Improved Western Terminus Of St. Lawrence Rec Trail Nears Completion

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Improvements to the western terminus of the St. Lawrence Recreational Trail along the 1000 Islands Parkway corridor are close to being completed. As reported here in May 2017, the original routing of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail between the Gananoque town limits and the start of the Rec Trail required those hiking or biking to take an risky route across multiple lanes of high-speed Parkway traffic.

The updated and improved routing connects the shared-use pathway’s previous end location all the way to County Road #2. (See diagram above, pictures below.)

New western end of St. Lawrence Rec Trail along 1000 Islands Parkway corridor – photos by Paul Scott

Work on the trail bed and paving was completed just before last winter, painting has recently been completed, and signage updates were scheduled to be done this week.

The second phase of this work to be completed by MTO includes bike lanes along County Road #2 to the “Gates of Gananoque”, a curb cut at the crossing and signal lights on #2, some trailhead parking and washroom. With luck, some of this work will get started this fall.

Also under development by MTO are plans for the eastern terminus of the Trail at Brockmere Cliff Road. This will involve a formalized crossing of the Parkway, a new trail segment along the SE side of the Parkway, and a new trailhead incorporating vehicle parking and washroom.

This summer the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure bike tour will provide an opportunity for a brief opening ceremony for the new facilities at the #2 end of the Trail. Stay tuned for details.

New Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Website

From the June edition of the
Ontario By Bike newsletter:

The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail and signature cycling route in Ontario continues to grow and is now over 2,100km long. Chances are you are already familiar with and have ridden parts of this signed route that touches 140 communities and skirts 3 Great Lakes.

To better help you navigate the trail, a new website has recently been launched with a number of useful features that can help you plan a day trip, overnight tour or end-to-end adventure.

  • Highly detailed and free to download maps
  • Interactive online trail map
  • Suggested ride itineraries
  • Community information

Make use of these features and start planning your ride today on the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. www.WaterfrontTrail.org

TLTI & Gananoque Seeking Input On Recreation Plan

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The Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands is working in partnership with Gananoque to complete a Joint Recreation Master Plan.  This Plan will guide recreational services over the next ten years and will include a needs assessment to support the future direction of parks, trails, recreation and leisure services. It will also include a series of recommendations and policy guidelines around the delivery of programs, events, facilities and services.

If you’re a program participant, a volunteer helping to make recreation and leisure services possible, or a community champion helping to promote and support programs, then this is an opportunity to help shape the future.

Community consultation sessions are scheduled at the Seeley’s Bay Community Hall on June 6, and again at the Lou Jeffries Recreation Arena in Gananoque in June 13.

If you are unable to attend, you will still have the opportunity to make sure that your voice is heard.  Online and print surveys will be launched June 6 and will be available on the website until the end of the month.

Please visit http://www.leeds1000islands.ca/en/governing/recreation-master-plan.aspx to learn more.

First Eastern Ontario Active Transportation Network Newsletter

Active transportation planning and implementation is ramping up all across Eastern Ontario. Catch the highlights in the first newsletter from the Eastern Ontario Active Transportation Network (EOATN). The newsletter includes a recap of the recent Summit held in Brockville, highlights of active school travel planning, and quick links to activities across the region.
Read the newsletter and start your subscription here.

CAA Promotes Active Transportation

The Canadian Automobile Association has long been a promoter of cycling through their education programs and services, recognizing that the majority of their members don’t just drive – they also choose to ride bikes, both for purpose and for pleasure. In a recently published report,  CAA provides an integrated set of approaches to address urban auto traffic congestion, putting investments in active transportation as an important component.

“building segregated bike lanes that makes cycling commuters feel safe and secure can be a relatively low-cost way to reduce urban congestion. Policymakers should also consider better integrating bike sharing with transit systems as a true “last mile” solution.”

 

Highway Safety Code Updates In Québec

If you will be walking, cycling, or driving on Québec roads, be aware that a number of updates have recently been enacted in the Highway Safety Code. The changes to road use regulations and accompanying fines and demerit points are fairly extensive. This article in the Montréal Gazette summarizes the changes, while all the detail can be found on the provincial website.

Portland Doubles Down On Commitment To Protected Bike Lanes

Two years ago, based on growing weight of evidence, Portland declared that by default all new bike lanes would be protected, that is, physically separated from motorized traffic, whenever possible. (Read here)
The evidence continues to mount not just in Portland but across North America that physically separating modes of transportation materially improves safety for all road users and provides a significant incentive for growth in cycling numbers. Portland’s response is to move to make protected bike lanes the standard and has identified more than 450 miles of city roads for upgrades. Read more here.

Brockville Council Votes To Start Journey

Turning a long history of commitments into action, Brockville Council voted 5-3 to develop a long-awaited active transportation plan for the city. While most of the media attention has been focused on the much-loved Brock Trail, meaningful long term impact will largely stem from the process to develop and adopt the cycling components of the plan.

This vote is one step today, for the Brockville we want tomorrow.

Read the local news coverage here.
Read this author’s delegation to Council below.

20180522 AT Plan delegation

Updated FAB Trails Guides

The good folks at the Frontenac Arch Biosphere have been working on redesigning their trail descriptions to make them more convenient and easier to use.

Are you looking for a hiking, cycling or paddling adventure for the long weekend? Something short and sweet or maybe something more ambitious … there is something for every ability.

Visit the FAB Trails page and start exploring.

(Please note: Not all the trail descriptions have been updated…yet! New, downloadable trail guides can be found for trails with a * before the name.)

TLTI Active Transportation Plan Public Sessions

The Township of Leeds & Thousand Islands is in the final stages of a major update to their Official Plan, including a commitment to further develop active transportation opportunities (see pp 159-160 of draft update here), development of an active transportation plan has started. For those interested, the first round of public workshops is coming on May 19. See the notice attached below.

18-002 Leeds and 1000 Islands TMP PIC 1 Notice May 14 2018 QC

Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Keeps Growing

The Lake Huron North Channel extension of the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail network is ready for you to explore!

Stretching 380 km from Sudbury to Sault Ste. Marie, the trail travels along quiet back roads and paths as it traverses some of the most spectacular landscapes in Ontario, serving up rocky shorelines, picturesque Mennonite and Amish farmsteads, rushing waterfalls, gently flowing rivers, sandy beaches, and thick forests. Twenty-six communities and First Nations dot its length, offering opportunities to stop, rest, and explore. Stay the night in a lakeside cottage, partake in some locally caught smoked fish, or enjoy a refreshing end-of-the-day local brew.

Read more here.

Brockville’s Active Transportation Plan Process Starts

The long-overdue development of an active transportation plan for Brockville, first committed a decade ago in the Official Plan, finally gets underway. At this evening’s Finance Admin and Operations committee meeting (City Hall, 4:30 PM), an operations staff report outlining the results of the bid process will be presented and the committee will be asked to approve moving ahead with the selected bidder. That approval will then move forward in the FAO consent agenda to full Council on Tuesday, May 22.

Come out and show the committee and Council that you support moving ahead to develop, approve and then adopt an active transportation plan for the City. It’s also a great opportunity, with a municipal election coming in November, to listen to councilors comments and see who are supportive of Brockville’s residents gaining the health, social, environmental, and economic benefits of becoming a healthier, more active place to live, work, grow, and play.

Sarnia Moves To Adopt Complete Streets

Ontario already leads Canada in adoption of complete streets policies. Fully 84% of Ontarians live in a municipality where complete streets are either provincially mandated or have been adopted by local council. Sarnia is about to move up to that level of competing for families, talent and new business when their council moves to adopt a complete streets policy this month. As in other cities, the complete streets policy will ensure that public roads safely serve all members of the public – all ages, all abilities, all modes of transportation, for purpose and for pleasure.

Read about this in The Sarnia Journal.
Read about the plan and process on the Sarnia website here.
Download Sarnia’s complete streets plan and guidelines here (pdf)

All Ages All Abilities Cycling Networks

“The City of Vancouver has a vision to make cycling safe, convenient, comfortable and fun for all ages and abilities (AAA), including families with children, seniors, and new riders. An inviting and connected network of low stress “AAA” routes will provide a wide spectrum of the population
the option to cycle for most short trips.”
That’s the lead-in to Vancouver’s transportation design guidelines for cycling routes geared to those of all ages and all abilities. The city has a list of 10 requirements to be met in order for a route to be deemed “all ages, all abilities”. A PDF document describing those guidelines can be downloaded here. These guidelines provide a more holistic approach and go well beyond the basic network design guidelines adopted by Brockville City Council.
Vancouver’s guidelines will provide a good benchmark as Brockville’s Active Transportation Plan is developed this year.

Share The Road Recognizes Community Builders

At the 10th Annual Ontario Bike Summit recently held in Toronto, the Share the Road Cycling Coalition recognized a number of individuals with a “Wheels of Change Award” for their outstanding contribution in helping to build safer, healthier communities. Those receiving the awards represent a diverse array of advocates, professional backgrounds, and roles that span social enterprises, CAA, consultancies, volunteer groups, municipal staff, health units, and more.
Read more about these individuals and their contributions here.

Top 15 Cycling Neighbourhoods In Canada

This article provides a brief survey of the top cycling neighbourhoods in Canada, based on four criteria: cycling mode share or the percent of people commuting by cycling; proximity to useful things – does the cycling network link origins and destinations that matter; cycling network quality – it’s connectedness, contiguity and safety; and finally, backup transportation – for those times when cycling just won’t work, what are the alternative means of transportation.

Of interest, the entry point to this list, the 15th ranked neighbourhood is Kitsilano with a cycle commuting mode share of 13.1%. The top ranked neighbourhood is Strathcona, also in Vancouver, with a massive 18.3% cycle commuting mode share.

Read the full article here.

Ontario Active School Travel – April Newsletter

The latest newsletter from Green Communities Canada on Active School Travel highlights funding for community projects, an updated website, and updates on bike to school week, a seminar on air pollution hazards around drop-off zones, and more. Check out the newsletter here, where you can also subscribe for updates.

New Survey: Continued Public Support For Cycling In Ontario

A new survey by Nanos Research for Share the Road adds to the trend in earlier robust research showing continued and strong public support for improving cycling in Ontario. The majority agree that getting more people riding bikes benefits everyone, that public funding should be used to improve cycling infrastructure, that investments in cycling are important for public health, and more.

One note of interest in this survey is the support for cycling’s impact on social equity, with the majority strongly or somewhat agreeing with the statement, “Cycling isn’t just about recreation, it’s about equality. For many individuals transportation costs are a major financial burden. If someone’s only or best way to get to work or go shopping is a bike, they should have the option to ride their bike and ride it in safety. That’s a good reason for the provincial government to promote cycling in Ontario.”

Of no surprise is the continued finding that roughly half of those surveyed thought negatively about the behaviour of those driving, and half of those surveyed thought negatively about the behaviour of those cycling. This aligns with other research showing that those cycling and those driving float the law in about equal numbers.

The full presentation and report makes for interesting reading and adds to the body of evidence showing general public support to improve cycling in the province. For further information and links to download this and previous research, read more here.

Methodology: Nanos conducted an online survey of 1,004 Ontarians, 18 years of age or older, between April 5th and 10th, 2018.  The results were statistically checked and weighted by age and gender using the latest Census information and the sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Ontario. The research was commissioned by Share the Road Cycling Coalition and was conducted by Nanos.