Active Transportation Network Guidelines

A comprehensive plan considers design guidelines, maintenance, end-of-trip facilities, a capital expenditure plan, supporting programs and on-going monitoring.

Here are the components of a comprehensive bicycle plan.

Goals & Objectives

Include the goals and objectives to be achieved by the plan.

Network Plan

A network plan includes routes, pathways and other infrastructure integrated with the municipal and regional roadway network, pathways, park systems and transit services. The network plan should include:

  • On-street routes, which might include signed routes on local streets, wide curb lanes and bicycle lanes on collector roads and arterial roads and “enhanced” bikeways along local streets paralleling arterial roads,
  • Off-street pathways and trails. Generally these would be multi-use pathways shared with pedestrians, runners, equestrians and in-line skaters,
  • Other infrastructure, such as access ramps to bridges, underpasses and overpasses, bicycle-only traffic barriers, etc., and
  • A strategy to minimize conflict between cyclists, pedestrians and motorists, particularly on commuter routes that are heavily congested.

The network plan should accommodate peope of all ages and abilities who travel using active transportation to work, school and errands. Additionally, the network plan may accommodate recreational users.

The network should provide direct access for commuters to major destinations within a municipality or regional district as well as connections to regional and provincial routes. Examples of major destinations include schools, commercial and office centres, intermodal transportation centres and recreational areas.

Design Guidelines

Design guidelines for new/improved infrastructure, which have been integrated into roadway and development guidelines, should not only specify dimensions for various types of infrastructure, but should also address intersection configuration and laning, surface materials, grades, signage, pavement markings, crossings, illumination and means of accommodating commuters during construction projects.

Maintenance Policies & Procedures

In many cases, maintenance of the infrastructure can be incorporated into existing road maintenance programs. Additional maintenance, particularly sweeping, may be required for off-street pathways and bicycle lanes. Increased maintenance may also be appropriate for high-use bicycle routes.

End-of-Trip Active Transportation

Plans and design guidelines for end-of-trip facilities should be provided for:

  • Secure, long-term bicycle parking, such as bicycle lockers and bicycle rooms,
  • Short-term bicycle parking such as bicycle racks, and
  • Showers and clothing lockers.

Capital Expenditure

A capital expenditure plan identifies estimated costs of various active transportation projects and the anticipated timing of implementation. Where possible, construction of infrastructure should be coordinated with other municipal roadway and transportation projects.

Supporting Programs

To maximize the effectiveness and success of the the active transportation plan, a strategy to implement supporting programs should be included. These programs include:

  • Amendments to municipal plans and policies, such as official community plans, neighbourhood plans, development guidelines and recreational plans.
  • Programs to increase the awareness of cycling opportunities, the benefits of cycling and to encourage increased levels of active transit. Examples of these programs include bicycle/walking route maps and bike/walk-to-work events.
  • Education programs directed at cyclists and motorists to promote safe cycling skills and encourage road users to share the road.
  • Strategies to enforce applicable Motor Vehicle Act regulations.
  • Community involvement and communications strategies — including the creation of a Active Transit Advisory Committee — to include cyclists/walkers and other members of the community in the process of developing and implementing the plan.

Ongoing Monitoring

An on-going monitoring plan collects information on how well the active transit plan achieves established objectives and targets and enables the municipality or region to implement changes to the plan in later years as appropriate.