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December 16, 2017
April 19, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Bridging literal gaps

Written by Jeff Samsonow

Nope.

Let’s start by talking about future plans for getting around Edmonton.

It didn’t take very long for members of Edmonton’s Executive Committee to turn down the idea of spending $200 million to raise the planned LRT tracks over Bonnie Doon. The proposal came forward in reaction to the Metro Line intersection troubles with the train running across the street over by Kingsway. (Of course, most of that has to do with the line not being ready on time and not having proper traffic studies.) Raising the train as it passes by the Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre would have saved people just a few seconds driving during the busiest time of the day, so not a lot to be saved by the extra costs and time that would have come with this idea.

Future LRT tracks may indeed be raised through some of Edmonton’s western extensions, as the train runs down Stony Plain Road and by West Edmonton Mall. But there’s still time to have that planning done and get things right before finalizing plans.

Another place there will be raised transportation is a future bridge from Edmonton to Strathcona County (and Fort Saskatchewan) in the city’s northeast. That bridge won’t be built for another generation, but the planning is being done now, to choose a route. The challenge is that a large portion of the study zone includes some of Edmonton’s best urban farmland. Let’s hope they can swing things a bit south (or north?) to protect some of our local food supply. There will be two open houses about this bridge this week.

And, of course, Edmonton’s future should be more walkable. If your neighbourhood is lacking the kinds of things that make it walkable, like shops and groceries, this is definitely something to be asking candidates about when they come to your door or open up their campaign websites to questions and emails. While not every neighbourhood could accommodate a full main street, more can be done to keep key amenities close to more people and allow them to get out of the car more often.


Around the city

Alberta needing to add age discrimination to its human rights rules is having a spin-off for people with children. There’s now a big push happening to outlaw buildings that ban children. Obviously this kind of discrimination should not be allowed to stand. Anyone who thinks it’s a logical ban should substitute the word “child” for something that describes them and see why it doesn’t make sense.

We’ve talked a lot about homelessness here in our first few months. That’s going to continue. (Sorry if that’s not your jam.) St. Albert is now moving to tackle homelessness with a new committee launching this week.

Hey, this is kind of cool, Canada’s only ambulance simulator is at NAIT. So, our paramedics (and those trained here) will be ready to ride once they graduate.


Outside of Edmonton

People are looking for answers after meetings related to the inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, planned for Edmonton this week, were abruptly canceled. It’s definitely increasing the number of questions people have about how the inquiry will handle such important and sensitive issues, and be expected to report back by the end of this year.

More people died working in Alberta last year, which is not normally what happens when the economy is down. One reason for the increase may be those exposed to occupational hazards and diseases, including asbestos, dying after the work is done.


Public engagement

At City Hall, the Urban Planning Committee meets today, beginning at 9:30 a.m. You can see the agenda online. The meeting will stream live.

As mentioned above, there’s an open house for the future Northeast River Crossing today, 4-8 p.m. at the Bethel Lutheran Church (in Sherwood Park).

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