Canada News

Get the latest new in Candada


City of Edmonton asks for input on Old Strathcona revitalization

The City of Edmonton is asking for the public’s input on a plan to make Edmonton’s Old Strathcona neighbourhood a community hub, as part of the city’s efforts to revitalize the area.

After two phases and public engagement sessions, the city is in its third phase of the Old Strathcona Public Realm Strategy.

The proposed plan puts forward seven recommendations that include adding more green space, and bike paths, altering Whyte Avenue to prioritize pedestrians and transit, and blocking off a portion of 83 Avenue to vehicles.

“The majority of customers coming to these stores are already non-drivers. People vastly overestimate how many drivers there are,” Ward Papastew city councillor Michael Janz said.

“We want to have spaces no matter what the season. Where you can have firepits, where you can have festivals. We had ‘Ice on Whyte’, and we had other winter festivals here. Even in winter people are looking for cool spaces to go and hang out,” Janz explained.

Story continues below advertisement

Janz said he has questions on how closing off portions of traffic would impact businesses, including the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market and the Fringe Theatre.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

The Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market sits on the black of 83 Avenue and could become foot traffic only.

Communications coordinator Elaine Doucette said they’re on board to attract as many people to the community.

More on Canada

“It can be a really great thing and create more vibrancy for the market and have more of an outdoor space for us to spread the market out onto the streets and safer for pedestrians,” she said.

However, if the plan was approved, Doucette said the market would have to undergo significant renovations.

“There’s no access to trucks. We’re going to have to move the entire loading area,” she said. “Right now for all those trucks for the farmers to load, we will have to get some overhead doors on the east side of the building. But it all fits in though with our revitalization plan.”

Part of the proposed plan to add green space would mean the removal of a parking lot that the Farmers’ Market leases from the city to provide free parking for customers.

“Free parking is such a commodity right now. For us to have that and offer to our free customer parking is a huge benefit to the market,” she explained. “There’s so much beautiful green space two blocks out into the river valley.”

Story continues below advertisement

The councillor explained that drivers would still have the option of coming to Old Strathcona as only certain areas will be impacted.

“We know that theres 3,500 stalls of parking in this area. There’s a lot of parking. We need to do a better job of showing people ‘this is where you can park, this is where you should go’, he explained.

Janz said it’s too early to know whether the changes are feasible. He said it would still be years before any work could begin.

“Even if council were to approve the plan, it still needs to be funded,” he explained. “That would involve the combination of funding for different streetscapes, funding for park space, and potentially sale of some property that could become new housing,” he added.

Residents have until April 7 to have their voice heard through an online survey before it goes to city council in August.

&© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

View original article here Source