British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada. It is Canada’s third-most populous province with a population of approximately 5 million. Due to the province’s rugged and varying terrain, British Columbia relies on an extensive network of provincial highways to connect its communities. Many cities and towns within the province have adopted Complete Streets policies including Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, and more.
In June 2019, British Columbia published its Active Transportation Strategy which outlines the importance of a Complete Streets approach in its mission to create safe active transportation networks.
The Active Transportation Strategy provides three key pathways to increase active transportation. The key directions have also been further categorized as short-term actions (less than a year), medium-term actions (1 to 2 years), and long-term actions (more than 2 years).
Key direction 3 states, “Working together and planning for the future: Policy and planning should support integrated, comprehensive active transportation networks” (p. 12). Its initiative mentions “common planning and design guidelines for active transportation” which also includes the importance of a complete streets approach (p. 24). The province encourages communities to incorporate Complete Streets into their local transportation frameworks.
The Active Transportation Design Guide was published in 2019 by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. The document provides design and planning guidelines and mentions complete streets under the environmental considerations section (p. B-16).
The complete streets section provides street classifications, nine types of street zones, and types of diverse street users for active transportation, with an emphasis on cyclists (p. B17-B23).
Throughout the guide there is a commitment to complete streets, with implementation and performance monitoring strategies. There is also a section on how land use design is vital to the level of connectivity of a neighbourhood.