VMC Cycling Network – Proposed Revisions to the Streetscape and Open Space Plan and Secondary Road Network


VAUGHAN METROPOLITAN CENTRE CYCLING NETWORK UPDATE

PROPOSED REVISIONS TO THE STREETSCAPE AND OPEN SPACE PLAN AND SECONDARY PLAN ROAD NETWORK

Staff are updating the City’s 2007 Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. The primary focus of the study is to develop a plan based on extensive public and stakeholder input such as resident surveys, face to face conversations, community pop-ups, etc. Residents reported through the phase one survey that they feel uncomfortable mixing with vehicular traffic and would bike more in Vaughan if separated facilities were available.

Residents and stakeholders have also indicated that connections to and from the City’s new downtown, specifically the subway station and transit facilities, and a denser and connected network of separated cycling facilities within the VMC, should be a key priority.

Given the rapid development occurring in the VMC, the need to advance a focused report on the VMC street and cycling network was identified in advance of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan Update scheduled for completion in 2018. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan Update is one of the action items identified under Term of Council Priority #2 – Continue to develop transit, cycling and pedestrian options to get around the City.

Study Area

The study area is the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, located east of Highway 400 and west of Creditstone Road, north of Highway 407 and south of Portage Parkway/ Chrislea Road.

Timeframe

The VMC Streetscape + Open Space Plan commenced in January 2012 and is complete.  The VMC Streetscape + Open Space Plan was presented to VMC Sub-Committee on November 20, 2015 as part of an integrated approach to placemaking for the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, along with the VMC Urban Design Guidelines and the VMC Culture and Public Art Framework – Volume 1.

The project coordinates with the following studies:

City of Vaughan Official Plan, Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Secondary Plan, Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Servicing Strategy, VMC Transportation Plan, Black Creek Stormwater Optimization Study Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Master Plan (Phases 1 & 2), Black Creek Renewal Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Phases 3 & 4),  Toronto Transit Commission Vaughan Metropolitan Centre subway station project, vivaNext Consortium Highway 7 Rapidway project, Vaughan City-Wide Streetscape Implementation Manual and Financial Strategy, draft VMC Urban Design Guidelines, and the draft VMC Culture + Public Art Framework.

In March 2018, Council endorsed a revised Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Cycling Network Plan as part of the Cycling Network in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Streetscape and Open Space Plan and staff revised the associated road cross-sections in Appendix A of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Secondary Plan.

Analysis of Study

The analysis of the study concluded that there are many options viable for the VMC area. Below are the highlights of the report. Click here for full details on each highlighted point.

  1. Vaughan Official Plan 2010 calls for a transportation transformation in how people move around Vaughan
  2. Transportation-related matters continue to be top-of-mind among Vaughan residents according to the 2016 Vaughan Citizen Satisfaction Survey
  3. There is significant opportunity, particularly in new development areas, to provide access to high-quality and affordable sustainable transportation options
  4. The developing VMC provides one such opportunity, especially given the anticipated population density and land-use mix
  5. The 2012 Transportation Master Plan indicates that it will take more than just large investments in transit infrastructure to cope with future transportation demand
  6. In the last five years there has been significant support and advancement at the provincial level for cycling
  7. Direction from the Province is anticipated on the use of power-assisted bicycles and limited-speed e-scooters in cycling facilities, an important consideration with Vaughan’s aging population
  8. Many major cities across Canada are retrofitting their downtowns to include a denser network of separated cycling facilities to make street-level interactions a more comfortable and predictable experience for all users
  9. The VMC can be a destination for cycling tourism
  10. The VMC, still in it’s emerging stages, provides the City with a unique opportunity to allocate space for cycling now, to avoid impacts to the boulevard space or vehicular roadway in the future
  11. Anticipated development, population density, land-use mix, and higher order transit services in the VMC substantiate the need for a grid-network of connected and separated cycling facilities for all ages and abilities

Next Steps…

With the anticipated development, population density and land use mix, as well as the existing and forthcoming higher order transit services, it is recommended that space be allocated for cycling on all collector and City arterial roads in the VMC, to avoid potential impacts to the boulevard space or vehicular roadway in the future. It is recommended that cycle tracks be implemented in this space to develop a denser network of separated cycling facilities to make street-level interactions a more comfortable and predictable experience for all users. This recommendation supports Council’s priority to invest, renew and manage an improved municipal road network which focuses on the safety and well-being of our citizens travelling by all modes of transportation and cultivates an environmentally sustainable City.

Additional Resources

Click here for additional resources about the project on the VMC Streetscape and Open Space Plan
Click here for the March 20, 2018 Council extract regarding the VMC Cycling Network Proposed Revisions to the Streetscape and Open Space Plan and Secondary Road Network

Have Questions?

For further information on this Study, please contact:
Selma Hubjer
Transportation Manager,
Insfrastructure Planning and Corporate Asset Management
City of Vaughan
selma.hubjer@vaughan.ca
905-832-8585 ext. 8674