Want an interesting read? Read the City’s Parks, Open Space and Leisure Master Plan Review.
It’s 143 pages, which can be daunting, but there are mentions of note in regards to cycling. Some of it is good, some of it is bad, although the City’s tried to put a good spin on many of the deficiencies we’ve been experiencing over the past few years.
It will remain to be seen if their actions plans translate to budget dollars and successful implementations.
Notable sections/mentions in the report re cycling:
Page 3 – Goals for the Leisure Services Division contain item 2: Implement the Sustainable Mobility Plan.
Page 5 – Section 2.3 Guiding Principles include “Within the parks and leisure system, the City will continue to foster and support sustainable mobility opportunities for residents and visitors”
Page 9 – Section 3.2 Accomplishments includes in the section “Parks” – Other: ” developed a Sustainable Mobility Plan and undertook various trail development projects in concert with Rainbow Routes”.
Page 10 – Section 3.3 Ongoing Initiatives includes under Parks: “ongoing implementation of Green Spaces Advisory Panel Report and Sustainable Mobility Plan”. and under Other: “undertaking several studies in 2014, including: …. Active Transportation Master Plan”.
Page 11 – Section 3.4 Key Parks, Open Spaces & Leisure Trends includes “High demand for trails and sustainable transportation that connects to destinations”.
The City is stating that implementing sustainable mobility is important. So far, implementing these words has been a challenge.
Public Engagement Program
The City conducted an online survey and had some public input sessions as well. The online survey had 491 responses. Notable responses:
Page 24 – Responses to the question household participation in select leisure activities, past 12 months. 53% said Cycling or Mountain Biking – number 3 on the list (behind walking or hiking for leisure and outdoor swimming).
Page 26 – Responses to the question for what additional parks and leisure activities would you like to see offered, the top three were trails, bike paths, and bike lanes.
Page 26 – Responses to question re gap between satisfaction and importance: 91% said that trails/pathways are important to their household, but only 45% said that they were satisfied with the trails/pathways in Sudbury.
Page 28 – Responses to question re facilities priority: include nature trails (unpaved) 86%, multi-use trails (paved) 75%
Page 30 – Responses to question increasing utilization of facilities: no. 2 response is extending and connecting the system of trails and bike paths (and providing marked signage) and no. 4 response is greater promotion and advertisement of activities and assets (including online mapping of trails).
Page 30 – Responses to question re agreement to specific statements: 86% agree that “investing in parks and leisure services should be a high priority for City Council”.
Is anyone in the Roads and Transportation division reading this document?
Parkland and Trails
Section 6.2 details additional information about trail development and refers to successes and action plans in that area.
There are lots of reference re successes, but some of the statements are pretty suspect. We’ve only implemented 16 kms of trails since 2004. So that’s 1.6 kms per year. And yet they state this is a great success?
Another listed success is the Sustainable Mobility Plan (SMP) – yet it can be argued that the majority of the recommendations have not been addressed.
They speak to the Official Plan’s review of its active transportation network – which is almost 2 years late now.
The Analysis section that starts on page 86 is worth a read as there’s additional references to the SMP and active transportation. Of importance are the Action Plans on page 88:
– Continue to work on the expansion of recreational trails, active transportation choices, and associated support infrastructure, as guided by the City of Greater Sudbury Sustainable Mobility Plan, Official Plan, and related initiatives.
– In the Official Plan Review, the importance of trails and active transportation should be strengthened through the identification of a preferred network and implementation policies. A policy to allow for the conveyance of land for pathways within new subdivisions (as permitted by Section 51 of the Planning Act) should also be considered.
There are 2 trail development recommendations in section 8 – Implementation, both relating to the actions plans noted directly above.
Item 1 (expand trails) has a high priority with the timing of 2014-2018
Item 2 (Official Plan Review: preferred network and implementation policies) has a high priority with the timing of both 2014-2018 and 2019-23
Pretty words – let’s see if they really mean them in the 2014 budget.