Talk Title: Navigating the Challenges and Opportunities of Active Transportation in a Rural and Regional Context
Presenter: Tyler Thomson, MCIP RPP PTP, Associate | Senior Active Transportation Planner
Contributor: Erin Tattrie, RSE, GradTECH
Abstract: Active transportation is a growing and quickly evolving aspect of our transportation realm both in urban and rural areas across Canada. Many communities understand the multitude of benefits that active transportation offers from improved health, environmental, social and economic conditions, whether for commuting to work or school, or for recreational uses. As such, communities are planning to incorporate active transportation infrastructure, policies, and programs to help draw greater interest and awareness to active transportation and to facilitate and encourage people to choose active modes instead of driving. A broader spectrum of users are also gaining access to active transportation through safer dedicated facilities (i.e., children, older adults, and people with mobility impairments), and evolving technologies including electric assisted bicycles, scooters and other devices which are helping to catalyze increasing use of active modes. However, planning for active transportation in rural/smaller communities and regional areas can come with its own set of challenges given the traditional roadway design characteristics, low densities and separation of land uses, and expansive areas covered between destinations. This presentation provides further context into these challenges and discusses some of the strategies being explored to address the challenges, as well as the opportunities that come with planning active transportation for rural and regional areas.