Making it easier for people to walk, bike

Markham residents who like to get around by foot or bike can look forward to improvements to a multi-use path intersection on Markham Road.

Under York Region’s Pedestrian Cycling and Municipal Streetscape Partnership Program, Markham received $73,392 to connect 16th Avenue and Major Mackenzie Drive. The project also includes improved pavement markings and signage for pedestrians and cyclists.

“More people are walking and cycling in our communities using our existing infrastructure,” York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson says. “We are committed to continue making our communities more appealing to encourage sustainable transportation.”

Each year, the Region earmarks up to $500,000 for the Pedestrian Cycling Program and up to $1 million for the Streetscape Program. The former improves pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and enhances connections to major transportation infrastructure, while the latter promotes pedestrian-friendly design, attractive streetscapes and connections to major transportation infrastructure.

“Cost-sharing programs like these make it easier for people to walk and bike for fun or as part of their commute,” says Town of Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas, Chair of the Region’s Public Works Transportation Services. “In addition to providing more opportunities to be active, these initiatives also reduce the need for single-occupant vehicles.”

The Pedestrian Cycling Program will also fund two projects in Vaughan and another in Georgina. Under the Streetscape Program, two parkettes will be developed on Bathurst Street at Shaw Road and Weldrick Road in Richmond Hill. The project is integrated with the Region’s Bathurst Street road widening project. The program will fund another project in Richmond Hill and one in Vaughan.

The Region reports its has contributed $8.4 million to support 49 Pedestrian Cycling Program projects and $13.3 million to support 41 Streetscape Program projects since they launched in 2006 and 2007. The programs have been funded through 90 per cent development charges and 10 per cent tax levy.

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