Improving our Street System - Needs & Strategies
Work is underway to find a sustainable, long-term solution that will provide the City of Vancouver with the resources needed to take care of the streets we have. From April to September 2015, a special Commission on Street Funding was tasked with considering available options. The Commission's work resulted in a memo and recommendation report to the City Council.
The City Council will consider the first reading of ordinances to establish a Transportation Benefit District and amend the Business License Surcharge and tax on City-owned utilities - water, sewer, stormwater and garbage - during its regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 26. Information about the proposed ordinances, including staff reports and associated materials, can be found here. With the first readings approved, these items have moved forward for public hearing and second reading at the Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 2, 2015. Attend or watch the 7 p.m. meeting live on cable Channel 23 or online at www.cvtv.org.
Members of the Mayor's Commission on Street Funding presented their recommendations at a City Council Workshop on Oct. 12. You can watch this Council workshop here on CVTV online. Here is some additional information about the recommendation:
For more than two decades, the City has struggled to find a sustainable solution. In 2015, the Vancouver City Council established a goal of addressing the City's long-term street funding needs.View the goal here.
With thorough evaluations and assessments of pavement conditions and street system needs completed, the City Council directed staff to seek input from citizens on potential sources for stable, long-term funding. A Mayor's Commission on Street Funding was also created:
Why Funding Streets is Important
When we talk about our street system, that means from sidewalk to sidewalk. Vancouver's street system includes 1,806 single-lane miles of road surface, more than 3,800 acres of right-of-way property, the operation of 235 traffic signals, nine pedestrian hybrid beacons, tens of thousands of signs, 10 City-owned bridges, thousands of miles of bike and pedestrian facilities, and thousands of miles of lane striping.
Vancouver’s livability, economic vitality, and public safety and emergency response depend on a healthy, viable street system. Key areas are:
- Taking care of what we have
- Improving functionality, mobility, safety and livability
- Upgrading our core arterial backbone
- Investing strategically in economic vitality
Streets are the backbone of all community and business activities and impact Vancouver’s overall quality of life. Our entire street system reflects a major community investment, costly to construct and currently estimated at more than $1 billion to replace.Just like a home or office building, a vehicle or a bicycle, our street system needs ongoing maintenance to continue to serve us now and into the future.
Problems on the Street
Each and every day, thousands of residents, businesses and commuters depend on the City of Vancouver's largest physical asset - our street system - to get where they want to go. Meanwhile, our street system is steadily declining. When pavement fails, it fails quickly.
Across Vancouver, pavement conditions are declining on both major and neighborhood streets. Each year, the City assesses pavement conditions and measures the growing number of streets in distress, with cracks, patches, potholes and other signs of aging and wear. As of 2013, the City had an estimated backlog of more than $130 million in streets needing pavement maintenance and/or full reconstruction. By 2034, that backlog is expected to grow to $250 million.
Citizens are seeing the effects on the street, literally. In past community surveys, citizens' satisfaction levels with street maintenance have fallen and concerns have risen.
In addition to declining pavement conditions, Vancouver also has inherited miles of major streets originally built to rural standards and now in need of upgrading.
At the same time, funding and resources have shrunk. Street projects currently with grants and local dollars in place will be halted once current funding is exhausted.To obtain grants, the City typically must provide local matching dollars. But beyond limited neighborhood traffic calming, there is no dedicated funding to fix substandard streets and improve mobility and safety. No new street projects are anticipated once the current funding we have is exhausted. Funding for regular operations and median and landscape maintenance also have been reduced over the past years, adding to business and citizens' concerns.
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More Background Information
City Council Workshops - Street Funding
- Workshop March 23, 2015 - View video on CVTV
- Workshop Aug. 13, 2013 - View video on CVTV
- Workshop April 16, 2013 -View video on CVTV
- Workshop December 17, 2013 - View video on CVTV
- Workshop September 25, 2012 -View video on CVTV
Planning Commission Informational Update - January 2015
Questions about efforts to address sustainable Street Funding Strategies? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Understanding Vancouver's Street System - Self-guided Streets TripWhether driving, riding or walking, we all rely in some way on our street system to get us where we want to go. Vancouver’s neighborhood livability, economic vitality, and public safety and emergency response depend on a healthy, viable street system. To meet these community needs, the City strives to:
Consultant reviews City street program, recommends addressing future needsThe City of Vancouver is effectively managing the community’s greatest single asset – its street system – according to an assessment by outside consultants who took a thorough look at performance, management and systems, funding needs and available revenues, and a six-year forecast of future needs and revenues.