Edmonton groups releases 'minimum grid' vision
Network of bikelanes, trails and other infrastructure for people other than motorists needed, say advocates
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As Gil Penalosa looks across seven lanes of traffic at 101 Street and 104 Avenue, the light changes and pedestrians begin to walk into the road using the crosswalk.
A car turning left onto 101 Street from 104 Avenue accelerates, pushing its way through the intersection and forcing the pedestrians to stop, lest they be hit by the vehicle.
Penalosa, something of a rock star in the urban design world for his 'pedestrians first' mantra and his success revitalizing cities like Bogota, Colombia, shakes his head.
"Did you see — the car doesn't respect the pedestrians," he says. "These people are walking and that car almost ran them over."
Penalosa is in Edmonton this weekend for A City for Life, an event organized by Paths for People to spark the conversation about the city's poor infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.
As part of that work, on Friday the group released its vision of Edmonton's 'minimum grid' — essentially a roadmap of infrastructure needs for non-motorists that, if built, would see some 140,000 residents live within two blocks of walking or bike paths that connect to a city-wide grid.
"We are hoping that this vision will be the start of a conversation with the city about next steps with regards to walking and biking infrastructure in Edmonton," the group's chair, Conrad Nobert, said in a release.
While in Edmonton, Penalosa is scheduled to meet with Mayor Don Iveson, several city councillors, head planners from the city bureaucracy and architects to discuss his view that Edmonton needs to put action behind its policies on pedestrians and cyclists.