In taking a fresh look at the plan for Brockville’s cycling network north of the 401 (see workplan here), City Council’s cycling advisory committee reviewed and reconfirmed the design principles guiding the selection of routes and facilities.
Network design for Brockville’s neighbourhoods north of the 401 is the focus of the cycling advisory committee’s current discussions.
Simply put, an “all ages & abilities” (“AAA”) cycling network is one comprised of high-quality bicycle facilities separated from traffic, or using streets with low vehicle volumes and speeds, to enhance the comfort and safety of those choosing to cycle for purpose or pleasure. An 80 year old with an 8 year old ought to feel comfortable navigating the network together. One of the better descriptions of the facilities used in AAA networks, including protected bike lanes, neighbourhood greenways and off-road trails, is provided on this Victoria BC page: read more here.
In signing the petition to City Council in support of the cycling plan, to date over 200 have provided a comment as to why. Here they are, with names withheld for privacy. Those signing the petition did so of their own free will – without in-your-face bullying or intimidation. These comments from the usually-silent majority speak to a healthier, more equitable, more active Brockville. Continue reading “Comments received on support petition”
The following letter was distributed to the Mayor and Councillors of Brockville on March 9, 2016. Continue reading “Letter to Mayor & Council”
Phase I of the cycling network includes three projects. This post describes the planned upgrades to King St W and County Road 2, running west from Rivers Ave to Grants Creek.
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.
“Vehicular cycling” is a school of thought that claims people riding bikes are safest when driving their bikes as they would their cars by mixing with traffic boldly and confidently. While all users of public roads are expected to follow the traffic rules, “driving a bike” advocates have failed for 35 years to encourage the rapid adoption of cycling in N.A. as seen in Europe. Vehicular cycling is a necessary yet entirely insufficient approach that remains a frustrating deterrent to mainstream cycling. Continue reading “FAQ: Whatever happened to “vehicular cycling”?”
In cities that first embark on implementation of cycling facilities – whether on-road bike lanes or off-road multi-use paths or trails, local residents often speak out in concern for their property value. This concern is quickly put to rest once the cycling facilities are in place. Savvy Realtors now actively promote the value of cycling facilities, trails and greenways that make a neighbourhood more bike and walk friendly.
Updated March 30, 2016 with this new, compelling research including detailed case studies that clearly document the positive impact of active mobility facilities on real estate value. Read about the Urban Planning Institute report.
Around Ontario and further afield, mayors are responding to widespread residents’ calls for trails and safer roads for active mobility. They’re also acknowledging the economic competitive necessity. The result has been an increasing groundswell of activity in trails, cycling facilities, education and encouragement. As of May 2015, there were 28 Bicycle Friendly Communities that 60% of Ontarians call home.
“Many people believe that active transport modes (walking, cycling, and their variants, also called non-motorized or human-powered transport) have less right to use public roads than motorists, based on assumptions that non-motorized travel is less important than motorized travel, and active mode users pay less than their fair share of roadway costs. This report investigates these assumptions. It finds that active modes have legal rights to use public roads, that non-motorized travel plays unique and important roles in an efficient and equitable transport system, that motorists often benefit from pedestrian and cycling improvements, that motor vehicle use imposes external costs on active travel which creates demand for separated facilities, and because active modes impose
minimal roadway costs and pay general taxes that finance about half of roadway expenses they overpay their fair share of roadway costs.”
(Whose Road Is It, 2013, Victoria Transport Policy Institute)
Download the report…
Recently, someone has claimed that cities in Canada are taking out bike lanes! What’s the story there? Well, apart from cherry-picking incidents out of context, a review of the Canadian scene reveals that cycling infrastructure is growing in leaps and bounds on a net basis.
A common question about the protected bike lanes on Laurier Blvd is what will happen to the turning lanes at the intersection with Windsor Dr. Some are assuming that turning lanes would disappear, which is not correct. Laurier’s current configuration is actually quite accommodating – it’s a road that’s paved four lanes wide, but only has two travel lanes, making lots of room at intersections.
What happens to cycling facilities and the Brock Trail in the winter is a really good question!
Currently, the City has a priority/triage approach that relegates sidewalks and the Trail to a low priority. Generally, they’re cleared once work crews are available after higher priority corridors are addressed.
The short answer is that properly designed roads, including facilities for all users – motorists, cyclists and pedestrians – do not impede emergency response vehicles or responders’ efforts. Continue reading “FAQ: Do cycling facilities impact emergency response?”
First, for those choosing to cycle, the reduction of risk is significant, as shown in the National Institute of Transportation and Communities study, a Canadian study, and several other studies.
A reasonable question often asked is whether there are benefits from cycling infrastructure to anyone other than those few currently riding bikes.
While there are a number of well-demonstrated benefits, let’s focus this on Laurier Blvd. Laurier is an “urban corridor” in transportation parlance, yet it didn’t start out that way. In the beginning it wasn’t connected to either California or Stewart – it was a family-friendly neighbourhood residential street. Today, it carries neighbourhood traffic, through traffic between Stewart and California and emergency response traffic from the firehall, and is described by some as a “NASCAR” track. Continue reading “FAQ: What are the benefits for those who choose not to cycle?”
Increasing the modal share of cycling and walking offers a myriad of well-documented benefits to individuals, families, neighbourhoods, retail business areas, workplaces and society at large. The full diversity of health, social, environmental and economic benefits have been studied and documented for over a decade now. (above infographic from Designed to Move)
Cycling network design takes into account local context, existing and future traffic patterns, current standards and guidelines for infrastructure design, and best practices from communities who’ve contributed to a growing body of knowledge. With all of that as a foundation, a set of design principles can further guide decisions. Continue reading “FAQ: How was the cycling network designed?”