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To help protect the health and safety of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, City of Brampton is implementing interim bike lanes along the Vodden Street corridor. These routes will provide an alternative cycling option to recreational trails for residents, and allow cyclists to maintain physical distancing.

(photo credit: City of Brampton)

As of Saturday, April 18, Brampton is temporarily closing off curb lanes to vehicular traffic along the following sections of road and repurposing the lanes for bicycle use only:

  • Vodden Street – Ken Whillans Drive to Howden Boulevard
  • Howden Boulevard – Vodden Street to Central Park Drive

These sections of road, referred to as the ‘Big Ask’, are a part of the planned East-West Cycling Corridor connection as proposed in the  Active Transportation Master Plan. The City is working to implement permanent protected bike lanes on these streets in line with the Brampton 2040 Vision and the Streets for People Term of Council Priority.

Vehicular traffic in Peel Region is down 33 per cent as a result of COVID-19, giving the City a unique opportunity to showcase a part of the planned East-West Cycling Corridor to provide cyclists a safe connection to essential amenities and the City’s trail network.

The ‘Big Ask’

In collaboration with City Staff, Bike Brampton and the Bikeport by Kevin Montgomery developed the “Big Ask” Report. It was delegated to Committee of Council on Apr 3, 2019. The Vodden Street corridor was the east-west route selected for bike lanes. See Agenda pages 29-62 for the delegation slides and pages 63-116 for the report. Report pdf link also below. Youtube of delegation starts at 52 minutes and ends at 1:38.45. Vodden Street Cycling Staff report went back to Council, May 29, 2019.

2019 Active Transportation Big Ask Report FINAL

Quotes:

“As we continue to navigate this unprecedented time, our residents remain our top priority. I am proud to say that Brampton is reconfiguring streets and repurposing traffic lanes to give cyclists and pedestrians more room to maintain physical distancing. I encourage people to continue to follow physical distancing recommendations and remain as active and healthy as possible under these trying circumstances.” – Patrick Brown, Mayor, City of Brampton

“Brampton believes in promoting, supporting and implementing active transportation to keep our city moving. Given this Covid-19 emergency, we must now more than ever ensure that pedestrians, cyclists, and cars maintain a safe distance apart. As a cyclist myself, I am proud of our collaborative efforts with the community to make these temporary bike lanes happen and we look forward to implementing permanent solutions in the near future.” – Rowena Santos, Regional Councillor, Wards 1 and 5; Member, Cycling Advisory Committee

“The City is temporarily reallocating road space for cyclists to keep residents healthy and active while maintaining physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. With less traffic on our roads, we hope to provide a positive and safe experience for anyone wanting to ride a bicycle during this time.” – David Barrick, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Brampton

“In this time of isolation, an important part of how my wife and I maintain our physical and mental wellbeing is by riding our bikes to buy essentials and for exercise. I am grateful to Mayor Brown, Councillor Santos, all of Brampton Council and City staff who understand the need and are dedicating important public space for a bike lane that will reduce the pressure on pathways, so we can all get outside while meeting the requirement for physical distancing.” – David Laing, Chair, BikeBrampton

Interim Bike Lane FYI

General Information

  1. Public health authorities advise that moderate exercise can help keep our immune systems stronger.
  2. The temporary bike lanes are intended to provide a safe space for people of all ages and abilities who want to ride a bike for exercise, or to access essential services such as grocery stores, pharmacy, medical appointments, and essential jobs.
  3. The temporary lanes have been set up to relieve pressure on crowded recreational trails.
  4. Only bikes with wheel bases below 50cm (children’s size bikes) are allowed to be ridden on sidewalks in Brampton.
  5. When using the road, cyclists are subject to the same rules as motor vehicle drivers.

Using the Interim Lanes

  1. The temporary bike lanes are one-directional. Ride on the right side of the road in the same direction as traffic, and obey all traffic signs and signals.
  2. Cyclists must keep a safe distance, a minimum of 2 bike lengths if from different households.
  3. Passing another cyclist should be avoided, unless you can safely move out into the lane of traffic to clear the cyclist in front of you while maintaining a width of 2 metres (6 feet).
  4. Use hand signals to indicate your intention to left or right, and to stop.
  5. Do your shoulder check before you make a turn to make sure the way is clear.
  6. Beware of drivers entering and exiting driveways. They may not easily see you. Slow down and be prepared to stop quickly.
  7. Even when you have the right of way with a green light, pay attention to your surroundings and do not assume that others will stop at red lights.
  8. Especially pay attention at intersections to make sure that drivers are not turning right. Remember, they may not see you.
  9. Sound your bell. By Ontario law, you should have a bell or horn.
  10. If you need to stop somewhere other than at an intersection, signal your stop and pull over, up onto the curb, so you can safely let other cyclists pass you keeping the physical distance.

COVID 19 Precautions

  1. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you.
  2. Wash your hands before you start your trip.
  3. If you touch a signal crossing button, use your elbow, not your hand.
  4. If you need to cough or sneeze, use your arm or sleeve. Do not spit or blow your nose without a tissue
  5. Clean your bike frame with a soapy cloth at the end of the ride.
  6. Wash your hands when you finish your trip.

BikeBrampton working with Brampton Council & Staff

We would like to thank Mayor Patrick Brown and Councillor Rowena Santos (Council representative for Brampton Cycling Advisory Committee) for their support and leadership. Staff has moved mountains to implement these interim lanes quickly during the pandemic. A special thanks to Transportation Planning, who sees the ‘big picture’ of Complete Streets for all in Brampton.

Special thanks to Traffic Services for installing the bike lanes. (photo credit: Lisa Stokes) They also changed traffic signals along the route to automatically display ‘walk’ with the green light — less need for us to touch the ‘beg’ button! They are continuing to install more signage and monitor the spacing of cones.

This curb ramp makes entrance and exit off the Etobicoke Creek Trail safer than ‘bumping down’ from the high curb. These ramps, along with signage and yellow bollards, are located at all the trail openings adjacent to the new bike lanes. Approach with caution to get the angle right!

As the weather warms, there will be increased use of Brampton extensive system of pathways. These bike lanes will help relieve pressure on the paths, as well as make it easier to cycle for essential trips to groceries, pharmacies and medical centres. Exercise is an important component of our physical and mental health. Cycling may be a preferred option for short trips to essential work and help workers get fresh air instead of taking transit.

Additional Resources

City of Brampton Media Release – Apr 17, 2020

City of Brampton Temporary Bike Lanes Information

City of Brampton Active Transportation Plan – endorsed by Council Sept 23, 2019

City of Brampton East-West Cycling Corridor Project

Need refresher skills to use your bike with confidence?

Check out the Brampton Bike Hub, part of the CCP (Community Cycle Program), operated by BikeBrampton and PCHS on behalf of Region of Peel. We are operating virtually right now. We have a bike lending library. Check back with us for borrowing a bike, as we are out of bikes now.

Bike Lane Tips Video

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