On April 1, when most people post funny but fake news stories and press releases, Edmonton Motors gave urbanists in Edmonton a gift when it announced it's leaving Jasper Avenue.
And apparently it's no joke. It's happening.
The announcement hasn't garnered much attention outside chat forums, yet, but I think it's very positive news. We can talk all we want about remaking Jasper Avenue into Edmonton's Main Street, but any high street that's a multi-lane car sewer in many areas and that also sees selling cars from a surface parking lot as an appropriate use is not one anyone that people will actually engage with.
So Edmonton Motors leaving is a very big step forward in actually realizing our goal.
Car dealerships are disappearing on Whyte Avenue and now Jasper Avenue. This is incredibly positive and only a few decades behind many other cities. Those dealerships that remain in the densest parts of Edmonton — consider the dealership on 107 Avenue — are surely now seen as prime candidates for residential and commercial redevelopment. If we want a compact, dense, livable city, we need to use space more efficiently.