1/18 #Brampton, earlier today, I was pretty negative on the city's progress on Active Transportation (AT), & also the bus facility, I owe you a proper thread. So, first off, what is "active transportation"? Active Transportation, AT for short, is using human power to get around
2/18 What does that mean? The biggest categories are walking & cycling, and can also includes skateboards, scooters, etc. (note, people in wheelchairs are counted as pedestrians). Power assisted such as E-bikes count, as far as I know, ( @kemosite).
3/18 In some place, transit is considered together with it, even if not AT per se, because transit users are also pedestrians, because a chunk of their journey is on foot, even if most of it is in a non-human powered vehicle, transit users need pedestrian things like sidewalks.
4/18 in the 2016 census, 44,235 of 278,880 used transit, walking, or cycling (15.9%), of this cyclists made up 725 people, about 1.6% of AT users, and 0.26% of overall commuters (keep this in mind). Note, this data is of commuters, and is only for people who the census counted.
5/18 this term of council, the Active Transportation Master Plan was finalized and approved, which is good. It mostly focuses on cycling, it contains an ambitious plan to build a network, which has been approved, and building on road facilities has been started.
6/18 cyclists are considered vehicles and are supposed to be on the road, and banned on sidewalks (there is an exception for kids), unless the sidewalk is a multiuse trail, a MUT, which explicitly plans for cyclist usage too.
7/18 thing is, cyclists are also kind of slow, and "squishy" compared to a car or truck, so to make it safe, and encourage people to cycle, they need protected infrastructure, sharrows don't count, and they should be physically protected (ask @kemosite to learn more).
8/18 I think it's fair to say that even to motorists, Brampton roads are shall we say, not exactly safe, let alone to someone who isn't encased in a literal ton of metal with airbags. So in the absence of purpose built facilities, many cyclists use the trail system.
9/18 the trail system is a good place to cycle, it's safe, much quieter, with much less pollution (looks at truck rolling coal). The drawback is, it's mostly north & south, along the waterways, that's why the on road plan has more east west focus.
10/18 here is the thing, the trail system isn't considered part of the road network, because of that, it has much lower maintenance standards, they'll get around to it eventually, generally 48-72 hours, unlike the road right of way which has regulated minimums standards.
11/18 on road cycle facilities have much higher standards, closer to roads, at least theoretically, and the ATMP aims to have them cleared like the rest of the road. I say theoretically, because Toronto's implementation is regularly absolutely rubbish.
12/18 sidewalks next to municipal roads, that are school routes or along transit routes are taken care of decently, they used to be below dead end streets in clearing priority, but now seem to at least de facto be somewhat higher.
13/18 if it is neither, and a property fronts onto it, then the property owner adjacent to it is responsible for maintaining it. Make no mistake, the municipality is making people clear snow from city owned sidewalk, this is a form of tax, called corvée.
14/18 if that sounds unfamiliar, that is because it is a feudal type of tax which has been abandoned in the developed world because it produces shoddy work, and homeowner snow clearing of sidewalks can be both shoddy and spotty. Our currently by-law dates to 1976.
15/18 so the current City Council which today has mentioned about all the work that has been done on AT, has in fact done work on capital expenses for building new road infrastructure for the 1.6% of AT commuters who cycle, but pedestrians who make up the rest get dregs.
16/18 Let me by clear, I support the expansion of on road cycling infrastructure, however we also need to look at the operating side. No real progress has been made one snow maintenance. If council is serious about Active Transportation, it should be serious 12 months a year.
17/18 The cost to take over sidewalk snow removal for the rest of the city owned sidewalks is around $2 per homeowning household per month, if you wonder what about renters, purpose built rental is taxed at a higher rate.
18/18, the City should also look at upgrading snow clearing priority of the trail network, I don't have a cost estimate though. If you want people to switch to AT, 48 hours isn't fast enough for people who have jobs and school.
Addendum, the transit facility thread will follow tomorrow, this thread was getting rather lengthy already
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