(Barrie, ON) As part of the City of Barrie's Active Transportation vision, work is underway to create a continuous, well-connected and safe active transportation network for residents and visitors that supports recreational and commuter active transportation opportunities. The City undertakes comprehensive transportation planning for all modes of transportation (automobile, transit, cycling, walking) through the completion of the Transportation Master Plan, a forward-looking planning document.
In 2020, the City constructed 12.7 km of cycling infrastructure, including multi-use trails, bicycle lanes and urban shoulders. One of the most significant active transportation projects last year was the reconstruction of Hurst Drive between Minet's Point Drive and Brennan Avenue, which added a multi-use trail and bike lanes. The completion of this work now provides uninterrupted connectivity from Big Bay Point Road to the City's waterfront and the North Shore Trail.
In 2021, the City is undertaking its largest cycling initiative to date with the launch of the Cycle Barrie Infrastructure Program. Upcoming active transportation projects include the following:
“Cycling is more popular than ever, and walking and cycling have so many benefits for our community—they improve physical health, promote social interaction, and reduce road congestion and greenhouse gas emissions," says Michelle Banfield, Director of Development Services. “As the city grows, Barrie is committed to developing a comprehensive active transportation network to support residents today and into the future."
The City's Active Transportation and Sustainability Advisory Committee meets monthly to discuss ways to promote and facilitate active transportation initiatives. Committee members are dedicated to the protection, maintenance and awareness of the environment within the community and to provide advice concerning environmental policy, planning and sustainability.
Active transportation is component of the City's draft new Official Plan, which is now open for public feedback. Designing complete streets is included in the draft Plan as a means to provide safe and easy to use transportation options. The Complete Streets standards in the draft Plan detail that development proposals that create new roads should accommodate walking, cycling, transit and driving, while prioritizing pedestrian safety. It also outlines Active Transportation Zones to provide safe, efficient and accessible pedestrian and cyclist movement.
In addition, the City is recognizing May 31 to June 30 as Bike Month, which is an opportunity for people to try riding a bike for the first time, learn new skills and have fun. It's a chance to explore your neighbourhood by bike, celebrate cycling and introduce cycling to the next generation of riders.
For more information on the City's active transportation strategy, upcoming projects and resources, visit barrie.ca/ActiveTransportation.
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