We, the City of Greater Sudbury, have progressed
so far from the days when many a new bride cried in despair
as her husband brought her from Europe or Montreal, or anywhere
else in Canada, to Sudbury. And I am not being sexist. I’m
sure the men were crying, too.
So we come to another juncture in city life
where we can decide if all the talk from one side of the
mouth matches the chatter from the other.
On Tues., Dec. 13, the Transportation Master
Plan (TMP) goes to city council. On Wed., Dec. 7, is a community-led
information night to review the TMP. The meeting is open
to the public and will be held at the Open Studio at 93
Cedar Street, from 5 to 8 p.m.
So on the one hand, we proclaim Sudbury
is a learning city, a place for families, a city hosting
more than 330 lakes (size of lake undefined?) and a walkable
city? A happy place? Let’s invest money to bring professionals
and other folk to live.
Sudbury is home to the Big Nickel, Olympic
champions (four and counting), a film and television hub,
literary, jazz, folk, comedy, and heavy metal music festivals,
to name but a few. Local garlic and potatoes, anyone? Once
a Vancouver-ite told a foreigner (true story) that her sister
had a nicer lifestyle in Sudbury.
On the other hand, speeding is high, pedestrian
safety is low. It’s all about the trucks; poor health,
obesity, smoking rates and so on.
We study it but we’re never implementing
cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. The TMP looks at
it as a long-term of 11-15-plus years (we will need to study
it again at that point); and, oh while we’re at it,
let’s revive what is supposedly just a proposal of
a road through Lake Laurentian Conservation Area.
Reading the thorough the TMP, one sees the
city will add 268.5 kilometres of cycling infrastructure
to the already existing 138.6 kilometres, for a total of
407.1 official kilometres. They would appear in a combination
of lanes, cycling tracks, signed bike routes, multi-use
Yet again, we find a proposal for a possible
southern university route, identified in a shady yellow,
lurking on the far right corner of the maps.
Who really wants this hot local potato?
Laurentian? In the past, they’ve said no. The City?
Anyone stuck in traffic on Ramsey Lake Road
and Paris Streets at certain times of the day may well be
wishing for another way. But the city’s own research
has stated that a secondary road won’t necessarily
reduce congestion. Is a four-lane expansion of Ramsey Lake
Road really a good idea? Do residents want that?
Besides, there’s another issue in
this particular situation.
As Laurentian's student newspaper, Lambda,
reported this fall, parking space is already at a premium
Since the announcement of the date for council
to receive the TMP, calls have gone out from groups like
the Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury.
The CLS wants safe cycling infrastructure
on busy streets made the priority.
They are not all doom and gloom and are
happy to see advances, for example, the effort this fall
toward crosswalks that help with pedestrian safety.
Their other main concern is that proposed
phasing in of cycling occurs over the long-term.
The CLS strongly recommends the city identify
primary travel corridors and apply a high priority, thus
implementing the corridors over the short-term or up to
“Specifically we recommend designating
the Paris/Notre Dame, Lasalle, Barry Downe, Lorne, Kingsway
and Elm corridors as high priority (short term), stand-alone
cycling infrastructure projects, with dedicated, separated
“In the TMP, some major routes, including
the Paris/Notre Dame and Lasalle corridors, are listed as
long term (11 to 15-plus years), others are incomplete,
while others propose unsafe cycling infrastructure,”
says the CLS.
Like many other groups, the CLS wants even
the whisper of the South Bay Road Extension, aka the Southern
University Link, eliminated.
On page 155 of the city’s own plan,
it says: “From a traffic capacity perspective, the
road link is not essential to accommodate traffic volumes
and would not help to alleviate congestion.”
Here’s the link to the Transportation
Master Plan: http://www.greatersudbury.ca/living/roads/draft-transportation-master-plan1/;
Find your councillor’s email at: http://sudburycandidates.ca/
student petition for the trails:
The FB public open-house event on Dec. 7:
It all comes down to much ado about the
future of the city. Remember what it used to look like.
We can always strive to be better, safer, and greener, however
Laura Young's Personal Best appears every
other Monday in The Sudbury Star.