Come & Grow: Saskatoon to Host City-Wide Community Open House March 7
The City invites the entire community to come out to the Western Development Museum on Wednesday, March 7 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to learn, engage and see future directions for our city.
A wide range of Plan for Growth projects will be on display to provide a significant update and engagement opportunity for the public. There will also be a chance to learn the latest developments on the Imagine Idylwyld and Active Transportation/All Ages & Abilities (AAA) projects that are currently underway. The event has something for everyone, including fun for kids, snacks and a chance to shape our city’s future!
“Investing in public transit infrastructure improves commute times, reduces air pollution and helps ensure everyone has access to public services and job opportunities,” said the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. “I’m pleased that Saskatoon residents will have the opportunity to see the progress being made on this important initiative and get involved in shaping their city’s future.”
“The federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, which the Government of Saskatchewan administers in the province, helps cities like Saskatoon improve and position their community for the future. Saskatchewan’s municipal partners having access to this federally-funded program helps move forward initiatives like Saskatoon's Plan for Growth,” said the Honourable Warren Kaeding, Minister of Government Relations.
His Worship Charlie Clark, Mayor of Saskatoon, emphasized the importance of all levels of government and residents coming together to continue the conversations about Saskatoon’s growth so that it is smart and sustainable for future generations.
“Saskatoon continues to be among the fastest growing cities in Canada – we have a tremendous opportunity to shape this growth towards becoming a model prairie city that gets it right. This will require ensuring a range of comfortable and efficient options exist for transportation, including transit, cycling, driving and walking.
It also means ensuring more balanced growth and the revitalization of our city center. Projects like Imagine Idylwyld are about building vibrant corridors for people and new developments to occur around. The rubber is hitting the road as detailed designs of the Growth Plan are being developed and we all need to work together to produce the best plans for our city, today and into the future.”
The City’s current Plan for Growth projects include: the new Transit Plan including Bus Rapid Transit (BRT); network reconfigurations; concept plans for future Transit Village locations; a Corridor Planning Program to drive transit-oriented development; and the development of a Brownfield Renewal Strategy to enhance future corridor growth opportunities.
“Saskatoon's Plan for Growth charts a course for growth and revitalization that balances and promotes quality of life, sustainability and economic development. It touches many aspects of everyday life in Saskatoon – from the creation of more compact and vibrant communities, to the development of business districts, parks and facilities and the delivery of services like transit, roadways and civic utilities,” said Lesley Anderson, Director Planning & Development.
Plan for Growth projects are funded in part under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) from the Government of Canada. The Government of Saskatchewan administers federal PTIF funding in the Province. The City is funding the remainder of the Plan.
Transit Plan Update (BRT / Transit Plan Implementation)
Since the approval of the Preferred Configuration by Council on November 20, 2017, the City has been advancing the Functional Planning process forward. Work is nearing completion on a multiple-accounts economic analysis (includes cost-benefit study), functional plan development, station design, park and ride strategy, and a transit system re-configuration plan. A critical component of these projects is ongoing engagement with the public and impacted stakeholder groups, offering numerous opportunities for participants to weigh in on what matters most.
Since December, a number of stakeholder engagement activities have been completed including 883 responses received for three online surveys, hosting over 100 stakeholders at workshops and the public at an open-house seeking input about the proposed BRT routes, termination points, transit system reconfiguration, station locations and station designs. More information about the project is available at saskatoon.ca/engage/transit-plan.
Transit Village Concept Plan Update
In January 2018, the City held stakeholder workshops to begin the conceptual planning and design discussions for the future transit villages at Confederation Mall, The Centre Mall and University Heights. The workshops resulted in several preliminary design concepts for each location, which were then presented for further discussion and input at a multi-day, public pop-up event at Confederation Mall. The feedback received was used to: draft the Vision and Planning Principles for the Transit Villages program; refine current and develop new concept designs for each location, planning framework information, and open space and movement pathways.
This information will be the basis for continuing the conceptual planning and design conversation on March 7, which will assist in further refinements to the conceptual plans for each Transit Village location. Input from the event will contribute to the preparation of the final Vision, Planning Principles, framework and conceptual plans for each location.
Corridor Planning Program Update
The March 7 Plan for Growth event will provide the first public engagement opportunity for the Corridor Planning Program. The Corridor Planning team will present highlights of the baseline analysis along the corridors which includes: land use mix and business composition; population; jobs; parking; number of dwelling units; Growth Plan to Half a Million dwelling unit targets; and current zoning. This will be the basis for discussions on a range of ‘big’ questions related to: the future mix of land uses and businesses along the corridors; potential building heights; introduction of residential uses; and identification of special places along the corridors that should be preserved and enhanced through the Corridor Planning Program.
The feedback gathered during the event will help the Corridor Planning team as they begin to develop concepts and options for the corridors, including the distribution of density and transitions into adjacent neighbourhoods and ways to improve the public realm. Additional public and stakeholder engagement opportunities for these components are planned for the summer of 2018.
Brownfield Renewal Strategy
Last month saw the City complete soil condition assessments at several proposed BRT station locations along the Red Line Corridor. Preliminary results will be available within the month. The data received will provide insight on the soil quality at the proposed BRT stations, and will provide valuable knowledge on the potential environmental condition of nearby future revitalization zones. The City’s technical expert has also provided Administration with draft Brownfield Renewal Strategy Research and Recommendation Report. The strategy and report are currently under review to have the plan finalized. The information collected from the field assessments, as well as the content from the recommendations report, will directly influence the approach the Brownfield Renewal Strategy will take in its program development.
All Ages & Abilities (AAA) Downtown Cycling Network
The City’s Active Transportation Plan has identified the importance of providing an interconnected system of bicycle facilities that are comfortable and attractive for users of All Ages and Abilities (AAA). AAA cycling facilities physically separate people riding bikes from drivers. As a result, this makes cycling more appealing for people of all ages and abilities by increasing the comfort level and feeling of safety.
When the Downtown Protected Bike Lane Demonstration (23rd Street and 4th Avenue) wrapped up in November 2017, Council directed the Administration to report back on what a complete and connected downtown AAA cycling network would look like in Saskatoon. The development of this plan is underway. It includes consideration of the following: connection to Saskatoon’s wider cycling network; impacts to downtown tenants; integration with other key downtown projects such as BRT and the re-opening of Traffic Bridge.
Over the year, the City has been developing a plan for Idylwyld Drive between 20th and 25th Street East that will: link adjacent neighbourhoods and business districts; make it easier for all users of the corridor to get around; and define Idylwyld Drive as a gateway into the City Centre by cultivating a sense of arrival.
After two rounds of public and stakeholder consultation and several months of technical analysis, the proposed design for Idylwyld Drive is complete. Residents are invited to attend the upcoming Imagine Idylwyld Open House to view the proposed plan and ask questions of City staff and project consultants.