This document presents a comprehensive Cycle Network Plan for the City of Prince George. This Cycle Network Plan is intended to facilitate and encourage cycling within the larger scope of a general transportation system. This document is intended to be flexible and implemented over the long term. It is also designed to be updated on a regular basis, allowing staff to incorporate new standards, new issues, and new developments. The Plan incorporated feedback from City staff and the Ministry of Transportation and Highways. It also reflected public input through an open house, a questionnaire, and individual communications.
The plan was compiled through extensive field research and a review of municipal policies. It should be noted that this report is limited to municipal streets only and does not include routes or bridges which occur on property under University, College, or Ministry of Transportation and Highways jurisdiction. The Ministry has a Cycling Policy and will maintain their facilities to that standard.
The Plan begins with an analysis of the basic principles involved in planning for bicycles. Highlights include:
- Improved accessibility to major employment centres, and existing and developing residential areas;
- Compatibility with the City Wide Trail System Master Plan, combining on-road and off-road facilities in an integrated network;
- Programs to encourage greater bicycle usage, such as a user-friendly cycling map, annual Bike Week, review of winter road maintenance standards, and consideration of Transportation Demand Management principles;
- Cost-effective recommendations, such as initial route signage, to allow for a priority-based implementation process;
- Consideration of cyclists' needs in future road infrastructure projects, adhering to the principle of equitable, shared use of the roads;
- Encouragement of bicycle-related improvements on roads that are under Ministry jurisdiction;
- Encouragement of better transit integration; and
- Encouragement of enhanced training and enforcement for both drivers and cyclists.
The development of a comprehensive network of bicycle routes was based on the field surveys and public consultation. Highlights include:
- Identification and creation of continuous north-south and east-west corridors for on-street cycling;
- Utilization of existing facilities where possible; and
- Provision of design and signage standards for uniformity, clarity, and safety.
The specific route recommendations are shown in Map 1. Key elements are summarized in Table 1, in the “Summary of Recommendations” chapter.
The Plan also includes recommendations on related issues, including:
- Improvements to signal operations;
- Inclusion of secure bicycle storage facilities in new developments;
- Repealing By-Law 52.3, to allow for on-street and off-road facilities on the same route (where deemed appropriate); and
- Additional public consultation as individual projects are implemented.
The Plan is expected to produce the following benefits:
- Creation of new transportation opportunities which will enhance the livability of the community and the quality of life in Prince George;
- Increased level of comfort and safety for cyclists;
- Improved accessibility to employment and residential areas;
- Improved mobility for people who cannot or choose not to drive motor vehicles;
- Improved health through the promotion of cycling; and
- A reduction in the rate of growth of motorized traffic.
This plan can only be effective if it is accompanied by a time-frame for implementation, and budget to enable the implementation.