Smiths Falls Beckwith Street Revitalization – Ontario, Canada
- Town of Smiths Falls
$8 million for Phase 1
Transportation, Urban Development
Design And Urban Planning, Engineering, Program/Construction Management (PM/CM), Sustainability
Beckwith Street has for over 100 years served as both the traditional “mainstreet” and Ontario provincial highway through the Town of Smiths Falls, Ontario. In 2021 and 2022, the street was transformed in a manner that no other small town in Ontario (or perhaps Canada) can boast.
With our assistance and inspiration as the municipality’s planners and design engineers, a 600m-long section of the corridor now frames the historic downtown as a contemporary complete street.
The street now provides wider sidewalks, cycle tracks, on-street parking, and public realm elements. While doing this, it also maintains two lanes for motor vehicle traffic. The revitalized “complete street” serves the interests of businesses, residents, and through traffic alike.
Re-Designing Streets For The Future In A Historic Context
As the underground infrastructure came due for renewal, the Town of Smiths Falls sought to transform Beckwith Street in support of the current and future needs of the community. The Town embraced our complete streets approach. By doing this, they made a bold decision to feature raised cycle tracks and protected intersections for safe cycling. Wider sidewalks and generous streetscaping are also provided to support this vision. Space for these complete street features were afforded based on the findings of our traffic safety evaluation. The findings indicated significant safety and accessibility concerns associated with the existing angled parking. We recommended it be replaced with more space-efficient parallel parking. Additionally, a key priority of improving accessibility in this aging small community resulted in accessible design features including tactile warning strips, seating, accessible on street parking spaces, shortened crosswalks, and contemporary traffic signal solutions being implemented.
Following the completion of Phase 1, the project was the recipient of the inaugural Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) 2022 Small Municipalities Achievement Award.
The revitalization of Beckwith Street prepares for the future needs of the community through a sustainable approach for which safety and accessibility are paramount. Smiths Falls’ aging population is well supported by accessibility design features which meet and exceed the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Sustainable modes of transportation are encouraged through enhanced active transportation facilities and an inviting public realm. Importantly, a safety-first approach prioritizes a gold standard of cycling facility design and reconfigured on-street parking.
Our Leadership Role
As the lead design engineers, we exhibited our urban street design expertise by completing the community planning and functional design process for the entire project, and the preliminary and detailed design process for Phase 1. We provided the following services:
- Project Management
- Corridor Study and Options Analysis
- Accessible Design
- Multi-modal Transportation Analysis
- Functional Design, including Class C Cost Estimates
- Public and Stakeholder Engagement
- Preliminary and Detailed Design
- Municipal Water and Wastewater Design
- Contract Administration, Inspection and Engineering Services During Construction
For more information about the Beckwith Street Revitalization, see the Transportation Association of Canada Small Municipalities Achievement Award page and the Town of Smiths Falls’ YouTube page.