Now that the weather is warmer in Edmonton, more people are getting outdoors.
But when it comes accessing certain walkways and paths, people are cut off.
Marjorie Hooker often walks along 109 St. to get to 61 Ave. in south Edmonton and is one of them.
“We have no access to it other than risk our own health walking that path,” Hooker said.
A stretch of partial sidewalk along 109 St. is one of many sidewalks in Edmonton that just ends, cutting off access for pedestrians.
“In some places there’s a lack of sidewalks. It’s what we call missing links — where there’s very key points that aren’t connected by sidewalk or shared use paths or a bike lane and it kind of makes it harder for people to get where they need to go,” Paths for People vice chair Daniel Morin said.
The city amended its capital budget to include funding to fill in missing sidewalks and paths. The goal is to improve accessibility and safety.
“With the pandemic and people not going on holidays to Mexico or somewhere else, they’re staying home and they are going exploring and in the process they are identifying gaps and they are saying we need to do better. So as a council we said we hear you, we’re putting $5 million towards 100 kilometers of fixes. Let’s get started,” Ward Papastew Councillor Michael Janz said.
Councillor Janz said the nearly $5 million over two years will allow more Edmontonians to get around the city. This is a direction the non-profit Paths for People is excited about.
“When they fix these missing links, it will have a huge impact on the usability on our active transportation network and will allow for more convenient options for more people,” Morin said.
The city has already identified several problem areas which include:
- Fort Road from approximately 127 Avenue to 153 Avenue.
- 127 Street from Yellowhead trail to 137 Avenue.
- 102 Avenue from 136 Street to 139 Street.
- 106 Street from Princess Elizabeth Avenue to 118 Avenue.
- 105 Avenue from 101 Street to 97 Street.
It also includes area networks from the area of Bonnie Doon, Strathearn, Holyrood, Idylwyld and for neighbourhoods in and around the Northlands/Exhibition lands site.
Councillor Janz said in addition to these locations, the city is still welcoming public input.
“If there is a gap in your community, reach out to your councillor make sure it’s in the queue,” Janz said.
As for Marjorie Hooker, she hopes the space she often walks across will be filled soon.
“We need a sidewalk or even have it cleared so that we can walk on it,” Hooker said.