Richmond Hill has been awarded a Bronze WALK Friendly designation for implementing creative transportation demand management strategies as a requirement for new developments, asking for and listening to what the Town’s residents have to say about walkability and transportation issues, as well as having countdown signals at almost all intersections.
Some highlights from the Town of Richmond Hill’s application include:
- The Town of Richmond Hill established a study team to gather input from residents and stakeholders to inform the creation of the Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan (PCMP). The PCMP is comprised of short-, medium-, and long-term actions that establish and support a desired level of walking and cycling for the residents of Richmond Hill.
- In order to ensure the Plan’s success, Richmond Hill employs user surveys and public attitude surveys as monitoring tools. Some specific performance measures include: increase in the percentage of children walking/biking to school; a reduced percentage of reported pedestrian collisions per 1,000 population; and an increase in the percentage of residents who commute primarily by walking or cycling.
- To encourage residents to shift from car trips to walking and other modes of sustainable transportation, Richmond Hill participates in the transportation management program Smart Commute Markham, Richmond Hill. The Town received the Employer of the Year Award in 2013 for its involvement in, and support of, this program.
- Richmond Hill has introduced a creative transportation demand management (TDM) strategy for all new developments. The Town now requires developers to submit a TDM plan, which is included in the site plan – a legally binding agreement. The TDM plan is expected to include accommodations for sustainable travel modes including walking, cycling, and access to public transit, as well as details for implementation.
- Richmond Hill’s Cultural Plan speaks to strengthening cultural districts and corridors through active transportation. The Town recognizes that the concentration of cultural resources needs to be connected to the Town’s network of walking infrastructure and an attractive public realm. The Cultural Plan calls for attention to urban design and a mix of uses that cater to a diversity of needs, as well as strong links to public transit.
- Over 75% of the Town’s intersections have countdown signals, and all new signalized intersections will require countdown signals to be installed. A more generous walking speed of 1.0 m/s is used to calculate how long the walk signal will be displayed. In addition, signalized crossings are located in areas where there are high volumes of pedestrian traffic and vulnerable road users, such as at schools abutting collector roads, near community centers and parks, and to a mall providing a safe crossing for senior citizens living nearby.
- Richmond Hill has also conducted pre- and post-evaluations as part of the Harding Blvd W Road Diet Project and the Spadina Road Traffic Calming Project in order to understand the impacts of these interventions, inform future projects, and improve safety for all road users.