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December 16, 2017
May 23, 2017

Edmonton Headlines: Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Keep the line moving

Written by Jeff Samsonow

All the talk these days is about Edmonton’s work to expand our LRT system to Mill Woods and the southeast. But we’ve got lots of other work happening, or about to happen, to other parts of our city (insert joke about Metro Line here).

City administration is going to look at what it could mean to combine two southwest extensions of the LRT, from its current end at Century Park, into one extension completed as a single plan.

This is a part of Edmonton that has seen a lot of growth in the last few years (and traffic), and is expected to keep seeing that growth as new neighbourhoods are built. One such neighbourhood, at the end of the planned extensions, is supposed to be built around public transportation.

A report should be back next year, and hopefully the provincial government will have let known its plans for land it owns in the southwest, and may build a new hospital on. That’s actually important because if plans are made to have the train go one way and then they need to go another to make room for something like a hospital, it could cost a lot of time to re-do the plans. And with various monies available from the federal government the City wants to tap into, that time could be costly in terms of funding too.

Happening sooner and for sure, the City is about to approve a budget for land purchases related to the extension of the LRT from downtown to west Edmonton.

Speaking of getting around the city… Jasper Avenue is trying on a new look this summer. In anticipation of a bigger rebuild in a couple of years, lanes will be reduced between 109 and 115 Streets to test out better connectivity and use for people walking, biking and who live in the Oliver neighbourhood.

This is a fantastic idea, of course. Other than, what, 10 hours every week, the street is best used as a community’s main street. I predict very little delay for drivers once things are set up, more patios, and some angry “war on cars” screeds from a few other media outlets in town.

Jasper Avenue, looking west from 109 Street. So many lanes…


Around the city

Extending bar hours is a good idea. Not just to drink more (although…), as it would likely mean staggered closing times for more bars and venues, which decreases the crush of people flooding streets like Whyte and Jasper Avenues at 2 a.m. That increases safety around drunk people throwing punches, cars crashing into each other, a lack of cabs and I’m sure more things too.

The City is joining a new economic entity for the capital region (like EEDC, the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation) and putting money into its efforts.

Edmonton teachers have a gay-straight alliance, just like students can have. Meanwhile… Catholic teachers are getting some leeway in teaching students about sexual health, at least from their union.

Edmonton is now home to one of the country’s first youth cancer support workers, who will help younger adults and teens navigating their lives while dealing with cancer.

The University of Alberta’s Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine is hosting a research forum today, and will be highlighting one of its great successes.

The University of Alberta also continues its cutting edge work on artificial intelligence (and the eventual downfall of humanity through Skynet). This time, a computer built by former students is playing the strategy game “Go” and beating a world champion.

Stop making me include clips of the Terminator franchise, U of A!


Public engagement

The City’s Urban Planning Committee meets today, beginning at 9:30 a.m. You can see the agenda online. The meeting will stream live from the River Valley Room.

The Mayor’s State of the City address is today at lunch. Tickets are sold out but watch Facebook Live and the hashtag #yegSOTC for Don Iveson’s remarks.

The City is hosting a drop-in information session about Century Park rezoning today, 4-7 p.m., at the William Lutskey YMCA. (This plan goes to city council on June 12.)

There’s also an open house where people can submit feedback on the Eastglen Leisure Centre Master Plan. That’s 4-7 p.m. at the Thistle Curling Club.

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