Canadian city plans “freezeway”: an ice-skating path for commuters

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Residents of Edmonton, Alberta are not unfamiliar with below freezing temperatures. In a city where the average winter temperature is colder than -10C, trudging through the ice and snow can be an unpleasant daily experience.

What if there was a way to commute through the city during the icy cold winter that was quick and eco-friendly? City planners asked themselves just that and came up with a solution: The Freezeway. Plans are under consideration for the construction of this proposed 11km (7 mile) ice skating path that commuters can take to work and school.


Rendering of the Freezeway

The idea first came about when architect Matt Gibbs designed the icy trail for his master’s thesis in landscape architecture at the University of British Columbia. According to an article by The Star, his idea was to flood existing pathways, such as underused railroad tracks, that lead through the city’s downtown area to create the path.

While promoting a sustainable form of transportation, The Freezeway would also help residents enjoy their commute during the winter, and even stay in shape.

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In a video detailing the project, Gibbs states that the Freeze way route, “connects green spaces, enhances the transportation network, connects many of the cities existing and proposed attractions, provides more pedestrian oriented commercial, and lastly, creates gathering spaces that serve as interfaces to the community.”

Rendering of the Freezeway

Rendering of the Freezeway

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The route would have many skate rental offices next to subway stops, making it very convenient for commuters. It would also be accompanied by a pedestrian path for those who don’t skate, and would transform into a bike route in the summer.

For a detailed video of the project, watch The Edmonton Freezeway.

Images via BBC News