Developing concept plans for select collector roads as a separate project within neighbourhood renewal or reconstruction is new for the City of Edmonton, but has arisen organically from its public engagement initiatives within the Neighbourhood Renewal Program framework. City administration is constantly assessing and readjusting its public engagement process to be more responsive to the needs of communities and residents.
The Neighbourhood Renewal Program improves and replaces infrastructure in older Edmonton neighbourhoods. Each year, neighbourhoods are selected and scheduled for renewal based on a number of criteria including budget, condition of infrastructure, and work coordination opportunities.
Under the Neighbourhood Renewal Program, each selected neighbourhood goes through a 3-stage public engagement process in advance of construction to leverage local knowledge during planning and to provide residents with the opportunity to make choices about what they will pay for during reconstruction when it comes to sidewalks and decorative streetlights.
In May 2013, City Council approved the Complete Streets Policy, which outlines the principles of Complete Streets. These principles outline a new way of thinking about our roads. They do not impose a single way of developing a complete street; rather the principles guide design solutions according to road usage.
In 2013 Westmount Neighbourhood Renewal was chosen as a Complete Streets Pilot Project. The goal of the pilot was to reconstruct streets to better reflect the unique character of Westmount and its citizens. An additional public meeting allowed residents more opportunity to provide input on the plan.
Through this consultation process, 127 Street, a collector road from Stony Plain Road to 111 Avenue in Westmount and from 111 Avenue to 118 Avenue in Inglewood, was identified as a critical link from the major bike facility on 102 Avenue to the neighbourhoods north of the Yellowhead Trail. Considering this corridor as a separate project within the overall renewal program allows for a more in-depth look at the corridor.
This more detailed planning process forms the basis of the City’s Collector Concept Planning program. Out of subsequent Neighbourhood Renewal public engagement initiatives, other Collector Renewal Projects have been identified including: