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Letter: Is city finally listening to cyclists?

By: Letter to the Editor

 | Apr 10, 2014 - 4:41 PM |
The announcement that the reconstruction of Second Avenue will include at least some proper cycling infrastructure and a pedestrian crosswalk after all is good news, as is a public meeting planned for later this month.

But it’s not the end of the story. This is the city’s chance to get it right — will they take it?

Lack of consultation and communication was behind the public uproar, and it is real consultation and communication that is needed moving forward.

The Sustainable Mobility Advisory Panel (SMAP) is tasked with advising council on implementing a vision where citizens can walk, cycle and/or use public transit efficiently and safely to get to their destinations.

They have solid research and local recommendations behind them. The Sudbury Cyclists Union brings real life experience of cyclists in the area, as well as detailed knowledge of best practices for cycling infrastructure.

Local residents know people’s needs in the neighbourhood, where kids cross the street, and what current issues with traffic speed, drainage, and access are. No wonder a road design ignoring all that was not well received.

Incorporating this local knowledge into proposed road designs will lead to better options for the public and council to review.

This is done by engaging with SMAP and other key stakeholders in an on-going conversation throughout the design process, so that iterative improvements can be made, and so that there is mutual understanding.

The result? Better outcomes and less conflict and uproar.

This is what is needed on all major transportation infrastructure projects.

SMAP cannot do their job of advising Council if they are not consulted, and we all lose when their expertise is left out.

If you want to show support for SMAP, or simply know more about their mandate and recommendations, come out to the next Community Services Committee meeting, Monday, April 14, 4 p.m., room C-11, Tom Davies Square.

Naomi Grant
Chair, Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury

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