District Plans at Public Hearing on May 2024

Below are our speaking notes for this committee meeting regarding the District Plans.

Paths for People supports the district policy and district plans because we believe these plans will help make the city a friendlier place to walk, roll, and cycle.

The documents incorporate a common set of policy guidelines that promote active transportation as a necessary, safe, and viable method of transportation across the entire city. These documents, if adopted, will further support and help implement other plans, including the Edmonton Bike Plan.

We are happy to see the City Plan’s Big Move target of 50% trips by transit and active transportation referenced in the district policy. Through these district plans and the overarching district policy, we believe the city will be well positioned to grow through proactive and deliberate policy.

With that being said, Paths for People does have some comments and concerns about the district policy and plans. We do support the adoption of these plans as soon as possible, but we also have questions for further consideration by council and administration.

For example, as highlighted by Grow Together Edmonton, the district plans do not adequately encourage densification along transit routes through the delineation of dense nodes and corridors.  District plans must create opportunities to allow more Edmontonians to live near transit in order to achieve the goal of making half of all trips by more sustainable transportation modes.

Another area where we believe more consideration should be given is regarding policy statements concerning mobility (section 3.1 of the district plan, Active Transportation). We believe general district policy direction should direct for implementing bike lanes and multi-use paths along major corridors and nodes, instead of putting bike lanes 1 block away (as with Whyte and Jasper). Active transportation users, on average, spend more at local businesses than other travellers. Instead of pushing active transportation to less desirable routes, incorporating infrastructure along popular roads will promote both local business and the overall vitality and safety of our streets. We provided these kinds of comments throughout the district plan process and know that city staff listened to this feedback, but didn’t act on it.

Paths for People would be happy to meet with councillors and administration to discuss these, and our comments. We support these policies, but we believe there is room for improvement. Ultimately, city-building is about living together and compromise. Paths for People encourages you to vote ‘for’ this policy and the associated district plans so that we can continue implementing the City Plan and improve as we grow

Thank you. We would be happy to answer any questions councillors may have.