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Pedestrian-friendly transformation being tested along Edmonton’s Jasper Ave

Pedestrian-friendly transformation being tested along Jasper Ave
WATCH ABOVE: The city is blocking off sections of roadway on Jasper Avenue to make more room for pedestrians. It will stay that way for the next four months as the city demonstrates its vision for the revamped street. Kendra Slugoski reports.

The City of Edmonton wants to make Jasper Avenue feel like a “main street” again, in part, by adding more walkway space for pedestrians as well as creating opportunities for businesses.

“Many cities have done this and I’d say we’re one of the later ones to come to it,” Jason Meliefste, with Edmonton’s infrastructure and planning department, said.

READ MORE: Jasper Ave redevelopment launched for Oliver area; input wanted 

The Imagine Jasper Avenue project will encompass the stretch of Jasper Avenue from 109 Street to 124 Street, where officials hope to encourage businesses to set up patios and welcome food trucks.

The challenge will be finding a balance between foot and vehicle traffic.

“We take an extreme amount of attention and detail to being able to make sure we’re squeezing the most out of every possible space that we can,” Meliefste said.

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“The lanes are currently used as off-peak parking lanes as well as peak- hour bus lanes,” he added. “They’ll be transitioned into a pedestrian space over the next four months.”

READ MORE: Edmonton councillor sees need for close monitoring of bike grid pinch points 

Starting Monday night, sections of roadway on Jasper Avenue from 109 Street to 115 Street will be transformed into public space.

The idea is to, over the next four months, give people a feel for what the plan could look like. During that time, the city will collect feedback.

READ MORE: Questions raised over Jasper Ave streetscape quality 

Construction is slated to begin in 2019.