As the snow continues to fall, the days get shorter and the Christmas trees go up, it’s a reminder to me that winter is here, and it’s here to stay. For me the change of season brings with it a sense of excited anticipation; of spending time with family, having my grandchildren help me decorate and buying gifts for loved ones. It’s also the time of year that reminds me of all the changes that winter brings.
Edmonton is a winter City, the results of which affect many parts of our lives, one of the biggest being winter driving. As a Vision Zero City we have a goal of reducing traffic fatalities to zero, it’s important to remember that no matter how good of a job our road crews do clearing our streets, areas still remain slippery. Giving yourself a few extra minutes to drive to wherever your day leads can eliminate many traffic problems, and help protect our vulnerable road users such as children and the elderly.
Winter also brings with it the Holiday season. It’s a time of giving gifts and celebrating the warmth of family and friends. However not all Edmontonians have the same experience over Christmas, there are many individuals and families who can’t make ends meet and will not be able to afford gifts or a Christmas meal. The food bank is a wonderful organisation in our City that aims to provide anyone in need with essentials. This year their goal is to raise 350,000 kilograms of food and $1.8 million between now and January 11, 2019.
We have a lot to be thankful for and as we get into the season of giving lets do all that we can to lend our neighbours a helping hand. Many longtime Edmontonians in our neighbourhoods may need help shoveling and clearing ice, but very few will ask for help. The best way to help is by asking if they need a hand. There are also some resources for those looking for help at edmonton.ca/snowangels
This time of the year may be cold outside, but the way that so many Edmontonians give makes our City such a warm place to be in the winter.
Last week I attended UN Women Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global Leaders Forum which included much discussion on reducing sexual harassment and assault in public places in cities. The City of Edmonton is a wonderful City made up of many caring individuals, however, we still face a growing concern with violence and sexual assault. The majority of gender based violence is committed against women and girls, which points to roots of the violence about gender equality. It’s an important issue for everyone to be a part of as violence against women and girls has economic, social, emotional, and physical impacts that limit their ability to fully participate in civic and political life. This could limit their potential as an individual, and their potential within the greater community. Men and boys play a large part in reducing this problem by being strong allies and advocates against violence and sexual assault .
As a City we saw the need to step in to help with this issue. In April 2015 the City of Edmonton’s initiative on gender-based violence and sexual assault prevention was initiated by Council, its aim is to end gender-based and sexual violence in Edmonton. If we want to achieve gender equity and empowerment, it is critical our public spaces are safe for everyone. A city free of sexual violence in public spaces is a city that is safe for all.
Edmonton is increasing crime prevention through environmental design audits of green spaces, transit terminals or other public spaces, with the intention of making spaces safer and more inclusive for everyone. The aim is to help people better anticipate their surroundings, feel welcome and know that services are easily available.
In 2016, Edmonton became the second ‘safe’ city in Canada to join the United Nations Women Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global Initiative to make urban public spaces safe and empowering for women and girls.
As we have been working on this initiative we have learned that we need to clarify what gender based violence is – that it’s not just physical acts – but includes actions such as verbal and emotional harm. Understanding this helped us come up with and launch the “Its Time Yeg” campaign and itstimeyeg.ca to help people understand the effects of their actions. We know that working together is the only way we’ll end gender based violence.
There is a shared civic responsibility for stewarding these kinds of changes, and they must be done together. It’s important to acknowledge we all have a role to play in creating safe, inclusive spaces. Would you partner with me in standing against gender based violence?
The importance of playground zones for the safety of children
Councillor Bev Esslinger
May 15, 2018
There has been a lot of conversation lately about playground zones and the guidelines and rules around implementing playground zones. I wanted to take this opportunity to revisit why I have always supported playground zones and their importance for the safety of children.
The lower speed limit in playground zones (30km/h):
- Increases livability of neighbourhoods;
- Moves us towards Vision Zero, the City’s goal of zero traffic related fatalities and serious injuries; and
- Protect vulnerable road users: children.
Since the implementation of playground zones has only recently been completed here in Edmonton, we can look to the City of Calgary for the impacts of implementing playground zones and changing school zones to playground zones. In 2017, the City of Calgary worked with the University of Calgary to conduct a before-and-after study to determine the impacts of combining school and playground zone signs and the times they are in effect. The results of the study indicate:
- The average speed decreased from 36 km/h to 30 km/h.
- The number of collisions involving pedestrians within school and playground zones decreased by 33 percent, with a 70 percent decrease between 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- More than 80 percent of the respondents found it easier to remember the zone times with a single zone type that is consistent throughout the year.
To recap, playground zones lowered speeds, and lowered collisions, especially outside of regular school zone hours. This increased safety is the goal of playground zones and something I fully support.
So when you see the signs reminding you to slow to 30 km/hr from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, 365 days a year, please remember why it’s important to slow down.
ATCO has provided me with information on Projects happening in Ward 2 this year.
- Replacement of approximately 0.5km of steel main and 36 residential and commercial services in the community of Spruce Avenue between Princess Elizabeth Avenue and 114 Ave near 105/106 Street.
- Work will be coordinate diwth City of Edmonton Neighbourhood Renewal
Proposed Construction time: 2 Months
- Replacement of approximately 3.3km of steel main and 211 residential services in the community of Inglewood between 114 and 118 Avenues and 127 Street and Groat Road.
Proposed Construction time: 3 Months
Campbell Road Park and Ride
- Relocate 500m of 323 mm high pressure natural gas transmission pope and install a valve assembly.
– Construction noise during regular work hours
– Lane closures and reduced parking
More information can be found here
Our bus routes are changing
Our city is growing and changing, which means Edmonton’s bus routes need to change too. In 2020, the ETS bus network will look completely different. This transformation will introduce new kinds of routes that will help you move across the city more quickly and efficiently.
Routes will be grouped into four types including: frequent bus routes, rapid bus routes, crosstown routes and local routes. Each of these routes will be straighter with less overlap between them. Inner areas of the city will see an increase of service throughout the day while outer suburban areas will see more service during rush hour for commuters. Check out the routes maps at edmonton.ca/newbusroutes.
In order for the City to provide faster or more frequent service, some people may need to walk up to 10 minutes to get to a bus stop. The City recognizes this is not possible for some residents, so a study is underway to see how other cities manage this situation to ensure most everyone can get to where they are going.
The next sessions closest to the northwest area are:
Date: Thursday April 26, 2018
Location: Inglewood Community Hall
12515 116 Avenue
Date: Saturday May 26, 2018
Location: TELUS World of Science (IMAX Lobby)
11211 142 Street