City Council Highlights

Below are some of the highlights from the December 2023 Council and Committee meetings. The full reports can be found at saskatoon.ca/meeting.

Review of Minimum Parking Regulations

There currently is a minimum number of parking spots required on new developments. The number is based on occupancy and building type. Following direction from City Council, Administration will examine the possibilities of eliminating the minimum number of spots required to be built. This is also known as open option parking. It is important to note that accessible parking spaces would still be required.

 Businesses or developers would determine the number of spots that are required to make their business operate properly or the number of parking spots needed for residents to want to buy units in a housing project.

 Often, with parking minimums, a large amount of space is used for parking where other developments could be made. Residentially, this is often seen in Affordable or Senior’s housing projects where the number of people using vehicles is far lower than the required number of parking spaces to be provided.

 During this review, Administration will research and gather feedback on potential locations or building types where it may make more sense to retain some level of minimum standards.

 I want to recognize that this is something that has been brought forward for the committee to consider, quicker than originally planned for.

 There’s been lots of learning from other cities and a high level of collaboration from members of the housing sector in our community.

Here is some additional information from the City of Edmonton that was presented during their review of parking minimums.

 I’m supportive of pursuing this review and reducing as many barriers as possible, to help do our part to alleviate pressures on housing.

Connecting Avenue C: Walking and Cycling Improvement Project

City Council voted to send the Ave C project to the detailed design phase. At this point, no funding has been allocated to have construction proceed.

This project is about creating a safe and accessible north/south connection through the city, as part of the City’s Active Transportation Plan.  Avenue C is one of the most continuous streets connecting the Meewasin Trails at the River all the way to the North Industrial Area. 

While being a continuous connection, another advantage of Avenue C is that it already has some reduced speeds , traffic calming, and signalized crossings at most major roads.  For most of this corridor, there does not need to be new bike or sidewalk infrastructure built because it is already a street that is traffic calmed. 

During Council deliberations, it was identified that the biggest challenges to implementation will be north of Avenue C in the industrial area.  There will be more work to do to establish a way forward that best meets the needs of the businesses, pedestrians and cyclists while still ensuring the road can carry the vehicle traffic that it carries.  The reality is that there are already people trying to navigate that area on foot and bicycle, and that it is not a safe environment to do so now. 

This project would meet the goals of connecting multiple neighbourhoods and areas of the city with a north-south corridor. This is one step, with much more work to be done from here to make this a good project for our city

Neighbourhood Bikeways 30 km/h Speed Limit Policy

According to the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC), neighbourhood bikeways are suitable for streets where motor vehicle speeds are 30km/h or less. It is important that we continue to implement road safety for all users and that there are connections throughout the city for All Ages and Abilities (AAA). The reduction of speed to a maximum 30km/h allows bikeways to be considered as AAA Facilities.

 Saskatoon currently has 4 approved bikeways that are scheduled for construction or in the process of being constructed.

  • 23rd Street West (Vancouver Ave N to Ave C North)
  • Dudley Street (Ave P to Spadina Cr W)
  • 31st St West (Ave W N to Idylwyld Dr N)
  • 14th St E (Saskatchewan Cr E to Cumberland Ave S)

 These Bikeways are on local streets with low traffic volumes. As local streets, drivers from the surrounding area would experience the reduced speed limit for short distances only. There are nearby collector or arterial streets which are better suited for connecting drivers beyond a few blocks and into different neighbourhoods.

 As we look at how to continue the work of implementing the Active Transportation Network, I’m hopeful we can find common ground that will increase safety for all users in a cost effective way, that is a win-win for drivers, bikers, and pedestrians.

And more…

City Council approved two residential lane closures. One along Rutter Crescent and the other along Anderson Crescent. These have both been closed for a number of years, but with these approvals, more permanent infrastructure will be installed to reduce speeding in the lanes and shortcutting through the neighbourhoods.

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