Saskatoon releases update on growing the city to meet the needs of 500K people

Part of Saskatoon’s growth plan to 500,000 people includes a bus rapid transit system. City of Saskatoon / Supplied

Saskatoon has released an update on how the city is preparing to meet the future needs of a city with 500,000 people.

Mayor Charlie Clark said it starts with engaging people and having conversations with them on how they foresee what the city will look like in the future.

“The growth plan is about making sure that people of all ages and abilities can get to where they need to go, it’s about creating a community that supports a high quality of life for everyone, and it’s about making sure that our growth is smart and sustainable for future generations,” Clark said in a statement.

“This community engagement is important because by having conversations with people who live, work and shop in these areas, we can make sure that the details of the plan work for people now and in the years to come.”

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The City has created a 10-year action plan to advance a number of core initiatives in the growth plan, including a bus rapid transit (BRT) system and changes to existing Saskatoon Transit services.

The City and HDR Corporation have completed an existing conditions report and are now working on an economic analysis for a BRT, including a cost-benefit study, station design, and a park and ride strategy.

The report will include a plan for re-configuration of the transit system.

Staff are also nearing completion of a 3D model of the BRD red line, part of the corridor planning program, which will help them guide future site-level development regulations and guidelines.

People will be able to see how the red line looks when a large map is unveiled at the Western Development Museum on March 7 between 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. CT.

The proposed red line would run west from downtown to a future station in Blairmore, east to a future station in Holmwood and northeast to University Heights.

City officials hope to engage the public further on that date.

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“Being prepared for future growth requires us to start city-wide conversations now, which is why Saskatoon is putting people at the centre of our planning,” said Lesley Anderson, the city’s director of planning and development.

“We’re asking big questions now so that we are able to pursue smart and sustainable growth into the future.”

The BRT functional plan and detailed design is expected to be complete by this spring.

Preliminary work on the project could begin as early as this summer.

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