GCAT - Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation

Endorsement from WDG Public Health to reallocate road space for active transportation


Hello all,

As you may or may not know, at this Monday May 11 Guelph City Council meeting, the issue of reallocation of public space, including street space, to make more room for active transportation is coming up in two motions. One motion is by councillor Cathy Downer, and another by councillor James Gordon.

 In a previous email to members and supporters, as well as on our GCAT blog, we have asked for people to support James Gordon’s motion in this regard.  (Councillor Downer had not yet made her motion at that time.) 

In the meantime,  GCAT reached out WDG public health for clarity on their position regarding reallocating street  space for active transportation, and the need to physically distance in areas where sidewalk space is constrained.

WDG Public Health responded. At the bottom of the page, you will see their response.

Since then, councillor Cathy Downer made a motion.

Motion from Councillor Downer 

“That staff be directed to prepare a plan and associated funding sources for physical distancing in outdoor public spaces, where possible, that is informed by public health safety guidelines and advice in order to ready the community for a phased return to pre-COVID-19 activities and that staff report back to Council via the monthly COVID-19 update meetings.”

And Councillor Gordon amended his motion to read:

“That staff be directed to examine methods to adhere to physical distancing guidelines and public health advice through the implementation of active transportation options to support the health and wellbeing of our citizens during our collective fight against COVID-19. And that the identified funding source be reallocated as one-time use from the 2020 approved Mayor and Council training and conference budget – account 702-0000-24 and account 701-0000-34 up to $45,000. And that staff prioritize existing owned city infrastructure or materials to accomplish the separation of vehicular and pedestrian/cyclists. And that any changes to areas be clearly communicated in advance to the public. And that Council acknowledge that these actions will be temporary and on a trial basis where staff will monitor and make adjustments as necessary. And that such initiatives will be implemented as soon as possible.”

Please let your ward councillors know that you support both motions, and want to get out and walk and bike, for essentials and for physical and mental health. And that you want the space to be safe while doing so! 

Feel free to contact info@gcat.ca for more information. 

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