Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Trails Impacted by Construction decisions

  1. #1
    C2E Continued Contributor
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Royal Gardens
    Posts
    1,733

    Default Trails Impacted by Construction decisions

    I have been trying to find a thread on the topic of trails during construction but cannot find one although Mayor Iveson is now talking about pedestrian access in downtown construction.

    In the last number of years the city administration has been extolling the virtues of trails and non motorized transportation in various studies and papers, etc. I love the goal and support it wholeheartedly. However the city FAILS when trails coincide with any construction. One example is the current funiclular construction. The city talks grand about accessibility for persons yet the stairs that were a very busy north south pedestrian route have been closed since construction began. The option given is to go three blocks to Shaw or go down Bellamy Hill. What frustrates me is the stairs are still in place, a fair distance from most of the new construction. I expect there would be times when the upper portion would need to be closed due to mechanical equipment or other large tasks being completed. But to be closed for 18 plus months with no option is like closing the Whitemud to motorized vehicles completely for 18 months while rebuilding it.

    Now with the Valley LRT construction beginning I found another sad example of no foresight. The bridge is a no brainer. Has to come down and will take the building of the new bridge before the pedestrian portion can be built. But on the downtown side there is the connection of Louise McKinney Park to Riverdale. This is a major east west connection allowing access all the way from Dawson Park to McKinnon Ravine and points further both ways. The signage at Louise McKinney shows this route will be closed until 2020. This in my mind is unacceptable and totally undermines having a trail system major route if it is closed for years for other work. I can understand closures for periods of time as digging on the entrance tunnel occurs as well as when the bridge is being worked on. But to make a decision to just close access for 4 years without an option to open it up for periods flies in the face of plans the city hoists proudly open us.

    An example is the Active Transportation Policy https://www.edmonton.ca/transportation/C544.pdf .
    In it is stated “Transportation and Land Use Integration - The transportation system and land use / urban design complement and support each other so that the use of transit and transportation infrastructure, including the use of transit, is optimized and supports best practices for land use.” And more importantly “Sustainability - Transportation decisions reflect an integrated approach to environmental, financial, and social impacts thereby creating sustainable, livable communities that minimize the need for new infrastructure and increase quality of life.

    By making a decision to just close for 4 years the major east west corridor without making plans for hoarding and scaffolding a trail through for the long periods of time work won’t be done is very lazy and not forward thinking at all. It is sad for me that the planners and engineers who I assume are very intelligent can’t come up with ways to allow access through. The fact that the city which extolls these wonderful plans doesn’t encourage this is even worse in my mind.

    Another city plan is The Priority Bike map. https://www.edmonton.ca/transportati...ap_August_2013. This shows how important this section of trail is. For the LRT construction, the city has published this https://www.edmonton.ca/documents/Ro...Feb_3_2015.pdf in terms of what they are doing for trails in the area. Lots for Cloverdale, mostly relating to the ski club. And a little note on page 6 about a Louise McKinney Park connector which is nothing more than a little bit of asphalt east of the Chinese garden to connect up to Grierson. Not a connection at all but just a diversion. What the city has decided is to stop all accessible east west travel on this route for 4 years. I have rarely seen a wheelchair or elderly person in Louise McKinney Park even with the city extolling its mandate for access by all. And now with this lazy, useless connection it does not even follow the citys mandate on trail accessibility as noted on another of Edmontons wonderful bureaucracy, Walk Edmonton https://www.edmonton.ca/transportati...-edmonton.aspx or even worse the newest plan the Vision Zero https://www.edmonton.ca/transportati...sion-zero.aspx where the city will detour trails onto sidewalks at Grierson and going down I assume Rowland Road since the construction zone encompasses portions of Cameron Avenue. Will anyone take responsibility when the first of many possible cycling accident occurs on part of this detour.

    It is obvious to anyone with a pulse that the City of Edmonton has so far been mostly incapable of planning pedestrian access into big transportation projects (exception being Quesnel bridge where you could take a shuttle bus across during construction during limited hours).

    I am very disappointed in our council and administration that they cannot do the small stuff well. Yes big projects, Edmonton is decent at. Quality of life though comes from the small unsexy decisions that make day to day living better and I see this as a failure to even follow through on the citys own expensive plans. Why spend tax dollars on making promises and plans if there is no intention or desire to follow through, even if those decisions may be difficult and cost some money. To not plan a temporary route through the Valley LRT construction zone by way of scaffolding or hoarding or whatever method is available is just uninspiring, lazy and working off the lowest denominator. Council, administration, please prove me wrong and dream about the little things too!
    My antidepressent drug of choice is running. Cheaper with less side effects!

  2. #2
    C2E SME
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Downtown Edmonton
    Posts
    11,617

    Default

    Couldn't agree more. The trail closures around Louise McKinney/Shaw/Riverdale are fairly asinine, when you consider that they're for nearly half a decade.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by booster View Post
    To not plan a temporary route through the Valley LRT construction zone by way of scaffolding or hoarding or whatever method is available is just uninspiring, lazy and working off the lowest denominator. Council, administration, please prove me wrong and dream about the little things too!
    Neither read this chatterboard, so how about just asking them why? I've had good success asking various things about a few projects, just using the email address provided at the bottom of the project's main CoE page. I'm curious too but I just don't have the detailed knowledge of the area that you would as, I presume, a user of the routes. Engineering oversight? Construction limitations? There were a lot of eyeballs on the planning of this project, odd that existing leisure traffic is not being maintained for so long.

    Asking them directly would have taken less time than ranting into this black hole, and resulted in actual information.
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

  4. #4
    C2E Continued Contributor
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Royal Gardens
    Posts
    1,733

    Default

    Sadly i have been burned a couple of times by the city in terms of being in involved. The last time was the Terwilligar Bridge and pathways where I presented a number of problems and solutions. Council members liked some, one was agreed upon, and one was put for further discussion. Then a couple of weeks later I received a call from the consultant thanking me for my time and telling me that the decision was already made but we really value your opinion and would like you to write it down for us. Upon hanging up I promptly decided F U and have not given my time to the city since that point. (this was a third time an incident like this occurred making me think its a systemic issue with the city). I guarantee it took less time to type out my rant/comment then trying to contact a person that could actually give me a true answer versus a generic non answer. But hey I will try and post what I get back.
    My antidepressent drug of choice is running. Cheaper with less side effects!

  5. #5
    C2E Continued Contributor
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Royal Gardens
    Posts
    1,733

    Default

    I emailed twice and got a response on my second message which I realize after I can't post as it is on a form. Woops.

    Answer is:

    Thank you for your inquiry regarding trail closures.

    With regards to the detour route information, I would encourage you to visit the following page on the website: http://transedlrt.ca/wp-content/uplo...-July-2016.pdf.

    The area in question will be the site of equipment movement, construction supply delivery, and in some sections, construction to the multi-use paths themselves. These activities will become much more frequent as the project progresses. Closure of trails is undertaken where a significant safety concern for the public is present.

    Sincerely,

    My response back this morning since they brought up safety of the public.

    Thank you for responding and no I did not receive the November 2 response.


    I am saddened by this very easy and lazy answer. The E-W trail from Louise McKinney to Riverdale is one of the heaviest corridors for pedestrian traffic in Edmonton. I find it disappointing that with the recent Vision Zero plan approved by the city (amongst many pro pedestrian plans the city has approved) it is not even referred. The safety concern of TransedLRT for the public (runners, cyclists, walkers) is a very easy out, not thinking that a 3 to 4 year complete major detour increases the risk exponentially of a negative incident along Grierson, Cameron Avenue or where ever the detour is supposed to go as there is seemingly nothing showing the way to safely go. As an example, I doubt any wheelchair pedestrians will attempt the rollercoaster of hills since this is the big argument put up by the city when working on pedestrian thoroughfares. (example Terwilligar)


    I agree the site should be closed for periods of time due to construction hazards. That is not even up for debate. But to make a blanket closure for 3 to 4 years continues Edmontons very backward thinking of how important pedestrian access is. It disappoints me that the city and the project managers have decided to make the least innovative decision instead of coming up with an actual solution for a problem that does not need to occur. Based on scaffolding that was previously used under the original Walterdale during rehab work many years ago it shows the city is capable of implementing a protective route.


    I would appreciate a response since the safety of pedestrians has been given as the reason for this total closure, yet the reality is the detour around a construction site for 3 to 4 years will be much more problematic as it takes a non road crossing path and detours it through areas that will have many potential interactions of vehicular crossings. This in my mind would go against "Vision Zero". With regards to that, would I be able to see the results of the "Road Safety Audit" that I assume should have been done for this project as the city has in the Vision Zero document that "Road-safety audit criteria will be created to ensure road safety countermeasures are included in transportation related projects." (pg 11 - https://www.edmonton.ca/transportati..._2016-2020.pdf)


    Thank you for your attention.
    My antidepressent drug of choice is running. Cheaper with less side effects!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •