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Big changes coming to uptown New West roads to promote active transportation

City seeking input via online survey and pop-up event
Rotary Crosstown rendering
Rendering of some of the changes proposed for the Rotary Crosstown Greenway.

New West residents are invited to share their thoughts about some of the big changes coming to uptown roads.

The City of New Westminster is launching a second round of public engagement for the Uptown Active Transportation Improvement projects, with input being used to help refine the designs as the project moves towards construction in the summer and fall of 2022. The project team is seeking feedback on the recommended designs for the Rotary Crosstown Greenway upgrades and the New Westminster Secondary School cycling connector.

“The City of New Westminster is committed to creating accessible active transportation infrastructure that allows individuals of all ages and abilities to move around our community safely whether they cycle, walk or roll,” Mayor Jonathan Cote said in a news release. “This isn’t just about adding more bike lanes, but ensuring sidewalks are accessible for individuals with mobility issues, comfortable and safe to use, and include trees, greenery and seating that will make for a better user experience.”

Community members can attend a pop-up event at Royal City Centre on Wednesday, Feb. 16 from 2 to 6 p.m.

In addition, people can provide feedback, until Feb. 22, via a survey at The city estimates the survey should take a total of about 25 minutes to complete – 15 minutes for the Rotary Crosstown Greenway section and 10 minutes for the NWSS cycling connector questions, but people can answer only one of the sections if they choose. 

A city news release states the project team developed the recommended designs based on public input during the fall 2021 engagement process, as well a comprehensive technical analysis.

“We received lots of great feedback and input from the community during the first round of public engagement, including participants’ top priorities for these projects, as well as their preferred design option for the Rotary Crosstown Greenway improvements and routing option for the NWSS cycling connector,” said Coun. Patrick Johnstone, chair of the city’s facilities, infrastructure and public realm advisory committee. “I encourage everyone to participate in the next phase of engagement, where we will further refine the concept and seek input on key design features.”

In January, city council endorsed the preferred options for the Rotary Crosstown Greenway upgrade (between Fifth and Eighth streets) that includes construction of protected bicycle lanes and streetscape enhancements such as street trees and landscaping. Parking would be retained on only one side of the street, but some loading zones may be preserved on both sides of the street for improved accessibility.

For the NWSS connector on Sixth Street, the city is proposing bicycle lanes that are physically protected from vehicles, new bus stop designs, changes to intersections, curb extensions and additional safety measures. This project is taking place on Sixth Street, between Seventh Avenue and the crosswalk at the entrance to the new NWSS.

A staff report said the design of the NWSS cycling connector will provide uni-directional protected bicycle lanes along Sixth Street (a bike lane on each side of the street in the same direction as motorized traffic), with parking/loading prohibited on one side of the street. While this option provides the most direct route and received the highest level of support among people involved in the first round of public engagement, staff noted it will have the biggest impact on transit, traffic and businesses of all the options considered.

In addition to approving the options for the two projects, council also directed staff to implement an interim NWSS cycling connector along Sixth Street that uses high-quality, lower-cost materials to test the feasibility and evaluate impacts of the routing option on transit and traffic operations.

According to the report, a $450,000-budget for engagement and design work on the projects and a $2.5-million budget for construction are included in the city’s 2020 to 2024 financial plan. The interim NWSS cycling connection is projected to cost about $200,000.

“These projects take direction from the vision set in the council-approved Uptown Streetscape Vision, to create ‘a vibrant commercial district with a distinct identity, accessible and sustainable transportation, and inviting and engaging public spaces that are welcoming to all people,” said the staff report. “Additional goals include enhancing the public realm and tree canopy, seeking opportunities for green infrastructure, and reducing the impacts of motor vehicles and through traffic in this neighbourhood, while limiting the impacts to people who rely on on-street parking and loading.”

To learn more about these projects and to provide input, visit

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus
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