In North America's most northern major city, Edmonton, an innovative Canadian wants to change the way commuters get to work. A landscape architecture graduate from the University of British Columbia, Matt Gibbs, proposed an 11-kilometre "Freezeway" in Alberta's capital as part of his master's thesis in 2013, and the idea is gaining public support in 2015. Edmonton's winters are cold and dark, and Gibbs wants to find a way to encourage people to do something active. The Freezeway is "part commuter network, part tourist attraction," he says. In the summer it would be a conventional bike lane, but in the winter the trails would be manmade ice and maintained by a Zamboni ice-cleaning machine. The idea is similar to Ottawa's five mile Rideau Canal Skateway or Holland's 3 km FlevOnice, but with more of an emphasis on transportation. Problems could arise with the undulating terrain and how the Freezeway would deal with urban obstacles and other cars and buses. But this wacky idea would get people moving and reduce the city's reliance on cars; factors that should merit some serious consideration.
A video explaining the idea:
· Edmonton Freezeway project picking up steam [Edmonton Sun]
· Staples: Freezeway concept takes off in winter cities [Edmonton Journal]
· With The Freezeway, Commuters Could Skate To Work [Fast Company]