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Keep 102 Ave closed to vehicles

archited

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I had a long conversation with the President of the Alberta Avenue Business Association back when I was trying to get support for the repurposing of the Coliseum and I have to say that he did not have a clue what we were proposing or how it would benefit the community. I am not surprised, however. What does that prove? It simply illustrates that the City's misinformed effort at trying to find consensus for Plan A vs Plan B vs Plan C is a complete exercise in futility. Their efforts to find consensus, simply put, underscore only that people are swayed by renderings that offer false choices. The 102 Ave. project could really score high on the aesthetic chart if we didn't look for consensus. Imagine if Leonardo da Vinci drew several sketches of the Mona Lisa and sent them out to public for preview before doing the masterpiece that exists today. How many architects or designers do you know that ask for public approval on A, B, or C before heading to construction documents? You got it exactly right when you observed that the City nearly completely destroyed the masterful concept for Blatchford. High-minded is much preferable to low-minded.
 

itom987

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A concept that affects many people and organizations needs to find common ground before going ahead. Using an artists painting as an example, seriously? Who's quality of life does the Mona Lisa effect? The Brooklyn Bridge would have been a much better example. The bridge being a new concept that was never tried at such a massive scale before absolutely needed to be consulted with affected parties. The affected parties also needed to be educated on the new concept. A lot of people don't understand how the urban environment works, especially in a suburban dominated city like Edmonton. Educating the public on why things work a certain way and not the other is part of the job.

A democracy works poorly if the electorate doesn't understand what they are voting for.
 

IanO

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Is Janz really using this image to compare to our 102ave?
FVFlFIdWUAAnP_6
 

archited

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Who's quality of life does the Mona Lisa effect?
Not yours, obviously.
Your arguments are becoming too esoteric... I'm out! I'll rest with you stuck in your viewpoint and I'll remain self-satisfied in mine. (BTW the word is "affect" not effect" in this context).
 
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CplKlinger

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It passed 7-6.


Here's the full motion:

That Administration implement a pilot, as soon as possible, of the full closure of the traffic lane on 102 Avenue between 99 Street to 103 Street for the purpose of establishing a pedestrian-friendly corridor that would accommodate emergency services access and that Administration prepare a road closure bylaw for the full closure of the traffic lane on 102 Avenue between 99 Street to 103 Street for a one year pilot, and that activation projects be considered as part of the downtown vibrancy grant program and that Administration work with local stakeholders for implementation.
 
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Didama

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Awesome. People over cars. I'm sure Ian will miss the 15 cars per hour and the activation those would have brought, but I'm glad to see there will be more space just for pedestrians, even if initially it is unlikely to be used heavily.
 

IanO

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Not sure how many times I have to remind folks that I am a pedestrian first and usually walk to get anywhere.

It might seem incongruent or confusing for me to oppose this idea, but it I will stand by it all day long given the cross-section, space, abutting buildings, width, lack of green and alternatives for folks to explore and spend time on. The principles and bones aren't there, period.

I'd rather hang on 104st, 124st, Whyte, Ritchie, Garneau... even Churchill Square.

THAT SAID, 7-6 so let's make it the best it can be over the next year and see how it goes.

Godspeed to those who will be given the task to program it, transform it and make it a destination.
 

CplKlinger

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Not sure how many times I have to remind folks that I am a pedestrian first and usually walk to get anywhere.

It might seem incongruent or confusing for me to oppose this idea, but it I will stand by it all day long given the cross-section, space, abutting buildings, width, lack of green and alternatives for folks to explore and spend time on. The principles and bones aren't there, period.

I'd rather hang on 104st, 124st, Whyte, Ritchie, Garneau... even Churchill Square.

THAT SAID, 7-6 so let's make it the best it can be over the next year and see how it goes.

Godspeed to those who will be given the task to program it, transform it and make it a destination.
I think Councilor Salvador put it well: Let's not let perfect be the enemy of good. Sure, there are better alternatives. But there's no way that Edmonton would close a perfectly functioning street to vehicles for an entire year. She speculated that if it weren't for the shift towards biking and walking that many made during the Pandemic, we likely wouldn't even be able to get this idea approved. It's quite a shift for a place like Edmonton. But like you said: It's done now, so I hope the city makes the most of it, and doesn't squander this opportunity.
 

Didama

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At the end of the day I would say the amount of foot traffic this ultimately gets will depend on how our downtown does overall. If our economy is doing well and we see some developments proceed at Manulife and City Centre Mall then the pedestrians won't be far behind. I really don't see any downsides to this decision from council. That stretch will be pretty quiet for the next couple of years anyways, so I'd rather see some opportunities for pedestrians using this public space instead of the occasional car.
 

TAS

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Is Janz really using this image to compare to our 102ave?
FVFlFIdWUAAnP_6

There are some fair concerns about this pilot but it's frustrating to hear some councillors spout inaccuracies or grasping to make their case.

For instance, Coun. Hamilton, who voted against the motion, talked about safety concerns of having pedestrians adjacent to the lrt tracks where the car lane would have been. She obviously has not spent any time looking at these stations downtown or any lrt station for that matter, not to mention there's a sidewalk on the other (north) side of the tracks. Laughable argument.

And then Coun. Rutherford talking about how she is an active transportation advocate, which I hope she is, but then talks about how Edmonton is -30c in winter and who will be out there. Are we back to that? Why do anything outside in this city because we're a winter city? Nevermind our average daily winter temperatures are nowhere near -30c - but great point councillor.
 
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CplKlinger

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And then Coun. Rutherford talking about how she is an active transportation advocate, which I hope she is, but then talks about how Edmonton is -30c in winter and who will be out there. Are we back to that? Why do anything outside in this city because we're a winter city? Nevermind our average daily winter temperatures are nowhere near -30c - but great point councillor.
I just about ripped my hair out there, she was *very* deceptive with that argument. "I did a quick search. The  average temperature in the winter in Vienna [which was used as a case study for pedestrianization] is a low of 0 degrees. The low in Edmonton, in the middle of winter, can get down to -30 degrees."

So, taking the average from one place, and the worst case scenario from Edmonton, and putting them together to create some horrible sounding difference.

According to Weather Spark, which cites local weather stations for its data, our lowest winter  average is -10, in December and January. In November it's -4, in Febuary it's -8, and by April it's in the positives again. I'm not claiming we're some balmy paradise or comparable directly to Vienna, but it's ridiculous to say that a few days of -30 or below are enough to derail this plan entirely.

If we reject every attempt to make being outside pleasant and feasible for pedestrians because "something something cold", then no wonder seasonal affective disorder gets so bad here in the winter.
 
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JuliallThat

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I just about ripped my hair out there, she was *very* deceptive with that argument. "I did a quick search. The  average temperature in the winter in Vienna [which was used as a case study for pedestrianization] is a low of 0 degrees. The low in Edmonton, in the middle of winter, can get down to -30 degrees."

So, taking the average from one place, and the worst case scenario from Edmonton, and putting them together to create some horrible sounding difference.

According to Weather Spark, which cites local weather stations for its data, our lowest winter  average is -10, in December and January. In November it's -4, in Febuary it's -8, and by April it's in the positives again. I'm not claiming we're some balmy paradise or comparable directly to Vienna, but it's ridiculous to say that a few days of -30 or below are enough to derail this plan entirely.

If we reject every attempt to make being outside pleasant and feasible for pedestrians because "something something cold", then no wonder seasonal affective disorder gets so bad here in the winter.
It also completely ignores other types of weather extremes happen all over the world, that can drive people inside. As if this is the only place with uncomfortable weather events.

Vancouver is not a bustling lively paradise during heavy rain events, everyone just scampers quickly around trying to keep their hood up and their shoes dry.
No one wants to be outside during a humidex 40°c event in Toronto.
And nearly everyone I've talked to on the matter agrees that our normal winter temperatures here, that -5°c to -15°c range is comfortable and pleasant as long as you're dressed appropriately.
 

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