When It’s Wise To Walk Your Wheels

A variety of signage, ranging from polite reminders to harsh prescriptions.

Their are times when segments of our multi-use trails get quite busy and it’s wise to walk your wheels. There are also some places where wheels are not to be ridden at any time, for the safety of people of all ages, all abilities.

While the current sign in the Tunnel (upper left, above) suggests you can ride at walking speed, the Tunnel Committee and Cycling Advisory Committee agreed over a year ago that cycling in the tunnel would be restricted for a number of reasons:

  • People walking, especially families with young children, are distracted by the lights, paying attention to the tunnel walls, taking care to avoid tripping on the dark curb, and quite often, looking up!
  • Even when riding a bike at walking speed, maneuverability in the tunnel is quite limited; brushing a tire against the dark curb or a handlebar against the wall could easily lead to a fall and injury – for you and others.
  • The Tunnel is often busy and best enjoyed at a slow walk.

So please, when visiting the Tunnel, “Walk your Wheels”. That includes your bike, your unicycle, your scooter, and your skateboard.

There are a few other places where riding a bicycle is expressly prohibited as well, even if not signed. These include the sidewalks along King Street downtown, the Brock Trail walk around Blockhouse Island, and the Brock Trail boardwalk along the River in Hardy Park.

Visiting Downtown Brockville on an “open streets” day when King Street is blocked to vehicles? Walk your Wheels – riding through a crowd of meandering families begs calamity.

At all other times on the Brock Trail, generally accepted trail etiquette applies:

  • Those walking have the right-of-way
  • When on wheels, yield to those walking
  • Keep to the right so others can pass; yes, that includes when walking your dog
  • When walking your dog, shorten the leash when passing or being passed
  • When riding your bike, unicycle, scooter, blades or skateboard, ding your bell or call out to those you’re about to pass, e.g. “Passing on your left!”
  • when riding, keep speed slow – below 20 km/h, and slower when nearing people walking.

Please also note that none of the restrictions on wheels apply to those using mobility assistance devices.

Let’s act together to make sure our shared pathways remain attractive, comfortable and safe for those of all ages and all abilities.

Maps For An Active Brockville

Heading out in Brockville and looking for a heritage walking tour, bike parking locations, park facilities or other features of our fine town? Well, the City’s growing collection of online maps may be just the thing you need.

Check out www.Brockville.com/maps for the full collection, in which you find useful gems like:

  • Outdoor Brockville – a photo and map tour that shows all of the spectacular green spaces accessible to everyone.
  • Heritage Tour – showing the locations and content of the over 50 heritage plaques around town.
  • City Explore – look for streets, addresses, and points of interest, with some aerial views.
  • Cycle Brockville – provides a map of the Brock Trail as well as all the bike parking locations in the downtown/waterfront area.
  • Downtown Brockville – a directory and locator map for the downtown area.

And lots more, so go and explore!

 

Bike Parking At Rib Fest And The Rails To Trails Festival

Bike parking area being set up for the Rails To Trails Festival.

Heading to Brockville’s waterfront this weekend? How about using your bike? Here’s how to do that. Whether you’re starting from in town or driving in with bikes and parking away from the downtown area, follow the Brock Trail (map here) right to the heart of the events. The Brock Trail provides an off-road family-friendly route.

After crossing the Tom Dailey Bridge behind the Mill Restaurant, in addition to all the bike racks and rings throughout the downtown area, you’ll find some large bike racks at the main Water Street entrance to Rib Fest, to which you can lock your bike.

Alternately, continue along Water Street to the Water Street parking lot where you’ll find bicycle parking under the big tent in the picture above. The tent will be staffed by volunteers from 8 to 8 on Saturday, and from 10 to 5 on Sunday, providing a supervised parking area.

Updated Brock Trail Map

Click to see full size, for downloading & printing.

Click on the map shown above to see a larger size picture which you can download and use. The map has been updated to show recently completed new segments as well as those currently under construction and soon to be finished, for example, the “401 bypass” route along central Ormond and Parkedale. Distances between waypoints, to the nearest 5 m, have also been added.

Brock Trail Update To FAO/Council

Bridge over Butlers Creek

At it’s regular monthly meeting today, Brockville’s “Finance Admin, Operations” standing committee received an update from John Taylor, chair of the Brock Trail committee, reviewing progress to date in completing the trail. While there is lots of work left to do, progress is significant, as anyone walking or rolling around town knows. Of special note, for every $1 spent by the city, the Brock Trail committee has raised an additional $2.46 from grants, donations, and in-kind. To date, expenditures total approximately $1.4million, the equivalent of 28 “jobs created” (a.k.a. “FTE-years”) as tallied by economic programs. The update is attached below.

2017 07 18 Brock Trail Update

Update: Brockville’s 401 Corridor Crossing

Looking south on the east side of Ormond St from Bramshot – reconstruction of the trail through the park

(June 15, 2017) Construction is progressing quickly on the active transportation link through Brockville’s 401 corridor. As described in earlier documents and shown in the diagram below, the link is a joint project between the Brockville cycling advisory committee and the Brock Trail committee. The link consists of sidewalks converted to boulevard trails, a pedestrian crossover at Bramshot, and a widening and resurfacing of the old trail through the Ormond Street Park. Expect this trail segment to be completed and open for use within a few weeks.

Once this segment and the new trail segment from Laurier to Centennial are completed, we’ll have an off-road trail route all the way from the waterfront to the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area.

Sketch of the 401 corridor crossing project (click to enlarge)
Looking north on the west side of Ormond St towards the 401. This will be overlaid with asphalt.
Looking south on Ormond St towards the 401. This will be overlaid with asphalt.

Brock Trail Crossings Approved By Council

Three of four different styles of PXOs

(May 1) Following a review of the financing of Brock Trail projects, the proposal for the 2017 slate of crossings went back through FAO (Finance, Administration, Operations standing committee) and then through City Council last week, where the following motion was carried as part of the consent agenda:

THAT the attached report titled “Brock Trail Pedestrian Crossings/Crossovers (PXO’s)” produced on behalf of the Brock Trail Committee be approved for identifying locations for the installation of Pedestrian Crossovers; and

 THAT the following Brock Trail pedestrian crossings be implemented in 2017: Henry Street at Brockville Museum, St. Paul Street at Butler’s Creek bridge, Cedar Street at Church Street, Ormond Street at Bramshot Avenue, Laurier Boulevard at Bridlewood Drive and Centennial Road at Buell’s Creek bridge; and

THAT By-Law 21-93, Traffic By-law be amended accordingly.

These six pedestrian crossovers, when completed this year, and added to the existing pedestrian crossover on King St West are all crossings at which those driving and cycling are required to come to a complete stop for those walking and signalling to cross. Drivers must remain stopped until those crossing are clear of the crossover.

Importance Of Trails To Small And Rural Towns

Trailhead for Brock Trail – Rivers Ave at King St W, Brockville (photo: Alan Medcalf)

The linked article provides a great overview of the importance of trail-oriented development in rural and small towns, both for residents and visitors, for economic benefits ranging across health, tourism, property values, community and business development.

The discussion covers two types of trail development – longer regional trails (like Brockville being situated on the 2,000 km Great Lakes Waterfront Trail) and local developments like our Brock Trail.

Several case studies are provided, and the linked handbook contains a wealth of actionable information.
Read the article here, and download the handbook here (pdf).

NEWS: Joint Brock Trail & Cycling Project Scores Second Major Infrastructure Grant

Brockville’s project to extend the Brock Trail through the 401 corridor and extend the Trail from Laurier north to Centennial is receiving a $175,000 grant from the federal government.  Continue reading “NEWS: Joint Brock Trail & Cycling Project Scores Second Major Infrastructure Grant”

Demand Growing For Walkable Neighbourhoods

The latest issue of “On Common Ground”, the quarterly publication of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in the USA, is dedicated to the growing market demand for walkability as a key factor in location decisions.

NAR invests considerable resources in researching and understanding nascent and shifting trends in real estate, as well as providing news and case studies for members’ education and awareness.

Continue reading “Demand Growing For Walkable Neighbourhoods”

Brock Trail Update

IMG_2510DxO2Regular users of the Brock Trail segment between Cedar St at Church and King St W at St. Lawrence Park will have seen the start of signage installation. Coming soon will be fencing along the west side of the trail corridor to separate the vacant property, mounting of the plaque on the big stone at the corner, and a pedestrian-priority crossover (PDX) on Cedar St.

News: Full List of OMCIP grants

Planned route through 401 corridor
Planned route through 401 corridor

Brockville was one of 37 communities to be granted up to $325,000 over two years in the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program, a key piece of Action Plan 1.0 of #CYCLEON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy.  The program received about 150 expressions of interest, of which about 50 were invited to submit full applications.  Projects were judged on “improving connections between local cycling networks, promoting safety, enabling recreation and tourism, encouraging innovation, research and data collection, supporting partnerships and improving awareness of cycling as a viable transportation mode.”  Projects are being funded up to 50% of total cost, over two years, “to install or improve on-road cycling lanes, off-road cycling and walking paths, cycling-specific traffic signals and signs, active transportation bridges and bike racks.”
Read the announcement here.
See the list of municipalities receiving grants here (pdf).
See details on Brockville’s project here.

FAQ: Cycling plan phase I: Link through 401 corridor

Phase I of the cycling network includes three projects. This post describes the planned route through the 401 corridor for both the Brock Trail and cycling network, completing the Trail’s north-south linkage.

Continue reading “FAQ: Cycling plan phase I: Link through 401 corridor”