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Active Transportation

Active transportation is any form of human-powered transportation. Walking, cycling, wheeling, in-line skating, skateboarding, and ice skating are all forms of active transportation. It can also involve combining modes such as walking/cycling with public transit.

Active Transportation Barrie Awards
Deadline to Apply: September 28, 2018

Would you, your organization, or business like to be recognized as an active transportation user or contributor in Barrie? Apply for an Active Transportation Barrie Award! Previous recipients include Firebird Community Cycle and a Johnson St. Public School Walking School Bus.To learn more, download the application form and submit as indicated. Applicants may include more information with the application. Please email with any questions.

Active Transportation Barrie Working Group

Who we are: Active Transportation Barrie is a community-based working group that brings active transportation stakeholders and community partners together to focus on the common goal of promoting and facilitating active transportation initiatives in Barrie. Terms of Reference

Meetings: The group meets September–June on the 4th Tuesday of each month, 1–2:30pm at Barrie City Hall. All are welcome. Please see posted minutes in the downloads section of this page. To be added to the email distribution list for minutes, please email

Background: Council approved 13 recommendations supporting active transportation through Council Motion 08-G-472 based on the outcome of a 2008 Active Transportation Workshop (held by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and hosted by the City). One of those recommendations included forming an Active Transportation Working Group.   


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

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”.

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 vehicle speed, 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.

City Hall Bike Lockers, Racks, & Repair Stand

3 bicycle lockers and 4 street pod bike racks are available at City Hall (Worsley St. entrance) for free use. Up to 6 cyclists can store their bikes in separate locker compartments secured with their own lock. Frame and wheels can be secured with one lock on the street pod unit. Racks are also installed at City recreation centres for public use. 

In addition, a repair stand provided by Cycle Simcoe is available for free use in case of a minor bicycle maintenance emergency. 

Rules & Locker Protocol
Report any concerns or issues to the City Hall info desk.

  1. Lockers are on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  2. Use at Own Risk.
  3. U-bolt shaped locks work best. Check for secure closure if cable or chain locks are used.
  4. Personal locks and contents are to be removed at the end of each day.
  5. Any personal contents and locks left on overnight will be removed by the City without compensation to the Owner. 

What's Happening in Barrie

  • Walking School Bus
    A Walking School Bus is a group of children walking or cycling to school with one or more adults. Related link: Active & Safe Routes to School. Click here for information on the experience with Johnson Street Public School.
  • Firebird Community Cycle  accepts donations of old bikes or parts to rebuild for donations to families who might not be able to afford them.  

School Travel Planning

School Travel Planning (STP) encourages students and their families to choose active transportation modes or more environmentally-friendly options.  Active Transportation Barrie (ATB) is working with the Simcoe County District School Board (see media release) and the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board in a pilot project to provide School Travel Plans for three local Barrie elementary schools (Emma King Elementary, Portage View School and St. Gabriel the Arch Angel Catholic School).  School Travel Planning (STP) coaches are documenting barriers to active and safe routes to school and creating and implementing unique school travel plans based on data collected through classroom and family surveys.

Cycling Courses

Barrie/Simcoe Cycling Club – Full day training courses, 3-4 hour classroom training courses, 1-2 hour Commuter Classes and Bicycle Maintenance Workshops

  • Simcoe Muskoka District Heath Unit: Helmet Fit Seminars
  • Barrie Police: Bike Rodeos
  • City of Barrie Day Camps: Bike Camp
    (on the first day of camp a police officer holds a training session on bike safety)

Take Action

Tips to help you adopt more active modes of transportation:

  • Think twice about using your car for every trip. Could you walk or use your bike to visit friends?
  • Dust off your bicycle and cycle to work when the weather permits.
  • Trade in your dress shoes for running shoes, strap on a backpack and walk all, or part of the way to work/school.
  • Instead of driving your kids to the park, why not make it a family outing on your bikes.
  • If you are moving, think about the transportation options available to you in the new locations you are considering. How far will the distance be to the places you regularly need to get to? Could you walk to do most of your small errands? How far away is the nearest school for your child? Is this new neighbourhood 'pedestrian friendly'?

    Source: Public Health Agency of Canada

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