Edmonton residents angry over sidewalk placement in Glenora

Edmonton’s Glenora neighbourhood is in the middle of a major makeover as part of the Neighbourhood Revitalization process through the city. But one sidewalk is causing neighbours to scratch their heads.

The sidewalk is going to be put in the front yard of homes along Ravine Drive, when right across the street there’s a popular green space that leads into the river valley.

“We feel like the sidewalk location is a real safety issue,” said long-time resident Gordon Arnett. “Right now there’s no sidewalk on either side.”

The view from Ravine Drive in Glenora.

ChangSha Night Net

Arnett wants the planned sidewalk, that would go through the front of his property, to be moved to the south side of the street where most pedestrians currently walk.

“We think their decision is going to cause a hazardous intersection.”

Dozens of people currently use the green space every day, and Arnett told Global News when people approach the intersection of Ravine Drive and 142 Street, most turn left towards a nearby school and shopping area. If the sidewalk is moved onto the north side of the street, people will have to cross the busy intersection.

“It’s going to interrupt the traffic flow,” Arnett said and added that in his 40 years in the neighbourhood, he’s never seen a traffic fatality the way it is.

“Drivers move quite quickly down 142 Street. They have to brake if the pedestrian crosswalk is occupied and sometimes stop.”

The City of Edmonton doesn’t see it as a safety issue. Instead, the city said the change in the sidewalk location was, in part, to make it more convenient for pedestrians.

“There’s connections to other sidewalks that exist in the area so it was a natural fit to ensure flow throughout the community,” Director of Neighbourhood Renewal Jeff Ward said. “It continues that connection without forcing people to cross a number of roads.”

During consultations, the City of Edmonton did look at moving the sidewalk to the side of the street where there are no homes, but Ward said that idea also came with push back from a different community group.

“We were having conversations with a different group of residents in the community that wanted to protect the green space,” Ward said.

Construction in the neighbourhood will take three years and is budgeted to cost $47 million.

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