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Draft of Transportation Master Plan increases walkability, cycling plan falls “quite short”




I was quite excited for the town’s open house last Tuesday for the “Transportation Master Plan.” I spend a lot of time biking, walking, and running for sport, and would like to have the infrastructure in town to let me do more of this every day, for everyday activities.


Additionally, I’d like to live in a community where a 15-year-old can safely bike to both school and their job at McDonald’s, or where a retiree can walk/bike to a coffee shop, without fear of getting smoked by a car.


Currently, a bike ride through town to the store, feels more like a game of real life Frogger; the stakes of which are usually too high for me and I opt just to drive. And that’s me, a 25-year-old former cycling enthusiast who has literally biked across multiple countries; I imagine the decision is even more unattractive for less eager people. 


Attending the open house, I was genuinely impressed by the plan for the downtown core. They’ve defined a plan, which, if implemented, would probably give Amherstburg the most walkable downtown in the region. Traffic calming, curb bump-outs, raised intersections, and much more; they did an excellent job here!


However, when it comes to cycling, the transportation method I hold dear to my heart and is arguably the most viable alternative to driving, in my opinion, the proposals came quite short. Yes, they did a decent job making lines on a map to fill in the many missing sections of Amherstburg’s cycling network, but they largely do not define what actual infrastructure those lines on the map should consist of. Are they on-street protected bike lanes? A painted shoulder?  Is it just a driving lane shared with a car?


It leaves me to only wonder. An effective cycling network requires detailed planning and holistic implementation. The plan being the pre-requisite. In the coming months, I hope the plan matures and the missing aspects are clarified.

All the open house information and a survey is available at www.talktheburg.ca/transportation.


I implore readers to review the open house slides and share their opinions. It’s your town too!

Thanks,


—Dane Weaver

Amherstburg


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