Edmonton approves Chinatown route for LRT

Edmonton's southeast LRT will travel down 102nd Avenue despite objections from the Chinese community, city council decided Wednesday morning.

Community leaders asked the city to move the line one block north to 102A Avenue. They argued the route will divide the neighbourhood, separating residents of a Chinese seniors home from cultural centres across the street.

But city planners said they examined both routes and were satisified 102nd Avenue was the best choice.

While the original route was approved by a majority of council, Mayor Stephen Mandel wasn't completely sold on the move.

"Council saw it differently and they voted, and I respect that," he said. "In the end, I voted for the LRT because I think it's something we need and I support."

Representatives from the Chinese community said they were disappointed.

Allan Kwan, a spokesperson for the Chinese Benevolent Association says , the decision makes him question whether the city wants a Chinatown at all.

"We need to go back to the table and say, does the city really want one? If you don't want one, I guess we will have to, I don't know, we will have to go some place else, I guess."

Council pledged to work with communities affected by the new route so residents feel as little impact as possible.