News / Edmonton

Car corridor no more? Edmonton wants your opinion on Jasper upgrades

Jasper Avenue sees more than 30,000 cars daily, but the city hopes to rebuild it to make it a pedestrian destination, and wants public input on the design.

Pedestrians shuffle down a snowy Jasper on Tuesday.

Kevin Tuong/ For Metro

Pedestrians shuffle down a snowy Jasper on Tuesday.

The city is set to continue its ongoing rebuild of Jasper Avenue in the next couple of years but doesn’t want to do so without public input on the design.  

Two planning exercises Wednesday night at Christ Church—one from 5-6:30 p.m. and another from 7-8:30 p.m.—will gather ideas to improve the avenue, one of Edmonton’s main streets, westward from 109 Street to 124 Street.

Project manager Satya Gadidasu said the goal is to have “a vision created for the corridor” before design work begins in 2016-2017.

Coun. Scott McKeen said the public has an opportunity to help design the street and make it more attractive for users other than drivers.

“Imagine a street where there are trees lining the sidewalk, and it’s quieter because of that, and there is shade because of that, and there are patios around coffee shops and restaurants and there is street furniture,” he said.

“It’s not just a transportation corridor for pedestrians but we are truly trying to make places for people.”

Jasper Avenue is currently six lanes wide and, as a vehicle corridor, sees 30,000 cars daily. The east side of Jasper was refreshed in 2013 with wider sidewalks and other upgrades.

McKeen said the aesthetic choices and things like street furniture, style of lighting, trees and other details are all things the public deserves to have input on.

“Imagine what those things add up to and what kind of great urban street we could have,” he said.

“I think we deserve as a community, as a city, to have a great main street. I don’t want to define that, there are many more voices that have to come into that.”

Gadidasu said he hopes members of the senior population contribute their thoughts, as well as families and children.

“We are encouraging (parents) to bring their kids, they’ll have their activities, and they can participate in sharing what they think are some of the strengths of the corridor, and what the opportunities and challenges there are in the corridor,” he said.

Council set aside $20 million for the project in the last capital budget. Gadidasu said construction would begin in 2019.

More on Metronews.ca