Open house Sept. 18 on the future of Prairie Avenue

The city of Port Coquitlam hosts an open house on Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. to discuss roundabouts, parking pockets and more trees down the northside road.

If you live on the north side of Port Coquitlam or travel Prairie Avenue often, the city wants you to imagine what it would be like to walk, cycle or drive down the road in five years.

The year 2024 is when the municipality hopes to finish updating the stretch between Shaughnessy and Fremont streets, adding trees, parking pockets and other features.

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Next Wednesday, residents and business owners can pick one of three options, and give feedback on the proposals, at an open house, to be held Sept. 18 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the Hyde Creek recreation centre; an online survey (portcoquitlam.ca/prairie) will also be up until Sept. 30.

Here’s what’s on the table for the three-kilometre corridor, which currently sees about 13,000 vehicles a day:

• Option 1: the “least invasive” plan — keeping the existing sidewalks but creating parking pockets and boulevards on both sides of the street (the south side without trees), at an estimated cost of $3.5 million;

• Option 2: building parking pockets, a new sidewalk on the north side of the road, an un-treed boulevard on the north and a multi-use path on the south side, at a cost of $5.1 million;

• and Option 3: constructing parking pockets, raised vegetated medians plus a new sidewalk on the north side of the road and multi-use path on the south side, at a cost of $6.7 million.

As well, six Prairie intersections are under review for roundabouts, a traffic calming measure that avoids the use of traffic signals: Shaughnessy ($316,000); Oxford ($68,500); Wellington ($66,500); Newberry ($21,000); Cedar ($72,000); and Fremont ($52,000).

“As a primary entry point for the north side, Prairie Avenue definitely deserves some care and attention, particularly east of Coast Meridian,” said council's finance and budget liaison, Coun. Dean Washington, in a release. “We want to consider all the options and information, including public feedback, before deciding on the best approach.”

Meanwhile, Prairie Avenue property owners — some of whom have installed permanent structures or landscaping on city road allowances and boulevards — were notified by mail this week about the upcoming changes and open house; should the road project proceed, their amenities will have to be removed, the city said.

The Prairie Avenue construction is expected to start early next year and will also include utility updates and a new multi-use path from Fremont Street to Burns Road; work on the stretch from Coast Meridian Road to Fremont would take place in 2021/’22 while the Shaughnessy to Coast Meridian rehab is scheduled from 2022 to ’24, depending on funding.

••••

In other Prairie Avenue news:

PoCo’s committee of council approved bids for three new duplexes at its Tuesday meeting.

It forwarded a report to council recommending a rezoning at 1021 Prairie Ave., which would see the current home razed and part of a rear lane built (from Finley Street) for the two-storey duplex.

Should the application proceed, a restrictive covenant would be placed on title to prevent a secondary suite from being added, planning manager Jennifer Little told council in response to its concerns about illegal residential units around the city.

As well, the committee approved two development permits for side-by-side duplexes at 1831 and 1833 Prairie Ave., replacing an older, single-storey duplex straddling the lot line. Both of the new duplexes will have a similar — and unique — design, with the entrance to the back unit at the side (see rendering below). 

with duplex rendering for 1831 Prairie Ave.

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