Road to Health: Improving Walking and Cycling in Toronto is a Healthy Toronto by Design Report, one in a series of reports on how local communities in Toronto shape the health of their residents. The Improving Walking and Cycling in Toronto report is a collaboration with Toronto Public Health and City of Toronto, Transportation Services.
It is a great read, and Chapter 5 – Strategies for improving active transportation in Toronto provides some good strategies that would be helpful for Sudbury to implement. It really highlights that it is extremely important that we get active transportation as a core component of our Official Plan, and that the city starts developing implementation plans and budget allocations for active transportation. Sudbury missed the boat for the 2013 budget as there are no distinct allocations to pedestrian or cycling infrastructure in the budget. But if we all get our message to Council that we need changes, perhaps the city can “find” money as it too often does for other projects.
In the Toronto report, page 49 “presents actions that have been demonstrated to increase active transportation safety and mode shares in other cities
• Making active transportation safer
– Reducing vehicle speed limits
– Traffic calming
– Separating pedestrians and cyclists from traffic
– Increasing safety at intersections
• Making active transportation more attractive
– Route quality and speed
– Transit integration, especially in suburbs where active transportation distances are longer
– End-of-trip facilities
– Marketing and education programs
• Enabling active transportation through land use planning
– Destination accessibility, street connectivity and density
• Making active transportation more accessible
– Walking and cycling facilities for vulnerable users
– Affordable housing in vibrant communities
– Culturally competent community-based programs”
There are a number of things that Sudbury can do right away, including making a commitment to include active transportation as a key component of the next Official Plan, formally adopting the Sustainable Mobility Plan, beginning work on its promise to make the city the most pedestrian-friendly city in Ontario by the year 2015, finding monies in the 2013 Roads Infrastructure budget for pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, making a commitment to build proper cycling and pedestrian infrastructure into all road projects, ensuring that cycling and pedestrian users are consulted and included in all aspects of infrastructure changes in Sudbury, and using the suggested actions listed above to drive decision-making for the next year.
It will take a bold and courageous council to direct these types of changes in Sudbury.
To note, Sudbury’s Transportation Study review report, part of the Official Plan review, has been significantly delayed. Its original release date was September 2012, with the intent being that information in the report could be used to assist with the 2012 budget deliberations. The last date that we were given was mid-January 2013. It is now February 2013, and there has been no word as to when the report will be released for public review, nor any explanation as to why it’s been delayed for so long. Let’s hope that it is worth the wait, and that the report will be supportive of the changes that are required in Sudbury for a better and safer walking and cycling experience.
To read the Toronto Improving Walking and Cycling report, see our Cycling Documents section on the right sidebar, or click here: Report