Bike lanes, boulevard sought in Spadina redesign

The City of Chilliwack is recommending a $2.8 million road improvement plan for the section of Spadina Ave.

The City of Chilliwack is looking at changing the parking pattern on Spadina Avenue and adding a central boulevard down the centre. Council has asked bike lanes be included in the plan.

City council wasn’t willing to let go of the idea for bike lanes.

They were discussing a $2.8 million road improvement plan for the section of Spadina Avenue, between Corbould and Ashwell, at the Tuesday council meeting.

It’s in the city’s 10-year capital plan to spruce it up.

They’re tentatively looking at 2017 with the idea of amping up the aesthetics with street trees, and green space in a centre island separating the two lanes of traffic.

Coun. Jason Lum praised the preliminary design, and then inquired about the possibility of bike lanes being incorporated into it.

He was told initially by staff that bike lanes were typically only added to roads with higher traffic volume.

But Mayor Sharon Gaetz pressed the issue, saying they weren’t quite willing to “let go” the idea of bike lanes quite yet.

Council wants to encourage people to get on their bikes, she added, and requested staff to take another look to see if the bike lanes could be accommodated.

“We do want to give assurances to the development community,” she noted, “but we want to be able to give assurances to the community, too.”

The Spadina redesign, with a pedestrian corridor, would mean taking out 13 of the existing 265 parking spaces, used by attendees of sports and cultural events at the Landing site. They looked at various options, with considerations that included maintaining parking functionality, but with angled parking, in part as a nod to those with future development plans in that specific block of Spadina.

The goal of the road improvement plan was to mirror the treed section of Spadina to the east, often noted for its beauty by the public.

Staff agreed to look at how bike lanes could be added to the preliminary design by consultant firm of Aplin & Martin.

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