Message from HCL President Cherie Klassen
Highlands residents take pride in their community. It’s one of the reasons we decided to stay and raise our family in the neighbourhood. We value close access to the river valley, our mid-century and turn-of-the century homes, our heritage buildings and trees, and most importantly, our community of people.
It’s no surprise that when we talk about renewal in our neighbourhood – whether it is a new community centre, renovations to a school, new businesses or renewal of our streets – our community wants to be involved and have their voices heard.
In 2019, our neighbourhood will start the process in the city’s neighbourhood renewal program, as part of its “Building Great Neighbourhoods” initiative. This involves renewal of our road, street, sidewalk infrastructure, and more.
On January 22, the city hosted its first workshop with residents to gather input on one vital connector in our community, Ada Boulevard. During the workshop, residents had the opportunity to share their opinions on a variety of options to revitalize Ada Boulevard, one of which was adding a sidewalk. The close to 100 residents who participated had very insightful input and suggestions on what could make Ada Boulevard even better, but one message was clear, residents were not in favour of adding a sidewalk to the road.
It was interesting to hear that so many people who use the roadway on a regular basis, myself included, didn’t use it as a road for driving their vehicles. In fact, the number one use of the road was for leisure, including walking, riding bicycles and accessing the river valley. A common comment from residents was that they enjoy being able to use the road as a pathway for walking, and that pedestrian use, has a traffic calming effect.
It’s clear that our community values walkability, which is what makes us feel more connected, and safe in our community. I believe that if residents have more input on HOW they move through their community, we would have more connectedness in our neighbourhoods. This is what community is all about – connecting.
It was refreshing to hear some of the suggestions for enhancement of Ada Boulevard, including better lighting, parklets, landscaping and even historical plaques along the roadway.
The January workshop was a fantastic opportunity for community residents to share what is important to them, meet their fellow neighbours and brainstorm creative ideas on enhancing an already great part of our neighbourhood.
If you weren’t able to attend the workshop, you’ll still have an opportunity to share your input, as this was the first of many opportunities to provide feedback. The City of Edmonton has just launched a website for our neighbourhood renewal plan. Here you can review workshop materials and share your input.