Transportation planner Scott Johnston of Arcadis IBI Group presented the draft Transportation Master Plan (TMP) to Stratford City Council on August 14, 2023, introducing a strategic blueprint with 52 actionable steps and infrastructure enhancements aimed at addressing the city's transportation requirements.
The plan aims to improve Stratford’s transportation landscape. "It’s a long-term strategy of infrastructure including actions and policy and recommendations. It considers all modes of travel, including pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and trucks.” Johnston told council.
Johnston explains, “The TMP is a long-range planning document that will guide changes to the City’s transportation system for all modes of travel over the coming decades.” He continued, “The TMP also identifies transportation policies and strategies that, when combined with recommended infrastructure projects, will help the City achieve its vision for the future. The TMP will be the second master planning study for the City’s transportation network, released in 2010.”
The transportation master plan hopes to improve multimodal mobility and aims to accommodate planned growth while providing a transparent, accountable infrastructure spending plan for the city for the next 20 years.
Johnston elaborated on a transportation hierarchy that underscores safety and “multi-modal accessibility,” prioritizing pedestrians, cyclists, city transit, transport trucks, and automobiles navigating the roads. This 20-year plan aligns with the city's vision to have a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable transportation system.
Johnston discussed recommendations for the Erie Street reconstruction, proposing redesigning a three-lane cross-section with dedicated travel lanes and a protected bike lane. The emphasis on cycling within the TMP is underpinned by the intent to develop a city-wide cycling network, focusing on long-term redevelopment and reconstruction strategies while remaining adaptable.
Taking into consideration concerns from city residents, Johnston noted the plan's dedication to enhancing pedestrian accessibility through the implementation of 16 new crosswalks, with ongoing efforts to bridge gaps in the sidewalk network facilitated by annual funding.
The draft report is now undergoing a 30-day public review period, inviting input and feedback from the community. The document is accessible here: https://engagestratford.ca/transportation-master-plan.
Amanda Modaragamage, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Stratford Times