A funding boost from the federal government will help the Town of Collingwood study the feasibility of adding on- or off-road bike lanes to connect the Walnut Trail on Cameron St. to the Train Trail on the east end of town.
During Tuesday’s (Sept. 20) council meeting, councillors unanimously passed a motion for the town to confirm that it meets the requirement of the Canada Active Transportation Fund agreement, and to authorize the town clerk to execute the agreement.
Under the agreement, the fund will provide the town with $40,000 to pay for the study for a new bicycle route on Cameron and Collins Street.
“This will be a feasibility (study) to see how cycling facilities can be incorporated on these streets, and identifying the scope of work/construction and provide an estimated budget,” said Peggy Slama, director of public works, engineering, and environmental services with the town in an email to CollingwoodToday.ca this week.
“The work would later be proposed to council through a future additional budget request or the 2024 budget process. Staff will make that decision once the scope is understood,” she said.
Slama noted that the town will be engaging a consultant to conduct the study.
The facility would connect the Walnut Trail at the west end of Cameron Street to the Train Trail at the east end. It would also connect future planned bicycle facilities on Maple Street and Peel Street as well as the existing River Trail along the Black Ash Creek.
“The main objective of the study is to analyze the feasibility of installing a bicycle facility, either on-road or off, and provide design options that fit within the existing width of the right-of-way,” said Slama.
According to the town, the feasibility study will include a high-level review of existing property boundaries along the trail, existing vegetation, existing infrastructure, and relevant standards. It would also provide information to staff about the auxiliary work that would be necessary to construct each option properly.
Under the town’s Active Transportation Framework and Cycling Plan, the corridor of Cameron Street and Collins Street is a proposed bicycle route which may consist of an on-road facility or an off-road separated facility.
The intent of the study would also be to review which facility would be most suitable for the corridor.
The first-ever Canada Active Transportation Fund is providing $400 million total over five years across the country to support a shift away from cars and toward active transportation, in support of Canada's National Active Transportation Strategy.
The Active Transportation Fund is intended to invest in projects that build new and expanded networks of pathways, bike lanes, trails and pedestrian bridges, in addition to supporting active transportation planning and stakeholder engagement activities.