Edmonton looking to relieve construction headaches for pedestrians and cyclists

The City of Edmonton is looking to make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to get around construction projects that end up blocking sidewalks and roads.

'With the right incentives in place, developers will be more prudent,' councillor says

Ths is an example of a project in downtown Edmonton where construction has blocked sidewalk access. (CBC)

It can be a frustrating experience for pedestrians and cyclists in Edmonton to have to navigate around a closed sidewalk or road because of construction.

The city wants to get rid of some of that frustration.

"This is long overdue," said Coun. Ben Henderson, describing a recent example where barricades were closing off pedestrian and cyclist access on River Valley Road, when no construction was evident.

"If we have ways [of] stopping that kind of sloppiness from happening, if there's a cost to that, then maybe [construction] people will be a little more careful," Henderson said.

"With the right incentives in place, developers will be more prudent," added Coun. Scott McKeen. "This seems a small thing, but it's really important," he said.

The community and public services committee discussed a report on Thursday that recommends a new fee that would apply to builders whose projects obstruct sidewalks and roadways, especially for pedestrians and cyclists.

The details of what those fees could be still need to be worked out. That will be included in another report in January 2018, according to Gord Cebryk, branch manager for parks and roads.

McKeen said he wants to see a "prudent fee structure."

"Not to punish, but to encourage. And probably in the context of what other cities are doing," he said.