Port Coquitlam historic downtown gets street makeover

McAllister Avenue to be turned into a one-way street to allow for multi-use path and a wide pedestrian concourse

Port Coquitlam's downtown will be a little livelier with a planned revitalization of McAllister Avenue set to start construction next spring.

Work will transform the historic downtown street into a walkable, tree-lined road that will draw people into the city centre, according to a city press release., with the project costs of abut $4.5 million paid for out of capital reserves, development contributions and applications for grant funding.

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But to accommodate the pedestrian thoroughfare, McAllister will be down to one-way traffic between Shaughnessy Street and Mary Hill Road.

As well, parking will only be permitted on one side of the street, with angled spots available, according to plans.

The hope is the changes approved by PoCo will create a distinctive streetscape without affecting traffic along McAllister between Shaughnessy and Mary Hill. 

A multi-use path for walkers and cyclists is planned for the street’s south side, with a wider pedestrian concourse on the north side. Driving and parking areas will be delineated by different surface materials and physical barriers such as removable posts and planters. 

 

Council selected a streetscape concept that should have limited impact on the area's current and future traffic, while also retaining a large portion of the on-street parking, said the city.

“We have all seen examples around the world of amazing streets that complement and promote adjacent commercial uses and are bustling with activity and excitement,” stated Mayor Brad West in the press release. “McAllister will be a showcase in our community, with unique features seen nowhere else in Port Coquitlam. The improvements will activate the space, creating a unique outdoor and social environment that is a destination for the community.” 

Plans also include the extension of Donald Pathway through the area, anchored by a plaza at McAllister.

 

 Together, McAllister and Donald Pathway will be key features connecting the downtown, according to Coun. Dean Washington.

“It will bring a fresh new appeal to our downtown and set the tone for the redevelopment we’re looking for there,” said Washington, council’s designate for downtown matters, in the press release. “Our downtown is a special place in our community and needs to be treated as such. We’re taking a leadership role here to signal to future investors the type of downtown we’re working to create.” 

McAllister Avenue now.
McAllister Avenue now. - Google

 

A multi-use path for walkers and cyclists is planned for the street’s south side, with a wider pedestrian concourse on the north side. Driving and parking areas will be delineated by different surface materials and physical barriers such as removable posts and planters. 

To reinforce the feel of a large open-air plaza, overhead wires will be buried and underground drainage will be installed to allow for a level street surface, providing greater flexibility for events. Electrical hookups will be added to support food trucks and entertainment without the need for generators.

Funding for the project is already included in the city’s capital budget, with the detailed design scheduled to be completed this year, and construction in 2021, with the project completed by the end of the year.

Parking changes could result in the loss of 14 spaces, according to the city, but that could change with refinement to the detailed plans.  

In the coming months, the city will also be considering options for extending the Donald Pathway through the downtown, which may include adjustments to adjacent areas such as Veterans Park, Leigh Square and City Hall to better interact with the new amenities and the vision for the downtown. 

The work follows the path set out in the downtown concept plan, adopted in late 2018, that envisions redevelopment of selected under-utilized properties to make way for tree-lined streets and paths, apartment-style housing and a mix of existing and new shops, businesses and restaurants.

McAllister Avenue plans.
McAllister Avenue plans. - City of Port Coquitlam

The city also continues to work with Quarry Rock on its proposal to redevelop the parking lot and adjacent lot at 2241-2251 McAllister Ave. with a mixed-use building featuring street-level commercial space and four storeys of housing above, including family-friendly units.

Quarry Rock owns property where a fire razed Martha's Bakery and Cafe.

 

 

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