After feedback from city council, Urban System’s Kristin Bayet, James Donnelly and General Manager of Integrated Services Victor Shopland presented a revised plan for improved transportation in Fort Saint John on Monday.
The living plan – which focuses heavily on repairing/expanding roads and building bike path – was redeveloped to incorporate the council’s thoughts after a previous meeting. Their concerns included bike routes not being very versatile, and where the designated dangerous goods routes would go as more residential areas are built.
“These are the projects that really support the growth of the city,” said Donnelly. “They’re mostly dependent on the growth happening.”
Without a doubt, the city and surrounding areas certainly are growing. Fort Saint John experienced a 4.5% population increase from 2013 to 2014, which some say is attributed to the flourishing economy attracting new residents.
Mayor Lori Ackerman acknowledged that the city’s growth means construction projects will be necessary at some point, but there are other considerations the council must discuss, such as how working with utility companies will impact construction.
Should this plan go through, the expansion of 108th Street is seen as a priority – as was the development of the 105th avenue from 88th the 86th street, which could be completed as part of the Recreation Master Plan.
Coun. Byron Stewart said that development of 105th avenue as an east-west connector could attract drivers to the downtown core, as he believes there isn’t a viable option for commuters to head east-west through downtown efficiently.
“East-West, in my mind … we lack that flow-through of traffic,” Steward said. “North-South, it seems, if you look at our maps, we have more connectors that way than we do the other way.”
Check out the improved plan here.