Edmonton was built for cars. Like many North American cities, Edmonton has enormous roadway infrastructure, and like many winter cities we are struggling to transition to a more diversified transportation system.
In the past decade, our city positively focused on building the LRT and expanding public transit.
Edmonton has spent over $1 billion on LRT since 2004.
Edmonton has spent $3 million on bike lane infrastructure since 2009, which is a small fraction of overall spending on transportation, but is a good start.
Council has also spent approximately $2 billion dollars on road construction and maintenance since 2004. We have moved from renewing one neighbourhood a year to renewing as many as seven or eight.
Even with this investment, Edmonton roads are still in pretty bad shape. We can’t deny it. We just have to drive through Allendale, Grandview or on 23rd avenue. The number one question I’m hearing from voters in Ward 10 is, “are you going to fix these roads?” City Council’s move this year to increase spending on road repair was absolutely necessary.
The longer we wait to seriously address the infrastructure neglect of previous councils over the past few decades, the more expensive it will be for taxpayers.
We have to accelerate our re-investment in fixing Edmonton’s existing roadways now, and we need to fix them in a lasting way that will not require the same potholes on the same roads to be fixed again year after year.
While spending on roadways is necessary today, it’s not a long-term solution. That’s why other areas of transportation are important. Our city is over 600 square kilometres and our population is closing in on a million. We need to truly reach for the best of the best when it comes to non-automobile transportation.
In addition to investing in the repair of our roads, I will support:
1. Funding for completion of the LRT network to all areas of the city as outlined in the City’s transportation master plan. I am also committed to supporting a regional transit strategy and regionalized transit service as part of modern capital region. Additionally, I want to be part of a Edmonton city council committed to a meaningful regional growth coordination strategy. The Capital Region must plan for growth as one entity, not as 24 individual municipalities. Growth plans must be supportive of more-sustainable transportation, not continuing the patterns of the automobile-designed past.
2. Bike lane infrastructure with an emphasis on building higher-standard facilities such as cycle tracks and focusing on areas and corridors with the highest potential for bicycle traffic.
3. Increased infill development in mature neighbourhoods and policies and programs that revitalize commercial hubs like aging strip malls. Read my policy blog on mature neighbourhoods here,
4. A greater number of direct bus routes from mature neighbourhoods to LRT stations and working with communities along LRT lines to improve the accessibility of LRT stations for their neighbourhoods,
5. Transportation planning policies that require fewer and smaller roads and increased public transit in new communities that are well-designed for transit. Even those who oppose new suburban development must realize Edmonton’s projected growth won’t realistically be met entirely with infill. Developing a culture of community-supported infill will take time, and in the meantime, we need to build smarter suburbs that minimize cost impacts on the rest of the city.
You can read some of the city of Edmonton’s transportation documents below.
I will be a city councillor committed to a modern, innovative and well-managed transportation system.