High hopes for High Level Bridge pitch

Edmonton Sun - - NEWS - EliSE StoltE @es­tolte

A group of young Ed­mon­ton professionals is pitch­ing a new vi­sion for the High Level Bridge that would stretch the park ex­pe­ri­ence from Whyte Av­enue right to MacEwan Univer­sity.

“The bridge is only a quar­ter of the length of this op­por­tu­nity,” said land­scape ar­chi­tect Kevin Di­eter­man, who spent a year de­sign­ing a new ur­ban park for the area with a half-dozen other in­di­vid­u­als.

The group wants the street­car — a much slower form of pub­lic tran­sit — to run through a four-kilo­me­tre park and cy­cling space, cre­at­ing a mixed-use and pedes­trian park sim­i­lar to what’s found in some ar­eas of Europe.

“It’s re­ally about con­nect­ing the down­town and south side, the two cul­tural hearts of our city. It’s re­ally, re­ally rich,” said Di­eter­man Wed­nes­day af­ter the group re­leased an ini­tial plan at high­lev­el­line.com this week.

It’s build­ing on an idea many have pitched in the past. They’re hop­ing the ideas res­onate with Ed­mon­ton res­i­dents and build sup­port for more pedes­trian-friendly trans­porta­tion sys­tem in the area.

The plan could be a long shot, partly be­cause Ed­mon­ton’s LRT plan­ners are also eye­ing the High Level Bridge to run the pro­posed cen­tral cir­cu­la­tor LRT from 76 Av­enue or Whyte Av­enue through down­town.

But Di­eter­man de­fends this as a more peo­ple-friendly al­ter­na­tive, giv­ing res­i­dents liv­ing in higher den­sity ar­eas a vi­brant, park-like set­ting to re­lax in and move through. Res­i­dents al­ready have a higher-speed com­mut­ing op­tion with the ex­ist­ing Cap­i­tal line through the Univer­sity of Al­berta.

On their web­site, group mem­bers don’t apol­o­gize for the dream­ing big, quot­ing ar­chi­tect Daniel Burn­ham: “Make no lit­tle plans; they have no magic to stir (peo­ple)’s blood and prob­a­bly them­selves will not be re­al­ized.”


A ren­der­ing of the High Level Line run­ning through the Grandin area. LEFT: The team be­hind the High Level Line - a group of young professionals in­clud­ing ar­chi­tects, en­gi­neers, land­scape ar­chi­tects, plan­ners and mar­ket­ing ex­perts.

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