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Active Transportation Strategy

Barrie’s Active Transportation Strategy is a blueprint for enhancing walking and cycling infrastructure, programs and initiatives.

The City undertakes comprehensive transportation planning for all modes of transportation (auto, transit, cycling, walking) through the completion of the Transportation Master Plan (TMP),  forward-looking planning document. The current TMP recommends the following networks:

Cycling and Multi-Use Trail Network

Sidewalks and Multi-Use Trail Network

The TMP contains a comprehensive Active Transportation Strategy (AT Strategy) to allow the City to achieve a mode shift from automobiles to cycling and walking, accommodate planned growth, improve mobility options and equity. The strategy identifies long-term recommendations to help guide implementation and provides City staff and its partners with tools, references and guidelines to aid in the future of active transportation decision making.

Vision Statement

The active transportation vision statement is: The City of Barrie offers a continuous, well-connected and safe active transportation network for residents and visitors that supports recreational and commuter active transportation opportunities, enhances connectivity to key destinations and increases mobility for users of all ages and abilities.

Guiding Principles

The vision is supported by 10 guiding principles that provide more specific outcomes that the AT Strategy is intended to achieve as the TMP is implemented. They include:

  1. Offer residents and visitors direct active transportation opportunities to travel throughout the City and to connect to key destinations such as the Waterfront and The Great Trail.
  2. Provide a transportation system that supports all modes of travel and users of all ages and abilities.
  3. Establish a direct, connected and continuous network of different active transportation options that accommodates safe walking, cycling, hiking and other active modes of transportation.
  4. Develop a balanced network of on and off-road facilities to offer comfortable, safe and secure facilities for all users.
  5. Provide multi-modal routes and connections to key destinations and transit.
  6. Enhance opportunities for people to walk and bike for short trips and to key destinations such as schools, transit stations, shops, etc.
  7. Allocate an appropriate annual maintenance budget to maintain existing and new active transportation infrastructure, including on and off-road routes.
  8. Establish a winter maintained network consisting of spine routes in order for walking and cycling to be viable modes of transportation year-round. For example, winter maintained routes can include on and off-road facilities to facilitate utilitarian trips such as commutes to school, work and transit hubs.
  9. Identify a core network of spine routes that provides direct north-south and east-west connectivity for pedestrians, cyclists, mobility-assisted users and other users to increase the AT modal share in Barrie.
  10. Encourage a cultural shift through education and promotion to increase walking and cycling activity in the City of Barrie.

Active Transportation Planning Techniques

Bicycle Lanes

A bicycle lane is a portion of roadway that has been designated by pavement markings for the use of bicyclists. Bicycle lanes have most recently (2019) been implemented on the following Barrie streets:

  • St. Vincent Street between Hanmer Street East to Livingstone Street East
  • Tiffin Street between Ferndale Drive to Essa Road (buffered lanes)

Bicycle Lane Definitions

Shared Roadway
A Shared Roadway is a road where both motorists and cyclists share the same vehicular travel lane.  Shared roadways may or may not have sharrow lane markings.

Signed Bike Route 
A Signed Bike Route is a road where both motorists and cyclists share the same vehicular travel lane and include identifying signage.

Signed Route with Paved Shoulder / Urban Shoulder 
A signed bike route with a paved shoulder is a form of bicycle facility on a road with a rural cross section. A paved shoulder is a portion of a roadway which is contiguous with the travelled way. It provides accommodation for stopped and emergency vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists as well as for lateral support of the pavement structure. A paved shoulder on a designated bike route may include a buffer zone to provide greater separation between motorists and cyclists.  An urban shoulder is a white edge line applied to the roadway offset from the curb.  It saves the same purpose as a paved shoulder.  Signed Routes with Paved Shoulders or Urban Shoulders include identifying signage.

Bicycle Lane / Buffered Bicycle Lane 
A bicycle lane is a portion of a roadway which has been designated by pavement markings and signage for the exclusive use of cyclists.  A bicycle lane may include a buffer, which is an additional spatial or physical separation.

Active Transportation Path / In-Boulevard Facility
lso referred to as an in-boulevard multi-use trail or path, is a cycling facility physically separated from motor vehicle traffic by a hard surfaced splash pad or by a grass strip often referred to as part of a “boulevard” or “verge” within the roadway or highway right-of-way. An active transportation path is intended for nonmotorized travel modes such as walking and cycling, and is typically located in place of, or adjacent to, a sidewalk in the boulevard of a road right-of-way.

Raised Cycle Track  
A raised cycle track is a cycling facility adjacent to and often vertically separated from motor vehicle travel lanes. A raised cycle track may be designed for one-way or two-way travel, and is designated for the exclusive use by cyclists and is distinct from the sidewalk.


A sharrow is a road marking which shows a bicycle with two chevrons. It is meant to be a reminder for residents to share the road when driving or cycling, but unlike a bike lane, a sharrow does not impact on-street parking. In addition to the pavement marking symbol, supplemental road signs are also posted to remind users to “Share the Road”.

The City has introduced sharrows in 2016. The first sharrows were installed on Grove Street (from Toronto Street to Penetanguishene Road). The Active Transportation Working Group identified Grove Street as a preferred bike route in the city.

Road Diets

A road diet is characterized by reallocating space on the roadway to other modes of transportation, such as cycling or transit.​ This improves active transportation, potentially reduces speeds, and maintains capacity for vehicles. Road diets havem most recently (2019) been implemented on the following Barrie streets:

  • Dean Avenue between Big Bay Point Road and Mapleview Drive East
  • Livingstone Street East between Cundles Road East and Stanley Street
Urban shoulder

An urban shoulder is a painted white edge line that creates a separated cycling facility from the vehicle travel lanes where dedicated cycling facilities are not provided. An urban shoulder improves the operation and safety for cyclists as it provides a separate travel lane from vehicle travel, and offset from roadside obstructions such as catch basins. Urban shoulders have most recently (2019) been implemented on the following Barrie streets:

  • Marsellus Drive between Mapleton Avenue and Mapleview Drive West
  • Mapleton Avenue between Ardagh Road and Essa Road
Road Right-sizing

Road Right-sizing: a reallocation of space used for cars on a street for other users. Eliminated/narrowed traffic lanes are used for other purposes, such as active transportation.

A component of the City's Multi-modal Active Transportation Master Plan (MMATMP) is Road Right-sizing. Barrie's road right-sizing takes large roadways with under-capacity traffic (low volumes) and introduce steps to provide bicycle lanes and opportunities for residents to access their properties without disrupting through traffic. The improvements benefit all modes of transportation including transit, bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. Benefits include traffic calming, reduced collisions and injuries, improved mobility and access, and improved livability and quality of life. Traffic Services staff perform Before & After Studies on roadways to gauge effectiveness.


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