On November 7, 2016, Council approved the project plan for the 1st Avenue Improvement Project. This project is budgeted at $4.285 million and includes the removal and replacement of curbs, sidewalks, lights, trees, bollards, and furnishings.
The scope of this project is for streetscape improvements over three blocks of 1st Avenue and will include wider sidewalks with a decorative strip and concrete banding detail, bump outs at street corners for pedestrians, complete with textured enhancements and tactile warning strips. The curb alignment will be pushed out towards centreline complete with new and relocated catch basins and the removal and replacement of the trees. The streetscape will be furnished with new litter bins, bike racks, benches, bollards, and light fixtures. The new lights will come with banner brackets, banners, basket brackets, baskets, irrigation, and power.
Construction for the project is set to begin in Spring 2018 and be completed by the end of the summer.
The construction will take about 5 months to complete and will be phased as shown below:
Removal of Trees: all three blocks – April 16, 2018
Phase 1: Horne Street to Welton Street – April 17 to June 8, 2018
Phase 2: Welton Street to James Street – June 11 to July 26, 2018
Paving: Murray Street to Welton Street (night work) – July 15 to 17, 2018
Phase 3: James Street to Grand Street – July 30 to September 20, 2018
Paving Parking Lanes: base lift, Phase 3 (day work) – September 5, 2018
Milling Asphalt: all remaining pavement restoration (night work) – September 10 to 11, 2018
Paving: all remaining pavement restoration (night work) – September 11 to 12, 2018
Line Painting: all three blocks – following paving September 2018
Typical hours of Construction will be Monday to Friday 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Please note that this construction schedule and sequencing is subject to change. Businesses will be able to remain open during construction with only minor interruptions to access.
The 1st Avenue streetscape design will incorporate baskets with drip irrigation, planters, and plantings from end to end. In addition to the softscape, the plan will include hardscape and furnishings such as lighting, seating, trash receptacles, bike racks, removable bollards, mixed textures and colours; including concrete, unit pavers, and tree grates. We will also be wiring the landscape for seasonal lighting among other uses.
Hanging baskets can contain an array of perennials with opportunity for festive annuals to be added. Plantings can be themed throughout the year based on seasonal interest or event displays. Selected plants can also offer a trailing habit to create a cascade effect of colour from each basket, adding pops of colour along the streetscape.
Salt and pollution tolerant plants provided in mass at intersections will soften the experience of busy intersections. Plants will be specified that can be easy to maintain at an appropriate height that is safe for pedestrians. Largely evergreen backdrop plantings will provided good green structure. Edges near the sidewalks and corners offer opportunities for additional feature planting beds.
Boxes can contain primarily evergreen plants with some seasonal planting for colour interest and programming. Planter boxes can be located at fixed intervals and will add to an overall ‘softened’ streetscape experience.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design
- The proposed lighting package is robust and of a quality that will prevent “negative shadows” or less visible spaces within the streetscape.
- The proposed plantings are focused at a low height (1’-2’), and are textural (have a sense of movement and openness), to prevent crouching and hiding spaces. Plantings also comply with TAC restrictions where applicable for sight-lines of drivers. Where larger planting material is proposed, it will be centrally located as a backdrop and designed to prevent hiding, crouching spaces, or opportunities for spaces where illicit activities could occur due to sight-line issues.
- The proposed landscaping scheme is to have smaller material at edges, that can grow vigorously but prevent visual barrier, or a sense of constricted open sight-lines.
- Standards for tree canopies (the level where the branching occurs) are specified to begin at 6’. This will allow drivers an unrestricted view of the corridor, and maintains clear sight lines for pedestrians.
- Trees and lights are spaced far enough apart to prevent negative shadows or blockage of light from tree canopies.
- Street furnishings such as bike racks and benches with center-rests have been chosen and located so as to provide dedicated visible spaces for bike parking (which can prevent theft) and provide opportunity for temporary seating use while preventing long-term loitering or undesired use of the space.
- There was focus to keep sight-lines vast and inviting, with priority on streetscape animation through baskets, banners, site furnishings, and lighting. This will help attract opportunities for extended business hours and use of the streetscape for business and community purposes. A higher street presence from the community will deter illicit activities from occurring.
Additional Downtown Development Initiatives
The Mission Downtown Development Incentive Program is a package of incentives designed to assist with investment in commercial and residential development projects within the Downtown Core. They include taxation and fee related considerations, flexibility on parking requirements and building height, as well as facade and signage improvements to both new and existing buildings.