New Westminster – The City of New Westminster is advancing its Streets for People transportation initiative by reallocating street space and installing road markings and signage throughout the city with the goal of making streets better for walking, wheeling, and cycling. Streets for People was adopted by New Westminster City Council in May 2020 as a way to address the shifts in use of public space and physical distancing directives brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to accelerate the City’s commitment to sustainable transportation.
“It is our goal at the City to make transportation more sustainable and equitable for all road users,” said Mayor Jonathan X. Cote. “We are committed to reimagining our streets to better support neighbourhood livability, commercial district viability, community resiliency, and public safety now and into the future.”
The following improvements have either been installed recently, or will be installed in the coming weeks:
- Shared lane markings, or “sharrows” on several streets throughout the city that help alert drivers to cyclists on shared roads while guiding people as they ride along bike routes
- Pedestrian crossing improvements such as curb extensions to shorten the crossing distance, pavement markings, signage, flashing beacons, and improved street lighting at four locations: Eighth St. & Third Ave, Twelfth St. & Fourth Ave, Eleventh St. & Sixth Ave, Richmond St. near Miner St.
- Multi-use pathway on the east side of Moody Park between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, as well as signal replacement at Eighth Ave & Eighth St., to improve connectivity to the new NWSS, Massey Theatre and Moody Park Arena (project cost partly funded by TransLink’s cycling infrastructure improvement program)
- Interim greenway facility between First St. and Seventh St. as part of the Agnes Greenway project
- Initial installation of new school crosswalk signage to increase driver awareness
- Changes to Sixth Ave sidewalk space in response to public input
The initiative addresses two of the City’s seven climate action bold steps: car light community, with the goal of 60% of all trips within the City to be made by sustainable modes of transportation (walk, transit, bike, multi-occupant shared) by 2030; and quality people-centred public realm, with the goal of 10% of today’s street space reallocated for sustainable transportation or public gathering by 2030.
Many of the improvements under the program are trialed as pilot projects that are meant to be adjusted as the program progresses. To learn more about the Streets for People initiative, please visit newwestcity.ca/streets-for-people.