The Village of Burns Lake’s new Active Transportation Plan (ATP) aims to improve connectivity, safety and community enjoyment of active transportation within Burns Lake.
The new proposed development plan is going to promote local active transportation through community collaboration and future active transportation for the next 15-20 years. The plan proposes implementation of traffic calming measures to reduce vehicle speeds to increase safety, creation of new bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, and multi-use trails.
The report says, the combination of infrastructure upgrades and support for community programs will encourage residents and visitors to choose and support safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-motorized modes of transportation.
The ATP was developed through four phases, phase one: project initiation and understanding existing conditions (July – Sept. 2022), phase 2: public launch (Sept.-Oct. 2022), phase 3: plan development (Oct. – Dec. 2022) and phase 4: revision and implementation (Dec. 2022 – June 2023).
Phase 4 is currently running.
The report said, ATP categorized goals into three themes, theme 1: connectivity, theme 2: safety and theme 3: community enjoyment.
In theme 1, ATP wants to establish a cycling network, enhance the pedestrian network, enhance existing trails and develop new trails and improve rural connections. Theme 2 will enhance the street lighting network, review traffic flows and on-street parking to integrate with the active transportation network, trail safety and developing an active transportation infrastructure maintenance plan. Theme 3 will improve way-finding for walking and cycling routes and will promote community based programs and initiatives that support active transportation.
ATP’s infrastructure maintenance plan will ensure the safety and accessibility of bike-ways, pedestrian walkways, and other non motorized transportation systems. Repainting street markings and crosswalks, filling potholes, replacing damaged signage. Maintenance will also include ice and snow removal management. All these information could be found in the report.
With the ATP the village aims to reduce Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Also, it will help to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and promote public health.
Funding for the Active Transportation Plan came from variety of sources including municipal budget, grant funding, private partnerships, community groups and the provincial funded Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant program.
Funds from general revenues are going to be used for operations and maintenance projects along with road upgrades where its required.
The report stated by establishing vision and goals supported by an implementation guide, this plan will promote a healthier and a more sustainable community.