The initiative to have the name of 97th Street changed started a few years back, but nothing was ever finalized. When appointed Edmonton City Councillor for Ward 3, Jon Dziadyk took full responsibility and ran with it to have 97th Street become Canadian Forces Trail.
“I know that there was always some desire to have some type of military recognition for the heritage of the road that connects former base CFB Griesbach, which is now a residential neighbourhood, with CFB Edmonton,” said Coun. Dziadyk. “I knew that I was in a position to close the loop on that and finally get some resolution.”
The name change is an honorary one, so Dziadyk said the use of the name is optional but remains confident many people will be happy to adopt the new name as public feedback has been nearly 100 per cent positive.
“A few people were wondering about the cost, so that was probably the most negative interaction I’ve had. It’s actually because it’s an honorary name, it’s incumbent upon the applicant to pay for the sign,” said Coun. Dziadyk.
Although Coun. Dziadyk is an Edmonton City Councillor, he is the applicant for the name change, so he is responsible for the cost of the new street signs and no cost will fall on Edmonton taxpayers. Coun. Dzidyk plans to have ten new signs made for the four-kilometre stretch of road, at an estimated cost of $8,000. He plans to host fundraisers to help alleviate the cost, in turn involving the community.
Community involvement doesn’t stop there though. Coun. Dziadyk also plans to have a few design samples made for the new street signs so the community can have their say on what sign best represents the newly named Canadian Forces Trail.
“With an honorary name, you have the opportunity to design it. For example, soldiers’ silhouettes poking out of the tops and there are many designs you can do now with sheet metal to make that easier. It can be coloured. The background could be the green camouflage,” explained Coun. Dziadyk.
The new streets signs are expected to make their debut on Remembrance Day 2018.