FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John City Council has voted in favour of the City hosting planning sessions with residents regarding the development of a pedestrian and bicycle greenway along 100th St. through the downtown area.

Victor Shopland, the City’s General Manager of Integrated Services, said in a report that the greenway is part of the City’s downtown action plan to help increase foot traffic in the area near 100th St. and 100th Ave. to bolster livability for residents and businesses.

Shopland said in his report that the greenway as proposed would run along 100th St., connecting to the existing greenway north of 110th Ave. and running south to 96th Ave.

Among the ideas proposed for the greenway include reducing 100th St. from four lanes to three with dedicated lanes for turning, switching to angled parking to increase access to traditional street fronting business, and wider pedestrian/bike paths with green areas and increased tree coverage.

The report proposed that the City hold a “charrette,” which is an intense time-specific planning event that involves multiple stakeholders.

“The purpose of the charrette would be to develop a concept that is acceptable to most of the participating stakeholders, which would include City Council, affected businesses, local community groups, and the general public,” stated Shopland in the report.

The budget for the 7-day charrette, which would likely occur during the first three months of next year, is approximately $450,000.

That budget includes all of the project’s development costs including blueprints, consulting fees, and staff wages.

The City had already set aside $215,000 from this year’s capital budget for the charrette, and on Monday, Council voted in favour of allocating an additional $235,000 from next year’s capital budget for the rest of the planning session’s funding.