With the recent influx of disastrous winter storms, it’s easy to develop a disdain for the arctic months. Almost as easy as blaming the weather on a certain marmot (yes Punxsutawney Phil, we’re throwing shade at you). But before you banish the entire season of winter, consider the Freezeway: a 6.8-mile skating lane through Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for residents and tourists to commute by skating on ice, as reported by Wired.
What seems like a novel idea is actually a very well thought out plan conceived about two years ago by Matt Gibbs for his master’s thesis in landscape architecture at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Inspired by an offshoot comment by Tooker Gomberg, a Canadian politician and environmental activist, about uncapping the city’s fire hydrants, letting water flow and freeze, and then watching residents skate around town, Gibbs thought the concept that was cast away by other politicians was “delightful.”
In an effort to embrace a climate where almost half the year is below freezing, Gibbs told Wired he is “trying to find ways to make people fall in love with winter as opposed to as if was some unbearable curse.” From there, he refined it and delivered it in a way that this alternative mode of transportation could actually be realized.
Utilizing two existing transportation corridors, one of them being an abandoned railway line, the two lines would be linked to connect several neighborhoods to downtown Edmonton, and the eventual arena being built for Oilers hockey. During the warmer months, the path would be used by cyclists.
The building process, which can be conducted in increments, would include constructing curbs below ground-level. From there, you can simply fill the concave lane with water that will naturally freeze.
The proposal has yet to be finalized, which includes where exactly it will be constructed and what it will cost.
To learn more about Gibb’s proposal, watch the video below: