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REPORT #: DATE: SUBMITTED TO: SUBMITTED BY: SUBJECT:

PIP2012-02 October 15, 2012 Council Robert Voigt, Manager Planning & Infrastructure Projects Active Transportation Plan

1. RECOMMENDATION:
THAT Council 1. receive Staff Report PIP2012-02; and, 2. further direct that the Draft Active Transportation Plan be made available for final stakeholder review for 20 days, prior to Council's final consideration.

2. SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND:


Synopsis The Active Transportation Plan (ATP) outlines policy direction and actions to provide necessary community improvements and programs which will make active transportation in Collingwood safer, effective, appealing, and able to meet the needs of Collingwoods citizens now and into the future. The implementation direction of the ATP relates to the planning for, and development of, active transportation facilities; as well as, ways of engaging and mobilizing Collingwoods citizens to help improve their community. The ATP is specifically designed to be implementable and effective. It is focused on cumulative benefits, practical solutions and leveraging physical and community assets while being well within the fiscal limits of the community. The development of the ATP included significant review of: best practices; Town documents and policies; Provincial and County policy direction; new and past surveys and community input; and, public meeting materials. The ATP is divided into five Sections. The first provides the introduction, purpose, scope, and context of the ATP and includes policy items. The four remaining sections are focused on areas of implementation, each with successively shorter timeframes as follows: I. II. III. IV. Long-range Implementation (5 years or more 3 projects) Mid-range Implementation (3 to 5 years 9 projects) Near-range Implementation (up to 3 years 10 projects) 100 Day Implementation Projects (100 days 9 projects)

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The Collingwood ATP is unique from other active transportation plans in a number of ways because it has been specifically designed to best serve Collingwood; including: it has a five year timeline; it is focused primarily on implementation projects; the implementation projects outline purposes and strategies for each, as opposed to predetermining solutions with overly prescriptive actions; the projects are designed to be within the capacity of the Town and community to complete easily; the ATP integrates many opportunities for community engagement/participation; the implementation actions of the ATP are designed to be collaborative when undertaken; there is significant flexibility built directly into the Plan; the ATP has been designed to be easily read and understood by community members, Council, staff, and professionals alike; and, the projects of the ATP focus on a variety of characteristics of active transportation, not just costly infrastructure improvements. Staff will be providing presentation further outlining the details of the ATP during the Council meeting. The presentation slides are attached and can be viewed online at: http://goo.gl/IdWpd . The ATP is attached and can be viewed online at: http://goo.gl/5Hxgl

3. DISCUSSION:
Active Transportation Active transportation means any form of transportation that is human-powered. In fact all trips include active transportation components, sometimes even just the act of walking to and from a car or transit vehicle. The most popular modes of active transportation are walking and cycling. Walking/wheeling is the only form of transportation that can be taken completely independently of all others for an entire trip from beginning to destination. The importance of active transportation is increasingly recognized as a relevant issue in light of environmental; chronic disease; and personal mobility issues, as well as the economic impacts associated with communities that are not designed and built to be active transportation friendly. This will continue to increase in importance due to an aging population; challenging peoples quality of life and enhancing the appeal of compact, walkable communities. There are many elements of the Provincial Policy Statement and Growth Plan that address the need for creating communities that are supportive of active transportation. It is important to recognize that active transportation is necessary for people that do not have a choice outside of these modes for getting around. The Victoria Transport Policy Institute and National Complete Streets Coalition state: People who are physically, economically and socially disadvantaged often rely on walking and cycling, so non-motorized modes can help achieve social equity and economic opportunity objectives and, Paying attention to all modes in street planning can also create a more efficient system that responds better to travel demand. Additionally, the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario has released two reports this year (Cycling Death Review, June and Pedestrian Death Review, September) that explicitly address the need for communities to plan, design and develop in ways that support active transportation.

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Because of its far-reaching influence, active transportation can have positive effects on many aspects of communities successes and overall livability. The Walkable and Livable Communities Institute states this clearly with the following: Communities that support walkability (active transportation) have better health and well-being, lower rates of traffic injuries and deaths, better access for people of all abilities, higher property values, better air quality and less greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) report, A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets, 2001 specifically identifies the need to design and develop streets with regard to pedestrian needs: Pedestrians are a part of every roadway environment, and attention should be paid to their presence in rural as well as urban areas... provisions should be made, because pedestrians are the lifeblood of our urban areas, especially in the downtown and other retail areas. In general, the most successful shopping sections are those that provide the most comfort and pleasure for pedestrians. Similar direction is provided in the County of Simcoe Transportation Master Plan (June 2008), and by other transportation organizations. Because planning, designing and building communities to support active transportation is important, the ATP has been specifically designed to make it easy for the Town of Collingwood to create and support a community that is active transportation friendly. Policy Direction The Simcoe County Official Plan describes the important link between policy, regulation, and development of the built environment to creating an active transportation supportive community. Policy 4.1.5 states: The design of streetscapes, building orientation, and traffic flow should be planned to provide safe pedestrian and cycling access and movement in downtowns, main streets, and other activity areas. The Simcoe County Official Plan also provides minimum policy statements for the development of the active transportation plans for communities in the Region. The majority of this direction has been addressed with the provisions of the Town of Collingwoods Urban Design Manual, as well as through the ATP presented here. The County defined minimum policy statements are as follows: Policies requiring the provision of sidewalks and/or multi-use trails through all new development areas and standards outlining a minimum number of development units for application of the policy; Policies outlining the requirements and conditions related to the dedication of lands in new development areas to complete future trail and sidewalk connections identified in the official plan; Policies outlining cycling and pedestrian safety measures to reduce injuries and fatalities associated with motor vehicle collisions (i.e. traffic calming, narrower streets, signage, cycling lanes, etc.); Policies and standards specifying the design parameters that should be used for new trails and sidewalks that reflect Ontario Provincial Standards, Accessibility Act requirements, and best practices; Policies requiring the provision of secure bicycle racks and shelters, showers and change rooms, and sidewalk connections between buildings and municipal sidewalks for all new community centres, schools and other public use buildings, meeting halls, and major

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employment land uses that meet a minimum floor space threshold to be established by each municipality.

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation, when describing Transportation Planning Policies and Guidelines specifically states the following: Municipalities will be required to demonstrate that their official plans conform to the transportation related policies in the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) and in relevant provincial plans such as the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe When further describing the Growth Plan the Ministry continues with These policies include the promotion of transit, bicycling, walking, and transportation demand management, the identification of multi-modal corridors and the facilitation of efficient goods movement. Additionally, the Ministry encourage(s) municipalities to review best practices in bicycle design in other Canadian provinces and US States for additional guideance as it the Ministrys Bicycle Policy is currently under review, with an expected publication within the next 12 months. The ATP addresses this diverse policy direction in an integrated manner. ATP Characteristics There are many factors which impact active transportation, and the effectiveness of overall community transportation systems. By only using an outdated paradigm that transportation should be planned and evaluated only based on physical travel many communities are not examining all the characteristics, or influences on, transportation systems. This results in transportation systems that do not fully support the needs of the community. Mobility is not an end unto itself and is predominantly intended to provide access to needed and desired goods, services, and experiences. Transportation planning must take this into account as a chief principle. Many factors affect transportation access; including the options available for different modes; quality of those options; as well as, land use and design factors. When seen this way, the role of active transportation within a community is better understood, and the importance of proper design for it is as well. The purpose of the ATP is to define policies & implementation projects, called Elements, that will make active transportation in Collingwood safe, easy, desirable, and, convenient; while ensuring that all forms of transportation work well for people. To achieve this, the ATP is designed with a number of key characteristics and focused on a short planning horizon. These characteristics are: building great places in Collingwood; building on Collingwoods physical & community assets and strengths; building a culture of active transportation within Collingwood; improving understanding of the ATP; facilitating citizen participation in implementation of ATP Elements; and, defining Elements that easily and strategically fit within the Towns budget that build community resilience and self-reliance. The specific implementation projects that make up the majority of the ATP are grouped by general timeframe. However, these are not necessarily related to a priority of execution, nor a

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timeline within which they must be completed. These timelines are related to: the length of time it is expected to take to complete the Elements; the timeframe within which the Element is most appropriately executed in relation to the overall ATP; and, the focus of the Element in terms of its impact. Challenges The Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) has been reviewing project information, policies, programs, and data relating to active transportation across Canada. It has identified several of the most important barriers that impede progress toward community objectives for greater active transportation activity, safety and enjoyment. These are as follows: Funding Data Built form Cycling Culture Individual perceptions of cycling Winter weather Geography Other institutional issues.

TAC also has identified the following principles to guide practitioners and their communities in responding to these diverse challenges: Principle 1 Leadership Principle 2 Partnerships Principle 3 Public involvement Principle 4 Financial and human resources Principle 5 Knowledge and skills Principle 6 Policy and planning Principle 7 Travel facilities Principle 8 Road safety Principle 9 Crime and personal security Principle 10 Affecting a culture: attitudes and perceptions Principle 11 Outreach to encourage active choices

The ATP has been very carefully designed/written to ensure that in a balanced and implementable manner, each of the barriers and principles listed above has been addressed through the structure and various details incorporated in the Plan. Additionally, it is important to note that typical municipal active transportation plans create a number of significant challenges for the Town or City for which they were developed. These have been addressed with the ATP; the following is an outline of these challenges. a) Scope Most AT plans are overly focused on developing transportation networks and infrastructure,

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ignoring the range of necessary characteristics that make a community active transportation friendly, such as: placemaking; complete community design; and, community engagement. The result is that they are overly prescriptive on the construction of physical infrastructure while equally lacking in ways for citizens to become involved, and for ways of making memorable and meaningful places for people to spend their time and/or conduct daily activities. This also tends to limit their adaptability because they cannot react to local context differences in neighbourhoods, or the ever-evolving Engineering and planning solutions associated with active transportation. b) Scale Most AT plans include a series of implementation projects that go well beyond their planning horizon. It is important, and proper, to have some long-term projects and policies within an AT plan. However, if it is overburdened with these it becomes unmanageable, confusing, and stale. If the majority of the initiatives within a plan cannot reasonably be achieved within its identified timeframe it does not serve a community and its citizens well. The result is that the resources that go into developing these many unachieved initiatives are effectually misappropriated because much of that work will likely be either forgotten or need to be redone with future revisions of the plan. An active transportation plan must be developed as a strategy for achieving particular goals if it is to be successful. Without the actionable components being reasonably doable the plan is reduced to being a vision document that will very likely have far less impact on the community. c) Cost Most active transportation plans define many projects which are town-wide initiatives that tend to be excessively difficult to fund, particularly for smaller towns and cities. These projects are also seldom easy to initiate or complete in phases; leaving them half done, or altogether passed-over. Implementation recommendations that are realistically not fundable, because of their size and/or number, are inappropriate and ineffective. The ATP needs to be readily achievable through the resources and assets of the community. The Towns economic wellbeing and the health of citizens are dependent on the practicality of an active transportation plan. d) Communication Most AT plans are not written to be easily understandable by citizens, elected officials, and professionals alike. This results in plans that are, not only confusing, but also uninspiring to the community; effectively making them easily ignored, unimplemented, and forgotten. Implementation Timeframe The Collingwood Active Transportation Plan is designed to be implementable within approximately five years, with an overall structure and policies that will be used to guide the regeneration the Plan for the following five year cycle. By doing this, the Plan will be an active and living tool for improving active transportation within

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the community. It will also make it more manageable and scalable for the needs and available assets of Collingwood. The results of completing the ATPs Elements are expected to be: a)Changed Culture: Making active transportation easier for daily activities; and supporting the local neighbourhoods and economy. b)Changed Environment: Addressing all aspects of active transportation, including: people-oriented design; better biking facilities; better signage; and, complete streets approaches; that will all make the physical form of Collingwood more supportive of active transportation. c) Empowered People: Making it easier for citizens & neighbourhood groups to get involved in real projects and facilitate test projects in partnership through with the municipality. d)Changed Scope: Facilitating real measurable improvements to the various aspects of active transportation; having a range of implementation projects that will make things happen in the community. e)Changed Expectations: Improved understanding of active transportation and Municipal implementation projects by citizens, elected officials, and professionals, and; include ongoing community input throughout the Plans life. Funding Specific funding of active transportation should be integrated into the Towns budget, to support the Elements detailed in the ATP. It is recommended that the Town provide dedicated funding for the implementation of the ATP Elements. The amount should be in the order of $100,000 to $150,000 annually; which is similar in scale to the amount dedicated to the trails system for the past many years. The Transportation Association of Canada, in recognizing the increasing costs municipalities are facing to fund transportation infrastructure, recommends: Realistic means must be found to provide adequate and sustaining sources of funds for new, expanded and properly maintained urban transportation infrastructure and services. They go on to identify that funding should be: stable over time, predictable in magnitude, and transparent open and easily understood by decision makers and the public, and designed to foster an urban transportation system operating at the lowest possible cost. The capital costs associated with various aspects of the larger implementation projects will have to be complemented by funding active transportation elements of major works projects within the larger budget envelops, and also with funding from public insurers, health agencies and other possible partners as recommended by the Transportation Association of Canada. Active Transportation Expertise To implement the Active Transportation Plan the Town requires staff resources that posses a specific set of professional skills and mindset to be effective. This is recognized in the Walk21 2007: Walkability Roadshow Case Studies report which identified as one of Collingwoods greatest challenges the need for technical expertise on staff that is strategically focused on these needs and planning. As such the ATP recommends that the Town designate responsibility for implementation of the ATP Elements to a specific Department. It is most appropriate to have this implementation

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conducted with a multi-disciplinary approach that links with the Engineering, Planning, and Parks Recreation and Culture Departments to facilitate strong interrelationships and effective work program development.

4. DEPARTMENT HEAD REVIEW:


A staff report and presentation on the ATP was reviewed at the Department Head meeting of September 11, 2012; an additional meeting of key staff, Department Heads and CAO was held on October 10, 2012, with changes made to the ATP accordingly prior to submittal to Council.

5. EFFECT ON TOWN FINANCES


There is no immediate effect on Town finances with the adoption of the ATP. The ATP defines specific recommendations for funding its implementation with a range of annual funding of $100,000 to $150,000. The capital costs associated with larger projects will be complemented by funding within these projects budget envelops.

6. DISPOSITION:
If approved by Council as outlined, the Manager of Planning and Infrastructure Projects will continue to take the lead in initiating the implementation of the specific projects defined in the Active Transportation Plan. Note that given the scope and structure of the ATP, as well as the research and preparatory work that has gone into developing it, staff expect to be able to complete up to two of the implementation Elements/projects by the end of this calendar year.

7. APPENDICES:
None Attached Active Transportation Plan Presentation slides SIGNATURE

____________________ Robert Voigt MCIP, RPP Manager Planning and Infrastructure Projects Town of Collingwood

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