At the end of September, the SCU submitted their response to the Transportation Study Public Input Center held in June 2013. We were one of many organizations who were critical of the process, of the lack of consultation, and of some of the choices that were presented for review.
In our submission, we asked the City to implement a framework that would drive the decisions around the implementation of Sudbury cycling routes. We want the City to:
- Entrench a Complete Streets Policy into the Official Plan, and ensure that its 10 policy elements are incorporated.
- Create and implement a Cycling Strategy that will drive cycling budgets and implementation plans.
- Create and implement required policies and implementation plans, including
- Yearly proactive investments to complete the Active Transportation Network,
- Mandated cycling infrastructure when there are new subdivision developments.
- Mandated cycling infrastructure during yearly roadwork projects that affect sections of roads.
- Ensure that all of the community is actively involved in the feasibility study to finalize the Active Transportation Network design.
We also provided comments on the process and its proposals:
- The current study does not meet the principle of sustainability as stated in the materials because it does not contain any information about public transit.
- The City needs to design and implement roads for all users, using Complete Streets and the 8-80 principle (infrastructure can be used by people from 8 to 80 years of age). Factors that should drive infrastructure choices should include accommodate for all types of cyclists (strong and fearless, enthused and confident, and interested but concerned). Trip destination should also be a factor (utilitarian, recreational and touring).
- For the utilitarian cyclist, the destination priority should be schools, work, business/shopping, and recreational.
- Trails cannot be the only option for going from point A to point B, unless they meet the same level of standard as on-road infrastructure (safe, paved, lighted, and can be used by all cyclists of all ages).
- The City needs to provide their rationale as to why they chose specific infrastructure as some of their proposals are questionable.
- The facility type selection includes signed route, route/paved shoulder, bike lane, edgeline, cycle track, and trail. We need more information on what these will look like (for example, does a signed route include the sharrow option in some places?). We disagree with edgelines, which are not a proper cycling infrastructure choice. We endorse cycling on raised cycle tracks (boulevards) only if it is safe to do.
- The public and Sustainable Mobility Advisory Panel need to be more proactively involved in the development of plans. From the display boards at the open house, it seems that public consultation is now complete for the whole process. This is unacceptable.
- Because of the delay with this study (almost 9 months), we’ve lost opportunities to implement good cycling infrastructure as part of the 2013 budget. We ask that we don’t do the same for 2014.
- The proposed road classifications are good, but they are not applied consistently, possibly because their implementation is deemed too costly. This puts cyclists at risk.
- All arterial roads should have separated cycling infrastructure.
- Traffic calming standards should be part of the study as they directly affect the safety of cyclists.
- Other issues need to be addressed, including lighting, bicycle parking, road/trail surfaces, intersection design including roundabouts, signage standards, speed limits, and accommodation for other road users (vespas, ebikes, scooters, etc.).
We also submitted a number of comments on specific recommendations with the following guiding principles:
- Quieter residential roads can easily be cycled once appropriate route signage and educational campaigns for both cyclists and motorists are put into place.
- High speed arterial roads should have separated cycling infrastructure, include those roads that are in the City core, and those that connect our outlying neighbourhoods.
Our full submission can be found here: Submission