Active transportation is any form of human-powered transportation. Walking and cycling are the primary modes of active transportation. Active transportation benefits our:
- Health: it provides an opportunity to be physically active on a regular basis
- Society: is accessible to residents and increases social exchanges
- Transportation system: reduces road congestions and road wear
- Environment: contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Economy: saves money on gas, parking and may allow families to avoid the purchase of a second vehicle or vehicles all together when coupled with transit services.
Active Transportation & Sustainability Committee
The City’s Active Transportation and Sustainability Committee is an advisory committee to City Council. The committee meets regularly and works to promote and facilitate active transportation initiatives.
Active Transportation Strategy
Barrie’s Active Transportation Strategy is a blueprint for enhancing walking and cycling infrastructure, programs and initiatives. 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.
2023 Cycling Network Expansion
Cycling infrastructure is implemented via three streams:
Walking & Cycling Resources
Using active transportation modes (walking, cycling) to travel to and from school is an excellent opportunity for school-aged children and their caregivers to develop health habits and combat an increasingly sedentary lifestyle.
The Simcoe Muskoka On the Move and School Travel Planning are active school travel initiatives led by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit in partnership with the City and local school boards. The objective is to support children to reach the goal of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily by using active forms of transportation in a safe and sustainable way.
Walking / Pedestrians
Walking is an important transportation mode for short trips and a great way to get physical activity. As pedestrians are the most vulnerable road user, safety is of the utmost importance. Refer to these safety resources to familiarize yourself with safety tips and best practices:
- Ministry of Transportation – Road Safety: Pedestrians
- Ontario Road Safety Resource – Pedestrian Safety
- CAA – Pedestrian Safety
Cycling is an excellent transportation mode for short- to medium-length trips. Cycling provides many benefits to the user and society including improved health (both physical and mental) through exercise, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced personal costs and reduced municipal costs.
Information about E-Bikes & E-Scooters
E-bikes are motorized bicycles that can look like conventional bicycles, scooters or limited-speed motorcycles. E-bikes are a micromobility option that has become more popular in recent years; however, not without concerns associated with the large moped and motorcycle styled e-bikes with significant mass mixing with pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. In response to these concerns, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is developing regulatory and policy framework surrounding e-bikes to differentiate between bicycle style e-bikes (which would continue to be treated as bicycles) and moped and motorcycle styled e-bikes (which would require registration, insurance and a driver’s licence to operate).
It is anticipated that e-bikes will become an increasingly popular transportation option for those looking to travel longer distances, assist users by reducing physical exertion and those that need to travel on routes with more challenging elevation changes. The City is supportive of MTO’s initiative to examine opportunities to re-define e-bikes and place restrictions on larger moped and motorcycle styled e-bikes, which present a hazard to pedestrians and vulnerable road users.
E-scooters refer to the kick-style electric scooters that are operated by scooter rental service providers as well as available for personal ownership. While e-scooters are not human-powered, and therefore not an active transportation mode, they are a micromobility option that has become popular in large cities. E-scooters present a potential solution to first mile/last mile transportation problem associated with public transit as well as an alternative to bicycles.
E-Scooters are not allowed to operate on City property or within the public right-of-way (i.e. City streets, sidewalks or trails). The MTO is undertaking a 5-year pilot program (January 1, 2020, to January 1, 2025) allowing municipalities to establish by-laws to allow e-scooters on a trial basis to assess viability of potential broader future legislation. The City is not participating in this pilot program; however, staff are closely monitoring trends within the micromobility space.