Owner: City of North Vancouver  |  North Vancouver, BC


About the Project

ISL delivered a precedent setting Complete Street project for the City of North Vancouver (CoNV) by prioritizing safety and movement in a constrained corridor by embracing European design principles including raised and separated activity mobility lanes, widened pedestrian walkways, continuous sidewalks and protected intersections.

Esplanade is a regionally significant Major Road Network (MRN) and Frequent Transit Network (FTN) corridor, hosting numerous transit routes, commercial vehicles, and some of the highest volumes of pedestrian and cycling numbers within the CoNV. Design incorporated the first ever installation of protected intersections within the CoNV, connecting the Esplanade corridor with the broader AAA Mobility Network.

The project is the first of its kind to integrate the findings of the 2020 Victoria human rights tribunal ruling to remain accessible for people with vision disabilities into the floating bus stop design. In conjunction with TransLink and MOTI, the work has contributed to the development of enhanced design guidance for bus stops adjacent to protected cycling infrastructure.

Another regional first, Esplanade is the first multimodal complete street delivered on an MRN segment through an urban commercial high street area. It provides an important precedent for data collection that can support narrowed lanes and slower speeds on other urban MRN corridors across the region.
Sustainability is built right into the project. Space beneath the newly raised mobility lanes provided double the standard soil for street trees, nourishing the urban canopy. Water from mobility lanes and sidewalks is directed into the planting bed and tree zone bioswales providing natural filtration of runoff before it finds its way to the storm system.

Esplanade’s thoughtful design maximized all aspects of the infrastructure upgrades while adding a sense of place for all users. It has been transformed into a destination as much as a safe corridor for travel.


Faced with corridor limitations, user separation was prioritized in high-conflict areas to enhance safety. ISL employed European-inspired solutions to address safety and mobility within the restricted space:

RAISED & SEPARATED ACTIVE MOBILITY LANES: The street’s redesign features one-way active mobility lanes, elevated, and buffered by landscaping between sidewalk and roadway, accommodating various speeds and devices while narrowing at intersections and bus stops to minimize pedestrian conflicts and reduce collision risks.

WIDENED WALKWAYS & CONTINUOUS SIDEWALKS: Now raised over former vehicle lane interruptions, prioritize pedestrian safety by enhancing driver awareness and reducing vehicle speeds in conflict zones.

PROTECTED INTERSECTIONS: A first for CoNV, enhance user safety by offering safer crossings, shorter pedestrian distances, and tighter vehicle turning radii, effectively slowing corner speeds, and connecting the Esplanade corridor with the AAA Mobility Network.

MULTIPLE FLOATING ISLAND BUS STOPS: Support efficient and reliable transit operations while removing conflicts between transit vehicles and cyclists.

IMPROVING TRAFFIC FLOW & MANAGING SPEEDS Esplanade is the first regional multi-modal complete street to be delivered on an MRN segment through an urban commercial high street area to incorporate a tightened urban roadway cross section to support slower vehicle speeds with a 40km/hr design speed, while providing sufficient space for large trucks and buses.


Esplanade’s transformation into a vibrant destination street emphasizes the importance of a long-term, integrated approach that prioritizes safety, mobility for all, and community impact. Its success incorporated many design firsts for the City and region that improved traffic flow, speed management, and user safety within a restricted space. Innovative design elements included prioritized user separation in high-conflict areas, floating bus stops and tightened urban roadway cross sections.

    Service(s) Provided
    Civil Engineering and Construction Services
    Transportation Planning and Engineering
    Landscape Architecture
    Electrical Engineering
    Environmental Services

    Project Team (Consultants)
    PBX Engineering


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