Happy New Year!
Here are some highlights of the first City Council meeting of the new decade.
New recycling and organics rules for businesses have been approved.
Starting in 2022 businesses will be required to have a container for recycling, and starting in 2023 those that produce organic material as a result of their operations must do the same for organics. These recommendations were supported by the business community. 2023 is also the year that curbside organics will begin for residents.
Choosing the location for a downtown arena is getting closer.
Our administration has completed inspections of each potential site, and will continue to work with land owners before bringing forward a public report on options. The next update is expected in March. Note, that confirming a location is an important step, but one of many that will need to take place before any decisions are made about a capital project.
City Council endorsed a path forward for corridor planning and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
This will help our city to grow in the most efficient way possible. It is also designed to bring more clarity for residents about where to expect density. Basic principles of the plan are to create transit-oriented areas that include mixed land use, and provide spaces that are welcoming, safe and accessible. Over the coming months more information will be released on potential zoning changes, and what they might mean for neighbourhoods. There will also be opportunities for public engagement when the report is complete.
9th street directional closure
The goal of the 9th Street directional closure pilot project was to find out if the restriction could improve quality of life for some residents, without taking it away from others. The traffic data showed an overall calming effect, as short-cutters from outside the area chose other routes. Council unanimously decided to make the closure permanent.
A new pedestrian/cycling bridge in the Northeast was presented as an option to committee, as part of a combined utility project that will move forward in the next few years.
The additional cost for the bridge is approximately $9 million dollars. The bridge would not save much time for users, and connects to an area where walking and cycling would still be a long commute. In my view, this is not the best use of our active transportation budget. The next step will be to provide Council with a list of options to improve our active transportation network.
Truth and Reconciliation
As part of our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation (TRC), Council decided to permanently install the Métis Nation and Treaty 6 flags in City Council Chambers. These symbols will remind us of our commitment to work together in the spirit of cooperation.
One additional note from December
Council opposed a recommendation that would have eliminated detour signage at bus stops, and made all notification electronic. I think it’s important to maintain and strengthen communication with all transit users.
Coffee with Your Councillor
I hope you can join me for a special Coffee with Your Councillor this month, with a focus on community safety.
With Special Guest Insp. Dave McKenzie
Wednesday, February 26th
D’Lish by Tish Café
702 14th Street East
7:30am – 9am