Weekly Update June 20-24

The Eskimos are starting their title defense this Saturday against Ottawa, so if you’re looking for me, I’ll be at the game. Go Esks Go!! In other news, I stopped by Square One the other day, it’s an excellent new Ward 10 coffee shop. Local coffee shops like Square One help create attractive and vibrant communities in which we can all enjoy. A lot happened at City Hall this week, I’ll delve into the some of the most exciting key events and items.

GPS SNOW ROUTE OPTIMIZATION         

As those who have read my blogs before will know, I am a huge proponent of GPS route optimization. I motioned for a pilot program to be instituted last year and the findings were promising. At Transportation Committee on Wednesday, we discussed installing GPS devices in all snow-removal vehicles and creating a synchronized system for deployment and route prioritization. GPS snow route optimization has been proven to reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, mileage, travel/response time, breakdown frequency, which will allow us to utilize the equipment and labour more efficiently, ultimately saving time and money. Committee decided to continue pursuing use of GPS and GIS technology for the 2016-17 winter with the ultimate goal of implementing the technology in full for 2017-18.

SECONDARY SUITES IN SEMI-DETACHED HOUSES

On Tuesday a motion passed that will move towards changing  regulations surrounding Secondary Suites in semi-detached houses. Administration will need to amend several aspects of Zoning Bylaw 12800, and conduct public consultations before returning to an Urban Planning Committee meeting in the future. Allowing secondary suites in semi-detached houses is a crucial step towards densification. By permitting Secondary Suites in semi-detached homes, more affordable housing options in the core of our city will become available, ultimately pushing us towards becoming a more economically and environmentally sustainable city.

LOW-INCOME TRANSIT PASS

As part of Edmonton’s strategy to end poverty in a generation, EndPovertyEdmonton has developed the Low-Income Transit Pass program. The program will serve approximately 20,000 vulnerable Edmontonians on a monthly basis, providing bus passes at 38% of the cost ($35). 600 of the passes will be distributed to the homeless for free. The passes will be sold at 9 centres across the City, 5 rec centres, and 3 libraries. It’s available to all those who qualify through an application.

ELECTRIC BUS PILOT

The Electric Bus Pilot this past year has produced some exciting results. The buses reduced emissions, handled the cold weather, and exhibited lower ongoing costs than diesel buses. Edmontonians are overwhelmingly in favour of purchasing the buses, with 78% supporting and 4% opposed. The motion was passed that Administration comes back with a stronger proposal, as more investigation is needed regarding how many buses we should purchase and any associated risks. The City is a leader in the reducing greenhouse gases and from the survey results, and Edmontonians are clearly behind this.