Wednesday, December 09, 2009

walking master class

Read the full report and recommendations from the Canadian Walking Master Class held in November through Hamilton's Public Health Department.

A list of their recommendations, using the International Charter for Walking as a guidline (i.e. Supportive spatial planning, Reduced road danger, Spaces and places for people, Less crime and fear of crime, Integrated networks, Culture of Walking, Increased inclusive mobility, Supportive Local Authority), follows:

  • Review planning policies to ensure walking is given priority (esp. schools, shopping, residentialnew development)
  • Reduce sprawl by building, infilling with mixed use (esp. around and connecting to existing centres)
  • Retro-fit existing sprawl with sidewalks, safe crossings, priority school streets, mid-block crossings with safe signal phases, refuge islands, safe walking access to big box
  • Create pedestrian space with realigned curbs, expanded sidewalks, parkettes, and “open streets”, so people can create and enjoy their
  • community
  • Reduce traffic volumes & speed, especially along shopping streets, near
  • schools and residential areas
  • Re-route trucks away from downtown or restrict movement / speed downtown
  • Consider returning all one-way streets to two-way. Where it’s demonstrated to be impossible, create centre island for planting and pedestrian refuge
  • Coordinate signal timing for slower speeds
  • Identify and prioritize neighbourhood centres for continued improvements (ie. Ottawa, Locke)
  • Re-designate York street as a priority pedestrian street – re-route through truck traffic away to better support Market
  • Retrofit big box for pedestrians (i.e safe road crossings, routes, protected paths through parking lots)
  • Create more opportunities, events for people to spend time in public space.
  • More people will enhance safety, “eyes on the street”
  • Conduct walking audits (day and night) – look at lighting, cleanliness
  • Ensure urban design promotes safety (CPTED) – no blank facades, hiding places, good lighting, etc.
  • Identify a priority network of safe, pleasant walking routes linking walkable nodes and destinations (waterfront, shopping, etc.)
  • Support the network with signage / wayfinding, traffic reductions, public space improvements, safe road crossings, benches, etc.
  • Include emerging school travel plans in the network
  • Prioritize walking over all other modes when designing access to transit hubs
  • Include “best routes” to transit hubs in the network
  • Develop walking maps and campaigns
  • Develop, install and promote a way-finding system
  • Support events in public space, provide space for sidewalk cafes
  • Promote local culture and art (installations, plaques, designated
  • historical routes, etc.)
  • Identify priority areas for improvements by identifying concentrations of seniors, people with disabilities, children and corresponding key routes to routine destinations (shopping, school). Map these demographics and crash statistics to highlight key priority areas.
  • Continue improvements for those with disabilities, especially with transit.
  • Consolidate different projects under a Pedestrian Master Plan
  • Create a staff network on walking (e-lists, training sessions, meeting opportunities)
  • Establish a more direct link to community (action group, consultation forums, etc.)
  • potentially provide staff support
  • Provide training opportunities - best practices, etc.
  • Collect data on walking City-wide (qualitative and quantitative)

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