Western Canadian Municipalities Continue to Incorporate Complete Streets into Official Plans

Image from Town of Canmore

Recent updates for Western Canada and the Prairies to TCAT’s Complete Streets for Canada website added 9 municipalities to the map (6 in British Columbia, 2 in Alberta, 1 in Saskatchewan), as well as updates to 7 existing cities.

All major cities in Western Canada and the Prairies now possess Complete Streets policies or approaches. Edmonton and Calgary remain the only cities in this part of Canada with dedicated Complete Streets guidelines. Vancouver, while not explicitly using the term “Complete Streets” in city-wide policy, is a leader in Canada for its progressive transportation policy. With the recent release of  “Transportation Design Guidelines: All Ages and Abilities Cycling Routes” (March 2017), and a recent city council decision to empower city staff to implement changes without council approval to existing streets to better accommodate cyclists and pedestrians (a power city staff have possessed since 1944 in order to accommodate automobile traffic), Vancouver is well-equipped to undertake Complete Streets transformations.

Many smaller cities and even rural municipalities in Western Canada and the Prairies have adopted Complete Streets approaches and policies as well. Courtenay, British Columbia’s “25 Year Vision for Multi-Modal Transportation” (2014) represents one of the most comprehensive integrations of Complete Streets into a municipal policy document. Canmore, Alberta is another small community with a well-developed Complete Streets policy and a clear and accessible website explaining Complete Streets as a concept, and detailing the Complete Streets projects that have either been completed or are currently underway.

While implementation of Complete Streets varies widely across Canadian municipalities, there now exists a strong policy basis across the country. As Complete Streets policies and approaches become commonplace, it is essential that they be translated into tangible strategies for implementation that are sustainably and adequately funded.

[Cross-posted from Complete Streets for Canada]
Posted On: September 21, 2017