Weekly Update August 22nd-26th and Look-Ahead

SIDEWALKS

In my recent “Beautiful Edmonton” blog, I outlined some of my concerns regarding kemptness in Edmonton. Something critical in maintaining an efficient and beautiful City is how we handle our roadways and sidewalks. In recent years, the City has taken up the practice of temporarily filling in concrete sidewalk cracks with asphalt instead of concrete. 

This leads to unappealing sidewalks, and a host of other issues stemming from asphalt (like unevenness and environmental concerns).Temporary asphalt filling should not be standard practice, I have received a host of concerns about the temporary filling lasting much longer than anticipated. Additionally, I am concerned with the growth of plants in between the cracks, this breaks apart the sidewalk/roadway further and is unsafe. As a City we must do better in these areas to create a beautiful and welcoming environment for all residents. We strive for a more walkable Edmonton for health, safety, and enrichment but sidewalks with foliage growing out of them or asphalt don't exactly indicate this. The real question is how do we create a better strategy to upgrade crumbling portions of sidewalks while we wait for neighbourhoods renewal that maybe two or more capital cycles down the road.

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Flooding on Freeways

Yesterday at Utility Committee I made a motion to address the drainage system of low-lying roads like the Whitemud and how we can enhance them going forward. My motion was four-pronged, requesting that administration gather:

  • A report on all of the risks associated with varying levels of rain on freeways for flooding.
  • A report on current drainage capacity on the freeway underpasses
  • A study of options to increase and improve drainage performance.
  • Details on an improved public warning and education system in heavy rainfall events.

While Edmonton is leading with our Climate Change Adaptation strategy, there are certain realms where improvement is needed more urgently. As severe weather events like the storms in late July become more frequent, we must be proactive in our approach to them. The Whitemud’s current drainage capacity can handle storms to a “one in 5 years” standard, but increasingly we are seeing storms at a “one in 50-100 years” level. These types of weather events demand action, and with this inquiry, I hope that we can develop an action plan to mitigate them in the future so that no one on the Whitemud or any other interchange needs to be rescued by boat.

MATURE NEIGHBOURHOOD OVERLAY

At Urban Planning Committee on Wednesday, we will be receiving an update on the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay, and how we are engaging communities within this process as well as a report on defining a community’s character within Edmonton’s mature neighbourhoods. Since February of this year, the City has been focusing on developing a better understanding of the different perspectives on Mature Neighbourhood Overlay and how to best go about it. An early look at some of the responses have shed light on the process, from a desire for greater efficiency to preserving the boulevards and natural areas. Through the establishment of what gives each of our 107 neighbourhoods their character we can then preserve that character in our MNO. It is vital that while we are refurbishing communities across Edmonton that we still maintain their unique elements

Rogers Place and Northlands

On Saturday, September 10th Rogers Place will be hosting an open house. The event is free to attend but tickets are required as there will be great demand for this event. Event-goers must choose an entrance time to the event to coordinate the many people attending effectively. Be sure to get your tickets when they become available on August 29th.

Wednesday is a non-statutory Public Hearing, where we will be exploring an analysis of Northlands Vision 2020 and hearing a range of other ideas from the public.