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Thread: River Access Strategy Survey

  1. #1
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    Default River Access Strategy Survey

    http://www.630ched.com/2014/05/01/ci...cess-strategy/

    The North Saskatchewan River runs right through Edmonton and city officials are developing a 10-year river access strategy but first they want your input.

    Project Manager Marilyn Hussey says an online survey has been launched asking about infrastructure in the river valley, amenities, boat launches and lots of other questions.

    “We know for sure that Edmontonians have lots of opinion and lots of passion around the use of the river and the river valley so we felt it was necessary to ask specific questions and to listen to what we heard,” explains Hussey.

    Hussey says the goal is to have one-thousand Edmontonians give their input on the strategy but she hopes even more will fill out the survey.

    “We had different levels of interest and we know that there is a real need for more amenities in the river valley for people to continue to use them but there is a very strong issue of protection around the river valley as well,” explains Hussey.

    Hussey says Edmonton is also looking at what other river cities are doing.

    “We have looked at other examples and other patterns of development and how citizens are able to access the water in those river cities,” explains Hussey.

    You can fill out the survey until May 31st.
    River Access Strategy Survey 2014:
    https://survey.vovici.com/se.ashx?s=78AA005C78773068
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Done
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    I did it too, but I don't they are going to like what I said.

    Eve

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    Like they don't already know. But this is a good idea non-the-less. Done.

    ^ Me too. Build more stuff in the River Valley.
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    haha share!!

    Quote Originally Posted by EveB View Post
    I did it too, but I don't they are going to like what I said.

    Eve

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    Need cafes, coffee kiosks etc ....

    They might not like mine either!
    ... gobsmacked

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    Quote Originally Posted by DTrobotnik View Post
    haha share!!

    Quote Originally Posted by EveB View Post
    I did it too, but I don't they are going to like what I said.

    Eve
    Well, the point is to get to the river. Unfortunately, because I'm stairs handicapped I can't get that far down (or at least I've never found a guide that acknowledges people like me). I discovered a new park near where I live (west of 109th St) which had a sloped path which was great. Until I got to the end where there is *no* signage for how you cross the road and the only pedestrian sign refers to a (you guessed it) tall flight of wooden steps. I wound up going the wrong way and because my transit app was also defective I wound up wandering among the freeways across the Groat Bridge (the land of no bus stops).

    It's a darn good thing that, although I'm stairs handicapped, I'm a strong walker on the flat because I put on way more miles than I intended.


    All I want is signage geared to walkers! And acknowledgement that we're not all stairs athletes.

    I have in mind a couple of other parks that may (or may not) be accessible. But this is about the third time I ended a pleasant walk being stranded at the side of a freeway type road.

    I've lived in Regina, Saskatoon and Calgary. I really miss being able to spend time near the water.

    Eve

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    Quote Originally Posted by EveB View Post
    I did it too, but I don't they are going to like what I said.

    Eve
    ...while I agree that this process may already have a predetermined "right answer"... like so many community engagement projects... I don't think any answer will surprise this group. Many ideas an potential solutions are out there from weirs to water taxis and beaches. There are also several people who will BANANA any development whatsoever on, near, adjacent, or within visual or aural distance from the river.

    This is just one method to get feedback an potentially gauge the volume of support behind opinions.

    That said..I echoed your thoughts. Not only is the river valley inaccessible in many ways to disabled people, but it is also unwelcoming for several demographics that are not hikers, trail riders, or naturalists. I firmly believe that there are many ways to integrate a couple oasis points for more than a select and vocal group to enjoy a portion of the river. Laurier and Rosedale come to mind. The river valley is kilometers long, and in a show of regional good will, Edmonton can collaborate with stakeholders from Drayton Valley to the Saskatchewan border to make a ribbon of blue (or brown at high/fast water) that becomes an attraction for all municipalities and visitors.

    Or, we can watch the trees grow.
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    Actually accessing the river, not the river valley is a big challenge.

    The only really good places that I know of in the city proper to actually get to the water are underneath the Capilano bridge, and at Terwillegar Park. There are a few other access points but they aren't great.

    But a lot of people go down to the river via makeshift trails or by clamouring down the bank, which damages the banks and speeds erosion. That's a big problem

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    i wrote about the stigma our river has of being, unclean, unsafe and thusly untouchable.
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

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    ^ Btw what's with that? It is my understanding that the river is actually not that dirty it's just so brown because the silt gets kicked up in the fast current... am I right on this?

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    ^ that is what i have have heard as well...
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

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    Build some stuff! Haha. Is there not a healthy balance between development and pure parkland? Even if just the parks that are already along the River Valley line had more commercial development. We dont even need massive expansion. Just a giant overhaul of what exists?
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    There are a number of access points along the river. Terwilliger, Laurier Boat Launch, White Mud Creek, Buenavista Dog Park by the foot bridge, Emily Murphy Park, Rafters Landing and Goldbar Boat Launch to name a few.
    I have been on the river every year now for almost 40 years and find it gets cleaner every year. Yah there is silt and that’s what everyone thinks is pollution but by August as the river settles down and the flows are reduced the river takes on the mountain green look. You can paddle, float or row along the river and clearly see the bottom and quite a number of fish.

    Mornings are great to be on the river, the amount of wild life you see along the river taking a drink or just living is quite remarkable. I’ve seen Moose, Deer, Coyotes, foxes. We Have food Bear Scat in one of the parks as well. We’ve seen Sturgeon near the deeper sections. Osprey, Eagles, Herons and the odd Pelican.

    I have filled out the Survey. I would like to see more development like restaurants and cafes along the river. But I believe we need to have a river Patrol to deal with unsafe speed of power craft and other unsafe practices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Komrade View Post
    Build some stuff! Haha. Is there not a healthy balance between development and pure parkland? Even if just the parks that are already along the River Valley line had more commercial development. We dont even need massive expansion. Just a giant overhaul of what exists?
    Basically yes. Most cities I'm familiar with have a central park area and then the river gets wilder as it heads to the outskirts. You don't need a whole bunch of paths, just an entry path and an exit path both putting you back to city sidewalks. Some benches to contemplate the ducks. A food truck or two?

    I totally understand that Edmonton's downtown valley is more of an engineering challenge than many.

    And, darnit, it already is developed what with the road system curly cuing through it.

    Eve

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    Quote Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
    Actually accessing the river, not the river valley is a big challenge.

    The only really good places that I know of in the city proper to actually get to the water are underneath the Capilano bridge, and at Terwillegar Park. There are a few other access points but they aren't great.

    But a lot of people go down to the river via makeshift trails or by clamouring down the bank, which damages the banks and speeds erosion. That's a big problem
    You're blocking the best river access point: the foot of 50 St. in Capilano...

  18. #18

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    My biggest beef is the lack of year-round and 'all inclusive' use of the River Valley System. Access to the river is tough to develop, if we're talking restos and cafes, but I believe places like the Mill Creek Ravine Pool could easily become a great halfway point for travellers and people looking for nature if it had a cafe or something there to 'ground' people (ex: recreational equipment rentals, hikers/ backpacker hostel, cafe, lookout spot, public washrooms, playground, amphitheater... anything really). Louise McKinney is beginning to do a good idea on its programming. Friend of mine does DJ sets during the late afternoon and evenings there, but locations that enter the Ravine and Valley system could use city-owned enclosed spaces that lease space for private developers. Wouldn't mind something that shares space with the riverboat Queen dock where one can sit for a while that isn't just a bench.
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  19. #19

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    ^ Add Victoria golf course to that.. already a cross country ski and snow shoe mecca.. there could be a winter lodge, a resto and equipment rental.
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

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    ^Lodge. Exacto.
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    And its due to be replaced... so i will be watching what is put forward closely.
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by EveB View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DTrobotnik View Post
    haha share!!

    Quote Originally Posted by EveB View Post
    I did it too, but I don't they are going to like what I said.

    Eve
    Well, the point is to get to the river. Unfortunately, because I'm stairs handicapped I can't get that far down (or at least I've never found a guide that acknowledges people like me). I discovered a new park near where I live (west of 109th St) which had a sloped path which was great. Until I got to the end where there is *no* signage for how you cross the road and the only pedestrian sign refers to a (you guessed it) tall flight of wooden steps. I wound up going the wrong way and because my transit app was also defective I wound up wandering among the freeways across the Groat Bridge (the land of no bus stops).
    I'm not sure if I've got you right, but I think you're referring to the green belt that contains the Hi-Level street car right-of-way. It ends up at across the street from Ezio Farone Park. The signage is indeed not clear for walkers, and Google Maps assumes you do stairs (they should really have an option for least hills, it'd be handy for casual cyclists too ).

    Below is pictured the easiest non-stairway way to get down to the valley from Ezio Farone. You take a path west out of the park, just to the west of the stairs you mentioned. The grade is fairly steep, but not nearly as bad as doing the stairs. A little beyond the bottom of the grade is an intersection; going down the hill, you turn left to walk down to the valley, ending up on River Valley road next to the Royal Glenora athletic club. Here's the Google Map:



    There's a nice path that runs along the south side of River Valley Road that borders the river. I think that's what you ended up on, heading westbound. It ends up at Government House park. Just before you get to Government House park, there's the only-non stair way back out of the valley, short of Groat Road to Westmount or popping out somewhere in Glenora or Jasper Place. You end up walking up Victoria Park hill out of the Valley; its a long slog, but the grade isn't too bad you do get out eventually. Here's the Google Map:



    You can then keep going up the hill all the way to Grant Notley Park, and down 100 avenue back to your home area, or you can take a lovely path that runs atop Victoria Golf course and Victoria Park. It eventually leads you to the intersection you took to get down to the valley from Ezio Farone park; you can go back up the hill home from there. Here's the Google Map:


    Finally, if you find the grade down from Ezio Farone fine, but too steep on the way up, and don't want to walk all the way out to Victoria Park Road and then back down 100 avenue, you can use Fortway Drive and Legislature Boulevard to get from River Valley Road back up to the top of the valley. It's a longer distance, but the grade isn't as nearly as steep as that drop from Ezio Farone to the trail intersection. Here's the Google Map



    Good luck on your travels, Eve!

    If that sound exhausting to everyone, that's why a funicular would be handy to increase utilization of the valley
    Last edited by Ustauk; 05-05-2014 at 09:46 AM.

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    Thank you very much for your detailed description, Ustauk. I'll try to get your maps translated onto something I can use on my phone or iPad.

    However, the paths your describing are all paths I've managed to get lost on. There is no signage that indicates stair free routes. You're correct about the route I wound up on (govt house et al) but it was dark, my Google map was providing no good guidance, and all I saw for miles around was fast moving traffic.

    The thing about the particular evening I was describing was that I wanted to only go for a short walk because I've been having a recurrence of my pulmonary ailment and the stress and distance, unfortunately, led to a relapse.

    Frankly, the river system just gives me more anxiety than recreation. Some day, I might attempt to figure out a good route, but in the mean time it just always ends badly.

    Eve

  24. #24

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    ^
    Good luck with your condition, Eve. Until you recover, I'd say you're best not trying to get to the riverside on foot; the paths are either short and steep or long and gradual. A nice walk would be down the street-car right of way park to Ezio Farone, and the across to the Legislature grounds. You could probably get down to Leg lawn bowling club without dealing with too much of a grade back up.

    If you want to spend some time closer to the river via public transit, you can hope a bus to the Shaw Conference centre, and take the escalators in it down to Louise Mckinney Park.

    Alternatively, you can take a bus or walk to 116 street and catch the 130 southbound between Jasper and 100 avenue to a stop right outside Hawrelak Park. You can then later catch the 130 at the same stop to the University and take the LRT back to Grandin Station.

    Good luck with your travels!

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    Go with the flow: Many Edmontonians want more amenities to lure people to North Saskatchewan River

    EDMONTON - Louise McKinney Park was busy Monday with joggers, walkers and cyclists enjoying the sunshine, but the only living things on the nearby North Saskatchewan River were birds.

    Now the city is creating guidelines for docks, boat launches, trails and other facilities to help encourage more people to use Edmonton’s greatest natural asset.

    “If we’re going to develop amenities, maybe it would be good to put in washrooms or a picnic site,” says Marilyn Hussey, project manager for the river access strategy.

    “We want to get an idea of how many of those kinds of facilities people would use or want.”

    So far, there have been approximately 600 responses to an online questionnaire asking for opinions on the 10-year strategy, which closes May 31.

    More:
    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...159/story.html
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    It would be so nice to see more boats, canoes, tubes and people sitting near or over the river.
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    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

    On August 2, 1922, the hottest day in 20 years, Edmonton Mayor D. M. Duggan opened the South Side Pool, saying that nothing during his term of office gave him greater pleasure. A swimming pool had been needed for many years because of the many drownings in the North Saskatchewan River, he said.
    http://www.albertacentennial.ca/hist...px~id=423.html

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    ^ Pools are great for swimming, but not for most other water based recreational activities. It is 2014, not 1922, and personal flotation devices are readily available - anyone on the river in a boat, canoe or tubes should be wearing one.

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    Staples: How to fix our most glaring failure: river valley development
    We need to focus on getting far more people down to Edmonton’s coolest place, the river’s edge

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...651/story.html
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    ^ I like this quote:
    And you certainly should not have to walk across a maze of busy roads or walk down sidewalks that suddenly end in the middle of nowhere to get to the river downtown. A tourist should be able to get a map showing clearly marked routes of a linked series of pleasant, easily accessible paths through Rossdale.
    Even more than the general inaccessibility, the river valley suffers as a park because most of it is in the midst of all those busy roads. Yes, I know why they're there and why it's like that, but it's still a pain.

    Eve

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    David Staples: the guy who said we should elect Dorward and keep City Centre Airport open.
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    The river valley is perfectly accessible for those who are actually interested in accessing it.

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    ^ ummmmm nope...

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    For me, accessibility includes physical activity options ALONG with opportunity to eat, have a drink and sit by the river.
    www.decl.org

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  35. #35

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    So we can dabble our feet in the floodwaters while we swill our brewskis and wonder who pays to dig the mud out of the kitchen again.

    Seriously I don't get this infatuation.

    Rossdale powerplant re-use? One thing.

    Single season promenade of shops and services? Different thing.
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    LMP is a good example, extend it... add in more seasonal opportunities for food/bev.
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    Why not just What the Truck on the existing dock circle with the unbuilt dock?

    They would get all the 39 cyclists interested in cramping up and everyone else who comes down can swat mosquitoes in unison.
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    Yup, that works, but simply put, we need more things happening along and on the river.
    www.decl.org

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  39. #39

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    From talks with friends, they feel like there is enough access already and it's already over developed. I understand where they come from - and a lot of people feel that the fact it's a "gem" in our city is because in essence, we have a largely "wild and undisturbed" ribbon that runs right through a major metropolitan. There is certainly merits in that.

    But what's the point of having a "gem" in the middle of the city where only able-bodied members of our city can access it. And within the able-bodied, it seems like only the 20-40 year old demographics use the valley itself based on what I've seen during my runs and hikes. And the reason, as pointed out, is accessibility being a major issue for our river valley. I just don't see how a wheel chair or someone who has knee problems can access most parts of our valley.

    At the very least - and perhaps at most, I certainly hope we develop more of the "core" area....mainly expand LMP further and also introduce more amenities and develop the Rossdale site with easy point of access to the river in mind.

  40. #40

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    The paved trails are perfectly wheelchair accessible. For that matter, so are the roads (in cars, I mean.) What isn't so accessible are the sheer distances and heights of the Valley. But that's simply what our valley is - the steepest, deepest and widest of any major Canadian City. Probably even all of North America.

    And as for places to "eat and drink", trust me (or don't, I guess) a simple pair of cafés with patio covering the roof of Hall D would make more in any single January than all the River Valley "life" outside the 'dales in a dry decade.

    No permanent structure:

    - off the top of the bank
    - outside the 'dales
    - not part of a golf/ski entity (and in many cases not even there, tbh)

    will ever pay an unhysterical ROI without fundamentally being a Crown Corporation. Including Louise McKinney.

    When you're making a business plan, foot traffic, visibility, transit and parking are actually good things.

    The Forks in Winnipeg has almost as much parking as Kingsway Mall, is less than 50 metres from actual downtown buildings and is so shallow you wouldn't believe what previous generations had to do to prevent downtown itself from flooding Calgary style every 10 years.

    Then Eaux Claire in Calgary is literally across the Avenue from downtown.

    Meanwhile the middle of Louise McKinney has less than 5% the parking and is over 200 metres from the nearest retail edifice (which is closed, by the way) and is 40 metres deep (read "heart-attack stair climb".)

    Our River Valley is just not the same geographical proposition at all.

    Again, yes in the 'dales (and I'm thinking most of that shouldn't be more than a few bus-type pull-offs for a food truck or two), something semi Forksy at Rossdale Power Plant (but again we've got to be realistic about the non-existant ROI, just that the history justifies that particular sacrifice, plus it has a growing residential base right next door), the hot new all-season Edmonton Ski Club Chalet, and the other 1% of sustainable year-round demand that doesn't realistically exhaust can easily be covered by picnic baskets and existing park toilet maintenance.

    See the Strathcona Science Park for all other visions of remotely-placed-amenity-grandeur and give head a shake as often as needed.


    Source

    Built in the late 1970’s but closed only a decade later, the interpretive buildings at the Strathcona Science Park now stand as ruins of Edmonton’s recent history.
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  41. #41

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    ^
    Agreed, Jaybee, it's a long way down from the top to the bottom of the valley. Why else do you think the view from the High Level streetcar is so spectacular? As you said, taking the stairs up from the bottom can be heart attack inducing; you're practically climbing a smalll mountain to get back out of the valley, which leads to quite a large barrier to entry for those with physical access issues or shorter legs.

    My post to EveB on how to get down to the Valley without using stairs from Grandin should outline to everyone how bloody long it takes to get down there if you can't use stairs (mobility issues, children, age, etc).

    The Shaw Conference centres escalators/elevators are about the only easier way down, and even that only takes you 3/4 of the way down.

    We could really use a wheelchair/stroller accessible shuttle bus service to one or more of the major parks. It could run during the summer, and should be free to encourage its use by residents and tourists. Maybe from the Legislature,Churchill Square and/or Whyte Avenue. I doubt the city will cough up the cash for something like that, though; not grandiose enough
    Last edited by Ustauk; 30-05-2014 at 06:56 AM.

  42. #42

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    ^ I could get behind a three-stop ETS loop:

    - Corona Station
    - Kinsmen Sports Centre
    - Rossdale Power Plant

    No need for a fancy contraption, bonus of travelling two of the most spectacular urban bridges in Canada.

    Not bad. As I said, something semi-Forksy at Rossdale Power Plant would help anchor such a service (as would a AAA baseball game if we ever see that again.)
    Last edited by JayBee; 30-05-2014 at 12:56 PM.
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    I'm not a fan of cafe's or businesses as I have a hard time believing they could be sustainable.

    But what's wrong with having a nice board walk? A place to dip your toes in the water? A open space that is durable to withstand flooding in the spring but close enough to the water to enjoy? Maybe food trucks would be a great option with a permanent washroom facility on slightly higher ground? I've lived In Edmonton quite a few years and I don't think I've ever touched the water which actually shocks myself.

    I'm not into developing our river for motorboats and that type of pollution but a spot where people picnic more frequent, heaven forbid maybe swim?,suntan, or even drinks on a patio style boardwalk, this would bring a lot of Edmonton pride out in force. Enjoy edmontons summer a little more then currently

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    ^Great ideas. I agree about food trucks being the best way to bring food and refreshments to the bottom of the valley. A permanent cafe could be accommodated without annoying the "no more development in the valley" types by rezoning a residential lot on 100 St in Rossdale or 99 Av in Riverdale, but that would be an expensive purchase and probably too out of the way to draw enough customers year round.

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    Some riverside restaurants and lounges in Lower Rossdale wouldn't be that isolated, given that location would be in the vicinity of Telus Field, Kinsman, Royal Glenora, the Legislature plus existing residences nearby. And given that Lower Rossdale is developed and soon-to-be developed land anyway, that should keep the River Valley BANANAs at bay.

    As for accessibility, there's two sides to it. Getting into the river valley is one thing. But the question is, what to do once you get there? Not everyone wants (or is able) to walk, jog, bike or sail on a boat - but that's pretty much all one can do in the river valley.

    So to keep both sides happy:
    Develop Lower Rossdale, improve the existing parks and trails, and leave the rest alone.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    Some riverside restaurants and lounges in Lower Rossdale wouldn't be that isolated, given that location would be in the vicinity of Telus Field, Kinsman, Royal Glenora, the Legislature plus existing residences nearby. And given that Lower Rossdale is developed and soon-to-be developed land anyway, that should keep the River Valley BANANAs at bay.

    As for accessibility, there's two sides to it. Getting into the river valley is one thing. But the question is, what to do once you get there? Not everyone wants (or is able) to walk, jog, bike or sail on a boat - but that's pretty much all one can do in the river valley.

    So to keep both sides happy:
    Develop Lower Rossdale, improve the existing parks and trails, and leave the rest alone.
    Agreed, let's give people more things to do... more reasons to go to the valley.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ustauk View Post
    ^
    Agreed, Jaybee, it's a long way down from the top to the bottom of the valley. Why else do you think the view from the High Level streetcar is so spectacular? As you said, taking the stairs up from the bottom can be heart attack inducing; you're practically climbing a smalll mountain to get back out of the valley, which leads to quite a large barrier to entry for those with physical access issues or shorter legs.

    My post to EveB on how to get down to the Valley without using stairs from Grandin should outline to everyone how bloody long it takes to get down there if you can't use stairs (mobility issues, children, age, etc).

    The Shaw Conference centres escalators/elevators are about the only easier way down, and even that only takes you 3/4 of the way down.

    We could really use a wheelchair/stroller accessible shuttle bus service to one or more of the major parks. It could run during the summer, and should be free to encourage its use by residents and tourists. Maybe from the Legislature,Churchill Square and/or Whyte Avenue. I doubt the city will cough up the cash for something like that, though; not grandiose enough
    Easiest non car way into the river valley:

    Take the number one to riverside golf course, visit the clubhouse for a snack, walk around, or cross the dawson bridge to go pee in the accessable, publicly maintained washroom, walk back to the bus stop, exit the river valley.

    All major hills tackled for the low low cost of $6.00 for bus fare. Less if you are like Eve and you have a monthly transit pass.

    The number one runs on a fifteen minute frequency all day long.

  48. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mla View Post
    As for accessibility, there's two sides to it. Getting into the river valley is one thing. But the question is, what to do once you get there? Not everyone wants (or is able) to walk, jog, bike or sail on a boat - but that's pretty much all one can do in the river valley.
    Agreed, let's give people more things to do... more reasons to go to the valley.

    I know hey, wouldn't it be nice if there were options for:

    - folk/rock/celtic/blues festivals
    - a festival where, like, people show off their families' traditional cultures or something
    - dance events
    - golf
    - downhill skiing
    - cross country skiing
    - snow sculptures
    - skating
    - skate races
    - fishing
    - horse back riding
    - watching baseball
    - indoor sports club activities
    - Arts mentoring
    - olympic class aquatics
    - and for a really crazy idea, what about a historical theme park with replicas of old Edmonton:
    -- Hotels that you could really stay in
    -- Bars that you could really drink in
    -- Theatres, like they used to have on Jasper Ave, where you could watch old movies or period themed plays!

    Great! That would be so much better than just:

    Not everyone wants (or is able) to walk, jog, bike or sail on a boat - but that's pretty much all one can do in the river valley.
    Although, honestly, I'm wondering where this sailing opportunity is...
    Let's make Edmonton better.

  49. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.ike View Post
    But what's the point of having a "gem" in the middle of the city where only able-bodied members of our city can access it. And within the able-bodied, it seems like only the 20-40 year old demographics use the valley itself based on what I've seen during my runs and hikes. And the reason, as pointed out, is accessibility being a major issue for our river valley. I just don't see how a wheel chair or someone who has knee problems can access most parts of our valley.
    rofl do people all of a sudden stop becoming able-bodied when they reach 41? I've seen people of many ages use the river valley trails.

    I know everyone is trying to be inclusive. But I find this pandering is rather insulting. What, older people and people in wheelchairs are so helpless and useless that they can't drive down the same roads and use many of the same trails as everyone else? Don't presume that these individuals are any more interested in development than you are.

  50. #50

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    ^ sorry if I came off the wrong way.

    But it's a Saturday morning, sunny and 17C right now as I post this. If you go down to your Favourite river trail and do a survey of the demographics you see, that's just who you're going to see as a majority.
    And what I'm saying is, I know lot's of people in this group that are against any more development.

  51. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by kjh View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ustauk View Post
    ^
    Agreed, Jaybee, it's a long way down from the top to the bottom of the valley. Why else do you think the view from the High Level streetcar is so spectacular? As you said, taking the stairs up from the bottom can be heart attack inducing; you're practically climbing a smalll mountain to get back out of the valley, which leads to quite a large barrier to entry for those with physical access issues or shorter legs.

    My post to EveB on how to get down to the Valley without using stairs from Grandin should outline to everyone how bloody long it takes to get down there if you can't use stairs (mobility issues, children, age, etc).

    The Shaw Conference centres escalators/elevators are about the only easier way down, and even that only takes you 3/4 of the way down.

    We could really use a wheelchair/stroller accessible shuttle bus service to one or more of the major parks. It could run during the summer, and should be free to encourage its use by residents and tourists. Maybe from the Legislature,Churchill Square and/or Whyte Avenue. I doubt the city will cough up the cash for something like that, though; not grandiose enough
    Easiest non car way into the river valley:

    Take the number one to riverside golf course, visit the clubhouse for a snack, walk around, or cross the dawson bridge to go pee in the accessable, publicly maintained washroom, walk back to the bus stop, exit the river valley.

    All major hills tackled for the low low cost of $6.00 for bus fare. Less if you are like Eve and you have a monthly transit pass.

    The number one runs on a fifteen minute frequency all day long.
    I didn't think of that one; nice!

  52. #52
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    River valley fans offer feedback on three Terwillegar trail options


    BY KIM MAGI, EDMONTON JOURNAL

    EDMONTON - Nadine Leenders loves the concept of a connected river valley.

    That’s why she, along with dozens of others, packed an open house on the proposed Terwillegar Park footbridge and west end trails, Saturday at the Alfred H. Savage Centre.

    An avid cyclist and “a bit of a nature nut,” Leenders wanted to get all the information on the three proposed trail options, one of which will eventually connect the new footbridge with the Fort Edmonton footbridge to the north.

    “As a cyclist, I just want to get from point A to point B,” she said. She thinks the option that goes straight through the field as opposed to the other two, which go along the river, might be the best.

    On April 15, city council approved the environmental impact assessment for the footbridge and south portion of the trail, but requested that an additional route for the north trail through the River Valley Oleskiw lands be explored.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...291/story.html


    (http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...?size=620x400s)


    (http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...?size=620x400s)


    (http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...?size=620x400s)


    (http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/...?size=620x400s)
    www.decl.org

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  53. #53

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    I just had a crazy idea. I saw a commercial for a small chair lift that runs along a rail built into an interior stair case. Could we build series of ruggedized, out door stairlifts, either with a single chair, or with a platform to accommodate wheel chairs or strollers, onto a couple of the major staircases into the valley? I'm thinking Ezio Farone park in particular; it would require three sets of lifts in that location, as there are three lengths of stairs separated by two platforms. It'd narrow the space available on the stairs, but I think there would still be enough room for people to climb the stairs with the lift in place. It'd almost be liking building a small-scale funicular, but it leverages existing infrastructure as its base and has a more realistic scope. Any thoughts if it'd be feasible?

  54. #54

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    One more crazy idea: attach an elevator to the side of the High Level Bridge. Where the blue line is below, you'd attache the elevator shaft to the side of the bridge support pillar that is right next to the existing trail on River Valley road. The top of the elevator runs ends up at a catwalk connecting to the pedestrian/bike path on the bridge. Make the structure out of black, early 20th century steel to blend in with the rest of the bridge. You'd end up near the Royal Glenora Club , Kinsmen Sport Center, Telus Field, Victoria Park, and whatever project ends up at the Rossdale power plant. Probably cost a fair bit, but it would likely be cheaper then the funicular. Am I crazy, or would it be doable?


  55. #55
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    Doable, but you could also walk or ride 200m and be in the same place with less maintenance costs.
    www.decl.org

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  56. #56

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    or just add on a big spiral ramp
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  57. #57

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    ^^
    You, I, and many others can walk or ride down and up using other routes, but I'm talking about doing this for access for people with mobility issues (ie need a wheel chair or walker to get around), or who'd not rather try push a stroller up the hill to the ledge or balance a collapsed stroller in one hand and a screaming child in another while climbing the stairs. Or people like Eve, who wouldn't mind a stroll along the river without the trudge up the stairs aggravating a heart condition. Plus I imagine there's a few otherwise able bodies people who'd balk at the prospect of taking those stairs or hiking back out of the valley. Also, how many people who visit the Leg grounds from offices at lunch wouldn't mind walking along the river without drenching their work outfit in sweat trudging back up the hill?

    ^
    Fortway Drive running from River Valley road by the Royal Glenora up to the Legislature already provides a pretty good, gradual ramp. The elevator would allow people who can't physically traverse the elevation change access to the valley.

  58. #58

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    Below are design drawing and construction picture from highestbrdiges.com of an elevator between the under-slung pedestrian bridge trail and a valley park below. Similar concept to what I was thinking, except you'd pick one of the two side trails on the High Level and place the elevator adjacent to it. Probably the Legislature side makes the most sense to me.



  59. #59
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    ^^ then drive down and park or catch a bus down.
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  60. #60

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    ^
    I agree you could take the bus or drive. Just trying to think of an alternative way down.

  61. #61
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    Which I like in theory, but elevators, ski lifts and funiculars are expensive from a capital and O&M perspective.
    www.decl.org

    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  62. #62
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    Aren't people forgetting we will have a LRT station in the river valley in about 6 years. It will be an easy walk from there to the Edmonton Queen for example. While I'd rather it be named the Millwoods line there is a reason why it will be named the Valley Line.
    http://www.edmonton.ca/transportatio...tailed_Map.pdf

  63. #63
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    Nope and hells yes... cannot wait to bring my toboggan and skis from downtown to there to play.
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  64. #64

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    once the lrt line is open how phesable is it to start a water taxis service that would connect many of our major attractions?
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

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