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Jasper Avenue New Vision / Imagine Jasper Avenue

Love this project. We need to be bolder and more aggressive like this. Vision and actual progress on climate goals. Whyte ave needs to become pedestrianized asap. Jasper could be half the size once VLW is finished.

As we leave the suburb to DT commute model of cities, we need to start thinking more about districts/neighbourhoods. Whyte become pedestrianized is only bad those those using it as a thoroughfare. Most locals would love it or at the very least be able to easily adapt to it.
I've been saying this for the past two years.

Jasper should narrow the lanes, drop the turning lane, add a bike lane and widen the sidewalks even more, ass lots of big trees lining up the street, separating the bike lane from traffic. Raise the crossings at some intersections (120 st, 110 st, 104 st, 101 st, 97 st), add better, pedestrian scaled, lighting, space for street performers closer to where we have more pedestrian traffic...

Whyte could go about the same way, provided we do need to provide another east-west route to compensate, simply because right now, Whyte Ave is a bottleneck (I would say 76/University Ave). Widen the sidewalks, cut off the turning lanes, add a dedicated biking lane, lots of bike racks, raise all of the crossings, narrow the car lanes and reduce speed to 40 (or even 30, like Paris), hell, for all I care, we could very well plan an LRT line AT LEAST connecting Bonnie Doon to Health Sciences, and we'd have a pedestrian wonderland to rival even some European cities.
 
/\ and for anyone asking themselves, I find the idea of turning lanes (or left turns altogether, except in some very specific places) abject. It reduces traffic flow, occupies a HUGE amount of space that could be put to much better use, makes crossings longer and more dangerous for pedestrians, unnecessarily and are, overall, the very best example of the stereotypical North American laziness: "hey, lets cut traffic here simply because I'm too lazy to circle the block with my big old truck like everybody else!". Turning left is fine in low traffic residential streets, but in main arterial roads? For crying out loud, WHO had this idea and WHY did we let them get away with it?
 
We do need better access to whyte by transit, I agree. But we can't cater to cars. People won't change if they don't have to.

Id love to know how much of a hit or benefit businesses would see if whyte changed.

Most studies of streets that have done this have shown huge benefits and increases to local businesses. But there's so many factors...so yeah, maybe it'd really hurt businesses in whyte or jaspers case. I just think it'll take 20 years to wait for preferences to slowly shift. Vs 5-8 years if we just do it, absorb the short term challenges, but start building and adapting sooner rather than later and reep the benefits long term.
 
^^^^ The only thing that I would add to the Whyte discussion is a Bonnie Doon to UofA leg for the ERR system, making the street even more pedestrian friendly while also maintaining the historic feel of the area -- even enhancing it. As Gabriel noted, 76th Avenue is an ideal route for new LRT, east/west auto accessibility, etc. Jasper Avenue needs to exude more of a main street character and certainly needs to be pedestrian oriented. It doesn't need to be an expensive start -- constrict both ends for a few blocks to begin with -- on the west narrow down the portion from 124th Street to 120th street with no curbside parking and three traffic lanes -- one eastbound; one westbound; and a centre lane reserved for buses in either direction (essentially a passing lane for transit so as to avoid traffic congestion -- not for autos). Create bike lanes and wider sidewalks with the remaining space with boulevard trees, pedestrian shelters, active street furniture, and seating clusters. On the other end restrict Jasper Avenue in a similar manner from 94th Street to 97th Street. Make the Avenue a place for people to "hang out" not a traffic thoroughfare. Same treatment for Whyte with the exception of two-way ERRs.
 
In fact re the transformation of Jasper Avenue here are some ideas that will bore some of your to tears (you know who you are) and will captivate the imagination of a smaller collection of others. Let's start with the premise that Jasper Avenue could be the jewel of the City and that there is a kind of affinity there for Edmontonians, partly steeped in history, partly borne of a sensibility that Jasper Avenue is a primus contender for "First Main Street" and partly for a desire to see Retail and Hospitality blossom along the route. So the 3-lane "style" has perfectly acceptable rationale if you consider this -- auto traffic can only go forward or it can turn right at a given intersection (and, at that, only at specific intersections) -- there is no left turning snarl; there is no parking/un-parking snarl; right turns will occur only at 1. designated parking streets, or 2. neighborhood access streets. What do neighborhood parking streets look like? Well, one could be 123rd Street North of Jasper -- we eliminate the actual street from Jasper Avenue to the alley north of Jasper Avenue and in its place we have two lanes ingress and two lanes egress to and from an underground automated parking structure that can manage 3,000 cars and 500 bicycles (that ratio might change in future scenarios in a more progressive society). From this parkade, people traveling westward along Jasper and cognizant of the Planning meme that "people are willing to walk 4 blocks in any given direction from a starting point to access services, retail and hospitality." The City gains the benefit of parking rentals -- short-term; mid-term; and long-term and, thereby, can easily cover the cost of build-out (parking bond issue, conventional mortgage, or some hybrid of the two). Intersection lights at 123 and Jasper keep traffic moving at a measured speed. All pedestrian intersections have raised crosswalks that also act as "speed-bumps" and the entire 123 intersection is a "scramble" pedestrian way (true of others as well).
That is ground level -- we now have completely separated bike lanes; wide, wide sidewalks loaded with pedestrian appurtenances and thronged with urban plant life; and interplay vis-a-vis expanded, street-fronting retail and hospitality.

Up one level above the street level and covering only the three traffic lanes below, we have the first segment of an LSM-propelled tram that connects nodal points of interest along the Avenue. This tram turns Jasper Avenue into a very lengthy but accessible shopping/entertainment district, linear in form but interesting in that it also activates "second storey" space of adjacent buildings by way of pedestrian bridges, elevators and stairways. Ridership is free because we have lease-able digital signage and gamification possibilities that not only illuminate the platform but provide income sustainability beyond the "travel tax" customary to payment means for transportation projects (have you ever wondered why you don't have to pay for riding an elevator?).

Again up one more level we have a "roof-top" linear park with all kinds of amenities -- sports courts, playgrounds, dog parks, picnic areas, and (your imagination comes into play here). Again, this park can tie into upper levels of adjacent high rises. Lots of trees, lots of group plantings, lots of unpolluted air.

A three level Jasper Avenue that serves all of the people all of the time. Plenty of outdoor space; greatly reduced polluters; and people friendly.

We build another underground automated parking station at 120th street, the terminus of the first leg of the new Jasper Avenue. Our sky tram in the first instance only traverses 4 blocks, waiting to expand in the second phase. 121 street and 122 street are right-turn only streets for neighborhood access. If you are traveling east on Jasper and want to access north-of-Jasper neighborhoods or the generous parking provisions located at 120th and 123rd then you have to turn right on 119th street and again right on 100th Avenue and again right at 121 street.

The same kind of build-out occurs simultaneously on the east end of Jasper between 94th street and 97th street. Once these two elements are completed at either end of Jasper avenue, Phase 2 kicks in -- an extension on the west end from 120 to 116 street; an extension on the east end from 97th to 101st street. After that only 15 blocks to go, covered in two more sequential phased build-outs.
 
I was a bit skeptical initially about this, but as I see it coming to completion I like it more. Hopefully the wider sidewalks and the buffer between the street and sidewalk will make the area more hospitable to people walking on the street and that will help bring back retail. The second part is also very important. It is helpful to make it more pedestrian friendly, but if there is nothing there to go, then it doesn't really thrive or meet its true potential.

I think one of the mistakes with Jasper Avenue, whether completely intentional or not, was to treat it for so long as a commuter road for people to get in and out of downtown as quick as possible. Yes, it is a fairly long straight road, but it really isn't meant to be a commuter road. In particular, the street just kind of ends in the west with no easy continuation. If we needed an east west commuter road to downtown, perhaps 104 St was better suited for that, but with the addition of the LRT I suspect that will not work so well either in the future.

Now, that brings us to interesting ideas of how to better serve transit users on Jasper Ave. Yes, it already has fairly frequent bus service compared to most other streets, but I also still feel something more is needed.
 
If we needed an east west commuter road to downtown, perhaps 104 St was better suited for that, but with the addition of the LRT I suspect that will not work so well either in the future.

Now, that brings us to interesting ideas of how to better serve transit users on Jasper Ave. Yes, it already has fairly frequent bus service compared to most other streets, but I also still feel something more is needed.

107 Ave could do the trick. It sure is a bit further from the core, but could easily feed into 124, 116, 109, 101 and 97 streets to get people in and out of the core, on the east-west corridor.

As for the transit, I believe that, realistically, in the short term, the best we could do is have even more frequent service (5 min frequency for the 2 and 5 lines, from 8 to 8, for example), using articulated busses (or even bi-articulated) and fewer stops (instead of 1 every two blocks, one every three blocks, for 4 stops less and a little bit of a shorter trip between 124 and 101 streets).

If you sum this up with what I proposed earlier, especially the end of the turning lanes (and left turns in general), it would probably cut the trips by a good 5/6 minutes, make it more comfortable and offer a level of service closer to the LRT.

An idea that would be a little bit more far fetched, but still feasible, would be improve the bus stops, have them heated (even with that half-ass overhead heater they use in some of the LRT stations) and a little bit bigger.
 
Love this project. We need to be bolder and more aggressive like this. Vision and actual progress on climate goals. Whyte ave needs to become pedestrianized asap. Jasper could be half the size once VLW is finished.

As we leave the suburb to DT commute model of cities, we need to start thinking more about districts/neighbourhoods. Whyte become pedestrianized is only bad those those using it as a thoroughfare. Most locals would love it or at the very least be able to easily adapt to it.

I think 109 St from Saskatchewan Drive to 61 Ave needs a complete redesign. The street is used by so many pedestrians and transit users and yet is astoundingly unwalkable. Wider sidewalks, permanent bus lanes/BRT, and trees down the median. Would also help spur the density that a few proposals have been trying to achieve on this part of 109.
 
An idea that would be a little bit more far fetched, but still feasible, would be improve the bus stops, have them heated (even with that half-ass overhead heater they use in some of the LRT stations) and a little bit bigger.
THIS!!! I'm still so confused as to why the bus stops along Jasper weren't improved at all in the redesign and made into "bus stations", with large permanent canopies, heating and even possibly led arrival screens like on the LRT. Would've highlighted the importance of Jasper as a bus transit corridor instead of the same-old shelters we see all over the city.
 
THIS!!! I'm still so confused as to why the bus stops along Jasper weren't improved at all in the redesign and made into "bus stations", with large permanent canopies, heating and even possibly led arrival screens like on the LRT. Would've highlighted the importance of Jasper as a bus transit corridor instead of the same-old shelters we see all over the city.

I wonder if that idea was put forward at the engagement sessions they had?

There is a designated person overseeing this project for the city - would be a good question to ask them. Response might be it came down to budget and not having the dollars.
 
THIS!!! I'm still so confused as to why the bus stops along Jasper weren't improved at all in the redesign and made into "bus stations", with large permanent canopies, heating and even possibly led arrival screens like on the LRT. Would've highlighted the importance of Jasper as a bus transit corridor instead of the same-old shelters we see all over the city.
Heaven forbid a bus shelter in this city is made too comfortable. That might actually encourage people to take transit. Someone in ETS must really hate their riders/customers
 
I don't know. Jasper Ave through Oliver is still too wide and car focused for me.
All lanes are now open - as you see from the pics facing east and west at 113 street, there are 5 traffic lanes and sections with an additional two lanes for parking.

These pics were taken at noon today - hardly any traffic today. I agree with some of the comments here that we should just start to move more aggressively on reducing some lanes. With this much space on Jasper, this is hardly going to induce less vehicle traffic. I don't think we have the density to require this many car lanes through Oliver. And why would we want that much car traffic through here anyway.

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Any city planner will tell you changes to a cities urban landscape are always dreadfully slow. We have to get the ball rolling, and this project is really that initial push we need. Yes its not as revolutionary as a lot of us would like but it sets the precedent to continue this kind of walkable design throughout the city.

That is, if we are able to dodge the Nickel bullet.
If not, then you can disregard having any hope for the DT core.

Seriously people, get out and vote this muni election.
 
Any city planner will tell you changes to a cities urban landscape are always dreadfully slow. We have to get the ball rolling, and this project is really that initial push we need. Yes its not as revolutionary as a lot of us would like but it sets the precedent to continue this kind of walkable design throughout the city.

That is, if we are able to dodge the Nickel bullet.
If not, then you can disregard having any hope for the DT core.

Seriously people, get out and vote this muni election.
not to be the curmudgeon at the table but, solely in the interest of being a cranky old man, i really wonder how many people who say these projects will "set the precedent to continue this kind of walkable design throughout the city" really walk the city all that much.

with jasper avenue as just one example, by the time the last segment of creating a more walkable street is completed, the street will be dead.

the one thing that really does create a more walkable street would be more people walking on the street along with the additional security and safety and convenience of more transit (everything from scooters to cars to buses to uber and taxis) on the street.

closing half of the street for "this stretch" for two years and the other half for two years and repeating that a dozen times, sometimes for stretches as short as 3 blocks, is not a recipe for more of anything, never mind more walkable.
 

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