Share The Road

Rebalancing Streets

 

Photo: City of Brampton

With physical distancing requiring us to leave 2m of space between people, it's clear that our standard sidewalks and bike lanes are just not wide enough. As municipalities move to close parks and other public spaces and institute fines to reduce gatherings, space for essential travel and exercise is even more scarce than usual. We are also seeing significant reductions or suspensions of public transit, leaving some workers and residents without reliable transportation to get to work or run essential errands like grocery shopping.

As discussed by Robin Mazumder in a recent HuffPost article, these closures disproportionately affect the poor, those who may not have access to private outdoor space and people for whom a huge fund could be disastrous. Read Robin's full piece online here.

In response to this lack of space, there is a growing movement towards rebalancing streets to provide more space for people to move safely on sidewalks and on bicycles while observing physical distancing. Read our full blog post online here.

 

Webinar Recordings

We have partnered with The Centre for Active Transportation to host a series of webinars about rebalancing our streets. To date, we have hosted two sessions. Recordings of each webinar are available below.

 

Webinar #1: Making space for physical distancing in Ontario (April 22, 2020)

Click here to view a recording of the webinar.

The conversation included Dr. Anne Harris an Epidemiologist from Ryerson University to share her perspective about the need to provide more space for sidewalks and cycling in order to protect people from both COVID-19 and from traffic injury. Participants also heard from the City of Brampton and Bike Brampton about the interim bike lane that has been implemented on Vodden St to help connect residents to essential destinations and reduce congestion on nearby trails. Although she was unable to participate in the webinar in person, Brampton City Councillor Rowena Santos provided advice for rebalancing streets and a video greeting.

 

 

Webinar #2: Making Space: What, Where & How (May 13, 2020)

The webinar included an overview of 5 types of street rebalancing efforts presented by Yvonne Verlinden from TCAT and was followed by a facilitated discussion about specific efforts currently underway across Canada. Panelists included Matthew Sweet from the City of Mississauga, Mike Anderson from the City of New Westminster and Becky Katz from the City of Toronto.
 
 
Click here to view a recording of the webinar.

 

For information on our next webinar on rebalancing streets, subscribe to our newsletters (Share the Road and TCAT) and follow us online @STRCycling and @TCATonline.

 

Resources

 

Public Health Implications & Support

 

Tracking Rebalancing Efforts

 

Advocacy Resources

 

 

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