A big opportunity: Let’s do it right!
The City of Fort St John is starting a process to plan for the replacement of 100 Street: our pipes are aging and need to be upgraded. Last summer’s water main break was a clear indication that the time has come.
We know there’s no easy way to do that (read: lots of digging). We know that construction will have real impacts. We also know that the street upgrades will significantly improve the heart of our downtown. If we’re lucky, we get this chance once in a lifetime, and it’s important that we do it right. And we know that – if the construction is phased and managed properly – these impacts can be much easier to handle.
We recognize that 100 Street must continue to operate as a major transportation corridor within the city – functional for people and cars – and, at the same time, it can be made more attractive and enjoyable in support of a strong and vibrant downtown.
The planning process will help determine the best design for all the different people who use 100 Street – this means businesses, shoppers, drivers (and delivery vehicles), pedestrians & cyclists, and visitors.
The goals of this project are to:
- Upgrade our City’s infrastructure* to support our community for the next 100+ years (*transportation & servicing corridor, including vehicular & pedestrian movement, potable water, sanitary sewer and storm water systems)
- Rebuild 100 Street to make it safer for pedestrians and drivers
- Update 100 Street with improvements including street trees, lighting and furniture
- Carefully manage construction impacts over the life of the project
- Provide more enjoyable spaces to spend time downtown (patio cafes, etc.) and connect key destinations like Centennial Park
- Maintain on-street parking to provide convenient access to shops
- Support our local economy and downtown businesses
At the October 15, 2019 Committee of the Whole meeting, Council was presented the final 100 Street Corridor Plan. Based on the presentation and the work completed to date, Council endorsed the 100 Street Corridor Plan and directed staff to continue with construction document design while clarifying right-hand turn movements through the Greenway precinct.
It has been just over one month since the Let’s Talk 100 Street Design Charrette. While the team continues to work on the final report, we have created a short video recapping the final presentation.
The slides from the Final Presentation can be found at https://letstalk.fortstjohn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Charrette-Final-Presentation-web.pdf
Today, the Charrette Team continues to develop the preferred concept for the public presentation tomorrow afternoon between 1 and 3 pm at the North Peace Cultural Centre. Watch the video to learn more about the project.
Today, the Charrette Team continues to develop alternative concepts to both two and three lane configurations. Based on the feedback we have heard, both the full closure and the current condition options are not being explored further due to lack of public support and not aligning with the project principles. In addition to everything we have heard, last night’s Alternative Concept Pin-up provided further feedback to be incorporated into the development of these concepts. Join us tonight between 5:30 and 7 pm at the North Peace Cultural Centre for a Preferred Concept Pin-up and provide your input. Included are two concepts on how the improved public spaces could be activated and used.
WHAT has been decided already? WHAT’s up for discussion?
We need to upgrade our water and sewer infrastructure under 100 Street and this must happen through extensive construction work. This much we know.
Beyond the “curb to curb” functions (vehicular travel and below-ground utilities), there is much to discuss. The need to improve 100 Street – to make it safer and more enjoyable for pedestrians while energizing the downtown – is a clear community priority reflected again and again in the City’s long-range Official Community Plan, Strategic Plan, Transportation Plan, and Downtown Action Plan.
While the mandate is clear, no specific designs are decided at this point.
Who’s paying for this?
Similar to other capital projects, this project will be funded with Peace River Agreement funding including the planning, design, and implementation of the 100 Street upgrades.
While construction is underway, the City will work with local residents, property and business owners to implement management measures, including:
- re-routed traffic patterns;
- temporary parking;
- servicing access; and
- campaigns to support downtown business owners.
The construction will happen in planned phases, starting at 96 Avenue, and progressing north to 110 Avenue.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the work on 100 Street going to increase my taxes?
100 Street will be a capital project and funding may come from a variety of sources including the Peace River Agreement, grants, and the City’s reserve funds. Project funding will be decided by Council.
Will all of 100 Street be dug up next year?
No, the project will start at the intersection of 96 Avenue and 100 Street (at the northwest corner of Centennial Park) and head north. The entire project is expected to be phased over 4 to 5 years. Although the phases are not set in stone at this point, it will likely be two blocks per year.
Is the design already decided on?
No, the upcoming intensive design process (the charrette) will take all the input collected from the community and create a number of design options. The charrette process will get us to a preferred option and plan during the 5-day event.
Fixing 100 Street isn’t going to solve all the problems – what about parking? The vacant lots?
The 100 Street project represents an enormous investment in revitalization… and gives us an opportunity to consider many contributing factors to making a safer, more functional and beautiful downtown. Also in the works are a Downtown parking study, Tree Canopy Study, Business Improvement Area Framework and Business Mitigation Plan.
Is the City putting in bike lanes on 100 Street? Angled parking? Reducing lanes?
The design will be created through the upcoming charrette (June 11 – 15). While there are general goals for the project, no design ideas are pre-determined.
If I can’t go to the charrette, how can I provide input?
Through the Let’s Talk webpage, but we encourage the community to attend the public sessions to see the design options evolve.
How much will this cost?
Costs are directly related to the preferred design. Costs will be calculated once the design is determined.
Why not just replace the pipes and put it back the same?
The time and investment to replace underground pipes is required whether or not we make changes to the above-ground streetscape. We are designing for the future of Fort St. John. This is a once in 80 years opportunity to change the face of 100 Street.
Can my business stay open during construction?
Yes, since the construction is happening in planned phases, businesses can stay open. Careful planning will ensure that services like water and electricity stay on for business during each construction phase.
When can I start using the sidewalks and road?
As soon as construction is complete for that phase it will be open!
How will the City mitigate impacts from construction?
The City will work closely with businesses in the downtown core to anticipate issues and develop response plans. Communications will be key for businesses and the community at large. We are working on a Mitigation Plan.
This is all news to me… Why have I not heard about this?
In addition to the direct mail outs, local advertising (eg. local news, web ads, social media), workshops, pop-up information sessions and a public open house; much of our awareness is raised through work of mouth.
Participate in this project by attending the 100 Street Design Charrette happening June 11-15 at the North Peace Cultural Centre…. and help spread the word!
As a first step – well before any construction begins – the City is undertaking a major planning and consultation exercise. We hope you’ll join us in exploring options, developing concepts, and creating a plan!
Businesses and property owners along 100 Street are being contacted individually to invite them into the process, and the public will have multiple opportunities to share ideas and concerns with project staff through open houses, workshops, lectures, and walking tours.
Sign up for consultation updates at the bottom of the left column on this page and take a look at the “Get Involved” tab for dates and times of public consultation events.
Past Engagement Opportunities:
Front Door on 100 Street Workshop
April 16 | 6-8 pm
North Peace Cultural Centre
This workshop is only for businesses and property owners along 100 Street. RSVP your attendance to firstname.lastname@example.org
Open House (public)
May 7 | 5-8 pm | Drop-in
North Peace Cultural Centre
This first public event is for discussing and gathering information on what matters most for the future of 100 Street. Information collected at the open house will help create actual 100 Street designs during the Design Charrette in June. Open to everyone interested in the project.
This survey asks for YOUR input on what works well and what needs improvement on 100 Street. Your feedback and suggestions about 100 Street will help create concept options during the Design Charrette in June. For more project information view the May 7 Open House Panels.
Design Charrette (public)
North Peace Cultural Centre
This is a 5-day intensive design process that takes all of your ideas from the May 7 Open House, and progresses them into a draft plan. There will be public lectures, walking tours and workshops, and daily public open houses so you can check in on progress, review concepts, and share your ideas. Open to everyone interested in the project.