Active Transportation Connection Plan Presented

The Active Transportation Connection Plan was presented to members of the City’s Transportation Committee. The plan is an update to the 2007 Trails/Bikeways Master Plan and will help guide the growth of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure over the next 10+ years.

The plan was prepared by Parsons, an engineering, construction, technical and management services firm. The firm worked closely with City of Fredericton staff and consulted the public to identify current gaps and opportunities in the trail and bike lane network and recommend a plan of action to address them. The work included site visits, GIS mapping, consultation with City staff and councillors, and an online survey on the current and future cycling needs and desires of citizens. The survey received nearly 500 responses from members of the public.

“It is clear that our active transportation network is used extensively and valued highly by many of our citizens,” said Coun. Henri Mallet, Chair of the Transportation Committee. “While our network has many strong elements, there is a clear need for improvements throughout the city.”

Based on the input received and a strategic review of the network, the plan includes an implementation strategy to build upon the current network with new trails and cycling infrastructure and fill gaps. Nearly 50 improvement projects – including bike lane improvements, trail connections, trail crossings, and trail or bike lane extensions – were identified to enhance Fredericton’s active transportation network. The projects are prioritized over the short, medium and long term.

The plan does not prescribe specific designs for each of the projects, but includes recommended design guidelines that reflect current best practices for the design and construction of bike lanes, trails, intersections, and trail crossings to guide the projects.

“We’re looking forward to reviewing the plan in more detail so we can move forward with investing in projects that are prioritized by the community to strategically grow the network and make active transportation an even more viable option for our citizens,” said Mallet.

For more information and a copy of the report visit the Active Transportation Connection Plan page or contact Service Fredericton at 460-2020 / service@fredericton.ca.

Summary of key points and findings:

  • Fredericton has many strong components to its active transportation network that exist today, including an extensive trail system, both paved and unpaved, and on-road bike lanes. This was evident by the appreciation and perceived value held by survey respondents, and the extensive use of these facilities that was observed. 
  • City staff and the public have shown a clear desire to further the state of active transportation in Fredericton. To accomplish this, the City must build upon the network that has completed to date, with new trails and cycling infrastructure that incorporates a higher level of service, and turn focus towards filling gaps that exist between facilities.
  • The survey was open for three weeks and received 498 responses.
  • In general, survey participants cycle frequently (83.8% at least once a week) and for a significant portion of the year (76.4% cycle five months a year or more). Survey respondents showed a strong preference for separation between cyclists and motorists (90.1% are comfortable on trails and prefer the use of bike only infrastructure), which makes filling existing gaps all the more important.  
  • When asked about what makes the existing Fredericton trails/bikeway system great, the most frequent responses were concerning the trail network within Fredericton, specifically: 
  • The extensiveness of the trail system (196 responses).
  • The paved nature of the trail system (178 responses).
  • The scenic nature of Fredericton’s trail network (113 responses).
  • The maintenance level of the trail network (89 responses). 
  • Respondents indicated that while there are successful elements within the City’s active transportation network, there are several areas that are existing challenges. Key challenges reported by respondents included:
  • Lack of bike lanes (100 responses).
  • Lack of trail connectivity (90 responses).
  • Dropping of bike lanes through intersections (55 responses).
  • Challenging trail crossings (53 responses). 
  • The width of bike lanes (47 responses).
  • Respondents indicated that there needs to be an increased focus on educating motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians on proper sharing of roadway and trail infrastructure. 
  • When asked what network upgrades should be the top priorities for the City, top responses included:
  • Filling in gaps within the existing network (302 responses).
  • Providing higher level cycling facilities on the road (279 responses).
  • Enhancing bike facilities through signalized intersections (272 responses).
  • Education of cyclists and drivers (230 responses). 
  • Respondents also identified locations of gaps in the existing trail and bike lane networks, intersections in need of cycling safety upgrades, trails that need paving, and trail crossings that need improvement (see report for more details).