Guide to Best Practices

Appendix 1 Model Pedestrian And Bicycle Plan


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Appendix 1 Model Pedestrian And Bicycle Plan

This section describes a typical municipal pedestrian and bicycle plan.
Planning Tip

Typical Plan Components

  1. Goals and objectives. Define the outcomes that are to be achieved.

  2. Bicycle network plan. Identifies infrastructure (trails, bike lanes, bike routes) that provides cycling access to major destinations (schools, commercial centers, intermodal terminals, and recreational areas), and connections to regional and provincial bicycle routes.

  3. Design guidelines. This identifies specific dimensions, clearances, safety features, materials, surface treatments, signage, and pavement markings, etc., for facilities, usually based on published standards recommended by a major professional or government organization.

  4. Maintenance policies and procedures. This includes maintenance standards and priorities, and indicates who is responsible for implementation.

  5. End-of-trip bicycle facilities (bicycle storage racks or lockers, showers, and clothes changing facilities).

  6. Capital expenditure plan. Identifies project costs and timing of implementation.

  7. Support programs. Includes safety education, law enforcement, and promotion activities.

  8. Evaluation. This includes on-going monitoring of facility use, condition, and problems.


  • To identify needed improvements to enable and enhance walking and cycling.

  • To provide standards for planning, designing and maintaining bikeways and walkways.

  • To fulfill the requirements of the Growth Strategies Act.


The development of Bicycle and Pedestrian plans is an essential component of building cycling and walking communities. This plan outlines the policies for adoption to support cycling and walking in communities. It identifies goals, objectives, and evaluation criteria for pedestrian and bicycle planning, design, education, enforcement, and encouragement. It identifies actions for municipal agencies to implement these objectives. It provides a prioritized list of bicycle and pedestrian network programs and projects, and a recommended budget to ensure the plan’s implementation.


  • Walking and bicycling provide safe and convenient access to all destinations within the City.

  • People can walk or ride to and from their transit stops and have a comfortable and convenient place to wait or transfer.

  • Highways, streets, roads, paths, sidewalk, transportation terminals, and land use patterns are designed to accommodate and encourage bicycling and walking.

  • Nonmotorized travel becomes increasingly common for transportation and recreation.

  • Appropriate transportation choices are available to all, including people who do not own or drive an automobile.


Bicycling and walking are increasingly recognized as a viable means of transportation in North America. Nonmotorized transport provides many benefits to users and non-users alike, including travel choice and mobility, affordability, reduced road congestion, infrastructure savings, improved health, recreation and enjoyment, environmental protection, and economic development. Walking and cycling improvements are critical for creating more livable communities.
According to name travel survey X.X% of trips in the City are currently made by walking, and X.X% are made by cycling. Market surveys indicate that the use of nonmotorized travel could increase significantly if given appropriate community support. Walking and cycling are key forms of transportation through neighborhoods, around schools, and in business districts. They are also popular forms of recreation. Walking in particular is expected to gain in importance as our population ages for recreation, exercise, and transportation.
Actions that support cycling and walking include:
  • Language in the Official Community Plan supporting increased cycling and walking.

  • Establishment of a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

  • Establishment of a bicycle and pedestrian coordinator position.

  • Development of a trails or bikeway map.

  • Directives in the Growth Strategies Act requiring consideration of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

  • Inclusion of bicycle specific training in new driver education materials.


  1. The City recognizes that approximately one-third of its residents do not drive and seeks to enable those residents to travel more safely throughout the City on foot, by bicycle, and by wheelchair. The City seeks to accommodate nonmotorized travel in order to provide equitable opportunity to all residents.

  2. The City recognizes that nonmotorized travel can help develop a sense of community, encourage the patronage of local business, reduce noise and pollution, and improve the health of its residents. To realize these benefits, the City seeks to encourage nonmotorized travel, both functional and recreational.

  3. The City recognizes that walking, jogging, hiking, and bicycling are popular forms of recreation and therefore it seeks to encourage and enhance those activities.

  4. The City recognizes that walking and cycling are currently more dangerous than necessary, which causes unnecessary death and injuries, discourages nonmotorized travel, and imposes economic costs on the community. The City therefore seeks to make walking and cycling safer.


A Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee shall be established to oversee the development and implementation of a Pedestrian and Bicycle Network Plan. The Committee should include representatives of cyclists, pedestrians, parents, the physically challenged and appropriate government agencies. This Committee will:

  1. Establish a planning process outline and schedule to indicate who is responsible for each task, when it should be accomplished, and opportunities for public involvement.

  2. Develop a scoping document that outlines what issues are to be considered, summarizes available data on walking and cycling in the City, and identifies what would be required to obtain additional data that might be needed for planning purposes.

  3. Survey users and potential users to identify existing problems and barriers to nonmotorized travel in the City, and opportunities for improving conditions. This should identify potential facility improvements and other activities, including education, law enforcement, and encouragement programs, that help achieve nonmotorized transport goals.

  4. Develop preliminary estimates of the costs of implementing potential programs and projects.

  5. Develop a framework for evaluating and prioritizing potential improvements.

  6. Develop a recommended plan and overall budget. This could include a target for completion, for example, that all priority improvements be implemented within 10 years.

  7. Seek pedestrian and cycling network program funding, including federal, provincial, and regional grants, and funding from local foundations, service clubs, and private individuals.

  8. Establish design and maintenance standards for pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and review standards used by City departments that affect walking and cycling conditions.

  9. Establish requirements for bicycle parking facilities as part of municipal parking codes, and educate city officials and builders concerning appropriate bicycle rack and locker design.
  10. Recommend changes to other municipal policies to support nonmotorized transportation, including roadway design and maintenance standards, changes to zoning codes, municipal traffic bylaws and law enforcement practices, and other appropriate changes.

  11. Work with Transit agencies to integrate bicycling into the local transit system, including bicycle racks on buses, bicycle lockers and racks at park and ride lots and bus terminals.

  12. Recommend standards for new development to create more pedestrian and bicycle friendly communities, such as a modified grid street system with minimal cul de sacs, and the provision of trail connections between cul de sac or dead end streets where possible.

  13. Develop recommendations for any actions needed to coordinate pedestrian and bicycle planning with other jurisdictions, including regional and provincial agencies.

  14. Develop bicycle education program in coordination with community partners which may include bicycle clubs, police agencies, service clubs, and other groups.

  15. Prepare and distribute information about traffic laws, bicycle safety, bicycle theft, major collision types through bicycle and sport shops, and public information sites.

  16. Support bicycle encouragement programs, such as Bicycle Commuter Week and bicycle tourism promotion efforts.

  17. Establish policies for evaluation and updating pedestrian and bicycle plans in the future.

The Engineering Department Will:

  1. Identify specific bicycle and pedestrian projects in its annual Capital and Current Budgets. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory committee will have the opportunity to comment on these budgets before their consideration by City Council.

  2. Implement pedestrian and bicycle facility design and maintenance standards, and modify roadway design and maintenance standards as needed to improve the cycling environment.

  3. Collect information on walking and bicycle travel patterns in all future travel surveys.
  4. Revise existing subdivision design standards and conditions to ensure that subdivisions are designed with direct pedestrian and bicycle connections and suitable transit access.

  5. Organize bicycle and pedestrian planning workshops for Engineering staff, members of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory committee, and other appropriate stakeholders.

  6. Coordinate efforts with the Parks and Recreation Department to ensure that connections between on-street and off-street facilities are well designed.

  7. Notify the Advisory Committee about all major road works and sewer projects where wide curb lanes, sidewalks, or pathways can be established.

  8. Initiate a “Spot Improvement Program” to reduce hazards along popular cycling routes and major pedestrian routes through small-scale, low cost improvements. Bicycle hazards include dangerous potholes, sewer grates, and railway crossings. Pedestrian hazards include missing curb cuts, missing links, uneven and cracked sidewalks. Priority should be given to improvements along the routes identified on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Network Maps. It is recommended that funds from the existing road maintenance budget be used. A telephone “hotline” or postcard program should be established to provide cyclists and pedestrians with the convenient opportunity to suggest improvements.

  9. Revise its design standards and specifications to ensure bicycle and pedestrian access across and beneath new and renovated bridges and overpasses.

  10. Revise the standard tender specifications so that only bicycle-safe sewer grates are purchased.

  11. Establish standards to ensure access and safety to pedestrians and cyclists during construction projects.

  12. Ensure that all bicycle and pedestrian projects comply with recognized design standards, such as the Guide for the Development of Bicycling Facilities prepared by the America Association of State Highway and Transportation officials (AASHTO).

The Parks and Recreation Department Will:

  1. Identify specific bicycle and pedestrian projects in its annual capital and current budgets. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee will have the opportunity to comment on these budgets before their consideration by City Council.

  2. Develop path and trail maintenance and repair programs, which should include maintenance standards, a well publicized method for users to report problems, scheduled maintenance, and, if appropriate, use of volunteers to help perform maintenance tasks.

  3. Ensure that trails and path accommodate an appropriate range of users. This recognizes that many cyclists prefer to ride on separated paths instead of roads and that the development of pathways will attract walkers, dog walkers, in-line skaters, joggers, and cyclists. It also means that users with special needs, including people with disabilities, children, and elderly will be accommodated on such facilities whenever possible.

  4. Provide appropriate signage to identify paths and trails, encourage appropriate trail behaviour, and warn of hazards.

  5. Monitor rail-related, utility, or natural area actions to ensure that opportunities to develop pathways within abandoned rail corridors are not missed.

  6. Monitor conflicts on trails and paths and take appropriate actions to minimize conflicts.

  7. Develop a city or regional bicycle map.

  8. Identify priority locations for pathway improvements. This includes pathways that are too narrow, in poor repair, and poorly designed.

  9. Prior to the City’s selling or otherwise disposing of public rights of way, the City consider the use of those lands as part of the overall paths/trails system or as informal walkways for nearby residents.
  10. When deciding whether to accept lands proffered, either for purchase or otherwise, the City consider the possible use of those lands for off-road travel on foot or by bicycle.

Law Enforcement Agencies Will:

  1. Establish policies for the enforcement of bicycle traffic laws. This should include education for traffic officers concerning bicycle laws and cyclists rights, education and outreach programs to cyclists and motorists, prioritization of violations that will be cited, policies for citing and fining cyclists (including children and other cyclists who do not have a drivers license), and development of a “diversion” program, by which cyclists who violate traffic laws can take a bicycling safety class as an alternative to paying a fine.

  2. Provide an advanced bicycle skills course to all staff using bicycles for policing, to ensure safe and appropriate riding skills for safest riding, and to provide model examples for other cyclists.

  3. Compile and analyze reported bicycle and pedestrian collision statistics on an annual basis. This information will be reviewed by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee and Engineering Department staff to determine ways to reduce road hazards.

Public Involvement

Public involvement is essential to good pedestrian and bicycle planning. Public involvement can help educate stakeholders, gather information, identify public opinions and priorities, and develop new ideas and plans. The following techniques can make public involvement effective.

1. Visioning

It can be useful to begin a planning process with open-ended discussion of what might constitute optimal pedestrian and cycling conditions in a community’s future. This sort of visioning can involve any interested citizens. It looks for common ground among participants and produces a broadly based statement on what the community should strive to achieve.

2. Brainstorming

Brainstorming involves freethinking for solutions to a particular problem or set of problems. Issues should be carefully defined prior to the brainstorming session. Generally, as many ideas as possible are listed without comment, then the ideas are evaluated, and finally prioritized. All participants are fully invited to give ideas and no one person is allowed to dominate. In this type of creative and non-critical environment, contentious issues can be viewed in a new light. Brainstorming requires a facilitator who must be sensitive to group dynamics and be able to draw statements and positions for participants.

3. Charrette

A charrette is a special meeting involving all stakeholders and resource people to develop a plan or resolve a particular problem. It is typically a day or multi-day event. The objective is to have a basic plan completed by the end of the meeting.

4. Public Meetings

A public meeting is held to present information and obtain feedback from citizens. It provides for a presentation from the agency with opportunities for questions and public comment. Anyone may attend a public meeting. They should be well publicized, particularly to appropriate interest groups. Public meetings should be held in locations that are accessible to all users, and people with special needs should be accommodated as much as possible.

5. Publicity

Publicity can be used to inform stakeholders about issues and events through newspapers, radio, TV and videos, billboards, posters, direct mail, or flyers. Media strategies should be incorporated into any project that needs public focus, consensus, and understanding for it to move forward.

6. Advisory Committee

Many communities establish temporary or permanent pedestrian and bicycle advisory committees with representation from various stakeholder groups as part of nonmotorized transportation planning. The role of an advisory committee is to review and comment on transportation policies and plans from a pedestrian and cyclist perspective and to recommend policies and actions. In addition to helping develop a plan, an advisory committee can help solve future problems, negotiate solutions to conflicts, and support specific projects, such as field surveys, and safety education programs.
Planning Tip

Recipe For Developing And Maintaining An Effective Committee.

Recruitment – Recruit members with a range of perspectives and abilities, and who can make a significant contribution to the work involved.

Orientation – Provide new appointees with a solid orientation which may include the committee’s role including duties and responsibilities, how the committee is organized, how the committee works, a review of the committee’s structure, policies and bylaws, and a review of the committee’s relationship with citizens, staff, and the governing body.
Training – Organize field trips, send members to conferences, arrange presentations, and provide committee members with material relevant to bicycle and pedestrian planning, and group and advocacy processes.
Work Plan – Encourage your committee to determine its priority projects once a year to focus energies. Committee members may also be assigned responsibility for individual projects.
Organizing Meetings – Make sure that the important issues are brought to the committee. Schedule priority items early in the agenda and provide background material to help deal with difficult questions.
Committee Credibility – The committee members must understand their role as advisory member bodies providing vision, direction, and assistance to programs. Staff members can help committees by identifying decision-makers and how to expedite (or delay) initiatives.
Recognition – Committee members are volunteers and need appreciation for the contribution of their time and energy.

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