Metrolinx opens discussions on mobility hubs and active transportation



    TORONTO, Feb. 6 /CNW/ - If you have ideas on how to create a better
transportation system for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, Metrolinx
wants to hear from you. Metrolinx today issued two Green Papers, focusing on
mobility hubs and active transportation.
    Both Green Papers have been posted for public review and comment on
Metrolinx's interactive consultation website at
http://metrolinx-consult.limehouse.com/portal. Metrolinx staff will be meeting
broadly with stakeholder organizations to gather further input for a
comprehensive Regional Transportation Plan.
    "The release of these papers is intended to provoke discussion throughout
the community on a wide range of ideas and policy options for improving
transportation in our region," said Metrolinx Chair Rob MacIsaac. "We want
people to tell us what they think will work, and what they think won't work.
We are determined to get this right."
    Green Paper No. 2 sets out concepts and questions around mobility hubs -
key points of intersection between various forms of transportation.
    "Creating easier links between walking, cycling, auto use and public
transit is a key element in improving people's ability to get around,"
MacIsaac said. "These hubs often foster vibrant employment and residential
areas, and draw amenities such as entertainment, shopping and family services
to their vicinity. This mix of land use and transportation can be mutually
supportive and should be encouraged."
    The Mobility Hubs Green Paper asks readers to think about a vision for
these landmark facilities, offering concepts like secure bicycle stations on
covered walkways leading to subway platforms, networks of mini-buses taking
passengers from their neighbourhoods directly to GO stations, and urban
marketplaces next to high-speed GO train stops.
    Green Paper No. 3 deals with active transportation - human-powered
travel, such as walking and cycling.
    "We have engineered walking and cycling out of many parts of our region
and it has had very negative consequences. Our environment and our health have
suffered because we can't do as much as buy a cup of coffee without using our
cars. Other cold climate cities do a much better job of encouraging - and
enabling - people to walk or cycle. We're looking for ways to make active
transportation a much more important part of the way we get around," MacIsaac
said.
    Potential innovations cited in the Green Paper to encourage active
transportation include ideas like "road diets" - narrowing existing roadways
for bicycle lanes and sidewalks - in high pedestrian areas, "bike-n-ride"
parking spots at subway stations, and self-service bicycle-rental stalls at
subway stations (for passengers who need a bike at both ends of the trip).
    "We are open to whatever ideas will work to improve the transportation
system, at every level," MacIsaac said.
    The release of these Green Papers is an important milestone in
Metrolinx's development of a Regional Transportation Plan. Looking ahead,
Metrolinx will publish four additional papers over the next month focusing on
Transportation Demand Management, Moving Goods and Services, Highways and
Roads, and Public Transit. Based on feedback from the public and stakeholders,
these papers will form the foundation for a related series of policy
recommendations dubbed "White Papers" to be considered by the Metrolinx board
of directors.
    A Draft RTP will integrate the transportation policies formulated and
approved by the Metrolinx board. This document will be published in late
spring and will be available for comment by the public until early fall of
2008. The final RTP - a comprehensive strategy for a coordinated
transportation system in the urban area encompassing the Cities of Hamilton
and Toronto, and the Regional Municipalities of Peel, Durham, Halton and York
- will be released in the fall of 2008.

    Metrolinx is a Crown agency of the Province of Ontario, operating within
the legislative framework of the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority Act,
2006 and the provincial Growth Plan.





For further information:

For further information: Jacquie Menezes, Senior Associate, Public
Affairs and Media, (416) 874-5923; Fran Agnew, Executive Assistant to the
Metrolinx Chair, (416) 874-5902

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