Q: Why is the Town undertaking this project right now?
A: The town is undertaking this project for two reasons: one, to establish design standards (street and sidewalk design, street furniture placement, pedestrian space and safety, and public infrastructure) for downtown streets (including Beacon Avenue) that can be implemented as redevelopment, capital planning, and other opportunities arise; and two, to develop urban design standards that would improve the relationship of buildings to the streetscape and the space between buildings, recognizing that the downtown will be home to a variety of land uses in close proximity.
Q: What is "active transportation"?
A: Active transportation is any mode of transportation propelled by physical activity, but primarily it refers to walking or cycling.
Q: How can we accommodate cycling and walking as well as cars?
A: For years, cyclists have been required to share streets with large, fast-moving vehicles. Through this project and other on-going initiatives, the Town of Sidney is identifying opportunities to enhance on-road bicycle travel by creating dedicated lanes for cycling and, in some cases, providing physical separation between cyclists and motorists. Similarly, walking conditions will be enhanced by creating wide sidewalks, physical separation between sidewalks and vehicle travel lanes (i.e. boulevard), appropriate pedestrian crossing locations, and a generally enhanced urban aesthetic through street trees, landscape, furnishings (e.g. benches, garbage bins, etc.), and wayfinding.
Q: What does ‘streets for people’ mean, exactly?
A: “Streets for people” is the idea that streets are, in fact, public spaces and under the Town of Sidney’s jurisdiction. While they must maintain vehicle circulation, they also possess great potential to better accommodate walking and cycling, beautify the downtown area, and provide spaces for public gathering. The Town is continuing to explore opportunities to achieve broad objectives by thinking about “streets for people” through this project and other on-going initiatives.
Q: What will happen to parking downtown?
A: Downtown parking will continue to be provided on-street and in off-street lots. The Town will work to ensure public parking (on-street and off-street) is managed for the betterment of the overall downtown, recognizing the needs of businesses, residents and visitors. Appropriate supplies of off-street parking will also be required as part of future land development.
Q: Will businesses be affected during this process?
A: This process is designed to create streetscape and urban design standards that can be implemented in the future. Therefore businesses will not be affected while the standards are being developed.
Q: What are streetscape and urban design guidelines?
A: Streetscape and urban design guidelines are standards that are created to help give structure and more defined expectations for new developments, which work together with broader guiding documents such as the Official Community Plan (OCP) and Land Use Area Plan (LAP).
The streetscape standards would include street and sidewalk design, street furniture placement, and pedestrian space and safety, while considering public infrastructure and how these elements enhance and interact with one another. The urban design standards for buildings would include frontage design and policies/guidelines to encourage best practices for building placement and design in the context of a growing downtown area.
Q: It seems like the Town is working on other similar projects. How are they all related?
A: The projects that the Town are currently undertaking are connected in different ways. The study areas for the Parking Study, Density Review Study, Downtown Waterfront Vision, Sidney Westside LAP, and Downtown Streetscape and Urban Design Standards project are all connected physically by Beacon Avenue. Many of the projects overlap in terms of study areas as well as context. For example, the Density Review Study, Parking Study, Downtown Waterfront Vision, and Downtown Streetscape and Urban Design Standards are all focused primarily around the downtown core. Additionally, aspects of each individual study effect other projects, such as the relationship between density and parking or businesses being effected by the connectivity between the waterfront and the downtown.
While the projects are connected in some regards, they will each be individual projects, with different timelines and their own public participation events. Please check the projects and initiatives page for more information on each individual project.