Edmonton to temporarily close some skateboard parks, basketball courts over non-compliance
EDMONTON -- Several Edmonton skateboard parks and basketball courts will be closed this weekend and transit fare collections will resume in mid-June, the city announced Thursday.
They're just some of the latest moves made by the city as it gradually reopen parts of Edmonton in the face of what Mayor Don Iveson called "serious economic instability."
The weekend closures of Blue Quill and Florence Hallock basketball courts, as well as the Castledowns and McKernan skateboard parks are due to "numerous complaints" from members of the public and violations observed by peace officers, the city said.
"We will be taking steps and this weekend's closure is an example of that, where if we see a repeated behaviour of non-compliance we will either fine or we will close," said Interim City Manager Adam Laughlin.
No tickets were issued last weekend at any Edmonton skateboard parks or basketball courts, the city confirmed.
In a statement, the city reminded court and park users to "return another time" if a park looks busy.
"Individuals should only be playing a game of basketball, volleyball or any close contact sport with members of your household or cohort family. A pickup game between friends is not currently allowed."
Edmonton transit will also resume fare collection on buses, LRT and DATS beginning June 15. Any monthly pass-holders can use their March, April or July pass as payment from June 15 to 30, and those without a pass can pay by cash, tickets or transfers.
April and July monthly passes will be accepted as payment for the month of July.
June passes will not be produced and any members of the ETS Ride Transit Program will be mailed a July pass at no cost.
Boarding will resume through the front doors of buses on June 15, though passengers are "highly encouraged" to follow Alberta Health's hygiene guidelines of frequent hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes and wearing a non-medical mask or face covering when riding. Riders are also being advised to travel during off-peak times if possible and stagger themselves when it comes to bus or LRT seating.
Bus drivers will be required to wear masks when leaving shielded areas of the bus.
E-scooters will also make their return to Edmonton in a phased-in plan beginning June 1.
The city says additional measures like enhanced daily cleaning of e-scooters will help ensure public safety.
If COVID-19 transmission is traced back to e-scooters or cleaning guidelines are not followed, the city warned it will cancel its licence agreement with providers Lime and Bird.
A "modest number" of e-scooters will hit the roads at the start of June, and numbers will be increased if all goes well, peaking at a possible 2,400 e-scooters.
The city also announced the "difficult and disappointing" decision to cancel summer day camps through 2020.
A State of Local Emergency, first declared on March 20, was renewed for another seven days.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson