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Lewyn Addresses America
Thursday, 26 May 2011
blogging from Edmonton

I am visiting Western Canada for the first time in my life, visiting Edmonton, Alberta to give a speech at a planning law conference.

I spent yesterday visiting a few neighborhoods: Old Strathcona (a student ghetto/historic area near the University of Alberta), downtown Edmonton, and Patricia Heights (an inner suburb with a big Jewish population, at least big by Edmonton's standards).

Some thoughts positive and negative:

*Great bus network- over 100 bus routes, many with just 15 minutes between buses- pretty good for a city the size of Jacksonville.  The city is also beginning a light rail system; right now it is just one line, about the size of Buffalo's system.

*Too many cul-de-sacs making it difficult to walk from one part of suburbia to another.  Edmonton's cul-de-sac dominated area begins only about four miles or so from downtown, which is a bit earlier than in many other cities.   And there is much less of a grid connecting the cul-de-sacs than in suburban Toronto.

*Streets are too wide.  In Old Stratchona the main street of the neighborhood is six lanes, which is a bit much for what is basically a pretty low-key, low-rise area.  

*Terrible airport transportation.  The only city bus serving the airport costs twice as much as other buses and runs only during rush hours.  The last morning bus leaves at 7:30 am and the airport bus does not start running again till the late afternoon.  Even Jacksonville does this better; a normal bus serves the airport, and it runs about the same hours as other city buses. 

Posted by lewyn at 11:26 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2011 11:30 AM EDT

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