Complete Streets. Designing Streets for Everyone. Sarnia

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1 Complete Streets Designing Streets for Everyone Sarnia Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~ 2018

2 Introduction Our City is made up of a network of streets that we use to go for a walk, cycle to work, drive to the store, and take the bus to downtown. Historical road design has prioritized motor vehicles with little attention to other modes of transportation. Complete Streets is a design approach that creates streets that are attractive and functional for all users. Providing people with the choice of which mode of transportation they want to use will ensure an efficient transportation system, provide accessibility for all ages and abilities, and support healthy and active transportation. The purpose of this policy and design guideline is to highlight Complete Streets tools that have already been utilized within the City and some that can be incorporated in future projects. It will inspire staff, designers, developers, and the community to generate creative ideas to improve city streetscapes. From the dramatic transformation of Christina Street to adding a sidewalk on Lincoln Park Avenue, every infrastructure project provides an opportunity to improve our City. The intent of Complete Streets is not to negatively impact motor vehicle travel but to enhance the other modes of transportation. Combining Complete Streets improvements with other infrastructure projects means they can often be implemented with minimal to no additional cost. Each City street is unique and the design approach taken will need to suit the local context.. Using this document for inspiration, we can create streets for every citizen to enjoy. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

3 Community Support Complete Streets is identified as a policy in the City s Official Plan and builds on a number of existing initiatives including the Corporate Strategic Plan, Age-Friendly Sarnia, and the Transportation Master Plan. Complete Streets aligns with the goals of many community organizations to create a safer and more attractive community. This document has been endorsed by: Sarnia Heavy Construction Association Planning Advisory Committee Environmental Advisory Committee Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

4 Vision Create a safe and efficient transportation network for users of all ages and abilities and all modes of transportation, including motorists, transit users, cyclists, and pedestrians. Building Complete Streets will enhance the quality of life for all residents of Sarnia and develop a built environment that supports active and healthy lifestyles. The key components of our Complete Streets strategy are: Apply to all projects from rehabilitation to new construction Incorporate concept into design standards and policies Take into account the local context Account for impact to underground infrastructure and maintenance Create integrated networks by connecting to parks, trails, and green spaces Analyze cost/benefit to ensure best value Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

5 Implementation Complete Streets should be applied to all right-of-way projects including new construction, reconstruction, site plans, and subdivisions. The details of the design approach should be customized to each individual project but will follow the same general process. Review toolkit and local context Review lessons learned Select potential tools Implement selected tools Consult stakeholders Analyze cost/ benefit Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

6 Toolkit Complete Streets are created by implementing various tools that suit the local context. The tools below are a starting point to inspire designers to create Complete Streets. 1 Improve Connectivity 2 Add Sidewalk 3 Upgrade Cycle Facilities Tool 4 Enhance Pedestrian Zone/Improve Snow Storage 5 Strategic Property Acquisition 6 Protect Trees and Improve Planting Zones 7 Improve Multi-Modal Intersection Efficiency 8 3-Lane Road 9 Placemaking Community Enhancement Features 10 Neighbourhood Placemaking 11 Bury/Move Utilities 12 Parks/Facilities Integration 13 Traffic Safety Measures 14 Access Control 15 Asphalt Shoulders Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

7 1. Improve Connectivity No connection to Wawanosh Wetlands Conservation Area Rapids Parkway Subdivision 2003 Connection to Wawanosh Wetlands Conservation Area New neighbourhoods connected to Howard Watson Trail and Wawanosh Conservation Area Rapids Parkway Subdivision 2017 Complete missing links in sidewalk/cycle routes or add new connections to create integrated networks. Look beyond direct project limits for additional opportunities. Consider long term benefits when evaluating any necessary property acquisition or utility relocation. Complete networks make cycling and walking more attractive options. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

8 2. Add Sidewalk Wide road with no sidewalk is uninviting to pedestrians Lincoln Park Avenue 2009 Sidewalk set back from road improves walkability of neighbourhood Lincoln Park Avenue 2017 Add sidewalk to improve safe pedestrian travel by separating pedestrians from traffic. Pedestrians forced to walk on the road increases risk of conflict, especially when visibility is limited by parked vehicles Avoid curb faced sidewalk whenever possible. Tree removals may be required, strategically plant new trees to avoid future conflicts. Install tactile plates and longer gradual ramping to improve accessibility. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

9 3. Upgrade Cycle Facilities Narrow bike lane/ pedestrian path Excessive travel lane size encourages speeding Old Lakeshore Road 2014 Pavement markings reallocate underutilized asphalt to improve other modes of travel Appropriate lane size reduces speeding Old Lakeshore Road 2017 Add bike lanes on identified routes and make connections to multi-use paths. May require widening road, reducing vehicle lane widths, and/or removing on-street parking. Reducing unnecessarily wide vehicle lane widths will have a traffic calming effect that encourages slower speeds. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

10 4. Enhance Pedestrian Zone/Improve Snow Storage Curb face sidewalk No snow storage or landscaping Improved pedestrian safety Snow storage and landscaping space Maximizing boulevard width between the sidewalk and road improves sense of pedestrian safety, simplifies winter maintenance, and creates space for landscaping. Ideally achieve barrier curb with minimum 1.5m boulevard and no obstructions in or adjacent to sidewalk (i.e. hydro poles, fence, etc.). Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

11 5. Strategic Property Acquisition Private property extends to curb prohibiting connection of sidewalk at corner Purchased property to install continuous sidewalk Strategically acquire property to ensure a complete design where benefit outweighs the cost. Often required at intersections but also along roads to provide sufficient width for cycle lanes or to avoid curb face sidewalk. Also, consider where possibilities exist to connect pedestrian and cycle networks. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

12 6. Protect Trees and Improve Planting Zones Mature trees in boulevard should be saved when possible Ensure proper tree protection and minimize impact to root zone during construction Ensure proper tree protection during construction and do cost/benefit analysis of trenchless vs. open cut to save trees. Increase boulevard space or plant new trees behind sidewalk. Avoid planting new trees in locations that conflict with utilities. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

13 7. Improve Multi-Modal Intersection Efficiency Narrow pedestrian zone Wide crossing for pedestrians Lochiel Street 2009 Pedestrian zone enhanced in high volume areas Intersection bump out reduces crossing distance and improves visibility of pedestrians Lochiel Street 2016 Improve intersection safety by shortening pedestrian crossing distances and increasing visibility of pedestrians. Consider use of pedestrian crossing signals at high traffic intersections. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

14 8. 3-Lane Road Four lane road not required for volume of traffic Left turning vehicles are offset at intersections, vehicles continually switch lanes to avoid parked cars or left turning vehicles Opposing left turning vehicles are aligned at intersections, unnecessary lane shifting is eliminated, and speeding is discouraged Underutilized road width is reallocated to other modes of transportation Consider 3-lane road instead of 4-lane road when 2-lane roads need to be widened. 3-lane roads improve safety for vehicles by aligning opposing left turning vehicles, eliminating unnecessary lane shifting, and simplifying intersections. Can also consider road diets converting 4-lane roads to 3-lane roads, the underutilized road width can be reallocated to provide safe space for cycling. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

15 9. Place Making Community Enhancement Features Absence of trees and street furniture Street furniture creates inviting pedestrian zone Trees beatify the street and provide shade Work with local community to incorporate unique features. Create inviting pedestrian zones with seating and shade trees. In neighbourhood districts consider custom street name signs, street name stamped in sidewalk, etc. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

16 10. Neighbourhood Placemaking Lack of sidewalk forces pedestrians onto the road Unattractive car focused street with no defining characteristics Wide road with no trees in boulevard Neighbourhood surrounds feature lake Walking trails and sidewalks connect neighbourhoods Unique Streetlights Trees planted in boulevard provide shade and help slow traffic Implementing general Complete Streets tools enhances the attractiveness and livability of neighbourhoods. A great way to enhance communities even more is by creating identifiable and unique neighbourhood themes. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

17 11. Bury/Move Utilities Pole needs to be moved to extend sidewalk New pole location allows installation of sidewalk Consider long term benefit vs. cost of utility relocation. Move utilities out of pedestrian zone and eliminate trip hazards like manholes and valves. Bury utilities in high profile areas. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

18 12. Parks/Facilities Integration Narrow and uninviting entrance to trail Unused green space Howard Watson Trail/Michigan 2015 Parking lot and enhanced entrance added to better integrate trail system inviting entrance to trail system with shelter Howard Watson Trail/Michigan 2017 Tie street into parks and multi-use pathways to improve overall network connectivity. Add pedestrian crossings where volumes are high. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

19 13. Traffic Safety Measures Wide straight street in residential area leads to high speeds Appropriate lane size and intersection curb radii reduce speeds Separating vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians reduces the potential for conflicts Reduce lane sizes and intersection curb radii where appropriate to lower speeds and improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

20 14. Access Control Driveway too close to intersection Multiple wide driveways to same property Removed duplicate access to reduce pedestrian conflicts Removing duplicate access reduces conflict points and improves pedestrian safety. Wide driveways should be narrowed to conform with updated standards. Ensure sufficient sight lines of pedestrians on sidewalks at access points by removing obstructions and avoiding utility infrastructure. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

21 15. Asphalt Shoulders Cyclists forced to share road with high speed vehicles Road deterioration often starts at edge of lane Waterworks Road 2012 Paved shoulder enhances safety for cyclists Life of asphalt is extended by widening beyond lane Waterworks Road 2017 Adding paved shoulders to rural roads provides a safe space for cyclists along these higher speed routes and can extend the life of the asphalt by moving initial stages of deterioration outside of traffic lanes. Complete Streets ~ Sarnia ~

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