ATIP Interim Report

Active Transportation Implementation Plan – Interim Report to Council

Distribution Date: October 16, 2020

Purpose
The purpose of this report is to outline the progress and successes of the on-road Active Transportation Network, and provide some cost estimation for the 2021 budget, and future budgets. The report will outline the progress to date and the future plans. Also, the report will note some of the issues encountered and mitigation measures used to address these issues.

Get the full report here: https://www.newmarket.ca/TownGovernment/Documents/INFO-2020-34.pdf


Here are some excerpts:

  • To date, the roadway bike lanes planned for 2019 and 2020 are largely completed.
  • ATIP planned routes for 2021 through 2023 are outlined, emphasizing connectivity provided in each case.
  • Lorne Avenue, Clearmeadow Boulevard and William Roe Boulevard on-road bike routes are planned for construction in 2021.
    • The Lorne Avenue bike lanes (Davis Drive to Eagle Street) are planned to be implemented in conjunction with a road reconstruction project.
    • The Clearmeadow Boulevard and William Roe Boulevard routes provide a long eastwest network link.
    • Both routes provide excellent connections and the design of these routes will have to consider impacts at the schools and on-street parking.
  • 2022 ATIP routes are planned to be implemented primarily on Ward 1 roads – Stonehaven Avenue, Kingsmere Avenue, Nellie Little Crescent, and Fernbank Road.
  • 2023 ATIP routes are planned to be implemented primarily on Ward 3 roads – Huron Heights Drive, Waratah Avenue, Leslie Valley Drive, and Ringwell Drive.
  • The proposed Mulock Multi-Use Path (MUP) is outlined. A Request For Proposals has been tendered for a Feasibility Study.
  • There is a section on Lesson Learned:
    • On-Street parking
    • Communication
    • Costs
    • The numbers – increased cycle use when cycle routes are in place; and the reduction in average vehicle speed.

London Rd Cycle Lanes & ATIP

Cycle Newmarket had a ride and photo-op on the new cycle lanes on London Road, Nov 8, 2020. These lanes are an important cycling connection between Yonge Street and Main Street, and to the Tom Taylor Trail north of the Tannery.

Cycle Newmarket on the new London Road cycle lane, Nov 8, 2020

These new lanes are a part of Newmarket’s ongoing Active Transportation Implementation Plan. The Plan’s recent Interim Report is available from the Town website here (pdf).

Cycle Newmarket member Stephen Harper wrote the following to Newmarket’s Transportation managers Mark Kryzanowski and Peter Noehammer.


Cycle Newmarket was delighted to see the Interim Report of ATIP published October 16, 2020. Our group is impressed with the tenacity of both you and Council in maintaining the focus on active transportation as a viable option for the citizens of Newmarket.

We are particularly delighted with the ‘Lessons Learned’ section on on-street parking. It is terrific to see that there is a continued interest in educating residents who have become accustomed to leaving their cars on the street, that there is a greater need for vulnerable road users to travel safely in the community.

In addition, the plans for future construction of Bike Lanes on Lorne Ave., Clearmeadow & William Roe Blvds. (2021), Stonehaven, Kingsmere, Nellie Little, and Fernbank Roads (2022), and Waratah Ave., Huron Heights, Leslie Valley and Ringwell Drives (2023) show that Newmarket is definitely becoming more sensitive to the needs of cyclists in and around the town.

We do have concerns, however. While we are aware that the following is a matter involving the Regional government. we note that there appears to be an insistence on the use of  MUPs on Mulock Drive. We would prefer separate one-directional bike lanes on both sides of the street. Safety is our primary concern. When cyclists need to access the opposite side of the street from the MUP, they must do so by negotiating with motor vehicles which are often travelling at high rates of speed.

Davis Drive is also a purview of the Region. However, we notice that many of the feeder bike lanes noted in your report empty onto Davis, where there is no provision at all (except for sharrows located east of Alexander Drive only) for safe cycling infrastructure.

On the whole, though, this is a very encouraging document. Thank you for updating us on these upcoming projects.

We plan to request leave to make a deputation to council on it in the near future.

Pandemic & Shared-use Trails

The COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the fact that shared-use trails do not work for cyclists. There are things the Town and region can do temporarily to improve physical safety for cyclists and pedestrians until permanent infrastructure is in place.

The following expresses the general opinion of Cycle Newmarket, partially in response to Kathryn O’Reilly’s letter to the editor in the Era Banner: “Cyclists Must Respect Other Trail Users”, April 23, 2020, and is based on anecdotal observations of some of our members.

In this time of COVID-19 pandemic, being able to get out on Newmarket’s Trail system, particularly the Tom Taylor Trail, has been an important part of personal well-being for many citizens. For pedestrians, joggers and cyclists, the trails are safe places to be outside while maintaining physical separation. The trails are wider than sidewalks so, if one has to step, run or ride off the trail, it’s onto grass, not onto a road with cars, trucks and buses.

Unfortunately, there have been confrontations on the trails, between pedestrians and cyclists, many caused by cyclists failing to maintain the required 2m separation between themselves and the pedestrians.

Cycle Newmarket believes that these conflicts really highlight the fact that the shared-use trails do not work for cyclists, now or ever. They are too narrow in many places, sometimes as little as 3m wide, and many sections have edges that are in poor repair. We also believe that Newmarket and the Region must greatly expand on the great start they have made with street cycling infrastructure.

There are ways to act now, as the pandemic continues, to provide temporary relief and increased safety to both pedestrians and cyclists. Some examples:

  • Brampton and other places have created temporary cycle lanes on roads that have greatly reduced traffic loads. This could be done now on Davis, Prospect, Mulock and others that could provide true, direct connectivity.
  • Many places have restricted vehicle access on some streets to expand the safe zone for pedestrians and cyclists alike. Nobody should have to step out into a traffic lane to maintain physical distance from someone else. This may not be applicable in many areas of Newmarket, where so much is residential, but closing Main Street South should be possible, as it seems mostly to be used as a bypass for cars.
  • On-street parking could be removed on Regional roads.
  • Speed limits could be dropped to 30 km/h in residential areas, and lowered to 40 km/h everywhere else.

There are many reasons for the Town to beef up its cycle track infrastructure, beyond the safety of the cycling public. Cycling helps us meet our climate emergency commitments, improves community health outcomes, and strengthens local businesses. These considerations have taken on added urgency with the COVID-19 pandemic and the required physical distancing.


Update from May 2: Apparently the Town has been hearing the same complaints, and has developed these signs:

A very positive approach, and cyclists have been seen coming to a stop to let others finish crossing.