On February 3rd, Greater Sudbury Council approved its 2016 budget. In that budget is a 5-year contracted position for an Active Transportation Coordinator at the City. The money to pay for the position will be taken from the $800,000 per year that had been approved for cycling infrastructure capital dollars in the 2015 budget.
The SCU, along with other groups and organizations, has been advocating for this position for a number years. The Coordinator will ensure inter-departmental communication and will work on a number of critical policies that are needed to move the Active Transportation portfolio forward. These include Complete Streets, Transportation Demand Management, changes to transit, and other strategies.
Although the City has approved money in the budget for cycling infrastructure, none has yet been built. City staff have indicated that they are waiting for the approval of the Master Transportation Plan before they move forward on this, with the exception of the $300,000 for the cycle tracks that will be built on a section of Barrydowne Road in the summer of 2016, as part of the reconstruction of the section between the Kingsway and Westmount Avenue.
The person who fills this position will be working to fulfill big expectations from the cycling community. Many have been frustrated for a number years with a number of missed opportunities and with the promise that infrastructure will eventually be built. To date, there has been very little action to ensure the safety of cyclists on our most dangerous roads. We’re hoping that hiring an AT Coordinator will change that.
The City anticipates hiring the Coordinator by July 1, 2016.