Safe Space to Move

The City of New Westminster continues to work towards a zero-carbon future by 2050. After declaring a climate emergency in 2019, a framework was put in place to address greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change required to keep global temperature increases below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In support of the 7 Bold Steps, the City is committed to:

  • creating a car-light community, whereby whereby 60% of trips within the City will be made using sustainable modes of transportation by 2030; and
  • re-allocating a minimum of 10% of today’s street space that currently only services motor vehicles, excluding transit, to sustainable transportation or public gathering by 2030.

To accomplish these goals, you will continue to see changes, large and small, to our existing roads. Please check back to this page to learn more about how the City is creating safe spaces to move for everybody while creating a more sustainable city. 

Quayside/McInnes Overpass
Effective September 10, 2021, the McInnes overpass northbound lane will be returned to motor vehicle traffic, including transit route 103. This will provide three options for motorists leaving the Quayside neighbourhood, and ensure a minimum of two roadway exits for emergency needs as construction around the Begbie St crossing continues over the coming years.

In support of Steps 2 and 7 of the 7 Bold Steps and recognizing that many people appreciated the additional space on the overpass for walking, rolling and wheeling, City staff are exploring how to expand the space for non-motorized modes of transportation on the overpass in the future.

In the meantime, the sidewalk on the overpass remains available for pedestrians and other non-motorized modes of transport, along with the Begbie St crossing and the Third Avenue overpass. Pedestrians may also continue to use the overpass between Hyack Square and River Market, and the elevator or stairs at the River Sky development.

E. Columbia Street at Lower Hume Park
In the summer of 2022, the Central Valley Greenway at E. Columbia Street near the Burnaby/Coquitlam border will be widened. In the meantime, the existing curb space will remain reallocated for walking, rolling, and cycling, but E. Columbia Street will be adjusted to provide one northbound lane and two southbound lanes for motor vehicle traffic. 

Sixth Avenue between Seventh Street and Eighth Street
This summer, changes are being made to widen the sidewalk in front of the New Westminster Public Library’s Uptown branch and at the eastbound bus stop near Eighth Street. The reallocation for walking on the north side of Sixth Avenue near Save-On Foods will be retained, consistent with the Council-approved Uptown Streetscape Vision.

Uptown Sixth Street and Sixth Avenue
The reallocation of the northbound lane on Sixth Street at Sixth Avenue will remain in place as the City moves ahead with the Great Streets design project in Uptown. Public engagement on the Uptown Sixth Street Public Realm Improvements will begin in fall 2021.

Eighth Street (near Century House)
The bus stop in front of Century House will include a “bus bulge” to create space for buses to stop in the curb lane rather than pulling fully out of traffic. This is a transit priority measure to improve accessibility and bus speed and reliability. The bus bulge will also create additional space on the sidewalk.

Excess road space on the west side of Eighth Street between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue will be reallocated to pedestrians and people using mobility aids. The reallocated space will be delineated with plastic posts and markings. This temporary measure will be in place while City staff explore options to permanently widen the sidewalk.

Other than narrower lanes, motorists will not experience any changes.

Tenth Street between Seventh Avenue and London Street
Consistent with the Master Transportation Plan, the roadway on Tenth Street connecting the Rotary Crosstown Greenway (Seventh Ave) and the London/Dublin Greenway at London Street will become a designated cycling route identified with bike stencils on the road. The speed limit along this section of the road will be reduced to 30 km/hr.

A short bike lane will be introduced on Tenth Street in the northbound lane approaching Eighth Ave.

There will be no changes to motor vehicle movements or parking as a result of these changes. 

East Columbia at Debeck Street/Brunette Avenue
Small improvements are being made to the Central Valley Greenway (CVG) along E. Columbia between Debeck St/Brunette Ave and Strand Ave.

  • The southbound curb lane on E. Columbia between Strand Ave and Debeck St will be reallocated to a protected bike lane, extending the existing bike lane that ends at Strand Ave.
  • A new short two-way bike lane north of Debeck St will be introduced to enable northbound cyclists to get to the crosswalk without needing to dismount and use the sidewalk.
  • Motorists driving southbound on E. Columbia will now have one lane through the Debeck/Brunette intersection. Our analysis shows that this change will have minimal impact on traffic operation.

We appreciate this doesn’t fix the more significant issue of the discontinuity between Debeck St and Cumberland St, where the CVG diverts uphill to Sapper St for one block. City staff are exploring options for this complex project and, pending capital funding, hope to have a solution in place in the next few years.