ONTARIO’S CLIMATE Action Plan calls for increased walking and cycling, but the action steps listed in the Plan ignore walking. Further, Ontario’s Transportation Ministry is developing a cycling commuter strategy with $150-$225 million in funding for cycling infrastructure, but there is no equivalent strategy or financial commitment for walking.
“It’s great to see all the support for cycling, but walking deserves at least equal attention,” says Clifford Maynes, Executive Director of Green Communities Canada.
In a letter to the Ministry Transportation, Maynes pointed out that walking has a higher modal share than cycling, and even greater potential for growth. Neighbourhood walkability is also a major determinant of transit success.
Further, fatalities and injuries for walkers are several times the casualty rate for cyclists, another reason for Ontario to develop a pedestrian strategy.
The Climate Plan says the province will support walkable communities by providing guidance to municipalities. We have been referred to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
Grants to municipalities and large employers will support implementation of transportation demand management (TDM) plans.