City planners seek input on Norwood Boulevard Public meeting focuses on mobility and land use

City planning staff held a second public meeting on Nov. 30 about the future of Norwood Boulevard from 109 to 82 Street.

The first public meeting on June 22 provided city planners with feedback in areas which would enhance the quality of this neighbourhood slated for revitalization. Both meetings were well attended.

Robert Lipka, principal planner and project leader, explained that the area of Norwood Boulevard is focused on movement. He said there has never been a coherent plan and many different boundaries are involved.

During the meeting, city staff asked participants to provide input for marketing and mobility studies. The marketing study focuses on land use. For example, the buildings can be commercial or residential, or they may be mixed use. A pedestrian or commercial walkway is one of the options under consideration.

Participants, who were presented with six photos illustrating options for land use, then explained the reasoning behind their choice. My group favoured the mixed-use scenario involving both residential and commercial space in buildings.

“I see a ton of potential for the boulevard. I’d love to see innovative mixed-use zoning that will bring more walking traffic to the area,” said Dustin Bajer.

Lipka then discussed the mobility study, which focused on movement such as public transport, pedestrians, motorists, commercial transporters, and cyclists. City staff asked participants to create their ideal vision using paper cut-outs and to provide comments on their choices. Narrow sidewalks and lack of walkability were discussed as well as heavy traffic caused by Norwood School, raising concerns about child safety. Participants suggested implementing a speed reduction in that area.

Meeting attendants were pleased to see the city’s attempt to address the problems along Norwood Boulevard.

“Finally, something is being addressed, at least superficially,” said Maggie Glasgow.

Janis Irwin added, “It’s great that we’re having a discussion, and it’s fantastic to see so many community members out for the meeting. My hope is that we’ll see these conversations followed by concrete actions.”

Lipka said the project is not without challenges. “We’ve still got a long way to go.” Part of the challenge is the limited budget. “There’s no money to build,” said Lipka. He added, “I’m really glad I’m here tonight, you’ve given some good feedback and information.”

A third public meeting will be held in March or April of 2017. City staff will submit the present report and recommendations to the executive committee in April or May, and then book another public hearing in May or June. Implementation will occur in 2017-2018 with changes to zoning bylaws, construction, and capital projections.

If you own a commercial building on Norwood Boulevard, funding is available through the Façade Improvement Program. Contact Lara Pinchbeck at 780.496.6196 or email lara.pinchbeck@edmonton.ca.

For more information on the Norwood Boulevard Corridor Study, email Robert Lipka at robert.lipka@edmonton.ca or call him at 780.442.0252.

Featured image: Participants discuss and provide their thoughts on the mobility study. | Chantal Figeat

Chantal Figeat

Chantal began professional writing while attending Carleton University. She enjoys the history of the Norwood area as well as the cultural diversity along Alberta Avenue.

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