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City seeks to beautify Lower 12th

Calling it “underdeveloped” with a car culture, the city has come up with some ways to spruce up lower Twelfth Street.

A report going before council on Monday says the plan is for the neighbourhood from Fourth Avenue down to Columbia to be high-density with a mix of residential and commercial, and pedestrian friendly.

“The area is currently under-developed and characterized by low-density automobile-oriented uses that do not create a pleasant pedestrian environment,” said the report.

A recent proposal by a church to redevelop the site at the corner of Third Avenue and Twelfth Street spurred the city to come up with some guidelines to create attractive streetscapes that are conducive to walking and cycling while accommodating development, greenways, commerce, transit and utilities, said the report.

It proposes several initiatives, including:

• Curb bulges to make it more comfortable for pedestrian crossings and allow more landscaping;

• Improved lighting on Twelfth and Third;

• Putting the lights, signs and parking meters on boulevards, leaving the sidewalks clear;

• Bus shelters

• Putting parking access and utilities along enhanced lanes called Mews to reduce the impact on major arterial streets;

• Putting electrical wires underground as properties develop;

• Bike lanes;

• Gateways at the intersection of Twelfth and Stewardson, and Twelfth and Third Avenue, which would include a landscaped plaza to be integrated with a potential development of the Gas Works site.

The report, which seeks approval in principle from council before going to stakeholders and committees for review and feedback, said as developments come along the city could collect cash-in-lieu payments for streetworks that could be accumulated to pay for a coordinated soil contamination remediation for the area.

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