by Daryle Niedermayer, Communications Director, Inglewood Community League
On August 16, the City held another session with Inglewood residents to discuss the Rebuilding Inglewood project. This session was focused on three topics:
“Bike Facilitation”—Should the project implement an East-West bike pathway through the neighbourhood? If so, what should these pathways look like?
“Traffic Shortcutting”—Should physical barriers be put in place to obstruct people from driving across the neighbourhood?
“Traffic Calming”—Should physical barriers be put in place to slow down traffic within the neighbourhood?
About 200 people came out on a warm but smoky evening to discuss and vote on these options. The city had also set up temporary types of traffic calming ideas in the area just North and East of the Inglewood Community Hall.
At present, city residents can use the 127 St. and 121 St. bike routes but these run North and South. There is a shortage of safe East-West routes in our part of the city. Survey questions asked whether people were in favour of turning the road into a one-way street for vehicles to support a bike lane (as is the case for 127 St.), removal of parking on one-side of the street, road narrowing, tree removal, and using other traffic calming measures. Another question asked whether this bike lane should:
Use a separated median to protect bikes from vehicles (like 127 St. in Westmount between 111 Ave. and 107 Ave.)
A raised bike lane (bike lane would be flush with the sidewalk) which is like the approach used on 127 St. south of 107 Ave., or
No physical separation at all (which is what 127 St. through Inglewood is currently like).
In discussions around the boards, people seemed to favour the first option as it continued the style and approach used in Westmount just south of us.
The city presented several options to prevent “shortcutting” by people trying to avoid arterial roadways and speed their way to their destination. These options include:
Fully closing a road so that it would lead to a dead end.
Using more one-way roads.
Using a raised median or boulevard down the center of a road to prevent people from cutting across it.
“Diagonal diverters” which would put a diagonal barrier across a four-corner intersection so that drivers could only turn either left or right and not go across the intersection.
Introduce islands in intersections to force people to only turn right.
In listening to residents during the discussion there was concern that Inglewood already is a difficult neighbourhood to navigate for visitors and guests as well as residents. During recent Epcor work, some residents had to drive 5 blocks out of their normal route just to avoid one-way streets, restricted transit corridors, and no-left-turn intersections. Further restricting shortcutting would also make it difficult for residents to get across the neighbourhood.
People seemed generally more interested in traffic calming as a way of slowing traffic through the neighbourhood than in preventing it all together. If traffic calming can increase the time for a driver to go through the neighbourhood, then drivers will be much more likely to use the arterial roadways. It seemed that people were much more in favour of traffic calming over shortcutting measures as a way of solving both problems.
Proposed traffic calming measures proposed by the city included:
Mini roundabouts in intersections so cars would have to slow down to navigate the intersection.
“Chicanes” which are sections of raised curb extending into the roadway from both sides of the roadway so that drivers need to slow down and weave left and right in a “S” shaped pattern to avoid running over the chicanes.
Extending curbs at intersections into the roadway so that pedestrians have a shorter distance to walk to cross the roadway and drivers will naturally slow down to navigate the narrower section of road.
Raised medians in the roadway which slow down traffic by making the road feel narrower to drivers.
Raised crosswalks to make the crosswalk and pedestrians more visible and to slow down traffic by having them go over a bump.
Raised intersections which would raise the entire area within the intersection, not just the crosswalks.
“Speed humps” or speed bumps to cause drivers to slow down so that they don’t go airborne or damage their vehicles.
In looking at interim survey results during the session, people were generally in favour of a number of these measures including: roundabouts, extending curbs, raised crosswalks and speed humps.
Next steps in the Rebuilding Inglewood planning process include further sessions to refine the concept plans this fall.
Also, this September, Inglewood property owners will be receiving a form from the city asking if they want decorative street lights as part of this rebuilding program. Your Inglewood Community League supports the plan for decorative streetlights and is urging residents and property owners to vote “Yes” to this option. For more information, visit: http://inglewoodcl.com/making-great-neighbourhoods/
By Reetu Schaaf, Inglewood Community League Board Member
The Inglewood Community League Board is excited to announce that fundraising for Phase 2 of the park redevelopment is now moving forward! Phase 2 is about building a spray park beside the completed playground next to the community hall (Phase 1). The League will be fundraising for the Spray Park this fall.
In 2013 and 2014, discussion took place with residents, League neighbours, supporters, and the City of Edmonton, about redeveloping the Community League’s park. This feedbacksupported volunteer efforts to pursue an overarching park redevelopment. The plan developed through this discussion is included below. The plan shows replacing the existing playground and the addition of a new spray park feature. A project of this scale required the League to look at a step-by-step approach to completing this work!
PHASE 1: PLAYGROUND
If you haven’t been by league grounds (next to the Community Hall) recently, please drop by and visit our new playground which celebrated its grand opening in June 2017. Our playground has new equipment, new rubber surfacing, large shelter, bike bumps, along with extra benches and picnic tables. Completion of phase 1 was made possible by many passionate volunteers led by Inglewood Community League Board Member, Jaki Campeau, who backed the vision and creation of a fun safe space for all Inglewood residents, young and old.
PHASE 2: SPRAY PARK
With the final touches of phase 1 being addressed, the League is getting ready for fundraising for the next phase – the addition of a Spray Park! This feature was highlighted as one of the main attractions Inglewood residents wanted within their community. As a part of preparing the league grounds for phase 2, the former rink shack – the older wooden building near the new playground – will be demolished. This will allow for the Spray Park to be built beside the new playground, enhance sight lines around the grounds to improve safety and security for all users, and provide space for a larger spray park.
PARK REDEVELOPMENT CONCEPTUAL PLAN
Stay tuned for Inglewood Community League events and activities that help raise funds, share information, and engage residents on the Spray Park concept!
The City will begin a 3 year program to completely rebuild the streets and sidewalks of Inglewood beginning in 2019. One part of this program is the option to include decorative streetlights instead of the standard galvanized aluminum poles. The Community League polled residents for their wishes. The overwhelming majority wanted to have new light poles that matched the type chosen by the Westmount neighbourhood. The city will conduct a vote of property owners in September to determine if the entire neighbourhood is in favour of this upgrade. For the upgrade to be approved, owners of over 881 properties in Inglewood–more than 50% of all property owners—must agree to the upgrade.
If you are a property owner in Inglewood, watch for your letter from the city asking for your vote. The Community League is preparing to go door-to-door throughout the neighbourhood to answer any questions, encourage people to vote yes, and collect people’s ballots to save you the cost of postage. If you have any questions about the “Rebuilding Inglewood” program, visit Making Great Neighbourhoods or email us at email@example.com
On Saturday April 21, 2018, The City of Edmonton hosted a Building Great Neighbourhoods public engagement forum at Inglewood school to kick of neighbourhood renewal for the community of Inglewood. Renewal will begin in 2019 and take approximately 3 years. This event was to gauge neighbourhood concerns and priorities prior to the renewal work beginning next year.
The Inglewood Community League had a booth at the event. This allowed us to meet our neighbours, directly hear input and feedback and provide anyone interested with a free community league membership, but the primary focus of the booth was to seek Inglewood resident’s feedback on proposed decorative streetlights.
As part of the renewal process Inglewood has the opportunity to get upgraded decorative streetlights and street name blades. The Inglewood Community league is championing the upgrade as it is a once in a generation opportunity to provide an upgrade to our community, and we have struck a Decorative Streetlight Committee. There are different options for the streetlights provided to us by The City of Edmonton and we asked those in attendance to vote for their favourite options.
At Saturday’s event we heard great feedback from the community on the decorative street lights, including the importance of energy efficiency and pathway/sidewalk lighting, as well as on many other topics which we will bring back to the Inglewood Community League board and The City.
Overwhelmingly, people that we spoke to were in favour of the decorative streetlight upgrade, especially given that Inglewood is a heritage neighbourhood. People were very interested in the decorative street signs as we will have the opportunity to put the heritage street name on the blades.
It was great to see so many neighbours out at the Building Great Neighbourhoods event. Another duplicate event is scheduled for Wednesday April 25th, 6:30-9 at The Winnifred Stewart Association. If you were unable to attend on Saturday we encourage you to attend this next session. Once again the Inglewood Community League will have a booth, we’d be pleased to hear from you and once again we’ll be taking votes on the possible streetlight upgrades.
Neighbourhood renewal is a 3-year project to upgrade a neighbourhood’s entire infrastructure. Streets, sidewalks, and streetlights throughout the neighbourhood will be replace or upgraded.
More recently, the City renamed renewal to “Building Great Neighbourhoods.” The “Building Great Neighbourhoods” program can help a community address local needs and reinforce its character and identity. Additional projects can include city-owned lands and improvements.
To help the city develop a focus and plan for Inglewood, a number of stakeholder and engagement sessions were held in March and April. If you were part of these sessions, great! Thanks for coming out and sharing your concerns and vision.
We’re also asking everyone in the neighbourhood to share their thoughts with the Inglewood Community League Board as well. A survey is open until May 15, 2018 to give you a chance to share your issues and ideas: http://bit.ly/inglewood2018. The survey will be available until May 15.