There is a new vision in visionary designs for Red Deer

Tim Lasiuta argued that Red Deer needs inspiring landmarks (Express – Letters to the Editor – Sept. 8).

I can’t tell if he’s been hiding under a rock (oops, a structure) or if his letter is to provoke debate. I’m interested.

Your list of Red Deer landmarks gets confused as to the new Sorenson Station outlasting Mr. Mann forever conducting in the City Hall Park. Tim, my senior friends are afraid to go into the bus terminal. They find it too dark and scary. Where are white tiles and brighter lighting? We may have to visit the greenery on the roof before the structure seems unique.

There is a new vision. The Aug. 25 Express featured “New vision unveiled for Rotary Park”. Here’s my summary and point of view if you want to start a debate.

First, a “pedestrian promenade” through that entire space doesn’t sound exciting until you know that it is proposed to be 34 feet wide. That’s a vision for people having no fences to go south. It would have benches, safe lighting and electrical plugs in the light standards, and as yet nobody confirmed marked bicycle paths to prevent collisions.

Eventually, after Dennis Moffat’s Farmers’ Market, there would be space on the promenade for small-scale venders to sell Saturdays when the major trucks would continue near the curling rink/arena.

Remember Tim, there used to be a rink near 49 St.

The speed-skating oval has been used as a hockey rink because neighbourhood kids always play shinny. The Rotary Park vision moves the speed-skaters out of the area, and creates a smaller oval near 48 St.

They also would eliminate Ye Olde sport features – the lawn bowling green and the horseshoe pits. They may have been popular in our great-grandparents’ area. The vision places them in Barrett Park east of the Kinex, but the neighbours there want the designers to look across Ross St. to place the lawn bowlers and horseshoe players in Coronation Park.

It’s as foreboding to all ages as the new bus terminal, but the cluttered, clumps of bush and trees could be removed.

Tim, the curling rink has surely become a landmark. It will soon expand somewhat westward. But here’s the vision. About 20 to 25 years from now an ice arena is proposed to be built to replace the arena and Kinex, to join for comfort facilities and concessions with the curling rink. This would be an enormous arena for 3,000 seats for spectators, all the light and sound facilities to entice performances year-round. Dance shows, anyone?

Tim, there happens to be a residential community called Parkvale. Immediately east of the entirely revamped Rotary Park and southwest Barrett Park. Young families live in the older homes between Ross and 45 streets, and remember the fairgrounds?

Twenty-five years ago all that moved to the Westerner, three bungalow developments and a 90-client lodge were built near Barrett Park. The seniors need a four-storey assisted living residence next to the historic log Pioneer Lodge (our rentable community hall).

Maybe a developer with vision could change the zoning of the southern bungalows so that a low-rise condo with a parkade for more than 100 cars could help complete the vision.

Thanks for considering, City Council needs to hear all your concerns too.

Rondo E. Wood

Red Deer