Lighter Side: Chilly commute on the cards

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In New Zealand, getting to work in the winter can involve wading through snow for some – but for some of our colleagues in the Northern Hemisphere, there could be a new solution.

Architect Matt Gibbs thinks he may have a solution that could actually get residents of Edmonton, Canada excited about their cold commutes.

The 29-year-old wants to build an 11-kilometer path that would make it possible for workers to switch up their normal commute and skate into the office instead.

“We could have a very exciting, novel resource that would engage citizens and (get) them living in anticipation of the arrival of the winter season, as opposed to living with it as some burden that’s bestowed upon us every year,” said Gibbs.

Born and raised in Edmonton himself, Gibbs devised the award-winning idea for the ice transit route as part of his master’s thesis in landscape architecture at the University of British Columbia.

According to Gibbs, the freezeway could be built by flooding existing pathways, including underused rail tracks leading through the city’s downtown.

While the plans haven’t yet gone to council, city representative Ben Henderson said he hoped the drive the project forward.

“(Gibbs has) had a lot of enthusiastic response in the community. We just need to help where we can, and mostly stay out of the way,” he said.

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