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June 25, 2017
April 5, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Thursday, April 6, 2017

More bikes. More transit (needed).

Written by Jeff Samsonow

 

This spring in Edmonton is the biggest ever for construction of bike infrastructure. Along with continuing work on bike routes on 83 Avenue in Old Strathcona and 102 Avenue on the northside of the river, we’re also going to see some action downtown with the new bike network going in. This will be a somewhat flexible system (but don’t call it temporary) that will help people bike downtown more safely and allow the City to make adjustments where needed and plan for future, permanent bike paths and lanes.

Even if you don’t bike regularly this is good news. More types of transportation infrastructure help get more people around our city safely (including those inside of cars). More people biking helps on road wear and tear, saving us all time and money on repairs. And, if you’re a person who drives most of the time, this is good news because you’ll have fewer cars to crash into or get stuck behind.

Speaking of getting stuck in traffic…

Part two of a series on the Terwillegar traffic bottleneck looks at some of the transit options to help move people into the city faster. Transit has to be a big part of the answer here. More lanes of traffic don’t necessarily solve the problem of congestion.

While Terwillegar’s many council candidates begin to pitch their traffic ideas to voters down in Ward 9, another ask is being made for a transit-oriented development closer to the city centre. Developers working on a project in the Strathearn neighbourhood want money from the City to help with their plans. My first reaction to this was something grumpy… about the fact the firms who will make all the money from the project should pay to have it built. But! Then I thought about the rising cost of real estate keeping people from our older neighbourhoods, and the need for good design near new LRT stations and if the City can put in some money to help with those issues, I think it’s worth it.

Still on transportation… The City is also going to consider the whole of Edmonton when looking at individual neighbourhood calming and traffic projects. While it makes sense to keep changes from just pushing a problem from one neighbourhood to the next, it also shouldn’t provide an easy veto just because a busy road happens to carry people by or through a community concerned about speeding and short-cutting.


School news

More students will be getting healthy food at school thanks to more money from the Alberta government. It’s a no-brainer that kids need to have a meal or two each day to help them learn.

There are also some great educational tie-ins to the nutrition program at some schools.

Catholic school trustees don’t want to see their funding slide over to public schools, or see their system become part of the larger public one. This will continue to be an issue for the municipal election year, and perhaps heading into the next provincial election, as education money is stretched thin, some schools are overcrowded and we duplicate some services in the public and Catholic systems.


Around the city

The push has begun to get rid of adult-only apartments and rentals (probably still with some exceptions for seniors). It’s very strange that this would be a thing people fight too strongly. The City of Edmonton should get on board with this kind of restriction being lifted too, to help bring more than just singles and young, childless couples to our mature neighbourhoods. Otherwise all the infill efforts are for naught.

It’s too easy to find a place where no children are.

If you want a new kind of subscription, why not make it a meat subscription?

Plenty of good artists to check out from the list of nominees of the 2017 Edmonton Music Awards.


Public Engagement

Details on this summer’s construction of the 83 Avenue bike route will be available at an open house tonight, 5-8 p.m. at the ArtsBarns.

Grandin Tower, which is Edmonton’s latest skyscraper proposal, has an open house, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Oliver School.

You can also check out the City’s plans to annex parts of Leduc County (close to the airport) at an open house tonight, 5-8 p.m at the Nisku Inn.

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