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article imageEdmonton architecture student suggests skating lane for commuting

By George Varkey     Feb 26, 2015 in Lifestyle
Edmonton - The Canadian city Edmonton, which is well known for its extreme winter conditions, might consider adopting a unique mode of commuting into the downtown core area by skating on ice.
The city, which experiences an average temperature of -12 C during the winter time, has received a suggestion by landscape architecture student Matthew Gibbs to create a "freezeway" that would help commuters skate to work.
The Edmonton-born architectural student garnered attention from the city planners after he won the 2013 Coldscapes International Design competition. Complete with a very real design, Gibbs suggested the transformation of the flat roads that run alongside the existing old railway corridors that proceed toward the downtown area. At the moment the roads are used as a multi-purpose trail.
According to Gibbs, if the trails are combined together, it could lead to a 11 kilometre stretch on which people can skate to work and students can skate to school.
At the moment, a similar concept exists in Canada only at two locations, one in Ottawa on the eight kilometre Rideau Canal and in Winnipeg on the nine kilometre stretch called "The Forks" on the Red River.
Gibbs explained the benefits of the freezeway on a video, stating that the realization of this concept would promote an efficient mode of transportation and active lifestyle. Besides being beneficial to the Edmonton residents during winter, Gibbs pointed out the usage of the same stretch as a bicycle lane during the summer. On completion, this lane would provide the city with 1.25 hours of skating, 45 minutes of bike riding or two hours of walking.
However, it is left for the lawmakers, city planners and residents to give the green signal for a project that right now might not look so feasible considering the dip in oil prices and the Alberta economy.
More about Edmonton, Skating, commuting, Canada
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