The second phase of Fort St. John’s downtown revitalization plan is underway

“It’s a process which acts on City Council’s priorities to enhance the downtown core as the economic, social and cultural heart of the community,” a City Hall news release said.

 The report goes on to say the Downtown Revitalization Project is an integral part of the implementation of the 2011 Official Community Plan.

 The phase two will identify a range of development design concepts and priorities, for both public and private realms.

 The preliminary preferred streetscape reconfiguration option includes the incorporation of the following changes within the core area of the downtown along 100th Street and 100th Avenue:

Wider sidewalks to accommodate greater pedestrian activity and active commercial frontages including sidewalk cafe seating and displays.

Reduced number of travel lanes along either arterial roadway from two lanes to one lane in each direction.

 On-street parking at the curb.

 A boulevard treatment with a continuous planting of street trees.

 Street furnishings such as benches, receptacles, pedestrian and lighting.

 Reduced pedestrian crossings at key intersections through the use of corner bulbs.

 Signalized pedestrian crossings at key intersections.

 Incorporation of sidewalk/patio cafes, small plaza’s and other pedestrian amenities where opportunities arise through new development; and enhancing the laneway network for access, circulation and loading.

 The above option includes reducing the existing four lane cross-section within the downtown area to a three lane cross-section, with the middle lane used as a two-way left turn lane (TWLTL Median) between major intersections and as a standard left turn only lane at key intersections. In addition, this centre lane may be used for temporary snow storage during the winter months. On-street parking is also a priority within the area and is expected to be maintained along all roadways. Finally, to promote pedestrian movements, safety intersection bulbs are proposed at all intersections along 100th Street and 100th Avenue

 All of these changes are expected to form the foundation for an implementation framework, which will allow the downtown area to play a key role in improving the quality and livability of the community as it undergoes anticipated growth over the coming years.

 The Phase One report, entitled “Downtown Planning – Baseline Inventory and Analysis” is available on the cities web page at www.fortstjohn.ca and can be found under the City Hall tab in the reports and plans section.