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DRAFT REPORT OF THE CITY OF STRATFORD BICYCLE FRIENDLY MASTER PLAN

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DRAFT REPORT OF THE CITY OF STRATFORD BICYCLE FRIENDLY MASTER PLAN Powered By Docstoc
					     FINAL REPORT OF THE CITY OF
 STRATFORD BICYCLE FRIENDLY MASTER
           PLAN COMMITTEE

February 12, 2008




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Table of contents                                                       Page

1.0   Executive Summary…………………………………………….                                3
2.0   Background …………………………………….…………….                                   4
3.0   Activities of the BFMPC………………………………………                             6
4.0   Mixed Use Trail System……………………………………….                             7
      4.1.0 TRAILS MASTER PLAN
              4.1.1 Recreation Master Plan Report Recommendations
              4.1.2 possible use of existing railroad and Hydro right-of-ways
              4.1.3 existing foot paths in the Park System
      4.2     McCARTHY ROAD MIXED USE TRAIL.
      4.3     DEVON STREET MIXED USE TRAIL
      4.4     THE ERIE STREET MIXED USE TRAIL
      4.5     THE STRAFORD “RING TRAIL”
      4.6     THE TJ DOLAN MIXED USE TRAIL
      4.7     THE ROMEO STREET MIXED USE TRAIL
5.0   Cycling Infrastructure……………………………………………. 10
      5.1     CHANGE OF ENGINEERING STANDARD
      5.2     CHANGE OF PLANNING STANDARD
      5.3.0 THE ON-ROAD BICYCLE NETWORK……………….. 11
              5.3.1 On Road Bicycle Lanes
              5.3.2 Signed On-Road Facility
              5.3.3 soft shoulder conversion
              5.3.4 boulevarded sidewalk to MUT conversion
      5.4.0 BICYCLE LOCK-UP FACILITIES…………………….. 12
              5.4.1 bicycle lock-up site plan requirement
              5.4.2 municipal buildings
              5.4.3 municipally funded facilities
              5.4.4 public sector buildings
              5.4.5 technical guide
              5.4.6 replacement of current racks
              5.4.7 conversion of car parking
              5.4.8 train station
              5.4.9 market square redevelopment
              5.4.10 recreation complex
              5.4.11 parks and recreation
              5.4.12 bus shelters/transit nodes
              5.4.13 Greyhound station
      5.5.0 OTHER MEASURES
              5.5.1 bicycle carriers on buses
6.0   Cycling Culture …………………………………………………… 14
      6.1     creation of Active Transportation Committee
      6.2     creation of Active Transportation budget items
      6.3     employers guide
      6.4     tax/user fee incentives for employers
      6.5     Active Transportation awareness campaign
      6.6     Active Transportation Guide


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      6.7   Tourism Stratford
      6.8   bicycle rental
      6.9   Police Patrol plan
      6.10 bicycle theft abatement
      6.11 bicycle licensing system
      6.12 Safe cycling workshops
7.0   Implementation and Priorities……………………………………… 16
8.0   Resources…………………………………………………………. 17

Appendices




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1.0      Executive Summary

It is the purpose of the The Bicycle Friendly Master Plan Committee (BFMPC) according
to its Terms of Reference “To continue the process of developing a bicycle friendly
master plan for the city of Stratford”. The committee hopes that the work it has done and
the recommendations it lays out in this report fulfills this mandate.

As the work of the committee got underway, it was felt by the members that
recommendations as they related to bicycles were often very similar or identical to
requirements of other forms of what is known as “Active Transportation” . Active
Transportation is the use of any kind of human powered mode of transportation such as
cycling, walking, running, in-line skating, skateboarding, wheel(chair)ing, etc. for
practical and useful purposes other than simple recreation. The committee therefore
decided to make some recommendations as they relate to Active Transportation
generally, as these provisions will automatically include cycling but also be more
inclusive of many of the other Active Transportation modes.

The BFMPC has organized its work into 3 main areas of focus as follows:

1) Recommendations for the development and building of mixed use active
transportation/recreation paths separate from the road system within the city limits. These
will be paths which can be safely used by runners, walkers, cyclists and, where asphalt
can be installed, inline
skaters.

2)Recommendations regarding the development and installation of bicycle lanes, signs,
lines painted on roads, bike locking facilities, and any other physical changes to city
streets, sidewalks and other existing facilities that will promote safe bicycle use.

3) Recommendations which will promote safe “bicycle culture”. These would include
any program or campaign which creates awareness of car/bicycle/pedestrian safety issues
and promotes cycling as a legitimate form of transportation.


2.0      Background

The BFMPC has been meeting since April of 2005.

BICYCLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE.
The BFMPC made a detailed review of the recommendations contained in the report of
the 2001 Bicycle Advisory Committee. Of the recommendations drawn from the Bicycle
Advisory Committee report, the BFMPC carried the following areas as their highest
priorities:

      a) promote road etiquette and relevant portions of the Highway Traffic Act with
         cyclists pedestrians and motorists


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   b) promote cycling as transportation, not just recreation
   c) provide cycling access including parking facilities to city buildings
   d) institute a Share the Road campaign to increase driver and cyclist etiquette
   e) create a standing community bicycle committee under the auspices of a service
      club or as a stand alone association within the city
   f) encourage special events for bicycling

The BFMPC felt that its own recommendations would have to be much more specific,
organized into an overall plan, and contain steps to implementation in order to allow
council to adopt the plan and act on its recommendations. The excellent work of the
Bicycle Advisory Committee should be referenced as part of the overall vision for
cycling within Stratford.

The BFMPC felt that it was also very important to stress the environmental and
community benefits of cycling, not just it’s recreational aspect. In order that cycling be
taken seriously and the necessary commitment be made by Council and Staff to find
resources required to implement this plan, a fundamental understanding must be grown
that cycling and other forms of Active Transportation can play as important a role in the
daily economic and social life of the city as automobile transport. At some point in the
future, given oil scarcity, climate change, pollutant emissions and residue, Active
Transportation will be important to Stratford as a supplement to private automobile
transport.

As the Energy and Environment Committee’s Report to Council on Peak Oil makes clear,
transportation fuels will become increasingly and permanently expensive in the short to
medium term. This will affect Stratford’s citizens financial ability to use private
automobiles as a primary source of transportation.

The City has also made commitments to being an leader on climate change issues. The
Partners for Climate Protection is the main example of this. One way to reduce climate
change emissions is to encourage increasing use of Active Transportation including
bicycles. Southwestern Ontario communities are known to have poor ground level air
quality. Air quality advisories are issued more frequently and over a longer period of the
year than ever. In contrast, Active Transportation increases the ground level air quality.

The City has changed its tax structure to revitalize the downtown core by encouraging the
re-development of existing buildings within the core to promote residential use of these
buildings. As these buildings predate the provision of automobile parking, residents of
these buildings may choose to use a combination of foot, bicycle, public and shared
vehicle (such as a Carshare service) transportation. This will become even more
important if a university satellite campus is established, as university students tend to
favour these forms of transportation.

It has long been known that “social capital” is developed when people opt for slower and
less insular forms of transportation which make face-to-face contact easier among people
moving around the city on their daily rounds. Especially pedestrian, but also bicycle



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transportation builds strong community networks of people who recognize and get to
know their neighbours and the other members of their community.

The physical scale of the city of Stratford lends itself extremely well to being an Active
Transportation community. An average cyclist can move from one side of the city to the
other in well under half an hour. The use of a bicycle for transporting a single person and
a small cargo, as is usually the case with commuting to work, is very viable for a large
number of people who live and work within the city.

Technological innovations such as studded tires for bicycles and a broader range of
cycling equipment, as well as less snow cover in winter, mean that cycling is a viable
alternative for a longer portion of the year than has been the case in the past. Increasing
numbers of cyclists now consider bicycles as year round transportation.

The Perth District Health Unit and the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion more
actively encourage people to get regular daily exercise in the form of the walking,
running, skating or cycling. The health benefits of Active Transportation are well
documented and are a key component in keeping the citizens of Stratford healthy,
especially young people, who for the first time are not expected, on average to live as
long as their parents, largely due to a more sedentary way of life.

The City of Stratford Official Plan lays out the goals and objectives of” increasing
cycling in the City as a mode of transportation” as well as providing for “the safe ,
convenient and easy movement of bicyclists throughout the City,” and makes several
recommendations in this regard including in 12.3.1 , the creation of a “Bikeway Plan” as
well as general provisions for bicycle lanes and bicycle parking.. It also points out that
the Province strongly encourages cycling “as an alternative mode of transportation and
enables municipalities to use a portion of their provincial allocation for road and transit to
establish facilities for bicycles.”

Cycling on sidewalks and other sometimes inappropriate places is an ongoing issue in
Stratford as are issues of cyclists obeying the rules of the road and motorists co-existing
with cyclists on city streets. It is hoped that providing visible and meaningful
infrastructure and provisions for a supported cycling culture within the city will make
cyclists feel recognized and respected and encourage them to use their mode of
transportation responsibly, courteously, safely and within the law.

The City of Stratford’s Strategic Master Plan to Provide for Leisure Services and
Facilities Report outlines the importance of the current trails system and makes several
excellent recommendations for the extension and development of the system.

The original Stratford & Area Round Table for the Environment & Economy made 15
short, mid and long term recommendations related to strategic transportation planning,
including “allocating bicycles a fixed minimum share of the municipal transportation
budget,” and developing a network of Mixed Use Trails within the city.




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Several recommendations regarding cycling exist in Stratford’s Roundtable on The
Environment for the 21st Century (Dec. 2004) which recognize that cycling will play an
increasingly important role in mitigating against environmental and resource degradation.


3.0    Activities of the BFMPC

Go for Green ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION. Active Transportation is useful, human
powered transportation which includes walking, cycling, inline skating, etc. The
Committee participated with the Perth District Health Unit in a “Go for Green” workshop
to have an independent assessment of Stratford’s current and potential future levels of
active transportation. This workshop, happened over 2 days, Sept 28-29, 2006, and made
recommendations some of which are included in this report. The workshop facilitator
recognized that while Stratford had very good pedestrian transport, the current facilities
for cycling were quite limited, lowering the city’s overall Active Transportation potential.
Participants at the workshop resolved to “Make Stratford an Active Transportation
Community”. This report is one of the stated goals for Stratford in its Go for Green Plan.

McCARTHY ROAD MIXED USE TRAIL. The BFMPC recommended the creation of a
Mixed Use Trail (suitable for all Active Transportation modes) along the south side of
McCarthy Road and actually began the process of public consultation, engineering and
design, initial costing and recommendation for inclusion for consideration in the earliest
possible budgetary period. This project could act as a pilot project for the creation of
other Mixed Use Trails within the city limits. The BFMPC hosted a workshop/open
house to get input from the public on this proposal on Sept. 27, 2006. Members of the
public were also able to get information about the benefits of Active Transportation and
have other input into the work of the BFMPC.


4.0     Mixed Use Trail System

This is the set of recommendations for the development and building of a Mixed Use
Trail network separate from the road system within the city limits. These would be paths
which can be safely used by runners, walkers, cyclists and, where asphalt can be
installed, inline skaters. Mixed Use Trails are different from regular sidewalks in that
they are wider and can allow for faster bicycle traffic to safely pass slower pedestrian
traffic.

4.1.0 TRAILS MASTER PLAN -- There is currently a recommendation before the
Community Services Subcommittee to proceed with the creation of a professional Trail
Master Plan which would complement the Recreation Master Plan. The BFMPC
recommends that the Dept. of Community Services proceed with the development of
a Trail Master Plan with the proviso that the plan be written and take into account as
many of the relevant recommendations of this (BFMPC) report as possible. The BFMPC
recommends that if a trail master plan is commissioned and there is any opportunity for
input in the process, that any successor body to the BFMPC be invited to contribute at
the appropriate stage. The BFMPC also recommends that the trail master plan, if created,


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be given to any successor body to the BFMPC for its assessment and that that assessment
be passed on to the Community Services Subcommittee. The Trail Master Plan should
not be limited in scope to trails to be used for exclusively for recreation but should have
at least an equal focus on a trail network that could be used for useful transportation (e.g.
commuting) in some or all of the Active Transporation modes. The Trail Master Plan
should not be limited in scope to a network that would only encompass lands that
currently fall under the jurisdiction of Stratford’s Dept. of Community Services (i.e.
parks and recreation). The Master Plan should show how any dedicated trail network
would suitably interconnect with the existing roadways of the City particularly those
identified as forming part of the roadway cycling network. The BFMPC envisions the
Trails Master Plan largely as a detailed technical document and map outlining current and
future trails within the city. Neither the Bicycle Advisory Committee nor the BFMPC had
the resources or technical expertise to create such a technical document on a volunteer
basis and this plan must be prepared by a professional conversant with the technical,
engineering and safety standards required. Once in place, the document can be the basis
of budgeting, public input, volunteer participation and fundraising efforts to undertake a
phased realization of the plan.

4.1.1 The City of Stratford’s Strategic Master Plan to Provide for Leisure Services and
Facilities Report says the following regarding trails within the city, including, notably the
creation of a Walking and Cycling Trails Master Plan:

      “5.4.2 RECOMMENDATION - COMMUNITY TRAILS

The following recommendations have been developed for a community trail system along the
Avon River corridor and the linked watercourses and natural areas within Stratford:

• To develop a Walking and Cycling Trails Master Plan focusing on enhancing the
existing trails, and developing and linking new trails within a network model
throughout the City and the Northeast and Northwest Secondary Plan areas.
• To ensure that Community Trails connect suburban locations with key points in
the Downtown areas to provide an alternative transportation connection;
• To update annually, the “Take a Hike” Guidebook, describing the walking and
biking trails available, access points, and points of interest and related
information.
• To host an Annual Stratford Trails Celebration Day
• To design trails to be primarily multi-purpose walking and cycling travel modes,
with areas around the Avon River designated exclusively for pedestrian use to
avoid possible safety conflicts within high tourism usage zones.
• To develop trail entranceways which provide visibility, a guide map, information
and educational guides to the trail and its features”

The BFMPC supports these recommendations fully and asks that if a trail master plan is
undertaken, these recommendations be taken into account.

4.1.2 The Trails Master Plan should be encouraged to explore the possible use of
existing railroad and Hydro right-of-ways to extend the trail network. The precedent
exists for doing this. The City should be prepared to enter into negotiations with all
concerned parties for this purpose.



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4.1.3 The Trails Master Plan should proscribe what changes could be made to existing
foot paths in the Park System (especially along the north and south sides of Lake Victoria
and the Avon River) to encourage bicycle use which would not effect or intimidate
pedestrian users. This may include a separate path for cyclists where space permits.

4.2     McCARTHY ROAD MIXED USE TRAIL. The committee examined the
possible construction of a Mixed Use Trail along the south side of the McCarthy Street
right of way. This trail would be perfect in joining the east and west end of the city,
would link residential neighbourhoods all along McCarthy Road and also provide safe
travel to the new Recreation Complex. The plan proposes the trail be placed on the south
side of McCarthy Road-- the same side as Recreation Centre and Bedford School. As
well, there is more space for the path on the south side. It is suggested that asphalt would
be the best material for the combined trail. The trail should be approximately 3.0 meters
wide. The combined trail should be situated off of the road (as a sidewalk is) to ensure
safe passage An Initial assessment of the cost of completing this project was estimated at
$140,000.00. The BFMPC recommends that the Community Services Committee
request that the required funding be set aside by the city in the next possible
budgetary period to complete this project. The BFMPC recommends that any
successor body to the BFMPC and/or any non-profit service club or group which may be
interested can be invited to partner in a process to raise some of the money required for
this and similar future projects.

4.3     DEVON STREET MIXED USE TRAIL-- The committee explored the possible
construction of a mixed use trail along the south side of the Avon River and parallel to
Devon St. between Romeo St. and the city limits. This trail would mostly be built on
current city property, the one exception to be where the trail would go next to or across
the Devon St. Hydro substation. The BFMPC recommends that the city enter into
discussions with Ontario Hydro to allow the trail pass through the largely unused yard of
this facility, or failing that, along its south fence. Consensus held that the trail could
separate the current city owned parkland which is becoming increasingly naturalized
from the private property on Devon Street. The BFMPC recommends that the Dept. of
Community Services Committee begin the process of designing and costing a Mixed
Use Trail to run along the recommended route to become the Devon Street Mixed
Use Trail.

4.4     THE ERIE STREET MIXED USE TRAIL—The current bicycle path down the
west side of Erie street trail should be expanded to the standard of other Mixed Use Trail
in the city and signage updated . This Mixed Use Trail should be extended along
Packham road to join the sidewalk on Dunn Road for servicing the recreational areas
along Dunn Road. This side walk should be converted to a Mixed Use Trail or room
should be made available on the current roadway for On Road Bicycle Lanes in both
directions.

4.5     THE STRAFORD “RING TRAIL” -The appropriate city departments should
design and cost the construction of a “Ring Trail” which would very roughly proscribe
the current boundaries of the Municipality of Stratford. This Trail could be pieced
together from Mixed Use Trails as well as alterations to the shoulders of roads such as


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Lorne and O’Loane. It would be the intention of all other Mixed Use Trails to ultimately
extend to this Ring Trail. Access to this Ring Trail would also be provided at any point
where a road crossing the city limits also crosses the ring trail.

4.6     THE TJ DOLAN MIXED USE TRAIL-- If A Mixed Use Trail is built joining
TJ Dolan Drive to O’Loane ave or Lorne ave. the BFMPC felt that it should be built
adjacent to BUT NOT DIRECTLY THROUGH the naturalized areas of the TJ Dolan.
This is in an effort to preserve the naturalized (wooded) area as much as possible and
preserve the natural setting. Where this MUT links up with wood chip trails extending
out to O’Loane ave and Lorne ave, it should be made of stone dust, replacing the current
wood chip covered trails in this area as wood chips is not a suitable covering for a trail
being used by bicycles.

4.7    THE ROMEO STREET MIXED USE TRAIL-- A MUT should replace the
       current sidewalk down the west side of Romeo Street South of Park St. extending
       to Lorne Ave. This MUT would service the Municipal golf course, National
       stadium and the work places on Romeo St.


5.0    Cycling Infrastructure

This set of recommendations concern the development and installation of bicycle lanes,
signs, lines painted on roads, bike locking facilities, and any other physical changes to
city streets, sidewalks and other existing facilities that will promote safe bicycle use.

5.1      CHANGE OF ENGINEERING STANDARD. The Committee has determined
that it will be necessary for the City to revise its engineering standards such that when a
new development or road is proposed, the city require that a bicycle/active transportation
lane be installed as part of the new road(s). This would also apply to substantial
reconstruction of existing roads. Once the standards have been revised, reason will have
to be demonstrated why the bicycle lanes cannot be installed in order for them to be
omitted from the final plans. The city may have to undertake an environmental
assessment/ public consultation before proceeding with the change of standard. The
BFMPC recommends that the Dept. of Engineering be requested to begin the
process of changing the required road and right of way standards to accommodate
bicycle lanes wherever possible. All new developments in the city will be required to set
aside enough right of way width on all roads to accommodate bicycle lanes or a Mixed
Use Trail equivalent.

5.2    CHANGE OF PLANNING STANDARD The Planning Department should be
asked to modify the required specifications required of all new proposed residential
developments such that the developer must provide for On-Road Bicycle Lanes, and any
non-vehicular paths should be built to the city’s Mixed Use Trail standard. The plan of
development should also make adequate provision for the continuation of any existing
Mixed Use Trail or other cycling lane which would naturally feed into the new
development. BFMPC recommends that the Dept. of Planning be requested to begin



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the process of changing the required development standards and specifications to
accommodate bicycle use wherever possible.

5.3.0 THE ON-ROAD BICYCLE NETWORK

The city should designate an On-Road Bicycle Network according to the existing map of
bicycle routes in the City of Stratford (include copy of map here) which have been
recommended for use by cyclists as alternatives to main arterial roads (Ontario Street,
Huron St. etc.) The BFMPC recommends that council designate an On-Road Bicycle
Network and commit to gradually improving any bicycle related infrastructure
including signage required on this network to make its use more safe and
convenient. At the will of council or as dictated by the changed engineering standards,
the city may also upgrade any other of its current roads to make provisions for bicycle
use. This should be done as follows:


5.3.1 Where the space DOES CURRENTLY exist to create a designated On Road
Bicycle Lane in addition to lanes of active vehicular traffic and parking lanes, according
to current standards, an On Road Bicycle Lane will be delineated on these streets and
marked as such. Any improvements to the surface of these streets where the ORBL exists
shall be undertaken at the first available juncture to include improvement of the asphalt
surface, and replacement of unsafe sewer grates.

5.3.2 Where the space DOES NOT CURRENTLY exist to create a designated On-Road
Bicycle Lane in addition to lanes of active vehicular traffic and parking lanes, according
to current standards, a Signed On-Road Facility should be delineated on these streets and
marked as such. Signage will remind motorists to share the road since this is part of the
city’s On Road Bicycle Network. Any measures that can be used to encourage motorists
to safely co-exist with cyclists (lower speed limits, traffic calming etc.) should be
implemented as required. Any improvements to the surface of these streets where the
bicycles will travel shall be undertaken at the first available juncture to include
improvement of the asphalt surface, and replacement of unsafe sewer grates.



5.3.3 On any road within the city limits that is being repaved or otherwise improved
and which has soft shoulders on both sides, both shoulders should be expanded and paved
sufficiently to each provide an On-Road Bicycle Lane.

5.3.4 Where a boulevarded sidewalk exists within the city and there is room to expand
it to a Mixed Use Trail, the city should undertake to do so, especially where it would
connect other elements of the Mixed Use Trail System and/or the On Road Bicycle
Network. This should be done especially where using the Mixed Use Trail would be the
cycling alternative to using an arterial road (as is the case with the proposed Romeo and
McCarthy St. Mixed Use Trails).




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5.4.0 BICYCLE LOCK-UP FACILITIES

It is critical to ensure that everywhere the city expects people to have access to by bicycle
is serviced by adequate bicycle lock-up facilities since a bicycle cannot ever be left
outside anywhere without the risk of being stolen. The following recommendations are
proposed.

5.4.1 All new commercial developments in the city should provide an area to safely
lock bicycles up as part of a final approved site plan. This area would be have to close to
the main entrance to the building, in the vicinity of the handicapped parking spaces. In all
new commercial developments building a parking lot ,an minimum ratio of 20:1 (car
spots to secure bicycle lock up facilities will be mandated by by-law). This is provided
for generally in 12.3.4 of the Official Plan. BFMPC recommends that the Dept. of
Planning be requested to begin the process of changing the site plan requirements
for all new commercial developments to allow for adequate bicycle parking. This
accommodation of should apply in any instance of “redevelopment” or rezoning
requiring the approval of council.

5.4.2 All municipally owned buildings need adequate facilities to lock up bicycles. This
is provided for generally in 12.3.5 of the Official Plan.

5.4.3 All facilities which receive municipal funding should, as a requirement of
continued funding, have to have adequate facilities to lock up bicycles if there is any
chance that people may use bicycles to get to the facility.

5.4.4 A request should be made through city council to ask all other public sector
buildings in the city, schools, hospitals, posts offices etc. to consider installing bicycle
lock-up facilities.

5.4.5 A technical guide should be adopted by the city’s Engineering Dept. which would
ensure that all lock up facilities installed in the city be consistent and effective.
Reference in this regard should be made to “Bicycles at Rest” by John Lutton. “Wheel
bender” and “Toast rack” designs (currently provided by the city as bicycle parking)
should not be considered adequate.

5.4.6 “Wheel bender /Toast rack” design lock-up facilities currently available on
municipal property should be removed and replaced.

5.4.7 Some space in current city parking lots (e.g. Erie St.) should be converted to
bicycle parking.

5.4.8 The operator of the Stratford train station should provide secure bicycle parking.
This would encourage people who use the train to commute or make short-term trips out
of the city to get to the train by bicycle.

5.4.9 If the market square is redeveloped, its design should incorporate bicycle access
and parking prior to final approval.


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5.4.10 The new recreation complex must set aside adequate space for secure bicycle
parking.

5.4.11 Existing park and recreational facilities should provide adequate space for secure
bicycle parking.

5.4.12 Bus shelters or other Public transit nodes should have facilities for secure bicycle
parking.

5.4.13 The intercity bus operator (i.e. Greyhound) should be approached by the city about
installing facilities for secure bicycle parking at the bus station.

5.5.0 OTHER MEASURES

5.5.1 The city should request Stratford Transit to present a cost/implementation report
on installing bicycle carriers on the front of Stratford buses.


6.0     Cycling Culture

This section includes recommendations which will promote safe “bicycle culture”. These
would include any program or campaign which creates awareness of car/ bicycle/
pedestrian safety issues and promotes cycling as a legitimate form of transportation.

6.1     The BFMPC recommends that the city should facilitate the creation of a
standing Active Transportation Committee to oversee the implementation of the
BFMP, The Trails Master Plan, all other ongoing Active Transportation initiatives
and to guide changes to the BFMP in the future. This committee will make
recommendations regarding future expansion of the city’s Active Transportation
infrastructure and culture. It will co-ordinate and help publicize activities of any groups
in the city undertaking activities related to Active Transportation. This committee will
mediate between Active Transportation stakeholders and city residents who present
issues of conflict or suggestions as to modifications to Active Transportation culture and
infrastructure. This committee will NOT be a standing committee of the city of Stratford
to allow it to partner with non-profit organizations and service clubs to apply for grants
and otherwise fundraise for specific projects. Not being a committee of the city would
also give it the independence to comment on municipal government activities and lobby
city council as a citizen group. City council should facilitate the creation of the
committee as recommended by the BFMP, provide it with a liaison to council, a liaison
to the Police Services and provide it with resources such as a meeting space. This
committee would co-ordinate the ongoing volunteer and fundraising efforts to build and
pay for expanded Active Transportation requirements in the city. The Perth District
Health Unit has expressed interest in being involved in some capacity with an Active
Transportation Committee.




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6.2    The BFMPC recommends that council (in consultation with Active
Transportation Committee if it has bee formed in time) should, in the next
budgetary cycle, create ongoing budget items for Active Transportation
infrastructure and services not currently allowed for in the budget process. While
some Active Transportation infrastructure is provided for in the budget process (e.g.
sidewalks, paths in the Parks system,) other necessary items such as bicycle specific
signage are not adequately provided for. As more people are encouraged to use Active
Transportation, these ratepayers will want to be assured that a fair share of their taxes are
being designated to the new services and infrastructure they require. These funds can be
used for the ongoing implementation of the recommendations in the BFMP.

6.3     The city should develop or adopt a guide for employers to encourage their
employees to use Active Transportation to get back and forth from work. This document
will touch on areas of bicycle lock-up and/or storage, using Active Transportation year-
round, showers, clothing storage etc.

6.4      The city should develop or adopt a system of (tax) incentives for employers to
provide services to all Active Transportation using employees (e.g. any employer
installing a shower for use by Active Transportation -using employees will receive a
rebate on their water bill equal, any employer providing indoor/heated/secure bicycle
parking for their employees will receive a consideration on their assessment, any
employer creating or extending a Mixed Use Trail onto their private property will receive
a deduction on their tax assessment.

6.5     The city should partner with Active Transportation Committee (when created) and
any other interested groups to create an awareness campaign designed to encourage
people to use the On-Road Bicycle Network as much as possible rather than main traffic
Arteries such as Ontario Street, Huron Street etc. This would encourage safety and cyclist
confidence. This campaign should also stress the benefits of Active Transportation and
the right of cyclists’ to use the road along with motorists. It should also stress safety (e.g.
helmet use)and the obligation of cyclists to use the road in accordance with the Highway
Traffic Act and all relevant by-laws. It would also make clear the laws regarding riding of
bicycles on sidewalks.

6.6     The city should partner with Active Transportation Committee (when created) to
create or adopt an Active Transportation Guide for the City of Stratford and make it
available on the city website. This guide would include maps of the On-Road Bicycle
Network, The Mixed Use Trail network (when developed), rules of the road for cyclists,
recommendations for locking-up bicycles, guides for how to ride a bicycle safely in
winter, proper helmet fitting, use of bells etc.

6.7     Tourism Stratford should develop a component of its materials which talks about
Stratford being an Active Transportation friendly community.

6.8     The city should work with a private enterprise to set up a bicycle rental facility
centrally and potentially on city property which will service the visitor population or for
Stratford residents requiring a bicycle for a short term.


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6.9     The city should request the Stratford Police Service develop a Patrol plan for the
Mixed Use Trail system and the On-Road Bicycle Network, to insure that Mixed Use
Trails are used for their intended purposes and reassure all right of way providers (Hydro,
railroad etc.) that trail use will in no way compromise the security of their properties.
This will also extend Police presence and reassure those using these facilities that they
are safe.

6.10 The city should request the Stratford Police Service develop a plan for approval
by the Police Services Board to combat bicycle theft in the city. This could include
modifications to the current bicycle licensing system if required. This could also include
the continuation of the “bait bike” programme (started in 2007) and the publicity of this
programme, as both have been found to be effective here and in other jurisdictions in
Canada in lessening the incidence of bicycle theft. (There have been well over 300
reported incidences of bicycle theft each year for the last two years, 2006 and 2007.)

6.11 The city should promote the use of the current bicycle license system. It could do
this by providing bicycle licenses free of charge (as is currently done selectively at events
such as the Optimist Bicycle Rodeo). The city should also partner with all city bicycle
stores to allow licenses to be issued at the point of sale by the retailer. The convenience
of this service would encourage more people to get bicycle licenses and create more
awareness about their existence and function. If the necessary information is gathered
correctly by the retailer, less time may be required by the City Clerk’s Office in
processing and inputting licensing information.

6.12 The Active Transportation Committee under the guidance of the Stratford Police
Service and The Perth District Health Unit should work to expand school bicycle safety
programs and workshops currently conducted by the police and the health unit. A similar
voluntary program should be made available and heavily promoted to adults as a critical
element in improving adult rider behaviour. Where extra funding is required to run such
programmes, the city should provide it along with materials required and the use of any
city facilities appropriate for the conduct of these programmes. The Police Service, the
health unit and the Active Transportation Committee (when created) should work to
expand and improve bicycle safety programmes for use with children and adults. These
groups should jointly approach the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario to solicit its
involvement.


7.0     Implementation & Priorities

The BFMPC recommends that its primary recommendations (written in bold type
throughout the Plan, and listed again below) be adopted by council in the shortest feasible
term as staff and other resources become available. A rough prioritization of these
recommendations is given below according to order.

4.1.0   The BFMPC recommends that the Dept. of Community Services proceed with the
        development of a Trail Master Plan


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4.2     The BFMPC recommends that the Community Services Committee request that
        the required funding be set aside by the city in the next possible budgetary period
        to complete the McCarthy Trail MUT project.

5.1     The BFMPC recommends that the Dept. of Engineering be requested to begin the
        process of changing the required road and right of way standards to accommodate
        bicycle lanes wherever possible.

5.2     The BFMPC recommends that the Dept. of Planning be requested to begin the
        process of changing the required development standards and specifications to
        accommodate bicycle use wherever possible.

6.1     The BFMPC recommends that the city should facilitate the creation of a standing
        Active Transportation Committee to oversee the implementation of the BFMP,
        The Trails Master Plan, all other ongoing AT initiatives and to make
        recommendations as to changes to the BFMP in the future.

5.3.0   The BFMPC recommends that council designate an On-Road bicycle network and
        commit to gradually improving any bicycle related infrastructure including
        signage required on this network to make its use more safe and convenient.

5.4.1   The BFMPC recommends that the Dept. of Planning be requested to begin the
        process of changing the site plan requirements for all new commercial
        developments to allow for adequate bicycle parking.

6.2     The BFMPC recommends that council should in the next budgetary cycle, create
        ongoing budget items for Active Transportation infrastructure and services not
        currently allowed for in the budget process.

4.3     The BFMPC recommends that the Dept. of Community Services Committee
        begin the process of designing and costing a MUT to run along the recommended
        route to become the Devon Street MUT.

All other recommendations in this plan should considered in the mid to long term and
should implemented as part of this overall plan in order to make Stratford among the
most bicycle friendly cities in Canada.


8.0     Resources:

“Bicycles at Rest: A bicycle parking best practices guide” John Lupton 2005, Capital
Bike and Walk Society. (www.capitalbikeandwalk.org)

Technical Handbook of Bikeway Design 2nd ed. Velo Quebec, 2003, (3rd edition is also
now available)



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Go for Green Resource Package, Active Transportation documents, Research on
Sustainable Community Planning by Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation.


Appendix A - City bike routes Map

Appendix B - Report of the Bicycle Advisory Committee, Dec. 2001
         • Relevant sections of the Official Plan of the City of Stratford
         • Relevant sections of the Stratford and Area Roundtable on the
             Environment and the Economy

Appendix C - Relevant sections of the Roundtable on the Environment for the
             21st Century Report

Appendix D - McCarthy MUT route plan




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