The City of New Westminster is commencing construction of phase one of the permanent Agnes Greenway active transportation corridor, which spans between Dufferin Street and Seventh Street. Construction will start mid-July 2022 and is expected to be completed in December 2022.

Thanks to generous funding from TransLink, and an Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant from the Province of British Columbia, this $3.2 million infrastructure improvement will work to realize important priorities of the City of New Westminster, encouraging the use of sustainable transportation modes, providing opportunities for healthy and active movement around the City, as well as enhancing the public realm and identity of this community.

“This is an exciting milestone for the City of New Westminster. The Agnes Greenway was first envisioned 10 years ago in the Downtown Community Plan,” said Mayor Jonathan X. Coté. “This project is part of the City of New Westminster’s commitment to sustainable transportation, climate emergency response, and the creation of accessible active transportation infrastructure that allows individuals of all ages and abilities to move around our community safely whether they cycle, walk or roll.”

The existing greenway was built in the winter of 2021 as a temporary installation, designed to give area residents and visitors a chance to experience the walking, cycling and rolling pathway and to provide valuable feedback to help shape the permanent design. The goal of this engagement was to finalize a design for the Agnes Greenway that is safe, comfortable, and accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

“Building safe and convenient traffic-separated multi-use paths like the Agnes Greenway will make it easier for people to choose zero-emission ways to travel, like walking or cycling,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn. “The Agnes Greenway is part of Transport 2050’s vision of connecting communities and making sustainable transportation options more attractive through an 850-kilometre Major Bikeway Network.”

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The final detailed design is based on what the City of New Westminster heard from the community and neighbourhood users through two rounds of public engagement in 2021, as well as technical analysis by the project team. It includes a two-way protected lane for people cycling and rolling, improved spaces for people walking and sitting and will be similar in size and configuration to the existing temporary greenway with no changes to traffic flow from the current configuration on Agnes Street.

There are several design features that differ in the final detailed design from the interim treatment reflecting the priorities and preferences heard from the public and stakeholders. These include a raised crosswalk across Agnes Street connecting to Blackwood Street, closing off Blackwood Street at Agnes Street to provide space for public amenities such as seating, a water fountain, and a dog parklet. The greenway will also include other design features such as bike racks and green infrastructure, including a rain garden and stormwater tree trench to reduce impacts on our sewer network.

“Creating safe, environmentally-friendly and sustainable connections in urban areas is an important step towards decreasing our collective reliance on passenger vehicles,” said MLA Jennifer Whiteside, MLA for New Westminster and Minister of Education, on behalf of Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “I’m pleased that our government can support the City of New Westminster’s latest effort to improve liveability for its residents by enabling active modes of transportation like walking and cycling.”

The Agnes Greenway was identified as a priority in Council’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan and the Downtown Transportation Plan adopted by Council in August 2020. Through the upcoming Pattullo Bridge replacement, the Agnes Greenway will connect directly to the Victoria Hill neighbourhood, the Central Valley Greenway, and to Surrey via the new bridge. A future phase of the greenway will connect to New Westminster SkyTrain Station and the Riverfront Esplanade.

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Featured image: (City of New Westminster)

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