City of Regina
Saskatchewan CA

PWI-Public
PWI18-19

Pedestrian Connectivity Program

Information

Department:Office of the City ClerkSponsors:
Category:Not Applicable

Attachments

  1. Printout
  2. Appendix A - Locations Map

Recommendation

That this report be forwarded to the December 17, 2018 meeting of City Council for information.

 

Report Body

CONCLUSION

 

As a result of service requests from residents and concerns from transit and other user groups, Administration has reviewed the existing pedestrian network and noted that there are locations throughout the city that are lacking in pedestrian connectivity. Currently there is no program or dedicated funding source for installation of new pedestrian connections/sidewalks. Where road renewal is being undertaken, opportunities are looked at to install sidewalks as required.

 

A proposed Pedestrian Connectivity Program would help address this infrastructure gap and accelerate addressing the need for sidewalks, by installing sidewalks or pathways on streets that have transit routes. Throughout the city there are more than 60 kilometres of missing pedestrian connections/sidewalks in the community that have been identified as a priority for installation, as they are located along transit routes and connections to transit.

 

The Pedestrian Connectivity Program will allow for dedicated funding to be applied towards the missing pedestrian network, promoting an environment that facilitates walking in a safe and convenient manner, as well as supporting the use of transit. At the recommended funding level of $500,000 per year, the proposed program will install approximately 1.5 kilometres of new pedestrian infrastructure yearly and is expected to take 40 years to complete all priority locations.

 

BACKGROUND

 

The way people move around the city contributes greatly to quality of life and how the city grows. This in turn defines daily commutes and provides opportunities for living, working and leisure. Two of the community’s priorities from Design Regina: The Official Community Plan, Bylaw No. 2013-48 (OCP) are to develop complete neighbourhoods and creating better, more active ways to get around.

 

One of the goals of the Transportation Master Plan (TMP) is to “recommend actions to improve conditions for active transportation, particularly walking and cycling in the community, for people of all ages by providing a convenient and continuous city-wide pedestrian and cycling network that minimizes risk to users and is integrated with other facilities (regional, bordering municipalities, transit, end of trip, etc.).”

 

Across the city there are many places where sidewalks, transit accesses or pedestrian connections do not exist. This may be a result of previous development standards, decision-making at the time of development or other changes to surrounding infrastructure that did not warrant installation at the time the infrastructure was installed.

 

The City receives many requests from residents for new pedestrian network infrastructure to create more complete neighbourhoods and to provide access to existing transit routes. There is no current program or funding in place to address the installation of this pedestrian infrastructure in existing neighbourhoods. This creates a challenge in meeting the community’s desired level of service and prevents the City from working towards the goals of the OCP and TMP.

 

Currently there are 60 kilometres of pedestrian connections identified as a priority for installation. These are along transit routes and are also typically along arterial and collector roads. Not only do these connections connect to transit locations, but in many cases, also connect neighbourhoods to walking destinations such as retail commercial areas and other major facilities.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Improved pedestrian connectivity is outlined as a priority in both the OCP and TMP. Residents are also looking for a more connected network to promote an active lifestyle and to provide safer, more convenient access to transit. To address this, a new program is being proposed.

 

The program being proposed doesn’t intend to install new sidewalks in all locations where they do not currently exist, rather only at locations where the pedestrian network can be connected to existing transit routes, multi-use pathways and/or schools, focusing on important points that connect the City’s pedestrian network. This will help the City in achieving the goals outlined in both the OCP and TMP to develop complete neighbourhoods and create better, more active ways to get around.

 

Building on the goals in the OCP and TMP, this proposed program will be based on the following four Guiding Principles to help with the development and identification of initiatives to enhance pedestrian safety:

 

·         Reduce the risk and improve safety for pedestrians

·         Enhance connectivity

·         Enhance accessibility

·         Enhance system maintenance

 

There are more than 60 kilometres of missing links in the pedestrian network adjacent to transit routes. This program will help address missing links to increase the walkability throughout the city.

 

The locations identified with missing connectivity links are related to arterial, collector and local streets with transit. Not included are bridges, overpasses, expressways, local streets without transit, parks, open spaces, Wascana Centre property, Saskatchewan Highways or private lands. The preliminary locations identified can be found in Appendix A to this report.

 

To determine which pedestrian connections should be added, a review was conducted on connections that are adjacent to an arterial or collector roadway, are utilized for transit, or are part of a vital neighborhood connection and have a pedestrian infrastructure deficiency.

 

All identified pedestrian improvements will be put through an evaluation framework. Each item scored high, medium, or low on the following categories:

 

·         Cost

·         Network Contribution

·         Practicality

·         Safety

·         Pedestrian Demand

·         Transit Routes

·         Existing Infrastructure

·         Pedestrian Zone Analysis

 

The proposed prioritization map, provided in Appendix A, was developed based on an analysis using the above criteria. If this program is approved, the prioritization criteria will be clarified and all locations will be reviewed and re-prioritized where required.

 

Funding options that have been considered for the proposed program are shown in Table 1 below.

 

Table 1: Pedestrian Connectivity Program Funding Options

 

Option

Funding Level

Benefits

Risks

Recommended Option

Status Quo

(Not recommended)

None

·         Maintain current levels of service

·         No additional funding required

·         Does not work towards the overall goals of the OCP and TMP

·         Future investment towards these goals will be more expensive as costs increase over time

No

Manageable Pace

(Recommended)

$500,000 per year

·         Works towards the goals of the OCP and TMP

·         Funding at this level is affordable within the current 5-year Capital Budget

·         Overall program will take 40 years to complete at this funding level

Yes

Accelerated Pace

(Not Recommended)

$1 million per year

·         Works towards the goals of the OCP and TMP

·         Program is expected to take 20 years to complete

·         Funding at this level may not be affordable within the current 5-year Capital Budget

No

Collaborative Funding

(Not Recommended)

Greater than $1 million per year

·         Works towards the goals of the OCP and TMP

·         Overall program will be completed in a shorter time

·         This option would be partially funded with Grants from Provincial and Federal sources

·         Additional FTEs may be required to accommodate the increased scope of work

·         Dependent on Grant availability

No

 

It is recommended that funding for this program be considered as part of the proposed 2019, 5-year Capital Budget, with this program commencing in 2021. Where possible this work will be carried out in conjunction with other ongoing and proposed programs such as the Street Infrastructure Renewal Program, the Residential Road Renewal Program and the Multi-Use Pathways Program to reduce costs and realize efficiencies in construction scheduling and scope.

 

Starting this program in 2021 will provide Administration an opportunity to develop a long-term plan, prioritise locations and coordinate the first few years of the program with other planned Capital work.  In the meantime, the existing programs such as the Street Infrastructure Renewal Program and Residential Road Renewal Programs will continue to complete small-scale projects where they align with planned capital work within their existing budgets. The Pedestrian Connectivity Program will allow for larger scale and higher priority projects to be undertaken.

 

It is anticipated that the work will consist of both concrete sidewalks and paved multi-use pathways. The program funding will not include the addition of on-street bike lanes.

 

Without investment, current levels of service will be maintained as most of these locations did not have sidewalks installed when they were constructed. Historically, there has been no dedicated funding source to address missing sidewalks or pedestrian connections. Going forward, the City’s Development Standards will ensure that new developments provides the infrastructure necessary to meet the goals of the OCP and TMP.

 

At the recommended funding level, this program is expected to take 40 years to complete the priority locations, with the goal of installing approximately one and a half kilometres of new pedestrian infrastructure per year.

 

RECOMMENDATION IMPLICATIONS

 

Financial Implications

 

A recommendation for funding of $500,000 per year is being made in the 2019 5-year Capital Budget. The funding is recommended to begin in 2021 and will be subject to annual approval of the Capital Budget. The program will oversee the installation of approximately 1.5 kilometres of new pedestrian infrastructure yearly and is expected to take 40 years to complete.

 

There may be an opportunity for future funding options by applying through the Federal Government’s new Grant Program, investing in Canada, for Public Transit Infrastructure which is expected to be available in 2019. Typically, a 1/3 City, 1/3 Province and 1/3 Federal funding split is available and if accepted this could provide an additional $1.0 million per year and would reduce the timeframe to less than 20 years, dependent on how many years funding would be available.

 

Environmental Implications

 

There is a positive environmental impact caused by improving the pedestrian network. A more walkable community with better access to transit routes will encourage residents to rely less on personal vehicles and use public transit or the pedestrian network more often. This will help to reduce fuel consumption, directly impacting the emission of greenhouse gases.

 

Administration will also explore the use of alternative construction materials such as recycled rubber sidewalks. This will need to include a cost/benefit analysis to determine the viability. New materials can provide a more comfortable walking experience, reduce the environmental impact and/or reduce costs of construction or maintenance. Monitoring new trends will enable the City to take advantage of these potential opportunities in the future.

 

Policy and/or Strategic Implications

 

This program would support the City’s strategic focus to improve the development and maintenance of livable neighbourhoods while promoting walking and supporting transit ridership by better connecting active transportation choices to transit services, as outlined in the OCP and TMP.

 

The proposal is consistent with the policies contained within the OCP with respect to:

 

Section D3: Transportation

             

              Goal 2 – Public Transit: Elevate the role of public transit

 

5.12              Support ridership by better connecting active transportation choices to transit service and enhanced passenger amenities.

 

Goal 5 – Active Transportation: Promote active transportation for healthier communities

 

5.26              Maintain, enhance, and where feasible expand the city’s multi-use pathway network to new and existing neighbourhoods for all seasons.

 

5.27              Develop a citywide pedestrian strategy to provide a continuous high-quality, connected, safe, and universally accessible walking experience.

 

Accessibility Implications

 

The primary goal of this program is to improve walkability and better accommodate those who use walking as their primary mode of transportation and by implementing pedestrian accessibility ramps where practically feasible. This is consistent with the community priority of developing complete neighbourhoods, as outlined in the OCP, contributing to the development of a citywide pedestrian strategy to provide a continuous high-quality, connected, safe and universally accessible walking experience.

 

Other Implications

 

An improved pedestrian network will provide for an increase in pedestrian trips for commuter and recreational purposes and may help alleviate congestion on the transportation network by promoting transit use.

 

Residents have shown desire for a safer and more accessible pedestrian network and this program will help alleviate some of those concerns, while also working towards some of the City’s long-term strategic goals. Many of the locations identified as a priority for new pedestrian infrastructure already see high pedestrian activity based on desire paths, but currently do not have the pedestrian infrastructure to allow residents to safely travel along these routes.

 

An improved pedestrian network encourages residents to adopt a more active lifestyle which can have significant public health benefits and can contribute to a modal shift away from automobiles, creating a more efficient transportation network.

 

COMMUNICATION

 

Information about the program will be incorporated with proactive notifications of the program, as well as with one-on-one communications via service requests, letters and emails.

 

If the program is adopted, Administration will update the online information about the pedestrian network including up-to-date walking route maps. The City will promote the commuter, recreational and health benefits derived from walking with other information as required.

 

 

DELEGATED AUTHORITY

 

The recommendation contained in this report is within the delegated authority of City Council.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Respectfully submitted,

Karen Signature

Norman Kyle, Director

Roadways & Transportation

Karen Gasmo, Executive Director

Transportation & Utilities

 

Report prepared by:

Nigora Yulyakshieva, Manager, Roadways Preservation

Brent Wilson, Project Engineer, Roadways Preservation