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Bypass, key to active transportation to eliminate congestion in Bradford West Gwillimbury

The completion of the Bradford Bypass is largely dependent on the completion of the Bradford Bypass, but the planned provincial road is only one piece of the municipality’s transport puzzle.

Two public information sessions were held on April 25 on the City’s Transportation Master Plan. The goal of the plan is to transform a problem with a traditionally narrow focus into something more holistic.

“The goal (is) to turn the roads full of cars into a more balanced system so that we can find ways to get around town and to other places by other modes of transportation,” Brett Sears said. from WSP, the consultants hired. to write the master plan. That balance, Sears said, includes walking, biking, public transit and vehicles.

The plan should reflect the continued growth of the community, not only from a housing perspective, but also in terms of business development. Ideally, this will help make Bradford West Gwillimbury a vibrant place to live and work.

Which can be hard to appreciate when stuck in traffic on Bridge Street during the morning or afternoon rush hour.

WSP used 2016 data as a starting point to show congestion on city streets, focusing on volume-to-capacity (V/C) ratios. V/C ratios measure the level of congestion on a road by dividing the traffic volume by the road capacity. A congested road, marked in red on a map, has a V/C of 1.1 or higher. Even with reduced traffic throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, projections for 2031 show a lot more red throughout the city than was there in 2016.

The consultants have been careful to consider Bradford West Gwillimbury in a regional context as it seeks to meet travel demand. The city is “not an island,” Sears said, acknowledging that many vehicles cross local roads and the plan developed must do more than focus on trips that start or end here.

The need to complete the Bradford Bypass by 2031 has been highlighted by the work carried out by WSP as they expect it will significantly reduce congestion in Bradford West Gwillimbury, particularly in Bradford town centre. However, the proposed plan considers options with and without a bypass, as well as other road developments within the municipality, such as the proposed Bond Head Bypass east of County Road 27 and the South West Arterial near from line 5 and secondary road 10.

While a significant part of the plan calls for road and transit improvements, including expanded transit offerings in the community, it would be irresponsible for such a document to exclude active transportation options.

To create the balance sought by WSP in the master plan, it is proposed to increase the number of trails in the city by 10. In addition to a “full” series of sidewalks throughout the community, the city currently has 21 km of multi-use trails; the plan suggests that this number should increase to 238 km.

“One of the key factors we can look at is changing the mode of travel,” said Sandy Yang, one of WSP’s consultants. As part of their background, WSP reviewed pre-existing trails and plans already on municipal and county books.

“We started looking at where we can provide additional connections and candidate routes that create a comprehensive network and provide connections to where people want to go,” Yang added.

These trails will be both on- and off-street, as the plan also recommends the addition of bike lanes for all new construction and reconstruction of major and minor thoroughfares. Many options are also provided to create safe spaces for active transportation on collector and urban roads throughout the community.

Consultants and town staff will take feedback received from the public during the briefings and present the transport master plan to Bradford West Gwillimbury Council before the summer.