News / Edmonton

Edmonton pedestrians finding their voice and standing up for walker rights

Pedestrians groups see strength in numbers

Cheryl Trepanier and her daughter Sawyer Zurek stand at the intersection of 99 Street and Saskatchewan Drive, which will soon be redesigned because of lobbying efforts.

Kevin Tuong / For Metro

Cheryl Trepanier and her daughter Sawyer Zurek stand at the intersection of 99 Street and Saskatchewan Drive, which will soon be redesigned because of lobbying efforts.

Advocates for a more walkable Edmonton say their voices are getting louder and more organized — and the city appears to be listening.

Just this week, council approved changes the city's transportation department has proposed for the intersection of Saskatchewan Drive and 99 Street, at a cost of $637,000.

The changes will re-align a southbound right-hand turn lane and install other measures meant to make the street safer for pedestrians.

Cheryl Trepanier, a board member with the group Paths for People, said even before the group was formed she and her neighbours in Strathcona were pushing for changes to the intersection.

Trepanier said the city is hearing more from pedestrians and cyclists and looking to address their concerns.

“They’re not just the anomaly anymore and I think we’re at that point where the city needs to accommodate that in their planning,” she said.

“The city is growing [and] I think there is more desire on the part of citizens for a vibrant urban atmosphere,” she said. “I think there is just a shift, or there is starting to be a shift, in the way that people are moving throughout the city.”

Paths for People is encouraging its members to turn out to public consultations, including ongoing ones on changes to 109 Street.

Trepanier said the city is being more open than it was in the past, so citizens need to make sure they get their views across.

“As citizens, we absolutely have a big role to play in being heard,” she said. “It takes two to dance.”

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