Binning – West 16th Corridor Improvements

Binning Road Connection is complete. Construction will begin in February 2015 on the Wesbrook Mall Roundabout Safety Enhancements.

Description

The following changes are being implemented to improve safety and circulation in the neighbourhood:

  • An extension of Binning Road to West 16th Avenue
  • A pedestrian crossing across 16th Avenue
  • Safety enhancements to the Wesbrook Mall roundabout

More details on the project design and construction schedule will be posted in the Project Updates below once the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI), the signing authority for this corridor, has approved the projects.

Binning Road - West 16th Avenue Road Connection and Pedestrian Crosswalk

This connection is being implemented to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion, and was identified in the Wesbrook Place Neighbourhood Plan. The road extension consists of a single, one-way, northbound lane to provide an alternate exit point from Wesbrook Place. To be completed separately and at a later date to be determined is a pedestrian crosswalk across West 16th Avenue to Hampton Place.

UBC completed the Binning Road Connection in Fall 2014. Updates regarding timelines for the pedestrian crosswalk will be posted in the Project Updates section below as information becomes available.

Safety Enhancements to the Wesbrook Mall Roundabout

Changes will be made to the Wesbrook Mall roundabout to improve safety. When the project is complete, it will be consistent with the East Mall roundabout with two travel lanes through the roundabout. A travel lane will also be added in the eastbound direction of West 16th Avenue. This additional lane and changes to the roundabout will eliminate the need for lane changes and will allow drivers to focus their attention forward to see pedestrians and cyclists using crossings. Improvements will also be made to the eastbound bus stop on West 16th Avenue, including a new bus shelter.

Project Updates

  • May, 2015 - Construction is nearly complete on the roundabout improvements at Wesbrook Mall / 16th Avenue. Landscaping and finishing touches, including pavement markings and signage, will be completed in the coming weeks. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this construction period. The next and final improvement to the corridor at this time is the pedestrian crossing across 16th Avenue at Hampton Place and the recently completed Binning Road extension. This project is in the early design stage and will require input and approval by the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. We will provide an update as soon as more details are known. 
  • January 27, 2015 – Construction will start on the Wesbrook Mall Roundabout Safety Enhancements the week of February 2nd and is anticipated to be completed in May 2015. The work will be carried out in stages: the first stage will be the work on 16th Avenue east of the roundabout; the second stage will be the work within the roundabout. For the first stage of work disruptions are anticipated to be kept to a minimum. For the second stage of work, more disruptions to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists are anticipated. Traffic control details including detours and closures will be provided here once they are known. Please check this website regularly to plan ahead and avoid disruptions. 
  • January 2015 - Permit to start work on the Wesbrook Mall Roundabout improvements was received in late December 2014. Work is anticipated to start late January or February depending on weather. Updates will be provided here as it becomes available along with road closure information and detours.
  • Oct 1, 2014 The extension of Binning Road is OPEN! The first phase of improvements on 16th Avenue are complete. People can now use the Binning Road extension to exit Wesbrook Village to head towards Vancouver. Some more landscaping will be done in the coming weeks, but otherwise the work is done. The next phase of improvements will hopefully start this fall. Updates will be provided here as we receive them. The photo below shows the completed roadway taken from the intersection of Binning Road and Berton Avenue. 
  • Sept 17, 2014 – Binning Road extension project nearly complete! Finishing pieces of construction for the roadway extension are planned over the next week with the intent of opening the roadway by the end of the month.
  • August 11, 2014 – Permit issued to start work on the Binning Road extension. Crews will be out this week to start preparing the site for construction. The traffic impacts are anticipated to be minimal with this work and pedestrians and cyclists will be accommodated around the work area throughout construction. 
  • June 5, 2014 – Tree relocation process anticipated to start this week. Crews and equipment will be on site to relocate the trees to UBC Nursery or other areas on Campus.
  • May 16, 2014 – Crews will be out on site doing test holes associated with the project. Impacts should be minimal and work is anticipated to be completed in a few days.
  • April 2014 - Site preparation between Binning Road and West 16th Avenue will start immediately to prepare the site for road construction. Trees removed during construction will either be replanted or replaced on campus.

Project Updates will continue to be posted here as they become available.

If you have any further questions about this project please contact, Krista Falkner, Transportation Engineer at 604-827-1552 or krista.falkner@ubc.ca

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This project is being completed to address safety and circulation issues. The improvements being made are to better accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, transit, and motor vehicles. The result will be a safer experience for all roadway users and will accommodate the future population growth in Wesbrook Place occurring over the next 10 years.

General

1. What are the Binning - 16th Ave. corridor improvements and why are these changes being made?

  • Binning Road extension to 16th Ave.: A one lane, one way road with a bike lane will connect from Berton Avenue to 16th Avenue to provide residents an alternate exit point from Wesbrook Place towards Vancouver.
  • Controlled pedestrian crosswalk across 16th Ave. from Binning Road to Hampton Place: The crosswalk will provide access across 16th Avenue for pedestrians, especially school children. The design of the crosswalk is currently under development. Details will be provided, when they are available.
  • Safety and functional improvements to the Wesbrook Mall Roundabout:
    • Removal of one exit lane from the roundabout to Wesbrook Mall northbound. This will eliminate the issue of high traffic speeds around this corner and will narrow the pedestrian crossing from two lanes to a single lane.
    • Addition of an exit lane from the roundabout to 16th Avenue eastbound. This will remove the need for any lane changes within the roundabout and will also address congestion issues approaching the roundabout and within the roundabout. These changes will also bring the roundabout up to current safety standards, making it consistent with the East Mall roundabout.
    • Pavement marking changes are needed as a result of the improvements. All remaining pavement markings will be repainted to improve visibility.
  • Improvements to the Bus Stop on 16th Ave. (east of Wesbrook Mall): The bus stop on the south side of 16th Avenue east of the roundabout will be improved for better accessibility and will also be fitted with a new bus shelter.

2. What is the planned construction timeline for the corridor improvements?

Construction will start as soon as all permits are issued. It is anticipated that site preparation work could start late May with the hope of completing as much of the construction as possible by September 2014, before the busy start of the 2014/15 school season.

3. How will construction affect pedestrians, cyclists and motorists?

All efforts will be made to reduce impacts to all roadway users. There will be some detours necessary to accommodate construction, particularly to eastbound traffic on 16th Avenue. Advanced warning and suggested alternate routes will be provided on the website similar to what was done for the East Mall / 16th Ave. improvement project.

4. Why isn't the speed limit on 16th Ave. corridor lowered to 30 km/h?

The speed limit on 16th Avenue has been set by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure based on the roadway designation; a speed limit of 30km/h is not allowable on this road. However, UBC is currently requesting that the Ministry implement a consistent 50km/h speed limit along the corridor as part of this project.

5. What kind of planning process was undertaken for these corridor improvements?

The Binning road extension to 16th Ave. is implementing planning concepts from the Wesbrook Place Neighbourhood Plan (Dec 2011). The detailed technical designs are created by traffic engineers and are then approved the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI), who controls and approves all designs as owners of these roadways. UBC is committed to informing the community on the project details as they are made available.

Binning Road Extension to 16th Ave.

6. Why is Binning Road being extended through to 16th Ave?

The extension of Binning Road is included in the Wesbrook Place Neighbourhood Plan to provide an alternative exit from the neighbourhood east towards Vancouver. With the growth planned for the neighbourhood this alternative exit will relieve some of the current and anticipated future congestion on Wesbrook Mall approaching 16th Ave.

7. Will the pedestrian path connecting Binning Road to 16th Ave. be changed?

The pathway alignment will change, but a pathway connection will remain with this project to connect the Wesbrook Place neighbourhood to 16th Ave. and the future pedestrian crossing to Hampton Place.

8. Will cyclists be accommodated along the new Binning Rd extension?

There will be a bike lane on the Binning Road extension that will start at Berton Road and connect to the bike lane on 16th Ave. The bike lane will be on the road marked with a painted line and bike symbols like the recently completed bike lanes on 16th Ave.

9. What will happen to the trees that need to be moved to create space for the roadway?

Trees impacted by this work are to be either relocated within the project area or to UBC’s nursery. In the event that any of the trees cannot be relocated, they will be replaced following UBC’s Tree Management Plan, which states viable mature trees must be replaced on campus at a 1:1 ratio.

Pedestrian Crosswalk (at 16th Ave. and Hampton Place)

10. What type of pedestrian crosswalk will be used at 16th Ave. and Hampton Place?

The design and type of control of the crosswalk is not yet confirmed. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is the approving body that will determine the type of control at the crosswalk. Once details are known they will be posted at www.planning.ubc.ca/binning.

11. Will the new crosswalk across 16th Ave. allow cycling through it without dismounting?

It is not anticipated at this time that this crosswalk would allow for cyclists to ride across the crosswalk, but instead require cyclists to dismount and walk their bikes similar to the mid-block crossing at the U-Hill Secondary School and the crosswalks at the roundabouts.

12. Will the pedestrian crossing result in more noise from vehicles accelerating and decelerating on 16th Ave?

There will be some additional noise generated from vehicles starting and stopping for pedestrians using the planned crossing on 16th Ave. However, noise levels from this activity will not exceed typical accepted noise levels for an urban residential neighbourhood.

Wesbrook Mall Roundabout

13. Why do we need a two lane roundabout?

Having two circulatory lanes on the north and south sides of the roundabout (along 16th Ave.) will accommodate future traffic demands and eliminate the need to make lane changes within the roundabout.

14. Will a two lane roundabout result in increased speeds on 16th Ave?

The roundabout has been redesigned to force vehicles in all lanes approaching the roundabout to yield to traffic within the roundabout. This will reduce the speeds of vehicles approaching the roundabout and the likelihood of vehicles being able to speed through freely to turn right.

15. Why do we need an additional lane going east from the roundabout to Vancouver?

An additional lane is necessary to accommodate future traffic demands at the intersection. The lane also eliminates the need for lane changes within the roundabout, which will allow drivers to focus their attention forward to see pedestrians and cyclists using crossings.

16. I've often heard 'congestion is our friend'. Why are we increasing road capacity by adding lanes?

There is a happy median when it comes to traffic congestion. Traffic congestion can create incentives for choosing alternative modes of travel; however, it must not come at the expense of pedestrian safety. Traffic congestion often leads to drivers’ making unsafe choices, such as speeding and not yielding to pedestrians. With anticipated traffic growth in the area, traffic could queue up and block the mid-block pedestrian crossing on 16th Ave. and compromise pedestrian safety. Congestion also leads to drivers using alternate routes, including residential streets. Northbound traffic on Wesbrook Mall already queues up through three pedestrian crossings, making it an unsafe and unenjoyable environment for pedestrians and cyclists wanting to cross the roadway.

17. What factors go into determining how roundabouts are designed?

The main factors considered are a) future anticipated traffic volumes, b) pedestrian and cyclist activity, c) environmental factors such as roadway users’ grades and roadway alignments, and d) the design vehicle, which controls the size of the roundabout.

18. Why do we need a roundabout at all? What’s wrong with a signalized intersection?

Roundabouts are considered to be safer than traditional signalized intersections. They are the first type of control considered when designing an intersection on a Ministry roadway. Only when the design required to accommodate the demands of an intersection is found to be impractical or not feasible is a signalized intersection considered.

19. Are roundabouts really safer than other types of intersections?

Studies show that roundabouts improve the safety of all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists when compared to traditional intersections with traffic lights. They reduce the severity and number of crashes. UBC has observed this trend in its own roundabout at Wesbrook Mall where there has been a 63% reduction in annual crashes resulting in personal injury and a 19% reduction in annual crashes resulting in property damage since this roundabout has been in place.

Roundabouts also reduce vehicle speeds and the number of opportunities for conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians when compared to traditional intersections with traffic lights. For example, before the East Mall roundabout was created, the traffic lights at East Mall and West 16th Avenue had a total of 22 vehicle-pedestrian conflict points (or opportunities for vehicles to hit pedestrians crossing the intersection). After it was converted to a roundabout, the number of vehicle-pedestrian conflict points was reduced to 14.

20. Can cyclists legally ride through the roundabout crossings without dismounting?

Consistent with the crossings at the East Mall roundabout, cyclists have the option to either ride through the roundabout with vehicles following rules of the road, or to leave the bike lane on the approach to the roundabout and cross as a pedestrian to get through the roundabout.