Markham’s resident and working population is expected to continue to increase significantly over the next 20 years. It is not sustainable nor physically possible to accommodate the increasing travel demand using vehicles as the only mode of transportation. We know that if we do rely solely on vehicles, we will increase the congestion, disruptions and travel times already experienced in our communities. Other transportation options - such as walking, cycling and transit - are a vital component in moving people more efficiently between places and to sustain the health and economy of our community.
A sidewalk network is a unifying infrastructure that promotes a multi-modal transportation system where every trip that uses an automobile, transit, or bicycle. In order to meet our goal of creating a complete multi-modal transportation system and encourage walking and transit use, we must improve the entire sidewalk network and connect our communities by creating and filling in zones with sidewalks.
The Sidewalk Network Completion Program will do just that. The Sidewalk Network Completion Program prioritizes sidewalk gaps on roads classified as “arterial” or “collector” as most community amenities and services such as schools, parks, community centres, public transit, employment areas, etc. tend to be located along these corridors. The Sidewalk Network Completion Program provides a plan for construction of sidewalks, and will communicate to our residents and homeowners which will be affected. The plan is currently scheduled to run for 10 years, subject to funding.
At the end of 2018, there were about 112km of sidewalk gaps on arterial and collector roads of which 65km is identified to be programmed for construction by the city <See Link to Maps>. The remainder are either:
- programmed for construction (4.3km),
- will be incorporated into larger capital projects (21.1km),
- deferred due to constructability issues (7.7km), or
- deferred as the gaps are on the boundary roads that are outside of developed or developing areas (13.9km).
The Sidewalk Completion Program is based on 65 km of sidewalk gaps identified
The Arterial and Collector Road Sidewalk Completion Program supports:
- Markham’s 2014 Official Plan objective “to develop a transportation system that increases mobility options for all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders…” and the policy of Council: “18.104.22.168 To support walking and cycling throughout Markham as competitive mobility choices for everyday activities such as work, school, shopping, business and leisure by:
- Creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment that is interconnected by a network of safe, direct, comfortable and convenient pedestrian routes that are suitable for year-round walking
Designing, constructing and integrating new streets and retrofitting existing streets, where appropriate, to focus on the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and persons with disabilities and ensuring safety, accessibility, convenience, and comfort of all street users are considered.”
Markham’s Sustainability Plan (2011) direction to equitably design streets so that walking and cycling are safe, efficient, and viable year round.
- The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), by removing barriers to ensure communities and facilities are accessible to all Ontarians.