Prairie Avenue Improvements

Major pedestrian safety and streetscape improvements are coming to Prairie Avenue, starting with the section from Coast Meridian Road to Fremont Street.

On April 7, 2020, City Council approved the concept design for Prairie Avenue between Shaughnessy and Fremont Streets that will include wider sidewalks, street trees, curb extensions, crosswalks, lighting and roundabouts. No additional traffic lanes are planned. The project will also include construction of a three-kilometre multi-use path from Shaughnessy Street to Burns Road.

The three-kilometre stretch of Prairie Avenue between Shaughnessy and Fremont Streets  sees more than 13,000 cars per day and is a critical connector for residents and businesses living and traveling on the north side of the community.

In addition to enhancing safety and function, the improvements will support the beautification and future redevelopment of the north side business area.

Work Begins in Spring 2020

For the first phase of the project, east of Coast Meridian Road to Fremont Street, utility works will start in spring 2020 to prepare for construction of this section in 2021. Improvements will include:

  • Parking pockets and curb extensions located strategically on both sides of the road at crosswalks and in areas with high pedestrian traffic,
  • A flashing beacon at the Vincent Street crosswalk,
  • A total of three kilometres of landscaped boulevards, both with and without trees,
  • 8 kilometres of new sidewalk on the south side, and
  • Roundabouts at Newberry, York and Fremont Streets.

In conjunction with the roadworks in 2021, construction is also anticipated to start on the eastern portion of the multi-use path that will eventually stretch from Shaughnessy Street to Burns Road. The timing is pending provincial environmental approvals related to a waterway near the site between Fremont and Burns.

Upgrades for the section between Shaughnessy Street and Coast Meridian will be considered for the 2023 Capital Program.  

Background

As part of the planned rehabilitation works on Prairie Avenue, the City has been considering additional improvements along the corridor to meet the community’s future needs.

This corridor is a primary entry point for the north side neighbourhoods and commercial zone, yet lacks modern streetscape features in many areas. Additionally, traffic congestion has continued to increase along the corridor.

In 2017, the City allocated funding in the Capital Program for road design and construction improvements. Design options and concept plans were developed in 2018 and 2019, with the work including traffic studies, and a review of best practices.

At the June 11, 2019 Committee of Council Meeting, staff were approved to proceed with public consultation on the planned improvements.

Three options with a variety of configurations were presented to the public for feedback in September. The approved concept design is based on a fourth option that reflects public feedback and traffic analysis data.

Features

A variety of modern streetscape features will be introduced along Prairie Avenue. No additional traffic lanes are proposed.

Some of the features are shown below, with details provided in the staff reports linked on this page.

Construction Impacts

Work will begin in spring 2020 east of Coast Meridian Road. Utility works are scheduled to begin in spring 2020, with the roadworks beginning in 2021.

Every effort will be made to carry out the work with as little inconvenience as possible. Some of the potential impacts are noted below.

Boulevards

Some Prairie Avenue residents have installed permanent structures or significant landscaping on the City road allowance or boulevard (the space between the road edge and property line). Examples include sprinkler systems, walls, fences, and large trees and hedges.

While these types of enhancements may be common, they are not permitted by the City’s Road Boulevard Maintenance Bylaw, and may be in the way of planned improvements based on the option and features chosen.

In these cases we will work with the owners, providing them with appropriate advance notice if they wish to remove their features before any work takes place.

Click here for more information about the rules for boulevards.

Parking

The introduction of curb extensions and crosswalks for pedestrian safety will delineate street parking (creating “parking pockets”) and have a nominal impact on the number of available spaces. There are an estimated 646 parking stalls along Prairie from Shaughnessy to Fremont (322 on the north, 324 on the south).

We approximate that parking along the corridor would be nominally decreased for option 1 (-25) and option 2 (-7), and increased in option 3 (+52).

Traffic

Construction will cause some waits and detours, but the City will work to minimize the inconvenience to drivers and corridor users. Alternate routes will be provided and scheduling will take into account peak traffic hours.

Construction Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As with all construction work taking place in Port Coquitlam, strict provisions will be in place to ensure workers are following all public health requirements, which differ slightly for construction sites and essential services than those for the public. The city is closely monitoring updates provided by health authorities and will take any necessary action directed by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

 

Project Timeline

The following timeline may be affected by weather and other variables.

  • 2018-2019: Research and development of design concepts
  • September 2019: Public consultation: open house Sept. 18, online survey Sept. 3-30
  • November 2019: Staff report with recommendations to proceed to detail design; Council decision
  • Spring to fall 2020: Utility works from Coast Meridian Road to Fremont Street
  • Spring to fall 2021: Road works from Coast Meridian Road to Fremont Street
  • Spring to fall 2021: Multi-use path construction from Fremont to Burns (timing dependent on provincial environmental approvals)
  • Spring to fall 2023: Road works from Coast Meridian Road to Shaughnessy Street

Contact

Engineering & Public Works
Tel: 604.927.5420
Email  engineering@portcoquitlam.ca