EDMONTON – Nearly 60 per cent of people who participated in an online city survey support the idea of closing Whyte Avenue to vehicle traffic from time to time.
Of the 2,040 people who responded to the survey, 57 per cent said they highly support the city’s proposal to shut down part of the popular avenue on some of the busiest pedestrian nights of the year.
Urban boardwalk patio extensions unveiled along Whyte Avenue
Whyte Avenue pub introduces Alberta’s first self-serve beer tables
Whyte Avenue’s public washrooms attract attention across Canada
“I think that that indicates that there’s some public willingness to look at it. I think initially people thought we were talking about closing it period, which obviously would be nuts,” said mayor Don Iveson.
The Car Free Whyte Avenue pilot program would shut down east-to-west traffic on a section of the avenue to private vehicles between midnight and 2:30 a.m., allowing pedestrians to walk on the street for a few hours to help eliminate sidewalk crowding.
There would still be access for emergency vehicles and ETS buses, and taxi stands would be set up outside the closed-off area.
“It’s much more effective for even things like managing taxis, but also just managing people, decongesting the sidewalk a little bit and creating a little bit more interesting of a street atmosphere,” Iveson said Wednesday.
READ MORE: Should Whyte Avenue become car-free? The city is looking into it
Twenty per cent of those who answered the survey say they support the proposal in theory, but would like more information. Six per cent say they are unsure and 17 per cent say they do not support the proposal.
The city will now focus its public engagement on the nearby community leagues of Queen Alexandra, Garneau, Strathcona, King Edward, Ritchie, Bonnie Doon, McKernan and Belgravia.
An open house will then be held for residents in those areas to hear what they think of the car-free idea. The city expects to hold the open house in late fall.
For more information on the proposal, visit the City of Edmonton’s website.
Take Our Poll