Provincial funding has paved the way for the city’s plan to make the Agnes Greenway permanent.
The province has announced New Westminster is receiving $500,000 in cost-shared funding to build the Agnes Greenway, a 1.2-kilometre, multi-modal transportation corridor that is designed to allow people to safely walk, wheel, and cycle along Agnes Street. The project will feature a protected two-way bike lane, improved sidewalks, as well as trees and street furniture.
“The funding will support construction of the permanent Agnes Greenway infrastructure between Douglas College and the Pattullo Bridge,” explained Mike Anderson, the city’s acting manager of transportation. “The current facility on Agnes Street is only temporary and will be replaced with permanent measures, including new curbs (to replace concrete barriers and plastic posts), traffic calming, green stormwater infrastructure, and landscaping.”
New Westminster MLA Jennifer Whiteside and Queensborough-Richmond MLA Aman Singh say the funding means people in New Westminster will soon benefit from better active transportation infrastructure that will safely connect neighbourhoods to parks, schools, and town centres.
“People need more opportunities to walk, wheel, and cycle to work and school safely,” Whiteside said in a news release. “Investing in the Agnes Greenway will not only support active commuting, but also give people more ways to visit and support our downtown businesses.”
New Westminster is one of 33 Indigenous and local governments across B.C. that are receiving funding for shovel-ready projects intended to increase the number of people walking and cycling and to improve the safety of vulnerable road users.
“In order to meet our goals for a cleaner, greener province, we need to make active transportation a safe and easy choice for more people to make,” Singh said. “Projects like the Agnes Greenway, that encourage walking and cycling, will make our community more resilient to the challenges of climate change.”
The City of New Westminster completed construction of the interim Agnes Greenway in January. At the time, city officials told the Record the “quick-build” process used low-cost, temporary design elements.
In February, the city launched sought feedback on the Agnes Greenway before it was made permanent. The greenway will include a two-way protected bicycle lane for cyclists, improved sidewalks for pedestrians, and new landscaping, trees and street furniture, such as benches.
According to Anderson, construction of the permanent Phase 1 greenway is expected to begin early in 2022.
Phase 1 runs along Agnes Street, starting at Dufferin Street in the east and connecting south onto Lorne Street before terminating at Carnarvon Street. Phase 2 will extend the greenway to the New Westminster SkyTrain station and the Fraser River esplanade, connecting the Victoria Hill neighbourhood and Pattullo Bridge replacement to SkyTrain and the waterfront.
Lisa Leblanc, director of engineering, told the Record in January that Phase 2, which will extend the greenway an additional 550 metres west to 10th Street and south to the riverfront, is a few years off.
“We anticipate completion of Phase 2 in alignment with redevelopment of properties at Eighth Street/Carnarvon and completion of the Bosa Pier West site on the riverfront,” she said. “That will be several years from now.”