Coquitlam Keeps Moving with Solar and Pedal Power

Coquitlam Solar and Pedal Power from Metro Vancouver on Vimeo.

The City of Coquitlam is expanding its infrastructure – making it easier to ride your bike, park your car, and even charge your phone. And the power of the sun is playing a big part.

Solar Energy Connects in City Centre

“All of our pay stations are solar powered and cellular connected in real time, explains Dan Mooney, Transportation Manager for the City of Coquitlam. “So we’ve got lots of data for statistics as well as enforcement, but there’s no energy consumption at all on those stations and they’re very portable, so where we’ve had to relocate them, it’s a very easy process.”

But you don’t need to be a motorist to benefit from solar power in Coquitlam’s downtown core. A new charging station in Spirit Square, along with public wifi, lets downtown visitors enjoy the outdoor plaza and stay connected.

“In addition to the free wifi that we have at Spirit Square,” says Coquitlam’s Communications and Information Technology Manager Danny Bandiera, “we’ve also added a solar powered charging device, which offers the ability for residents to charge their device while they are having a coffee, or having a chat.”

Cycling Facilities Harness Pedal Power

It’s not just solar power that’s getting attention in Coquitlam. Dan Mooney explains how Coquitlam is making pedal power more accessible, with new bike lanes and other cycling amenities.

“Pinetree Way was recently upgraded as part of the SkyTrain line, so we’ve now got a connection from Guildford Way up to the Coquitlam Central SkyTrain station, as well as Johnson Street was improved from Guildford Way through to the SkyTrain station at Barnet Highway.”

All of those improvements are noted in the new Tri-cities cycling map – which highlights cycling amenities and routes in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody.

“Those new connections join up with existing bike groups that we have on Guildford Way,” says Mooney. “Making a complete and viable network of facilities now, that cyclists can actually go from A to B on a continuous facility.

To help all those cyclists keep rolling, bike repair stations at two popular leisure centres are another recent improvement to Coquitlam’s cycling amenities.

“With having these stations we’re really encouraging recreational play and physical activity and getting outdoors, says Nicole Beckstead, Supervisor, City Wide Fitness for Coquitlam. “So the stations are equipped with Phillips screwdrivers, wrenches, air pump station, so you’re able to inflate your tires or adjust your brakes and get back on the road.”

“The City of Coquitlam is growing,” notes Mooney. “So, we went to promote multi-modes of travel for people, give them options.  It makes them affordable, it makes it more environmentally friendly, and quite frankly, it’s healthier for our community as well.”

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