New Westminster will consider ways of improving safety and accessibility on a section of the B.C. Parkway.
Council approved a recommendation from the city's advisory committee for transit, bicycles and pedestrians to direct city staff to explore short-and long-term options to resolve the safety and accessibility concerns affecting the portion of the B.C. Parkway that's located between 14th Street and Fifth Avenue. In addition, staff will continue to discuss the situation with TransLink and Southern Rail.
The committee has raised concerns about safety and accessibility because of high volumes of traffic, the considerable truck traffic on Stewardson Way and the narrow width of the pathway that's next to Stewardson Way. Cyclists and pedestrians use the 26-kilometre path that runs parallel to the Expo SkyTrain line.
A staff report states that an unused rail track immediately south of the SkyTrain guideway would provide an alternate alignment away from Stewardson Way traffic, but it requires approval from Southern Rail.
Coun. Jonathan Cote said the B.C. Parkway provides a beautiful bike route, with the exception of this one section.
"There is one block where you are literally riding on the sidewalk beside all the trucks on Stewardson," he said.
Cote said all the safety issues would be "gone in a second" if the path could be moved.