The Best Laid Plans…

The Kelsey-Woodlawn/Mayfair Local Area Plan, released last year, did a nice job capturing the needs of pedestrians in those neighbourhoods. The plan is full of great ideas, from sidewalk construction for the well-used routes around the SaskPoly parking lot and St. Michael’s school just off 33rd to traffic calming around area parks to ensuring that a pedestrian walkway is part of the proposed overpass at Airport Drive and Circle.

"The Full Saskatoon" a street with a park and a school but no sidewalks.
“The Full Saskatoon”: Alberta Avenue from 36th to 33rd; a park, a school and no sidewalks.

However, PDF documents full of good intentions have a hard time in Saskatoon instantiating themselves into physical changes. The Mayfair LAP itself talking about the impressive sounding ‘Priority 1 List’ of streets that need sidewalk installation, but sidewalk installation has no funding in the City’s budget, making any tiered designation farcical.

Another example of this disconnect between documents and reality happened recently when the City announced that the recently purchased rail line behind the Legion near 25th would be converted into a parking lot. This area was part of the proposed greenway areas in the North Downtown Master Plan. With the NDMP not anywhere near implementation this is not the worst idea in the world but it shows how long the cycle is to get any sort of pedestrian improvement finished, if ever.

North Downtown Linear Rail Trail Plan
North Downtown Linear Rail Trail Plan
North Downtown Linear Trail Plan Reality
North Downtown Linear Rail Trail Reality