Podcast ponders whether council will close 102 Avenue to cars

Podcast ponders whether council will close 102 Avenue to cars

· The Pulse

A stretch of road downtown that city council wants to turn into a pedestrian-friendly corridor and administration would prefer to keep open to cars may emerge from limbo as early as Feb. 21.

That's when a public hearing will consider changes to a bylaw that would temporarily close 102 Avenue to traffic between 103 Street and 99 Street for a one-year pilot that would enlist the help of the Edmonton Downtown Business Association and others to bring some vibrancy to the space.

"This report actually says that administration does not support the bylaw," Speaking Municipally co-host Mack Male said on Episode 208 "The longer this goes on, the more in limbo that stretch of road is going to be, but there's a very real chance that after Feb. 21, we could have a one-year pilot."

Male's co-host, Troy Pavlek, recalled administration's resistance to closing the avenue to traffic when council made its decision last June, and he doesn't think it's a done deal.

"We're going to need proactivity from both councillors and the community to avoid administrative sabotage," he said.

Hear more about this issue as well as a report on the health costs of homelessness, a request from police to tighten rules around pepper spray, administration's skepticism about a mansion tax, and Jobber's latest big win on the Feb. 10 episode of Taproot's civic affairs podcast.

Photo: A stretch of 102 Avenue that was closed for LRT construction won't reopen to cars for at least a year if council approves a bylaw change on Feb. 21. (Mack Male/Flickr)