Quick wins to make active travel safer
Residential streets don't need to be treated like highways. By designating key streets as Slow Streets, where cars are treated as guests rather than the most important user, we create spaces where kids can walk or bike to get to school, to recreational facilities and to parks. We create places where families can play road hockey together, and where neighbours can meet one another and chat. We create a public space that feels more like an extension of your front yard, where people can still drive, but where the through movement of cars isn't prioritized at the expense of the potential to create connections with our public spaces.
Slow Streets work by diverting traffic towards adjacent roads - especially Arterial Roads which are designed to carry higher volumes of traffic. They reduce cut-through traffic through residential areas, and often include traffic calming measures as well to reduce speeds. Cars are still allowed on these routes, and on-street parking is maintained, but the streets aren't designed to prioritize people cutting through residential areas - they're designed to prioritize walking, cycling wheeling and social connections between neighbours.
A network of Slow Streets - Maple Street, Walnut Street, 5th Street and the 8th Street-George Street - Manning Ave Corridor, would create all ages and abilities connections to most of the Town's schools, parks and recreational destinations, as well as the Downtown and employment areas.
Slow Streets aren't a new concept - they've been used extensively in communities all over the world, and the results are conclusive - they're a low-cost way of improving access, enhancing safety, increasing property values and making walking, cycling and wheeling more attractive and accessible.