Active Transportation Plan

Following multiple public engagement and review periods, Council has approved Sidney’s first Active Transportation Plan.

The plan, developed by consultant Urban Systems, makes practical recommendations for the next 10 years with a series of actions to help people feel more comfortable making active transportation, like walking, cycling, and travelling by motorized scooter, a part of their lifestyle.

Some priority projects include the development of new sidewalks, improved crosswalks, and bicycle boulevards in key locations, identified in part through community input.

Projects will be considered each year during the financial planning process. Council has indicated a willingness to consider an average annual investment of $1 million for active transportation projects.

Approximately 50% of costs associated with the development of the plan were funded by a BC Active Transportation Network Plan Grant.

Get involved in new initiatives!

One of the actions in the ATP is to “partner with community organizations to promote active transportation in Sidney.” Thanks to grant funding from the BC Alliance for Healthy Living, the Town has launched some new opportunities to help support and promote residents in riding their bikes.

See some ways to participate below. Click here to learn more!

On May 8th, Council considered community feedback on the Draft Active Transportation Plan, including more than 1,000 responses to a public survey and several hundred letters.

The following items were removed from a list of priority items in the plan:

  • Protected bikes lanes along the downtown stretch of Fifth Street. (This will remain in the plan as a long-term item to be considered at a future date.)
  • Painted bike lanes along Bevan Avenue. (This will remain in the plan as a long-term item to be considered at a future date.)
  • Painted bike lanes along Mills Road. (This was fully removed from the plan.)
  • Construction of a sidewalk along the north side of Ardwell Avenue. (This item was modified. A sidewalk on the north side of Ardwell Avenue is now planned only for the vicinity of the bus stop near Simister Place with a goal of improving accessibility to public transit.)

The following items were added to the plan:

  • Development of a cycling boulevard along Bowerbank Road to serve as a north-south corridor
  • Painted bike lanes along Ocean Avenue to serve as an east-west corridor.

Active transportation has many advantages: it’s good for your health and the environment, it is more affordable than driving a vehicle, and it can be a social experience that helps people in the community connect. It can take many forms and is continually evolving as new technologies emerge. Active transportation includes:

  • Walking (including people walking dogs, people jogging, and people using mobility devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers)
  • Cycling (including the use of pedal assist e-bikes, bicycle trailers, etc.)
  • Rolling (skateboarding, in-line skating)
  • Other emerging modes as technology changes and advances

Development and implementation of an Active Transportation Plan is a key deliverable identified in the Town’s Official Community Plan and the Town’s Climate Action Plan, both of which were updated in 2022.

The draft Active Transportation Plan connects to several goals outlines in the Official Community Plan, including:

  • A regionally connected, vibrant downtown;
  • Connected, accessible and livable neighborhoods that meet the needs of the whole community;
  • A diverse and balanced community supporting a thriving local economy; and
  • A healthy resilient community that takes action to address climate change.

The updated Climate Action Plan also identifies the importance of making active transportation infrastructure in Sidney more accessible and convenient.

Since on-road transportation currently accounts for approximately 40% of the Town’s calculated GHG emissions, active transportation improvements are also an important way to lower emissions in the community.

A substantial investment would be required to realize the projects outlined in the draft Active Transportation Plan. The plan does not commit the Town to funding the plan but helps prioritize projects so future investments maximize benefits to community members and contribute toward a connected network of sidewalk and cycling routes in Sidney.

Future active transportation investments would be determined through the Town’s annual budgeting process. Funding could potentially be achieved through the Town’s capital planning process, external grants, and through land development using Development Cost Charges (DCC).