There could soon be a new, on-street bike lane near you, because Brampton was awarded over $1.7 million for commuter-based bike lane projects from the new Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program.

The program is dedicated to cycling infrastructure that appeals to commuters and destination-based cyclists, as opposed to the valley land and park trails which are only recreational. As such, the city’s list of submitted projects all lead to destinations such as employment areas, schools, places of worship, recreation centres, etc.

The city submitted a preliminary list to the MTO last year of 39 projects all over the city, totaling 105.9 km of new infrastructure. The majority (32) of the projects are for on-street bike lanes, mostly on community collectors or minor arterials like Peter Robertson Boulevard or Vodden Street. However, there are some proposed bike lanes on major arterial roads such as McLaughlin Road and Chinguacousy Road.

There is one “sharrow” project on Mill Street; “sharrows” are painted road markings indicating to motorists that cyclists are allowed to share the lane and are primarily used on low-volume streets.

Protected Cycle Tracks (bike lane) on Adelaide Street in Toronto // Courtesy of Google Maps
Protected Cycle Tracks (bike lane) on Adelaide Street in Toronto // Courtesy of Google Maps

There are six cycle track projects. Cycle tracks are on-street bike lanes that usually have a combination of features to separate them from road traffic. This could be bollards, concrete barriers, or flexi-posts, like on Adelaide and Richmond in Toronto, or the lanes could be physically raised from the street, with additional protection.

New cycle-tracks are proposed on:

  • Orenda Road and Birchbank Avenue (the latter already has bike lanes) between Kennedy Road and Avondale Boulevard
  • Main Street North between Vodden Street and Bovaird Drive
  • Main Street South between Wellington Street and Steeles Avenue
  • Kennedy Road North between Bovaird Drive and Conservation Drive
  • Kennedy Road South between Steeles Avenue and the Etobicoke Creek Trail connection
  • Queen Street between Main Street and Kennedy Road (the section between Main and Chapel will be included as part of the downtown renovation project)

Notably, there will be protected bike lanes on Hurontario and Main Street all the way from Bovaird Drive to Lakeshore Boulevard, as part of the proposed projects and the reconstruction efforts from the Hurontario LRT project. The only exception is a tiny 0.9 km section between Nelson Street and Vodden Street (regular bikes lanes).

City spokesperson Brian Stittle says any or all of the projects included on the eligible projects list may be funded by the OMCC program. Also, at least one project, bike lanes on Fletcher’s Creek Boulevard between Bovaird and Williams Parkway, has already been completed.

In order for Brampton to actually spend the grant money, it has to approve the projects via an Active Transportation or Cycling Master Plan. According to Stittle, the plan is set to be released and approved in the second quarter of 2018 (April to June). The bike lane projects are to be funded on an 80-20 model, where the city has to contribute 20 per cent to the costs.

Above is an interactive map, showing the city’s existing street-based (i.e. not parks) cycling infrastructure, proposed projects (cycle tracks as part of the Hurontario LRT and cycle tracks on The Gore Road as part of a Region of Peel project), submitted projects in 2017, and the new projects submitted in March 2018. A legend can be viewed by clicking the button in the top-left corner.

In addition to the approved list of projects asked for in 2017, Brampton recently requested the grant money also possibly be applied to five other projects. This will allow the city to reduce costs in upcoming projects by allowing city capital reserve funds for these projects to be diverted elsewhere.

The five new requested projects are:

  • A new signalized crossing of Kennedy Road south of First Gulf Boulevard, in order to connect the two disconnected side of the Etobicoke Creek Trail
  • The new cycle tracks that will be part of the Downtown Reimagined Project (Main between Nelson and Wellington, and Queen between Mill and Chapel)
  • A new off-street multi-use path on Humberwest Parkway between Williams Parkway and Exchange Drive, as part of the road widening project
  • A new off-street multi-use path on Castlemore Road between Goreway Drive and McVean Drive, as part of the road widening project
  • A new off-street multi-use path on Countryside Drive between Goreway Drive and The Gore Road, as part of the road reconstruction project

The city has until 2020 to the complete any projects funded by the bike lane grant. Construction could start as soon as this year. The full city project report and update can be read here on page 161.

Feature Image – Rendering of Main Street South