Active Transportation

In July of 2021, Council adopted Active Kings County: An Active Transportation Plan, to guide the Municipality in its decision making and implementation for advancing quality, accessible and inclusive AT opportunities within Kings County.

The plan is a 15 year plan (2021-2036) with the following guiding principles:

  • Improved regional connections (community to community)
  • Expansion of local connections (within community)
  • Create welcoming spaces
  • Prioritizes safety and concerns
  • Make it easy and intuitive to navigate
  • Reframe transportation values
  • Support community resiliency

These guiding principles were used to develop the proposed network design, as well as recommendations related to infrastructure and amenities, education and programming, marketing and promotions, and implementation.

For the 2021-22 fiscal year, the following projects are on the horizon:

  • Completion of Phase 2 of the Scott Drive sidewalk
  • Installation of crosswalks and speed radar signs
  • Design of West Kings sidewalk
  • Trailhead Upgrades and Amenities (pending grant approval)

FAQs

The Active Transportation (AT) Plan was accepted by Council in July 2021. What’s next?
Staff will continue with the working group formed during the development of the Plan and shift the focus to implementation, starting with the items budgeted for 2021-22 fiscal year. Applicable policies will be amended and developed according to the implementation plan.

Projects will be implemented in phases based on the overall plan, available funding, and applicable policies.

Staff will be using the document as a guide for the next steps in Active Transportation improvements. This would include working on projects within this fiscal year, working on future plans with key stakeholders, identifying funding opportunities for future years, and working on policy development. Every future project would become part of the annual budgeting process.

How do we get there – to accomplishing the objectives outlined in the plan – from here?
An integral piece in implementing the Plan will be policy development to ensure sustainability. The staff working group will be reviewing the Plan to prepare for budget deliberations and create a roadmap for implementation. It’s important to remember this is a 15-year plan (2021-2036), so some items will be accomplished sooner than others.

The Plan includes recommendations on network design elements (infrastructure, amenities and connectivity), programming (education, awareness, marketing and promotions) and policy modifications (existing and new). The items in this strategy are part of a living document; it will need to be updated and reviewed every few years by staff to reflect opportunities that arise, such as funding or partner plans and other municipal priorities.

It’s important to consider that some items that are recommended by the consultants with UPLAND may not be completed, and other projects not identified may take their place. Additionally, there may be some items that get moved to different phasing categories. If Department of Transportation and Active Transit modified their Highway Improvement Plan, for example, it could impact which projects are completed within our Active Transportation Plan.

 However, to determine prioritizing and phasing, staff will review the need for a policy regarding decision-making around the projects, and those proposed projects will be brought to Council during the annual budgeting process.

Where will the money come from?
Funding for the project will come from a variety of sources. Some of the projects outlined are within the Department of Transportation and Active Transit, where cost-sharing opportunities may exist that would be determined through the municipal budget. Additionally, staff have identified potential funding sources to tap into to help implement the Plan. Recognizing that funding is never guaranteed and the sources may change, we cannot determine how much we can get funded externally, but staff would look to explore funding opportunities federally, provincially and locally.

Why is the planning being rolled out in phases?
The AT Plan provides an extensive list of over 70 recommendations to be carried out over the next 15 years. The recommendations are broken down based on the following categories:

  • Short term: Recommendations for the first 5 years of the Plan. These items include projects that are already planned and/or budgeted, have a larger immediate impact, or set up the next phase of implementation.
  • Medium term: Includes items that could be implemented within 10 years. These recommendations include lower cost items that would have fewer barriers to completion.
  • Long term: Recommendations for items to be implemented within 15 years. Some of these items are based on future projects that have yet to begin, have a higher cost to accomplish, or may have a lower impact.
  • Opportunity: Other recommendations are provided for when opportunity arises, such as road repaving. These recommendations can be completed during or after the 15-year timeframe.

The recommended phasing of the network facilities have been ranked based on costs, integration in other plans or strategies (both municipally and provincially), safety of the facility based on the level of comfort and if it was a key priority identified through public engagement. A decision-making framework has also been included to use in case new projects are identified over the life of the AT Plan.

There are items identified in the Plan called “Quick Wins” to help improve the access to quality Active Transportation experiences.

Which aspects of the Plan will require some more time and deliberation?
Items in the Plan that may require more time could include pieces with a higher cost; items where there are other parties involved, such as Department of Transportation and Active Transit; or some of the items listed in the medium and long term phases.

What makes this AT Plan an exciting development within the Municipality of the County of Kings?
This Active Transportation Plan has informed staff and Council of community needs through our extensive engagement throughout the project. Additionally, it sets a roadmap of how we can develop more accessible and inclusive active transportation experiences, for both the recreational and utilitarian user.

Is this the Municipality’s first Active Transportation Plan of this magnitude?
This is the first one of this magnitude! In 2009, the Municipality competed a Trails Vision and Strategy, which was mainly focused around the development of the Harvest Moon Trailway and highlighted that a need for an additional Active Transportation Plan would be needed. We are really excited to get this work underway as we start to build a more active community.