Canadian city wants to install ice skating lanes

In many cities, pedestrians get sidewalks to travel on, bicyclists have their own lanes and obviously automobiles do, as well. But Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, might at least consider a proposal to add one more to that list, seasonally anyway, with the introduction of a specific route for ice skaters.

Dubbed the Freezeway, the 6.8 miles of ice through Edmonton would use existing pathways in the city, including an abandoned rail line, according to Wired. Building curbs along each side of the route would allow water to freeze. The proposal is still being finalized in terms of location and cost, but in the summer months, bicyclists could use the lanes or artificial ice could handle skaters all year long.

The concept for the Freezeway was the brainchild of Matt Gibbs who came up with the idea in his master's thesis in landscape architecture. He's "trying to find ways to make people fall in love with winter as opposed to as if was some unbearable curse," Gibbs said to Wired.

Conceivably the lanes could appeal to those simply looking for recreation or be actual transportation for some folks to commute to work. A very similar idea is already at work in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where people skate on the Rideau Canal in the winter (pictured above), and in Helsinki, Finland, it is common for people to ski on the city's waterways in the winter.

At such an early stage in the process, there's no guarantee the people of Edmonton are actually going to be skating around the city anytime soon. Still, the Freezeway is an interesting concept of turning a city's not-always-pleasant natural climate into a strength.

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