TRANSPORTATION STUDY AND OFFICIAL PLAN
The SCU is asking that progressive municipal policies and strategies are included in the current Transportation Study and Official Plan processes.
Each city in Ontario is mandated by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to develop policies on how land in our community should be used. It is prepared with input from residents and is supposed to ensure that future planning and development will meet the specific needs of our community. Ontario Official Plans need to be revised on a 4-year cycle, and cities are required to follow the Official Plan when making decisions around land use.
A section of the Official Plan deals with the development of transportation options. In order to develop that section, our city does a Transportation Study, and the final report from that study serves as a "Master Transportation Plan". This plan contains specific policies, programs, and lists of prioritized roads projects that are then incorporated into the Official Plan.
More information on Official Plans: Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
There are some weaknesses with this process. The Transportation Study is conducted by the Roads and Transportation department, and does not include provisions for planning for transit or other transportation areas that are not within its mandate. The study is also tailored to fit the requirements of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change's class environmental assessment for roads. This makes the final report complicated and hard to understand,
While the study can recommend specific directions like a Master Transit Plan, or a Multimodal Transportation Plan, the actual implementation of new policies and plans need to be prioritized and funded by Council.
The SCU advocates to:
- make the process and final reports more user-friendly so it can be understood by all residents
- to include all modes of transportation
- to have a Council-approved implementation plan
- to have better engagement opportunities for citizens
Our feedback on the Official Plan and Transportation Plan processes are here: