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Active Transportation Plan Set in Motion with City

July 29, 2009 – The City of Thunder Bay and EcoSuperior, in partnership with the Sleeping Giant Ontario Rangers Camp will be conducting bicycle and pedestrian counts from July 28 – July 31, which will help establish current commuter and recreational usage volumes, track user behaviours and identify locations where future road and trail improvements may be required.

“In order to move forward with the City’s Active Transportation Plan, we need to set some baseline numbers of pedestrian and bicycle use on our roads. This will help us to measure success after changes have been implemented.” explains Pat Mauro, Manager of Engineering.
City Administration, with feedback from the Active Transportation Advisory Committee (ATAC), has developed an Active Transportation Plan (ATP) which includes the development of a safe and convenient on and off-road non-motorized transportation network that integrates existing and planned roads, sidewalks and proposed bicycle commuter routes along with recreational trail development.

The Sleeping Giant Ontario Rangers will be doing counts on streets that are slated to have bike lanes installed over the next two years as well as at key recreational trail heads that will be undergoing improvements thanks to funding from Recreational Infrastructure Canada program in Ontario (RinC Ontario) and Recreation Ontario (Ontario Rec). 

In order to implement the City’s ATP, Adam Krupper has been hired as Active Transportation Coordinator in a partnership between EcoSuperior and the City of Thunder Bay.

“One of the key challenges we have is promoting good cycling behavior,” says Krupper. “ By tracking both usage and behaviour we will be able to determine the effects of having proper bike facilities. We hope to answer questions such as, do more bike lanes increase the number of users and encourage safer cycling behaviour, and do improved trails result in higher pedestrian usage?”  

By having baseline comparisons, Krupper hopes to gather numerical data to support future requests for active commuter and recreational infrastructure development and in doing so, improve the health and safety of our community. 
The Active Transportation Advisory Committee (ATAC) is comprised of representatives from community groups including school boards, the University, College, LRCA, TBDHU, Thunder Bay Take Heart Coalition, Thunder Bay Recreational Trails Association, University and College Student Unions and the Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee. Administration is represented by the Parks, Engineering, Planning, Transit, Environment and Roads Divisions as well as Police Services. Members of the cycling committee also participate.

The Ontario Ranger Program is an 8-week summer work/experience program for 17-year-olds. The program introduces youth to a variety of opportunities in environmental sustainability/natural resource management. The Government of Ontario Youth Programs website provides details. Applications for those born in 1993 will be accepted beginning this fall.

EcoSuperior Environmental Programs is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1994. The organization has a staff of 15, delivering programs that encourage and support environmental stewardship in the Lake Superior basin and beyond, for the benefit of present and future generations.

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Contact: Adam Krupper, Active Transportation Coordinator, Transportation & Works, 625-2163