What is a Transportation Plan and why do we need one for Queensborough?

    A Transportation Plan is a long-range planning document that outlines a vision and targets for transportation. The Queensborough Transportation plan will identify short-, medium-, and long-term priorities for different transportation modes, including walking, cycling, transit, and driving. The Plan will identify infrastructure projects and include policies, programs, and initiatives to encourage more safe, accessible, and sustainable transportation. 

    The Plan will help to prioritize the City’s budget and guide decision-making in transportation within Queensborough. It will support and further advance the goals and objectives of the Queensborough Community Plan, the City’s Master Transportation Plan, and the City’s Seven Bold Steps for Climate Action.

    To see an example of a local Transportation Plan, click here to access the Downtown Transportation Plan, which was adopted by Council in 2020. 

    What happened with the plan for a pedestrian bridge from the Quay to Queensborough? Will this be included in the Transportation Plan?

    The proposal for a pedestrian bridge from the Quay to Queensborough remains a future long-term project. The pedestrian bridge is a high cost, major infrastructure project that includes many decision-makers beyond the City (such as the Port Authority) and will be a significant challenge to build and maintain.   

    The Queensborough Transportation Plan will include recommendations to improve walkability both within and beyond the Queensborough neighbourhood.

    Why is public transit part of this project when the City does not deliver transit services / does not have control over transit planning?

    While the City does not directly deliver bus and Skytrain transit services, the City has an ongoing working relationship with TransLink, and can make recommendations for future transit improvements. The City does provide transit shelters, benches at bus stops, and sidewalks connecting to bus stops – all of which improve access to transit services . The City also delivers the Q to Q Ferry service, which is operated by a private contractor. 

    The Queensborough Transportation Plan will include recommendations that the City and TransLink can use to make transit more accessible, reliable, and convenient.

    Will the City be talking about expanding roadways as part of this plan? For example, expanding the Queensborough Bridge or building a second bridge connection?

    The City has several Council-endorsed policy documents, including the Master Transportation Plan, and Seven Bold Steps for Climate Action, that prioritize sustainable transportation modes, such as walking, biking, and riding transit. The City of New Westminster is committed to addressing the climate emergency and is actively working towards achieving a zero-carbon future by 2050. While the City is working to make more significant investments in sustainable transportation options, we also recognize that motor vehicles continue to be an important transportation option for many. As such, the focus is on ways the flow of motor vehicles can be improved on existing City roadways in Queensborough, including improved access onto the Queensborough Bridge, which is managed by the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

    How does the Queensborough Transportation Plan connect with the ditch system in Queensborough, and requests from residents that the City cover the ditches and add sidewalks throughout the neighbourhood?

    The Queensborough Transportation Plan will review existing sidewalks and explore opportunities to add more sidewalks in key areas to improve connections to existing sidewalks. The Queensborough Transportation Plan will identify future sidewalk connections and the potential impacts on the ditch system. 

    Residents have expressed a desire for enclosing open ditches with storm sewers. Studies have reviewed the topography of the area and concluded that ditches on many streets can technically be replaced by storm sewers, but the costs are significant. There are also some exceptions: 

    • Some ditches and channels have ecological value, as they are fish habitat or provide food for fish; hence they cannot be enclosed without the engagement of a Qualified Environmental Professional and approval by the province to meet Riparian Area Protections Regulations 
    • Some (most mid-island) ditches are located within very low areas where there is not sufficient slope for a replacement storm sewer to drain towards the pump stations. The adjacent lands would need to be raised before a storm sewer system could be installed.
    • Some ditches act as reservoirs for the four drainage pump stations in Queensborough and cannot be enclosed. 

    Transportation challenges in Queensborough are already well known and documented. Why is the City asking us to repeat what we already know?

    Going into this project, the City is fortunate to not be starting from scratch. We have heard from residents about transportation issues through other projects. However, there may be things that we haven’t yet uncovered or new community priorities. 

    The engagement process for the Queensborough Transportation Plan will put a spotlight on the future of transportation in Queensborough. Additional technical analysis will be done to better understand transportation issues and opportunities today. 

    What are the different types of active transportation facilities that will be considered for Queensborough?

    There is a variety of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure within Queensborough today and others that could be considered.

    • Sidewalks are a space for pedestrians, separated from the roadway usually by a curb. Sidewalks are often concrete but can be asphalt to provide a lower-cost option.

    • Multi-use pathways are facilities that are physically separated from motor vehicles and can be located beside a roadway or within parks and open spaces, including the waterfront. They are wide enough to be used by people walking, cycling, and other forms of sustainable transportation such as in-line skating and jogging.

    • Local street bikeways are streets with low motor vehicle volumes and speeds that have been designed to also accommodate bicycle traffic. Local street bikeways also have a posted maximum speed limit of 30 km per hour, or less.  Typical street treatments can include bikeway signage, speed humps, curb extensions, and raised crosswalks. Because motor vehicle volumes and speeds are low, most cyclists can comfortably share the road with people who are driving.

    • Protected bicycle lanes are bicycle lanes that are physically separated (usually with a concrete barrier) from motor vehicles and from people using the sidewalks.  They are usually seen on busier streets that have higher traffic volumes and speeds. 

    • Painted bicycle lanes provide a separate travel lane for bikes marked by a painted line, a reserved for bikes symbol, and signage. However, there is no physical separation from vehicles. Painted bicycle lanes are not considered comfortable for people of all ages and abilities.