Media Release - Complete Streets Needed as Part of Mayor's Hays 2.0 Plan

Dear Editor,

Vehicle-pedestrian crashes and near misses happen too often on the streets of Prince Rupert.  Most recently, a pedestrian was struck on October 3rd.  Many people talk about feeling uneasy walking, cycling and driving here, especially in the dark, but also in broad daylight.  Everyone has a scary story to share and some of those stories end tragically.  We can change this situation.

People sometimes argue that crashes would not happen if everyone would just obey the law, use common sense, wear reflective clothing, etc.  However, according to the American Journal of Public Health, with the exception of campaigns directed at children, road safety education campaigns are ineffective.  On the other hand, changing the way we design our streets is HIGHLY effective in reducing pedestrian-related crashes.  Changes such as intersection bulb-outs, pedestrian-controlled intersections and protected bicycle lanes reduce pedestrian-related crashes faster, more effectively and for less money than campaigns aimed at changing people’s fashion choices.  Simple street modifications bring immediate benefits for relatively little money.

‘Complete’ streets are streets designed for all, ages, abilities and modes of travel.  On complete streets, speeding has come down by up to 75%, pedestrian-related crashes have been reduced by up to 80% and crashes that do happen are less severe for everyone.  Parents feel comfortable letting their children bike to school and into town; elders and people with mobility impairments can access sidewalks and cross streets easily; taking the bus is pleasant and convenient, and drivers get to their destination safely.

Mayor Lee Brain will be unveiling more plans for Hays 2.0 on November 22nd and he is inviting Rupertites to get involved.  Let's let the mayor know we need safer, more accessible and more enjoyable streets for everyone.

Chris Lightfoot

Complete Streets for Prince Rupert Featured in North Coast Review

One day after officially going online, Complete Streets for Prince Rupert received coverage in Prince Rupert news blog, North Coast Review.  We feel NCR summarized our project fairly well.  One correction of note, however: The author states "...[T]he group outlines how it is committed to undertake a comprehensive new Transportation Master Plan...."  This makes it sound as if CS4PR would be the group to write the new Transportation Master Plan (TMP).  However, this would not be the case.  Part of what we are advocating for is that the City adopt explicit Complete Streets language in its new TMP.  Professional urban planners and City staff would be responsible for writing this document.  Fortunately, there are many excellent examples of Complete Streets policies to borrow from in Smart Growth America's The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2016.

New Direction in Federal Grant Funding Friendly to Complete Streets Principles

Priorities for federal infrastructure grant funding will take a new direction, according to  the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, the Federal Minister responsible for infrastructure and Communities.  Fortunately, this new direction appears favourable to building complete streets in Prince Rupert.

Grant applications that aim to achieve the following outcomes should be viewed most favourably:

1. Increase the rate of economic growth in an inclusive and sustainable way;

2. Improve environmental quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase resiliency of communities

3. Improve mobility in Canadian communities;

4. Make Canadian communities more inclusive and accessible;

5. Manage infrastructure in a more sustainable way. 

View our slideshow and learn more about how Complete Streets contribute to acheiveing the above goals in communities all over North America.

Proposed Bypass Paves Way for Traffic Calming Downtown

At present, McBride Street and 2nd Avenue West are currently under Provincial Highways jurisdiction.  This limits the City of Prince Rupert's ability to make changes to these routes.  Also, with so much Port traffic on these roads, major street modifications, for example road diets, are unlikely to happen (Bulb-outs and pedestrian-controlled intersections may be another matter.).  However, with the Port of Prince Rupert now dedicated to building a route for heavy traffic that completely bypasses downtown, the City of Prince Rupert comes one step closer to achieving municipal jurisdiction over McBride Street and 2nd Avenue West.  If The City is able to regain control over McBride St. and 2nd Ave. West, the potential for quality of life improvements that would accrue by making them safe and comfortable for people of all ages, abilities and modes of travel becomes a greater possibility.