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  • #16
    Originally posted by Replacement View Post
    Originally posted by Jaerdo View Post
    I like to think we have learned since then, Replacement. We are requiring new buildings to interact with the street, offer retail, and be pedestrian friendly whereas none of this was true in the 60s and 70s (which destroyed the downtown).

    Yes, there is a long way to go, especially in regards to transitioning our downtown away from a vehicle centered commuter area to a pedestrian focused zone, but we are definitely making progress.
    Seemingly we are. But theres been lots of disappointments as well. Look at 104st for example. Todays modern urban dweller prefers the street as it is. I remember one where the Boardwalk Marketplace was wonderful and open to the public and like a downtown Edmonton version of the Forks and where Mother Tuckers, Waldens, several other great restaurants were also close at hand. It was a lively people place even back then.

    What gets lost in the shuffle of creating shiny new palaces is we're increasingly losing ones that would be more inviting and that have been. Its absolutely essential for the 104st and new Arena experience for the Boardwalk building to be returned to public use in market form. What a disaster when this concept was sold out.

    A downtown for Everyone? Boardwalk Downtown was my favorite place downtown. Redeveloped for other purposes. This is a city that allows grand and historic places to just be ripped out from our memories. This continues.

    Mercer building would be an excellent example of reversing this trend. Reconfiguring the Warehouse storage building needs to be another one.

    Right now 104st conspicuously lacks around 2 blocks of public access space. Things like that need to change and be done properly. Just one example but a primary one. With the Arena nearly here the 104st needs to one contiguous plaza of urban interest. Not a disconnected one as it is now. Right now it feels really that there is nothing between Mercer and the retail contained farther south on 104st.
    By all means walking districts are important. But they need to be more contiguous.

    RHW also feels largely like a memory now. We're building things, we've lost a lot of the best things as well.
    I agree with a lot of what you're saying here but I'd say 104st and RHW are moving in the right direction. One of the dead blocks on 104th will get a nice injection of life with the Fox podiums, much like the KR replica should do with RHW. Rice Howard Way also already has a nice handful of restaurants and cafes that make effective use of less than ideal streetfront architecture, while a good block of restaurants exists very close by on 101 A Ave.

    The addition of the those new buildings might seem like a plastic way of trying correct a failed past but they were designed with sympathy to the original design and/or character of the street. Hell, even the Boardwalk building is doing alright for the time being with the 103rd street portion having a nice row of restos that are sorely needed on a much more dead street like that. I tend to think a lot of the development in our downtown right now has those past mistakes in mind and will attempt to avoid them.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by EveB View Post
      I still don't understand why you think that dodging cranes is such an attraction for anyone but construction nerds.

      Eve
      Inconvenience at times yes, but also a very clear sign of energy, excitement, interest and activity.

      That said, this initiative launched today will also be working on communication plans to better address road closures, sidewalk closures, temp disruptions, noise, garbage etc.

      Part of this campaign is to build excitement and energy, part of it is to educate and part of it is to inform.


      Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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      • #18
        Well, all I'm seeing right now is spin.

        Eve

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        • #19
          Sure, what's wrong with some spin? Some might call this 'spin' as simply a different perspective. We complain or lament when other major cities are building amazing cores and then we when start to people complain about temporary inconveniences?


          Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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          • #20
            What a joke.
            A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

            Comment


            • #21
              ^ What I see wrong with too much spin is it distracts us from the pressing issues that communities like Connect2Edmonton should be advocating on.

              #1 concern downtown: The core is still held hostage by an overpowered transportation authority that sacrifices good urban design for cars. No matter how much we build, we won't be a great downtown until we transition away from the ridiculous 6-8 lane roads that squeeze out pedestrians. We need to do it NOW, not years down the line. Say you expand a sidewalk by double - guess what happens to the value of the restaurants and shops there? They can now expand onto the street in patios and displays, and attract more people.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Jaerdo View Post
                ^ What I see wrong with too much spin is it distracts us from the pressing issues that communities like Connect2Edmonton should be advocating on.

                #1 concern downtown: The core is still held hostage by an overpowered transportation authority that sacrifices good urban design for cars. No matter how much we build, we won't be a great downtown until we transition away from the ridiculous 6-8 lane roads that squeeze out pedestrians. We need to do it NOW, not years down the line. Say you expand a sidewalk by double - guess what happens to the value of the restaurants and shops there? They can now expand onto the street in patios and displays, and attract more people.
                We'll be seeing some of that down the road no?
                - 102 Ave adding bike lanes and LRT.
                - 104 Ave slimming down a bit outside the Arena with widened sidewalks (I do dislike the street level renders outside the arena, too sterile).
                - EAD's outdoor plaza, with 103st becoming a pedestrian street part of the time.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Medwards View Post
                  What a joke.
                  Go on.


                  Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by EveB View Post
                    I still don't understand why you think that dodging cranes is such an attraction for anyone but construction nerds.

                    Eve
                    The cranes and hoarding is going to be replaced by places where people live, work, play, and spend money. Is it really so hard to see that?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by IanO View Post
                      Originally posted by Medwards View Post
                      What a joke.
                      Go on.
                      soon
                      A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Keep in mind people that this initiative is simply connecting many dots/plans/strategies/ideas/developments together so there is a clearer message and one that all groups can use/promote to educate and inform.


                        Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          I have no problem seeing that, Snake Eyes. But the "people" will have to be young and/or spenders. I work downtown. Most of the restaurants and bars are for the upscale folks. I don't want to go back into debt so I go straight home after work.

                          When I do come downtown, usually in the evening or on the weekend, the trendy coffee shops are closed. Stopping on the sidewalk for more than a couple of seconds will attract unwelcome attention and so I've learned to walk fast. Generally, I take my walks away from downtown.

                          I do know what you're looking forward to. What I object to is the word "everyone" as if there is some sort of moral imperative for enjoying upscale (and wall-to-wall new places means expensive just like 104th Street) food and entertainment.

                          Eve

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Jameson View Post
                            Originally posted by Jaerdo View Post
                            ^ What I see wrong with too much spin is it distracts us from the pressing issues that communities like Connect2Edmonton should be advocating on.

                            #1 concern downtown: The core is still held hostage by an overpowered transportation authority that sacrifices good urban design for cars. No matter how much we build, we won't be a great downtown until we transition away from the ridiculous 6-8 lane roads that squeeze out pedestrians. We need to do it NOW, not years down the line. Say you expand a sidewalk by double - guess what happens to the value of the restaurants and shops there? They can now expand onto the street in patios and displays, and attract more people.
                            We'll be seeing some of that down the road no?
                            - 102 Ave adding bike lanes and LRT.
                            - 104 Ave slimming down a bit outside the Arena with widened sidewalks (I do dislike the street level renders outside the arena, too sterile).
                            - EAD's outdoor plaza, with 103st becoming a pedestrian street part of the time.

                            I do hope so. However it is an extremely slow process, and many projects go through that completely and entirely miss the mark. Think Jasper ave makeover. How is it that Jasper ave was retained as a major traffic thoroughfare? It makes no sense. We should have cut it down to max two lanes in either direction and zero street parking. Perfectly fine for local traffic only. Use the savings in road maintenance over time to build park and rides around the city so people stop commuting.

                            You can really tell that the overarching values of planning downtown are still cars first, everyone else second. No matter what they do, the first question is always "how will this affect traffic".

                            We don't want cars to be the primary mode of transportation downtown, so how is it they still rule planning?

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by EveB View Post
                              I do know what you're looking forward to. What I object to is the word "everyone" as if there is some sort of moral imperative for enjoying upscale (and wall-to-wall new places means expensive just like 104th Street) food and entertainment.

                              Eve
                              You're taking it a little bit too literally, aren't you? I'm in similar situation as you.I'm tight with money, have a young family, and for other reasons can't eat out or drink very much.

                              I still recognize that Edmonton is the brand of the region, and downtown is the face of that. A strong vibrant downtown is not only good for people downtown, it's good for the whole region.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Jaerdo View Post
                                Originally posted by Jameson View Post
                                Originally posted by Jaerdo View Post
                                ^ What I see wrong with too much spin is it distracts us from the pressing issues that communities like Connect2Edmonton should be advocating on.

                                #1 concern downtown: The core is still held hostage by an overpowered transportation authority that sacrifices good urban design for cars. No matter how much we build, we won't be a great downtown until we transition away from the ridiculous 6-8 lane roads that squeeze out pedestrians. We need to do it NOW, not years down the line. Say you expand a sidewalk by double - guess what happens to the value of the restaurants and shops there? They can now expand onto the street in patios and displays, and attract more people.
                                We'll be seeing some of that down the road no?
                                - 102 Ave adding bike lanes and LRT.
                                - 104 Ave slimming down a bit outside the Arena with widened sidewalks (I do dislike the street level renders outside the arena, too sterile).
                                - EAD's outdoor plaza, with 103st becoming a pedestrian street part of the time.

                                I do hope so. However it is an extremely slow process, and many projects go through that completely and entirely miss the mark. Think Jasper ave makeover. How is it that Jasper ave was retained as a major traffic thoroughfare? It makes no sense. We should have cut it down to max two lanes in either direction and zero street parking.

                                You can really tell that the overarching values of planning downtown are still cars first, everyone else second. No matter what they do, the first question is always "how will this affect traffic".

                                We don't want cars to be the primary mode of transportation downtown, so how is it they still rule planning?
                                Well, you still need arterial roads, and I'd assume when you project more people coming downtown, you're projecting more traffic even in the event of improved public transportation. Vancouver still has wide, 6 lane streets like Georgia and Burrard.

                                Trust me, I try to rely on non-car transportation as much as I can, but unfortunately car dependency will a take generation or more to lessen to the point of justifying taking away traffic lanes without some considerable motorist backlash.

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