Many inner-city neighbourhoods in Edmonton are in the middle of major makeovers and Glenora is no exception. Upgrades to community infrastructure are part of the city’s Neighbourhood Revitalization, which includes reducing the curve on many roadways in older communities to increase safety and adding additional sidewalks.
However the placement of a particular sidewalk in Old Glenora seems to be a sticking point with many location residents.
A fresh new sidewalk is supposed to be poured in front of houses that stretch alone Ravine Drive in Glenora right across the street from a green belt along the edge of the river valley. Actually, the sidewalk will run the front yards of these homes as there’s currently no sidewalk there at all.
Ravine Drive homeowners, many of which have lived in the community for 40 years, believe the location of the sidewalk is a safety issue, number one, and with it being on the house side of the street a hazardous intersection will be created. Number two – many believe it makes more sense to put a sidewalk on the side of the road where people actually walk, which is on the ravine side.
And many don’t want their well-tended flower beds and lush green lawns dug up for the sake of a silly sidewalk. Not to mention ripping up underground irrigation even though technically the City of Edmonton has a right-of-way on resident’s property close to the road.
There are dozens of community members that stroll along the green space on a daily basis. Residents say that when people out walking come to the Ravine Drive and 142 Street intersections, many take a left turn to walk by the school and shopping plaza. Therefore, if the sidewalk is placed on the home side of Ravine Drive, through people’s front yards, those pedestrians wishing to carry on towards the school and the shopping plaza will be forced to cross the intersection which is uncontrolled save for a pedestrian crosswalk.
Traffic on 142 Street in the Glenora neighbourhood is known to travel quickly.
The City of Edmonton disagrees with homeowner’s complaint that the new sidewalk placement is a safety issue. The City’s director of Neighbourhood Renewal said the decision to pour cement on the home-side of Ravine Drive was to actually make things better for pedestrians in the area as it will connect with other sidewalks in Glenmore and create a better flow through the area. The plan was to create a shared-use pathway on the ravine side of the street.
It seems the City of Edmonton can’t win, because there were public consultations that took place prior to this decision. The initial plan was to indeed pour a sidewalk on the ravine-side of the street along the green belt; however, a different community group stepped forward at that time wanting to keep the space completely green with no sidewalk at all.
The complete revitalization plan in Glenora is supposed to take at least three years at a cost of $47 million.