Paved shoulders and a multi-use pathway on Middle Side Road, a bike lane on Sandwich from Alma to Pickering, a paved shoulder on Concession Road 2 North from Middle Side Road to River Canard and an active transportation corridor stretching all the way back along County Road 20 to Alma are among the 72.7 km of CWATS routes proposed for Amherstburg.
These additional routes and alterations to routes first identified in the 2012 Master Plan for CWATS, or the County Wide Active Transportation System, have been added to the proposed 2021 Master Plan, which will be refined based on public input and brought back before Council for approval.
The Master Plan is a roadmap for the active transportation projects that will be undertaken by the County of Essex in partnership with the local municipalities. (Note: I work in Communications for the County of Essex but am not involved in the planning or decision-making process when it come to the County Wide Active Transportation System.)
Take a look at the CWATS presentation highlighting the new and altered routes that was tabled at our council meeting in December! If you have any comments on the proposed routes and timelines, please email them to Town Hall by the end of this week so staff, in turn, can take that input to the CWATS committee.
I was very happy to see Middle Side Road addressed in the proposed Master Plan, which calls for buffered paved shoulders on County Road 10/Middle Side Road from County Road 20 to Concession Road 8 North and then a Multi-Use Pathway for the last stretch of County Road 10 in McGregor from the Greenway to County Road 11/Walker Road. I was less enthused to see that the proposed timeline for that project was in the long-term range or greater than 10 years.
This Council has passed multiple motions on the pressing need to have an active transportation corridor on Middle Side Road in McGregor, linking residents to the Greenway and to Walker Road and the playground equipment and green space at Co-An Park. That need will only increase as the area continues to grow with projects like the Canard Valley Estates Phase 2 development.
Council was told that CWATS projects could always be expedited, especially in settlement areas where costs are split with the County, if the Town made them a priority, but that the crucial first step was ensuring the route was identified in the CWATS Master Plan. County Road 10 was not included in the 2012 Master Plan and County Road 18 was, which is why it has paved shoulders.
If you agree about the need for at least paved shoulders in McGregor, please let the Town know so it has ammunition to make the case!
This Town has an incredible and ever-expanding active transportation network and you can now travel on paved shoulders or bike lanes from Canadian Tire all the way to Holiday Beach. The active transportation loop in Town, along Simcoe, Meloche, Alma and Fryer will eventually link up with the transformational Big Creek trail at the Libro Centre, which will be a destination attraction for cyclists and pedestrians alike.
And that loop in Town connects via the multi-use pathway on Thomas Road to the pathway on Texas Road and the Greenway, which takes you all the way to McGregor, where you can choose to head east to Essex, North to Windsor and the Herb Gray Parkway trail or South to Harrow, Kingsville and Leamington. It really is incredible and it’s getting better every year.
Summary of Proposed New CWATS Routes in Amherstburg:
- Buffered Paved Shoulder County Road 10 from County Road 20 to Concession Road 8
- Multi-Use Pathway along County Road 10 from Greenway to County Road 11
- Paved Shoulder along County Rd 20 from County Rd 50 to County Rd 20
- Paved Shoulder along County Rd 5 from 260m South of Texas Rd to Alma St.
Summary of Recommended Changes to Previously Proposed CWATS Routes in Amherstburg:
- Multi-Use Pathway along Alma St from Fryer St to Meloche Rd (Previously Proposed and Implemented as Paved Shoulders)
- Bike Lane along Sandwich St from Alma St to Pickering St (Previously Proposed as Signed Route)
- Paved Shoulder along Concession Rd 2 from Middle Sideroad to Beneteau Dr (Previously Proposed as Signed Route)
- Buffered Paved Shoulder along County Rd 8 from Front Rd to South Talbot Rd (Previously Proposed and Implemented as Signed Route)
- Enhance Existing Multi-Use Pathway along Alma St from Sandwich Street S to Fryer St (widen existing path to recommended 3.0m, add pavement markings and signage)
- Buffered Paved Shoulder along County Road 20 from County Rd 3 to North Side Rd, Cycle Track from N Side Road to Thrasher Dr and Separated Bike Lane From Thrasher Dr to Alma St (Previously Proposed as Context Sensitive Solution)
- Signed Route along Alma Street from 3rd Concession Road North to Meloche Road (Previously Proposed as Paved Shoulders)