Restaurants along Whyte Avenue are looking to Calgary for a way to extend patio space in the summer.
Last year, Calgary allowed businesses to build patios to the curb during the warmer months. A boardwalk constructed over existing street parking allows unimpeded sidewalk access for pedestrians.
Murray Davison, executive director of the Old Strathcona Business Association, wants the City of Edmonton to allow these so-called pop-up patios along Whyte Avenue.
"It’s going to change our vibe here," Davison said. "It’s going to allow us to be even a more pedestrian-friendly area."
The transportation department initially rejected the proposal but were convinced to take a second look, Davison said. Officials are checking into safety issues and plan to follow up.
While the lack of patios has been an issue over the past couple of years, not everyone thinks the Calgary idea is a good one.
Zara Schultz said the patios could disrupt traffic flow along the avenue and reduce valuable space for parking.
"It’s a hot commodity to be able to get a spot on the street," she said.
If the plan is approved, extended patios could come to Whyte Avenue next year.