Complete Streets for Canada

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Clearwater, British Columbia

Complete Streets Approach

The District Municipality of Clearwater is a small, rural community of just over 2,000 people.  In 2013, they conducted a Road Network Rationalization Study, which resulted in a Complete Streets approach to roadway design, although the term itself is not used.  The study developed a new road hierarchy and classification, based on each road's primary function and surrounding land use.  Three road types were identified: Urban Collector, Rural Collector and Local.  

These new road classifications were implemented through a Road Cross-Section Bylaw, created "to provide a guideline for designing roads that accommodate all modes of transportation: walking, cycling, driving, and shared spaces" (Clearwater Road Network Rationalization Study and Draft Bylaw, p. 10).   The bylaw requires that: 

  • "active transportation connections shall be provided for access through the subdivision to schools, playgrounds, parks, shopping centres, transit, beaches and other community facilities or for the proper circulation of active transportation traffic" (4.4.4c)
  • "for active transportation modes, as good or better connections must be provided compared to motor vehicle travel, such that distances for active transportation modes must be equal or less than distances for motor vehicle traffic between the same two points" (4.4.4d)

In addition, maps designate three context areas based on surrounding land uses: Village Centre, Suburban Core Area, and Natural, Rural.  The primary function of a road is also classified from the user's perspective:  primarily for mobility (uninterrupted travel), access (some interruptions) or destination (many interruptions).   Based on these and a number of additional characteristics, space types are established, which are then demonstrated through sample cross-sections.  

The by-law was adopted by Council in 2013 as the District of Clearwater Subdivision and Development (Highway Standards Bylaw No. 111, 2013).  The Road Network Rationalization Study included a proposed implementation plan for the retrofitting of existing roadways that extends until 2030.  


British Columbia