HUNTSVILLE – There is a new task force in town and its sights are on active transportation.
Coun. Scott Aitchison, chair of the Town of Huntsville’s sustainability committee, told councillors at a Jan. 28 meeting that the committee had created a task force to sift through the new active transportation study.
A group of senior Ryerson University planning students completed the study after a recommendation from the now dissolved Unity Plan implementation committee and presented it to the town in January.
Aitchison said the group that will go through the study includes sustainability committee member Steve Alcock, Coun. Tim Withey, director of public infrastructure David Saunders and community member Colin Sober-Williams.
“You could call it a committee but it’s more like an attack squad,” said Aitchison. “And we’ve tasked them with the responsibility of going through that report to find those items that we can do very easily, very cheaply and very quickly.”
The 167-page study includes several recommendations for enhancing non-motorized transportation infrastructure in the municipality. Recommendations include improving sidewalks, increasing bike lanes, adding bike racks, connecting trail systems, improving pedestrian crosswalks and increasing awareness of active transportation options, largely in the municipality’s urban centre.
Some of the recommendations have short implementation timeframes and minimal cost impacts, while others would take years and thousands of dollars to complete.
Aitchison said sharrows were an example of something that could be completed relatively quickly.
Sharrows, according to the students, are directional road paint markings in the shape of a bicycle that encourage cyclists to take the lane and ride away from the curb, while informing motorists that bicycles have a right to road space, too.
The task force will bring its recommendations to a future sustainability committee meeting.