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Car-Free Streets

And vertical plant elements...
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And you don't think that if this "test strip" were loaded with these kinds of elements and those of the previous posts that the businesses adjacent would open up to the street -- Retail Economics 101!!!
^ The perfect living room for hobos and druggies to loiter all day and night!

If you were actually serious about it you would be suggesting permanent sea-can retail bays along the middle of the street but there already is a mall right beside the street for that.
It's just a pilot, and at least for now emergency vehicles still need access through the corridor. The things that Ted suggested make more sense in this context than permanent sea can retail spaces - both because some are easier to move for emergency vehicles (or aren't on the road at all), and also because it is simpler to implement in this short time-frame than procuring a bunch of sea cans, looking for businesses/entrepreneurs to set up shop in such sea cans when there's uncertainty about what'll come of the pilot, deciding on how to re-purpose or sell the sea cans should 102 Ave re-open to traffic next year, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of pop up shops like what you suggested as a great way to encourage pedestrian traffic, improve safety through "eyes on the street", and overall liven things up there. I just think that it makes sense to focus on making smaller improvements like what Ted suggested as a way of creating a "proof of concept" for the corridor and planting the seed for "what could be" if the city stuck with it in the long-run. During the pilot, or once it finishes if the city decides to keep it closed to vehicles, they could then figure out how to improve the temporary setup when making it permanent.

During the pilot, perhaps they could have smaller stands set up along it, sort of like a pop-up farmers market (maybe the DT farmers market would want to operate a branch there?), but the pilot provides us a good opportunity both to see how the corridor and surrounding buildings fare without vehicle traffic, and how we can make the most of it. It's better to try things out on a smaller scale that can easily be expanded on, or removed once the pilot ends (depending both on whether the closure continues, and how much these improvements enhanced the pedestrian experience during the pilot), instead of making big investments right off the bat that the city could feel compelled to stick with, even if they don't perform well, solely due to the amount of money and effort invested into them.

EDIT: Also, refusing to make improvements to downtown (or other areas) just because they might be used by homeless people and substance users is only going to end up in the area seeming dull and uninviting, which will drive more people to shop, live, and work elsewhere, and ultimately lead to less foot and vehicle traffic and worsen the visibility of the problems you're trying to hide. Solutions for homelessness and substance abuse include investing in supports (both municipal/provincial and nonprofit) for people in need; increasing the supply of supportive and affordable housing; and increasing accessibility for, and safety in safe injection sites and shelters (and disperse them in key areas of the city instead of concentrating them in downtown and Chinatown). Neglecting areas solves nothing and leaves everyone worse off.
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^ The perfect living room for hobos and druggies to loiter all day and night!

If you were actually serious about it you would be suggesting permanent sea-can retail bays along the middle of the street but there already is a mall right beside the street for that.
I am still trying to understand why you are so hellbent in making this project sound like it's the worst thing hey could do with a street that serves no big purpose for car mobility in downtown.

I'd understand if we were talking about Jasper Ave, you know?
I think one benefit of the 102 Avenue walkway are the number of traffic lights pedestrians will have to cross. Right now, to walk from Rice Howard Way to Churchill Square (outdoors) means crossing at about two intersections. With 102 Avenue, it's only one.
I don't agree with Ian that closing 102 avenue to cars is a bad idea, but he does raise an important point. There are a few areas of restricted car access in the city, but without any people to replace the cars they can seem unsafe or abandoned. For example, the city has restricted cars on a portion of 96 street, but there are few pedestrians or businesses and it isn't exactly a bustling area for a stroll despite the huge amounts of money invested in improvements to the public realm. My guess is that some people would feel unsafe walking that area at night alone.
I'm super late with a response to this, but feel it's still a relevant point to address. One problem with the improvements you mentioned is that they were among the first such improvements made in the area. People won't use it as a cycling corridor if it is cut off from a broader network of safe cycling infrastructure; people won't go out of their way to go there if it's fronted on either side primarily by gravel parking lots, and developers won't build residential, commercial, or mixed-use developments on those parking lots just because of a change to one nearby street.

Regarding 96 street for example, we have the Valley Line about to open, which will alone be enough to attract new developments. The LRT is complimented by protected bike lanes that will connect 96 street to the downtown bike lane network and beyond. And we have this proposal for 102 ave which could lead to an urban linier park of sorts that would connect 96 street (well, a block short of 96 st if the full proposal is passed instead of the more restricted version proposed by administration) to Churchill Square, a number of destinations along 102 Ave such as the Winspear and Stanley Milner Library, and to the future Warehouse District Park.

In short, it will become one key aspect of a large urban network of pedestrian-oriented developments, destinations, and street design, rather than an oasis in a sea of car-centric traffic patterns that is forced to act as a destination of its own.
I think the Edmonton's redeveloped 102 Avenue isn’t comparable to Calgary’s 7th Avenue. Much larger train cars pass through 7th Avenue which can appear really high for pedestrians on adjacent sidewalks. It’s not even close to eye level and thus, I think, really creates some poor sight lines especially after office hours. Add into that the block-sized elevated platforms. Lastly, the new low floors are much more quiet and much closer to eye level with pedestrians which is why I think there can be a lot more potential with the pilot.
Here's a photo from a blog showing CTrains beside pedestrians along 7th Avenue:
Great 1st post @cent !
Welcome to the forum 🙂
I am still trying to understand why you are so hellbent in making this project sound like it's the worst thing hey could do with a street that serves no big purpose for car mobility in downtown.

I'd understand if we were talking about Jasper Ave, you know?

You have to understand the risks involved with public realm projects in an urban environment. Suburban public realm projects don't carry much risk, if a suburban park fails it is still safe, just empty. If urban projects fail they will always be taken over by hobos and druggies. There is potential for success as the street does a good job in linking up different pedestrian areas of downtown. If the street already had active store fronts this idea would have been a no-brainer. Unfortunately in spite of its location it still has a lot of problems that need to be solved. I am not against this project because it does have potential to be really good for the area. I am just upset that most of the proponents for this project blindly want this to go ahead without considering the risks. Stop looking at this project from a suburban point of view.

On that note, we might need even more people living downtown than what was previously calculated in downtown development plans for this project to work and those plans will have to be updated.
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On Sunday the 5th, I sent an email to my Councillor (Anne Stevenson) about this, and BCC'd the others. You can give it a read here if you want. Pastebin doesn't seem to support hyperlinked, but in my email, "still a stroad" leads to this page. Also, you'll notice that I even pointed them towards @archited's great suggestions on how to activate this space for pedestrians.
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Council spent around 30-40 minutes in private to "discuss the legal implications of" the closure of 102 Ave to vehicles from 99 St to 103 St. By the time they got out, they were a few minutes past the end time for the meeting. This is the motion that they will be debating at Monday's continuation meeting:
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There's three parts to it:

1. The pilot would be implemented as soon as possible, but only be scheduled to last for the summer

2. For legal reasons (if I heard them right), administration will come back in September will a draft road closure bylaw that would extend the closure for a full one-year closure.

3. The city would work with the Downtown Business Association and other stakeholders to put Downtown Vibrancy funds towards activating this corridor in context of the pilot pedestrianization.

You can listen to the preliminary discussion here.

I like this approach, it lets us get started with it early in the summer, instead of wasting valuable time doing all three of the bylaws, and the associated public hearing if any is needed, first. If you haven't contacted your councilors yet, do it soon so that they have the weekend to think about what you said!
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Half-baked nonsense.

Focus our limited resources on other key areas that continue to be under-planned, under-programmed, needing maintenance/upkeep and could be quite positive tomorrow.

I disagree. Whether you like it or not, there will be thousands of people being transported here using the lrt weekly and hundreds using the bike network. Forget attracting people for a second and realize although it isn’t a destination it’s still a corridor that will transport many people. The problem then becomes how you get people to stop or to come specifically for the destination. You need funding for that. It shows that the city for once cares. You can argue that it’s misplaced all you want and that’s an opinion of yours you can keep. Rather than sitting on the sidelines though and shouting out negative things towards a project. Realize that it’s going to happen and try to add valuable information rather than wasted criticism.
We cannot/can barely support what's inside and abutting those buildings... so now spread those dollars thinner, outside and ones that dont have to pay tax or a contribution to the EDBA?

Sure we can expand that pie and that's vital for something like this, but for about 100 reasons this set up is simply not the place (right now).