Just when Calgary’s identity is bordering on becoming akin to 100 suburbs in search of a city, along comes the giant perimeter to reel in the far-reaching corporate tentacles of developers — the almost mythical Ring Road.

I will venture to say that no road in the history or future of Calgary’s transportation infrastructure will impact the city as positively as this.

The very existence of this corralling corridor should have core homeowners jumping for joy as real estate will have no where to go but up. And although transit infrastructure is often connected to real estate value, no project can boast such a targeted impact.

“When development is curbed, that generally increases the value of flanking properties because there is only so much land in which they are allowing to be developed,” said Melanie Tennant, Real Estate Investment Network research manager.

A?2007 REIN?report contended Calgary transportation improvements will deliver a 10 to 20 per cent enhancement of property values in regions most affected by projects such as Ring Road.

So, reports of Calgary’s bid to halt green space development announced days after the draft agreement for the southwest leg of the Ring Road gives officials a handy scapegoat to push Transit Oriented Development investments in the wake of any perceived public outcry.

In this case, timing couldn’t be better for backers of Plan It Calgary.

Plan It’s reported capacity to sustain another 2.3 million citizens without viral development, perfectly timed with the last piece of the Ring Road puzzle, puts the writing on the wall.

The storied Ring Road and nurturing Plan It initiative will go hand in hand.

It’s a perfect irony.

– Chris Phalen has contributed to Avenue magazine, the Prince Albert Daily Herald, the Globe and Mail and various magazines; calgaryletters@metronews.ca.