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2012-04-26_Active Transportation Policy_P-73Municipality of the District of Chester Active Transportation Policy Policy P -73 Active Transportation Policy (continued) Municipality of the District of Chester Active Transportation Policy Policy P -73 1. Purpose The Municipality of the District of Chester believes that the strength and health of our communities is fundamentally linked to how people move about. The Municipality strives to build our communities so that all modes of active transportation (AT) are attractive and viable; and become the easy and preferred choice to get to work, school, and play. The Municipality will champion AT in our communities and promote the social, economic, environmental, and health benefits of AT. 2. Guiding Principles The following guiding principles form the foundation of this policy: a) When real or perceived safety barriers are removed, people will make the easy and attractive choice to be active. b) People will embrace the social and health benefits of AT. We recognize walking and cycling are social pursuits that enable people to interact. We recognize that AT builds stronger bodies and stronger minds. c) The Municipality of the District of Chester should be recognized as an AT leader — particularly in rural Canada. d) We will both create and satisfy demand by building facilities and infrastructure that people will want to use. e) Our citizens will benefit economically from AT. We will create new opportunities to enhance and build infrastructure, and host visitors. Building healthier communities will decrease healthcare costs. f) Parents and children of school communities are particularly vital in re- building a culture that embraces AT. 3. Goals The goal of an active transportation network is to improve citizen's accessibility and mobility regardless of age, ability, or socio- economic status; to enhance the safety of our communities; and to minimize the impact of transportation activities on our natural environment. Achieving a well connected and comprehensive active transportation will enhance the promotion of physical activity as a means to improve the health of residents, and will improve social and environmental conditions in ways that attract families, businesses and workers, and contribute to economic and tourism development. Walking and biking amenities are a critical component of the success and vitality of communities which include our residential neighborhoods, commercial districts, schools, recreation areas, and employment centers. In addition, the Municipality recognizes that streets are an important part of Notice of Intention to Adopt - Committee of the Whole - March 15, 2012 (2012 -136) First Notice - Council - April 12, 2012 (2012 -202) Second Notice - Council - April 26, 2012 (2012 -237) Effective Date - April 26, 2012 Page 2 Active Transportation Policy (continued) public space and play a major role in establishing the image and identity of our communities. They provide a key framework for current and future development. 4. Policy Statements 1. The Municipality recognizes that active transportation infrastructure includes, but is not limited to: sidewalks, gravel shoulders, paved shoulders, bike lanes, transit amenities, safe crossings, traffic calming measures, multi -use trails, non - motorized trails, and end of trip facilities (e.g. bike racks). 2. The Municipality recognizes that active transportation programs, promotion, and facility investments are an integral component to realize the goals of the Municipality's Active Living Strategy. Integrating AT into our lifestyle can have a profound positive impact on our mental and physical health (e.g. reduction in rates and impact of heart disease, diabetes, obesity). 3. The Municipality should consider the specific active transportation needs of people of all ages and abilities (children, youth, seniors, and disabled populations) in all street design, trail, parkland, public space, and bikeway projects. 4. Active transportation solutions shall strive to create a connected and comprehensive network with dedicated and useable space for pedestrians and cyclists; protection and refuge; greater visibility; stable pathways; mode segregation; predictable traffic movements; more appropriate functional speeds; and options for route selection. 5. Active transportation facilities should be incorporated into existing roads, as opportunities arise, or needs dictate. 6. Active transportation solutions should be considered in the initial phases of all new projects. The Municipality recognizes that integrating appropriate facilities into the initial design of street projects and public spaces avoids the expense of retrofits later. 7. The Municipality should annually review active transportation improvement opportunities as part of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and /or operations budgeting process. 8. When land use planning policies (e.g. Land -Use Bylaw, Municipal Planning Strategies, Sub- division bylaws) are being reviewed, AT principles should be considered for incorporation. This could include innovative mechanisms such as density incentives, easements, healthy community checklists, and expanded street design guidelines. 9. The Municipality should establish an infrastructure maintenance program to ensure AT facilities will be kept in good repair, remain accessible, provide safe passage, improve visibility, and be upgraded as warranted. 10. The Municipality should encourage and support provincial and regional programs and initiatives that advance the promotion and support for active transportation and the impact it has on citizen's lifestyles. 11. The Municipality should continue to communicate and champion the benefits of active transportation to citizens, developers, planners, schools, and the general public. Notice of Intention to Adopt - Committee of the Whole - March 15, 2012 (2012 -136) First Notice - Council - April 12, 2012 (2012 -202) Second Notice - Council - April 26, 2012 (2012 -237) Effective Date - April 26, 2012 Page 3