Paths for People begins work on creating Edmonton’s first open space event
The events could see the city close off the High Level Bridge during slow Sunday afternoons.
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Get ready to leave your four-wheelers behind — Edmonton’s pedestrian advocacy group is gearing up to bring the first no-car event to the city next summer.
Anna Ho, with Paths for People, said the group is about to receive $20,000 from the city to start planning a “Cyclovia-type” event.
“We really need to set the stage,” Ho said.
Cyclovia is a popular festival that takes place in cities across the globe, where municipalities close off entire roads in certain areas for pedestrians or cyclists to use.
But Ho wants to take the concept further.
She said the group is thinking of calling the event “High Level Sunday.” That’s because they want the city to close of the High Level Bridge during three Sundays next summer.
She said the closure would occur during times where the bridge isn’t seeing heavy vehicle traffic.
“It’s really fun and it’s unifying,” Ho said of the open space event. “It creates a bridge so all Edmontonians can go out an enjoy our streets.”
Earlier this year, city council approved plans to see Paths for People host three events for next year. The group is allowed to use up to five kilometres of road, and the project is expected to cost a total of $271,100.
Ho said plans could include setting up mini-events along the trail, like pop-up yoga or barre classes. “The idea is to make the street more welcoming and more useful to community members,” she said. “It’s not really like a festival. The street is open, allowing us to walk or bike to connect to other communities.”
Paths for People will be required to provide a report on how the event went. The results will likely determine if the group can host them in the future or not.
Ho said parts of Whyte Ave could also be closed off as part of the events, but the group is still determining exactly what streets will be officially closed.