Edmonton

How well do you know downtown Edmonton's pedway system?

They walked, they ran and they were tired. Edmonton AM community reporter Tara McCarthy and associate producer Clare Bonnyman raced through downtown Edmonton’s pedway system on Tuesday in hopes of ticking items off their must-see list.

Edmonton AM crew races to find features, businesses within the pedway network

Edmonton AM's Tara McCarthy and Clare Bonnyman squared off in a challenge that forced them to explore downtown Edmonton's pedway system. (Tara McCarthy/CBC )

They walked, they ran and they were tired. Edmonton AM community reporter Tara McCarthy and associate producer Clare Bonnyman raced through downtown Edmonton's pedway system on Tuesday in hopes of ticking items off their must-see list.

The friendly scavenger hunt pitted the colleagues against each other as they explored the network both above and below street-level.

The challenge came after Downtown Business Association executive director Ian O'Donnell shared a photo on Twitter in January explaining the different signage found in the city's pedway system. The tweet was shared widely on Twitter, with hundreds of likes and comments.

Many online were shocked to learn about the city signage and their meanings. 

That's when Edmonton AM's challenge began.

Bonnyman and McCarthy were each given a list of seven items they needed to take selfies with such as a piece of art, some greenery and a unique store.

Things didn't start off well for McCarthy, who lost the list and had to have a digital copy emailed.

This is the map of the downtown Edmonton pedway system. (City of Edmonton)

"I fear that this pedway experience is showing my flaws," McCarthy said on Edmonton AM Thursday.

Although she kept a firm grip on her list, Bonnyman hit a wall halfway through the challenge.

"It just came to my attention, that to everyone else, I look like a mall walker, who is talking to herself, not in great shape, and is looking like I'm listening to a Walkman," she said.

But she persevered and managed to find all of the seven items on the list. McCarthy lost with a respectable 5.5 items.

Changes to pedway system

Edmonton's pedway system is in the process of an upgrade to its signage, originally created in the 1980s. The city is targeting a more cohesive look with guidelines, according to the city's website.

The upgrade will include public feedback from a pilot project launched in 2014. Signs were installed in the downtown core to help navigate people street-level and in the pedway system.

Edmonton's wayfinding signage is currently in the process of getting a revamp. (Clare Bonnyman/CBC)

Tim Querengesser, co-founder of Edmonton Wayfinding Society, told Edmonton AM Thursday the wayfinding group started because he "wanted people to explore."

"I think we need to start thinking about our streets as living eco-systems that we really need to feed, get people to discover and explore. A unified wayfinding system that the city is trying to roll out, that's step one."

The city is in the process of discussing signage changes with business owners before implementing the system on private property, according to the city's website on the project.

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