Edmonton showcases Jasper Avenue redevelopment plan

Edmontonians can take the city's Jasper Avenue pedestrian-friendly redevelopment plans for a test drive.

City unveils temporary demonstration of pedestrian-friendly stretch of downtown street

Redevelopment plans for Jasper Avenue include trees and greenery, outdoor seating and wider sidewalks. (CBC)

Edmontonians can test drive the pedestrian-friendly redevelopment plan for Jasper Avenue by taking a walk between 109th and 115th streets. 

That's where the city unveiled its redesign of the avenue Saturday. The demonstration is open until October 31.

"We are showcasing to the public how communities as well as businesses can take advantage of the traditional public space," said Satya Gadidasu, the project coordinator.

Curb lanes on both sides of the street now extend into the sidewalk. Workers placed a line of fences, pylons and potted plants as traffic barriers.

Curb lanes along Jasper Avenue between 109th Street and 115th Street have been transformed into pedestrian spaces for the summer. (CBC)

The additional pavement is being used as flex space for local business-owners, who can apply to expand their patios or street-front displays. Unused lanes double as 24-hour street parking for vehicles and bicycles.

Wider sidewalks also create shorter and safer crossing distances for pedestrians and cyclists, Gadidasu said.

"Pedestrians are the top priority so that's why Jasper Avenue is chosen as the premiere main street for Edmonton," he said.

'A very different experience as a pedestrian'

Lorin Yokhim has lived near Jasper Avenue for more than two decades. He attended Saturday's launch to learn how the redevelopment will change his neighbourhood.

"It's pretty interesting," he said. "It takes a little bit of imagination to imagine what it will actually look like but there's some obviously big changes that make it a very different experience as a pedestrian."

Lorin Yokhim has lived near Jasper Avenue for more than two decades and said he's excited for its redevelopment. (CBC)

The city is gathering feedback on its pilot project throughout the summer and will finalize the plan after conducting focus groups, interviews and studies.

Construction is expected to begin in 2019 and will last three to four years.