In Brockville, our Brock Trail provides opportunities for a leisurely walk or roll in a green space, away from the noise and smell of the roads. Community trails like the Brock Trail also offer the opportunity to connect with friends and neighbours, and meet new friends. “Hike with Mike” is an opportunity created to encourage just that, on June 16 at 9 AM, starting at the trailhead beside Westminster Public School. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Trail to downtown, where you can tour the Tunnel or visit the Farmers Market for a well-earned snack. For details, on the attached poster.
Also in planning, are some leisurely, family-friendly “slow rides” along the trail. On your bike, you will be able to meet up with the group at various times and places along the Trail, starting at Laurier Blvd and ending downtown at the Farmers Market, once again for that well-earned snack. Stay tuned for more info.
The above picture can be clicked to expand full-size, and downloaded for reference. It shows the projects currently underway on the Brock Trail. Heavy equipment and other activity on the under-construction segments may limit passage. The two segments in particular where this is true include:
Perth to Stewart – expected to be completed by early June, the work here includes removal of a utility pole and its support cables near the Perth Street end; additional fill, drainage and grading of the central part of the segment and the short connector to Front St; paving; and a pedestrian crossover on Perth St.
Laurier to Centennial – construction is likely to continue into early summer on this segment. Work includes:
bridge abutments, bridge installation, and connector trail to Aspen Dr
paving of the trail from end to end
a pedestrian crossover on Centennial road to the parking lot at the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area canoe launch
at the Laurier Blvd end, a paved and curb-separated trail connection on the road shoulder to the intersection with Bridlewood; a pedestrian crosswalk across Bridlewood; a pedestrian crossover across Laurier Blvd;
a new separated trail segment from the south side of Laurier at the crossover to the Fieldhouse and then across the existing bridge to connect with the existing Brock Trail segment.
When the Laurier to Centennial segment is completed, the Brock Trail will provide an off-road active transportation corridor from the Mac Johnson Wildlife Area all the way to downtown and waterfront, where it connects with the 3,000+ km Great Lakes Waterfront Trail network spanning Ontario.
A pedestrian crossover (PXO) is a signed and sometimes signal-lighted crossing of a road at a location that does not have a traffic light or stop sign to regulate through traffic flow. (MTO reference)
For those driving or cycling: When you see a pedestrian with intent to cross, which may be indicated by flashing lights, come to a complete stop. Remain stopped while people are in the PXO. You may proceed when the person walking has left the road.
For those walking: Press the beg button to activate the lights. Stand facing the crossing, optionally with arm pointing to cross the road. Wait for vehicular traffic to stop, then cross the road.
For those cycling along the trail: Get off your bike. See above “for those walking”. Riding across a crossover or crosswalk is illegal.
More PXO’s have been approved by Council and will be installed along the Trail at crossings on Henry St, St Paul St, Cedar St, Laurier Blvd at Bridlewood, Centennial Rd, and Perth St, with more to come in following years.
The two existing crossovers and those listed above are part of projects initiated and driven by the Brock Trail committee and cycling advisory committee working together. In 2018, the City will be undertaking an Active Transportation Plan which will then be approved and adopted by Council. The public workshops that will be part of the development of the plan will be the opportunity to come out and help identify the many other locations across the city where crosswalks and crossovers are needed.
City parks are increasingly being viewed as critical community infrastructure – the lungs of the community. Shared-use trails running through and connecting them are the circulatory system. Together, they provide life – the social, health and transportation means to a more vital city.
Do your councilors understand this? Ask them! The municipal leaders in this video certainly do!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
(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.
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.
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.
Regular 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.
At the April 14th meeting of the cycling advisory committee, a motion was carried concerning the cycling network planning for the north end of the city, and relative priorities of the committee’s work.
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.