A committee has approved taking the next step in developing a downtown transportation strategy.

The goal is to make the area more vibrant and pedestrian-friendly.

Josette Eugeni, the city's manager of transportation planning, says a study will look at a balanced transportation network that optimizes space for everyone including vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians.

"We're not looking to prevent vehicle access, but create that pleasant balance where everyone has opportunities to choose different modes of transportation and they're all supportive and integrated," Eugeni said.

Coun. Fulvio Valentinis, who represents the downtown area, says a downtown transportation strategy is much needed.

"This is the opportune time to be looking at this. You've got the major initiatives in terms of the aquatic centre coming downtown, the university moving, and we need to look at our whole transportation system downtown and coming to and from," he said.

Work on a study is expected to start next spring, after a consultant is hired. The cost of the consultant and study is expected to be less than $100,000.

Coun. Ron Jones supports developing the action plan.

He says downtown would benefit from the same type of improvements just completed on Wyandotte Street around the university.

"Talk to some of the businesses there. They are realizing that people are frequenting their establishments," Jones claimed.