The City of Abbotsford has prioritized a number of areas that could see almost one kilometre of new sidewalks constructed and crosswalks added or upgraded on six streets in the near future.
City staff have also recommended a number of cycling projects that are considered a priority.
Council at its executive meeting on Monday (July 12) endorsed a Multi-Year Active Transportation Program, as well as approving that staff proceed to the conceptual design phase for the projects.
A staff report to council states that new sidewalks and crosswalk upgrades are considered in areas of high usage or where “vulnerable users” are present.
“Staff input a multitude of factors into a priority matrix to help determine and prioritize the most imminent need,” the report states.
Among the factors considered are proximity to schools, hospitals and other institutions, as well as pedestrian and vehicle volumes.
The report states that staff developed a list of priority sidewalk-and-crosswalk projects over the last few months.
They also identified a recommended long-term cycling network that includes neighbourhood greenways, protected bicycle lanes and off-street pathways, the report indicates.
These projects would “build valuable connections in the city by connecting to parks, schools and filling in some gaps in the existing network.”
An engineering consultant will be hired to complete conceptual designs for the projects and provide cost estimates.
“Once this is determined, neighbourhood engagements will be undertaken and some projects may be deferred to future years, due to budget limitations,” the report states.
The city has budgeted $500,000 each year for new sidewalks and $50,000 for crosswalk upgrades. That funding currently stands at $930,000 due to carry-over funding from 2016 and 2020.
Additional funding could be made available through ICBC’s Road Improvement Program.
The cycling program’s funding currently stands at $1.17 million, with additional funding potentially available through BC Active Transportation grants. Staff propose using 25 per cent of that budget to retrofit existing bike lanes to meet AAA (All Ages and Abilities) standards.
Projects identified as priorities under the “walking infrastructure program” are:
• Janzen Street and Union Avenue from South Fraser Way to Victoria Street – new sidewalks
• Vinewood Street and Mayfair Avenue from Ware Street to Sandalwood Crescent – new sidewalks
• Gladwin Road – new crosswalk by Centennial Park Elementary and new sidewalk and crosswalk in area of Bevan Avenue and Gladwin
• Blueridge Drive from Ennsbrook Drive to Townline Park – new sidewalk and two new crosswalks
• Third Avenue – new sidewalk on north side of the road
• Babich Street – new sidewalk by Terry Fox Elementary
• Laburnum Avenue at Palfy Park – new sidewalk and crosswalk
• Whatcom Road and Lower Sumas Mtn. Road – crosswalk upgrade
• McMillan Road and Sandon Road – crosswalk upgrade
• McKee Road at Ledgeview Golf Course – new crosswalk
Projects identified as priorities under the “bike lane program” are:
• Salton Road to Parkview Street via the Historic Downtown – construct a new cycling route and retrofit existing bike lanes to buffered lanes
• DeLair Park to Historic Downtown – bikes lanes on South Fraser Way, replace existing sidewalk on Sumas Way with multi-use path, and bike lanes on DeLair Road
• Marshall Road from Clearbrook Road to Emerson Street – new bike lanes
• Gladys Avenue from George Ferguson Way to Highway 11 – new bike lanes
• Laburnum Avenue from Immel Street to Exbury Avenue – replace sidewalk with mutli-use path
• Hillcrest Avenue from Clearbrook Road to Gladwin Road – reduce Hillcrest to three-lane cross section and add bike lanes