Sudbury to hire an active transportation co-ordinator
New hire to focus on municipal projects and development plans centred on cycling and pedestrian infrastructure
Sudbury is adding a new active transportation co-ordinator to its municipal staff.
The job is modelled after a similar post in Thunder Bay, where the mobility co-ordinator in that northern Ontario city has helped to make successful changes over the past seven years.
The Sudbury job is a five-year contract position. City council budgeted $75,000 towards the new role when it approved the 2016 budget.
The new hire will focus on municipal projects and development plans centred around cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.
Adam Krupper is the mobility co-ordinator in Thunder Bay.
Some of his duties include creating and implementing that city's transportation plan, as well as co-ordinating initiatives in education, partnerships, infrastructure, enforcement and policy development.
Since Thunder Bay hired its mobility co-ordinator, the city has installed over 50 kilometres of bike lanes and shared lanes. They've created a cycling education program, held a bike summit and improved sidewalk development and sidewalk construction.
Chair of the Sudbury Cyclists Union, Rachelle Niemela, says Thunder Bay is at the forefront of cycling.
"They're a northern Ontario city, so they've got hills, they've got winter and they've got the same kind of conditions we have." She says Sudbury has some catching up to do if we want to build cycling infrastructure to match that of Thunder Bay.
New hire starts this fall
Krupper has some advice for city officials once the Sudbury co-ordinator is in place.
"There's a lot of opportunity to make all sorts of plans and developments better for walking and cycling." says Krupper.
"That person should really be involved in as many of those projects as possible, because they've got a very unique perspective, that benefits everyone."
To the person who will become Sudbury's active transportation co-ordinator, Krupper hopes they think big, but also take public concerns to heart when making decisions.
"It's important to listen to the people who are asking for the infrastructure, understand what they're saying. If [cyclists and pedestrians] are saying they're scared to be on the road, then find the best solution to help."
Krupper says if Sudbury's new coordinator starts with a project that appeals to all road users, it will set the tone for all future projects. "We are all road users."
The city's new active transportation coordinator is expected to be in place this fall.