Check out the NEW! updates below
What is “Moving Saanich Forward”?
Saanich residents move around the community in many different ways – walking, biking, skateboarding, riding the bus, driving, carpooling – the list goes on. At Saanich we are committed to improving walking, biking and other active mobility options by Moving Saanich Forward: that’s what we’re calling our new Active Transportation Plan. Through the Moving Saanich Forward project, we want to work with the community to develop a vision along with policies and actions to guide the development of safe, attractive and convenient active transportation options for people of all ages and abilities over the next 30-years.
What will be included in Saanich’s Active Transportation Plan?
Saanich’s new Active Transportation Plan will provide long-term vision for all modes of active transportation within the municipality. It will define goals, objective, and targets which will be used to identify short, medium, and long-term priorities. The plan will also include network plans, support programs and initiatives, cost estimates, funding strategies, and an implementation plan and monitoring plan.
What have we done so far? NEW!
During Phase One, Saanich staff and their consultants gathered feedback from over 2,000 residents through various means of engagement including an on-line survey, engagement labs, pop-up booths, Saanich Talks Speaker Series, Walk Bike Rallies, public advisory committee meetings and community roadshows.
Through the public engagement process a number of key themes emerged, including:
- 41% of survey respondents walk and bike to exercise of have fun.
- Health is the top reason why survey respondents say they walk and bike.
- Gaps in the network are the top barrier to walking and biking according to survey respondents.
- 32% of survey respondents would be encouraged to walk more often if there were more trails and greenways.
- 90% of workshop participants said a 7% increase in the mode share of walking and biking trips by 2036 is too low.
Based on this feedback Saanich staff have created a Vision, Goals, and Targets that will be used to guide the creation of the Active Transportation Plan. These can be viewed in our Future Directions Report [PDF - 16.4 MB].
What happens next?
Saanich staff and their consultants will move onto Phase Two, creating a draft plan and getting back out in the community for feedback. Check back often and follow #movingsaanichfwd for updates.
What is ‘active transportation’ anyways?
Active Transportation is basically any form of human‐powered transportation. Walking and cycling are the most popular and well known forms of active transportation. However, the definition extends much further than that – as long as it is ‘active’, you choose the mode – skateboarding, wheeling, pushing a stroller, in-line skating, using a mobility aid, etc. Active Transportation is any active trip you make to get yourself, or others, from one place to another ‐ whether it’s to work, school, the store or to visit with friends.
Why does Saanich need an Active Transportation Plan?
The District of Saanich is committed to sustainability and recognizes the important role active transportation plays in enhancing community livability. In 2008, we adopted our current Official Community Plan (OCP) to guide future growth and change. The OCP includes a vision that “Saanich is a sustainable community where a healthy natural environment is recognized as paramount for ensuring social well-being and economic vibrancy, for current and future generations.”
The vision goes further, stating that a variety of travel modes connect neighbourhoods and businesses, allowing for the effective, efficient, and safe movement of people, goods, and services; and that walking, cycling, and transit are viable and popular travel options, resulting in less car dependence.
One of the key initiatives within the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan is to ‘develop an Active Transportation Master Plan to serve as a long-term strategic vision for the District that will help guide active transportation decisions and public investments for the years ahead’. The Moving Saanich Forward project will allow us to cross this important initiative off the list and move towards implementing the ideas generated through the process.
Saanich residents have also told us that active transportation should be a priority for the District. Our 2015 Citizen Satisfaction Survey found that improving lighting and maintenance of streets and sidewalks was the top priority based on level of importance. Making it easier to walk from one destination to another was also a high priority. In addition, the survey found 77% of citizens are very or somewhat satisfied by the ease of travelling by bicycle in the District.
What are the benefits of ‘active transportation’?
There are many benefits that come with using active modes of transportation. Those who choose to move actively for their day-to-day transportation maintain a healthier lifestyle through increased physical activity and spend less on transportation costs. This allows residents and visitors to invest more in local businesses and improves the economy. Having more active transportation options also increases mobility for non-drivers, such as seniors, youth and low income residents.
The benefits of active transportation also extend to other road users and more generally, the broader community. For example, active transportation helps to:
- create more livable communities
- reduce vehicle-related air pollution
- reduce traffic congestion for all road users
How can I have my say in Moving Saanich Forward?
Get involved Let us know your thoughts via our feedback form.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to contribute to Moving Saanich Forward!