EDMONTON -- New tables and lighting are making the expanded sidewalks more inviting for pedestrians on Whyte Avenue.

The new features are part of phase two of a pilot project by the Old Strathcona Business Association (OSBA). 

The expanded sidewalks along Whyte Avenue between 103 and 105 Streets now include 30 large flower barrels and tables to make the parklets more user-friendly.

"We feel that these enhancements will help create a welcoming space for patrons, while working to support safe physical distancing which is crucial for our community," executive director Cherie Klassen said in a written release. "Safety is our number one priority and we hope that this additional space will support that."

OSBA and the city started the lane closures in the area in May to help give returning customers more space as businesses reopened amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time, some drivers were unhappy with the traffic congestion the closures created.

The cost of the new enhancements is funded by the OSBA.

Patrons are reminded to wash their hands, practice physical distancing and wear a mask.