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River Parkway transforms Richmond traffic flow

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 4:22 PST, Thu March 4, 2021

Last Updated: 4:50 PST, Thu March 4, 2021

River Parkway, an important new transportation link that will transform traffic, cycling and pedestrian options within Richmond’s downtown core, is opening this Saturday. 

“River Parkway is a critical component fulfilling Richmond’s long-term commitment to a sustainable arterial transportation network,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “Highlighted in our City Centre Area Plan, it will improve traffic mobility and alleviate congestion on existing routes. It will also allow for the future closure of a section of River Road to create Lulu Island Park in the coming years. This 15 hectare (37 acre) park will offer residents, workers and visitors enjoyable access to the natural environment and waterfront of the Fraser River Middle Arm.”

The new parkway comprises a two-lane road and bike lanes on each side protected from the adjacent vehicle lanes with delineator posts to enhance safety. New traffic signals and crosswalks at Leslie Road and Cambie Road, paved pedestrian walkways and LED streetlights are also included.

To improve pedestrian and cycling access to River Parkway, an off‑street, multi-use path on the south side of Cambie Road between River Road and No. 3 Road was also completed. This provides safe access to/from the Middle Arm Greenway, River Parkway and the Aberdeen Canada Line Station.

The cycling lanes and the off-street multi-use path were partially funded by TransLink’s capital cost‑share programs with municipalities to support cycling and walking improvements, and further advance the city’s active transportation network and infrastructure.

“TransLink is pleased to support projects like the new River Parkway, which will make cycling and walking in Richmond safer and more comfortable while providing a great new connection for our customers to connect to the Canada Line and buses at Aberdeen Station,” said Jeff Busby, TransLink’s acting vice-president of engineering. “The role we play in creating a more livable region goes far beyond transit. As the regional transportation authority, our job is to improve Metro Vancouver mobility, accessibility, and connections so that people will have access to green, safe, convenient, and accessible transportation options like the River Parkway extension.”

The River Parkway extension will:

enhance traffic flow at the existing River Road-Gilbert Road intersection by eliminating the interim River Road connection next to the Dinsmore Bridge

provide an appealing multi-modal travel corridor for transit, cyclists and pedestrians

facilitate the opening of the Gilbert Road southbound to eastbound left turn movement onto River Parkway

improve overall traffic circulation in the City Centre by completing the north loop road,  providing a continuous viable alternate route to No. 3 Road and existing River Road

  facilitate the future development of the 15 hectare (37 acre) Lulu Island Park where the existing River Road is located

support the city’s commitment to reduce vehicle trips and encourage safe, alternative modes of transportation by improving cycling and pedestrian infrastructure along the corridor.

When the River Parkway opens on March 6, there will be no through traffic from River Road to Gilbert Road, meaning, all access to businesses will now be from Cambie Road. A new cul-de-sac will be constructed at the southwest end of River Road in the coming months.

The ultimate parkway configuration, which will be achieved through future re-development of abutting properties, comprises a four-lane major arterial road with centre median/turning lanes at intersections, treed-lined boulevard, off-street cycling paths, and sidewalks.

The cost of the overall River Parkway project came in under budget at $13.2 million with funding from TransLink of up to $2.55 million towards the cycling and pedestrian components. Funding for the balance of the project is sourced from Roads Development Cost Charges (DCCs) from developers.

A video featuring the River Parkway is available to view at www.richmond.ca/news.

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