News & Public Notices
Kingston honoured for being walk-friendly
November 13, 2013 -
Kingston's efforts to become a walk-friendly city have been acknowledged with an honourable mention from WALK-Friendly Ontario, a project of Canada Walks, which is part of Green Communities Canada.
"Creating walk friendly environments where people live, work, and go to school is one of the most sustainable ways to incorporate physical activity into daily routines and prevent chronic disease. The City's plan to improve Kingston's walkability is a great opportunity to improve the health and well-being of Kingston residents," says Susan Stewart, Director of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, KFL&A Public Health.
This spring, the City and KFL&A Public Health signed on to participate in the Canada Walks' pilot project that assessed Kingston's walkability and offered suggestions to further encourage walking as an active and environmentally-friendly form of transportation.
"Kingstonians are already avid walkers and this program is intended to keep us moving in every sense. We've used the recommendations to outline a plan to improve on Kingston's walkability. Some of these items have already been completed and others are in process," says Grant Bain, Director of Planning and Development.
Here's what the City is doing to become more walkable:
- Creating an inventory of sidewalks and other pedestrian infrastructure using GPS
- Setting a target for walking mode share
- Implementing a ‘Complete Streets' policy
- Creating urban design guidelines that promote walkable environments
Planned for 2014-15
- Conducting a pedestrian safety study
- Increasing the number of schools that have a school travel plan
- Reducing parking minimums and implement parking maximums
- Creating a walking page on the City of Kingston website
- Creating a kit for citizens to use to organize street events
- Conducting frequent and comprehensive pedestrian counts
According to Statistics Canada's National Household Survey figures released this year, 8.5% of Kingstonians walk to work – giving us the second highest percentage of walking commuters in the country (Victoria, B.C. was first). The Kingston community has also placed first in its size-category in the Commuter Challenge – a nation-wide active transportation challenge – two years in a row.
Ottawa and Hamilton received WALK-Friendly Ontario silver designations while Richmond Hill, London and Wasaga Beach achieved bronze. Honourable mentions were also given to Ajax, Aurora and Markham for their efforts to be walk friendly. No gold or platinum designations were announced.
For more on Canada Walks' WALK Friendly Ontario program, see www.walkfriendly.ca
Plan to get there actively: www.CityofKingston.ca/tripplanner
Media contact: For more information contact Cindie Ashton, Communications Officer 613-546-4291, ext. 3116. Or call the City of Kingston's media hotline at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.