by Jeff Mills

Complete Streets bicycle ridersIf you haven’t noticed, the town is ready to “move” on an Active Transportation Master Plan. They’ve issued a survey and are hosting a public planning meeting called, “Let’s Move,” on Dec 3.

Please note! This isn’t just for guys like me who ride bikes. It’s for all of us. It’s about how we all get around; that’s 8 year old kids heading to school or 80 year old neighbours walking to the store. This topic is broad and affects our quality of life in Mississippi Mills.

So what exactly is this thing called Active Transportation?

Here’s a definition from Transport Canada in their “Active Transportation in Canada, a Resource and Planning Guide.”

“ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION

refers to all human-powered forms of transportation, in particular walking and cycling. It includes the use of mobility aids such as wheel chairs, and can also encompass other active transport variations such as in-line skating, skateboarding, cross-country skiing, and even kayaking.”

The guide,http://www.tc.gc.ca/media/documents/programs/atge.pdf. is a great resource that spells out everything from the public health, safety, environmental and sustainability, economic development and financial, community and livability implications of Active Transportation. It’s truly a comprehensive how-to guide and worth a read to get a better handle on the benefits and rationale of “why” an Active Transportation Plan.

And here’s the town’s AT Survey -https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KDPZ3J8

I’ve already received a message from someone who doesn’t ride a bike who figured it wasn’t for him. I urge you to fill it in as best you can. It may not all pertain to your individual circumstance. Don’t worry, just answer what you can. Perhaps offer comments in the comment box on the last page about how roads designed with all road users in mind; your children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents or yourself are exactly what you want.

What I’m talking about are “Complete Streets.”

Here’s a definition from ‘Complete Streets for Canada’ –

A Complete Street is designed for all ages, abilities, and modes of travel. On Complete Streets, safe and comfortable access for pedestrians, bicycles, transit users and the mobility-impaired is not an afterthought, but an integral planning feature.

A Complete Streets policy ensures that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire street network for all road users, not only motorists.

Complete Streets offer wide ranging benefits. They are cost effective, sustainable and safe.

The link between Complete Streets and public health is well documented… Complete Streets promote livability.”

To learn more, visit their website at http://completestreetsforcanada.ca/

We have a wonderful opportunity, right now, to create a plan that works for all road users and promotes better community health while positively impacting our quality of life.

Take the town’s survey then RSVP TDunlop@mississippimills.ca by noon on Tuesday, November 25th, to join the town’s interactive workshop “Let’s Move” on Active Transportation planned for Wednesday, December 3rd, from 6:00-8:30pm, at Almonte Old Town Hall.

I must come clean and offer credit where credit is due. The concept of 8-80 is not mine! (Check out one more link! http://8-80cities.org/ )

“If you create a town that’s good for an 8 year old and good for an 80 year old, you will create a successful town for everyone.”

Remember 8-80 and Let’s Move!