ald. Pootmans, aims to address these issues with Ward 6 residents on a face-to-face level.

Ward 6 is located in the southwest quadrant of the city and extends from Glamorgan to Cougar ridge.

According to the city of Calgary, 79,423 people live in the area, many of which will have different transit routes once the west LRT is operational.

While Pootmans said he received more positive feedback at the open house than he expected, he recognized that residents in Ward 6 are still split on many changes in transit, especially the West LRT.

“We’ve been getting a lot of pressure on the change,” Pootmans said. “Some people are using their regular bus services and they’re very disappointed.”

Calgary Transit’s Robb Whyte heard just as many concerns as Pootmans did about the LRT and the commute changes it will bring.

Whyte said the bus services will continue with many routes set to change, but seemed confident that changes will be for better, not for worse.

“When it is up and running we are going to see a lot of people in this area pleased with the system,” Whyte said.

Gabrielle Sehustereder was one of the many Glamorgan residents at the event who was eager to speak with Pootmans. Sehustereder said she has had several concerns in the past regarding traffic in her area, and was looking to speak with Pootmans in person after her two calls to his office were not returned.

She added that she sees the importance of these gatherings and noted that when residents can communicate with their representative in person, they gain the convenience of immediate feedback.

According to Sehustereder, this is a contributing factor to keeping her community a pleasant place for people to live in.

ksumalpong@cjournal.ca

cgaidostick@cjournal.ca