ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION HUBS IN WATERLOO REGION: A RESEARCH PILOT PROJECT - PREPARED FOR CLIMATEACTIONWR BY HEATHER MCDIARMID FROM MCDIARMID ...

 
ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION HUBS IN WATERLOO REGION: A RESEARCH PILOT PROJECT - PREPARED FOR CLIMATEACTIONWR BY HEATHER MCDIARMID FROM MCDIARMID ...
ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
 HUBS IN WATERLOO REGION:
 A RESEARCH PILOT PROJECT

Prepared for ClimateActionWR by
Heather McDiarmid from McDiarmid
Climate Consulting
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

02..........Acknowledgments
02..........Executive Summary
03..........1.0 Introduction
05..........2.0 Current state of active transportation in Waterloo Region
05..................... 2.1 Active transportation infrastructure
05..................... 2.2 Municipal active transportation plans
06..................... 2.3 Active transportation mode share
06..................... 2.4 Active transportation attitudes
07..................... 2.5 Active transportation and demographics
08..........3.0 Local barriers to active transportation
08..................... 3.1 Barriers to cycling
10..................... 3.2 Barriers to walking
11..........4.0 Programming to Address Barriers
12..................... 4.1 Program descriptions
16..................... 4.2 Program evaluation
17..................... 4.3 Gaps in existing active transportation programming
18..................... 4.4 Estimated Material Costs
19..........5.0 Target Neighbourhoods
19..................... 5.1 Evaluating potential target neighbourhoods
20..................... 5.2 Target neighbourhoods in Waterloo Region
21..........6.0 Partnerships
21..................... 6.1 Evaluating potential partners
23..................... 6.2 Potential Major Partners
24..........7.0 Recommendations
26..........8.0 Conclusions
27..........Appendix A: Links for local active transportation resources
30..........Appendix B: ClimateActionWR 2020 active transportation survey results
38..........Appendix C: Maps used to identify target neighbourhoods
50..........Appendix D: Asset maps for target neighbourhoods
61..........Appendix E: Lists of potential partners and target neighbourhoods
62..........Appendix F: Potential sources of funding
63..........Sources
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ClimateActionWR acknowledges the Federation
of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for their valuable
contribution to this work. ClimateActionWR received
financial assistance to develop this case study as
part of the FCM Transition 2050 Grant that was
awarded to develop Waterloo Region’s Community
Climate Action Strategy.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Waterloo Region has a goal of reducing its              In addition, these hubs can promote, expand
community greenhouse gas emissions by 80%               and enhance existing active transportation
below 2010 levels by 2050. Cutting emissions            programs, ensuring they reach underserved
from transportation, the largest community source       communities and address their unique barriers.
of emissions, will require a shift toward active        A total of 11 neighbourhoods were identified as
travel for shorter trips: walking, biking, wheeling,    targets for active transportation hubs, based
rolling, and others. All local municipalities           on low active transportation mode share, high
have invested and continue to invest in active          potential for active travel and a prevalence of
transportation infrastructure. Currently, only a very   our target populations: those who have a low
small fraction of residents choose to walk or cycle     income, are newcomers or immigrants, and
to destinations, but far more are open to the idea:     belong to minority groups. Several organizations
they are “interested but concerned”. Research           have expressed interest in exploring a potential
suggests that the barriers that cause concern           partnership for delivering active transportation
include distances, travel times, safety concerns,       hubs, although there remains a need to find a
cargo, physical health limitations, access to           partner willing to take the lead in developing
bikes, and social norms. Active transportation          the hubs and in providing the space for a full
hubs, which are welcoming spaces with programs          time hub. This research report culminates in 17
and supports for active travel, can help those          recommendations for how to develop active
interested overcome many of these barriers and          transportation hubs in the Waterloo Region that
develop new active travel behaviours. These             meet the specific needs of each of the three
hubs may be available to local residents on a full      cities (Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo). If
time or part time basis, offering programs such         implemented, Waterloo Region could address the
as DIY bike repair, workshops, buddy programs,          concerns of those interested in more active travel
educational and awareness campaigns, trip               thereby encouraging the travel choices that make
planning and others.                                    for healthy people, strong communities, and a
                                                        stable climate.
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1.0 INTRODUCTION
This report summarizes the results of an FCM                                          Transportation accounted for 49% of all Waterloo
(Federation of Canadian Municipalities) funded                                        Region community greenhouse gas emissions
research pilot project into the feasibility of                                        in 20152. Furthermore, nearly half of all personal
adding community active transportation hubs                                           trips in the region are short distance trips of less
as a means of increasing active travel mode                                           than 5 km that could generally be achieved using
share for utilitarian trips under 5 km in the cities                                  active forms of transportation3. Promoting a shift
of Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo1. Active                                        in transportation behaviour for these trips will
transportation hubs are welcoming spaces where                                        be crucial for achieving the Region’s long-term
there are supports and tools to help clients choose                                   climate commitment of an 80% reduction in
active transportation to reach their destinations. Key                                emissions below 2010 levels by 2050.
target populations include low-income, immigrants
                                                                                      Active transportation is used here to refer to any
and newcomers, and minority groups. The Building
                                                                                      method of traveling to a destination that uses
Bike Culture Beyond Downtown report was
                                                                                      primarily human power: walking, biking,
used as a framework for how to develop active
                                                                                      scootering, skateboarding, using a wheelchair,
transportation hubs.
                                                                                      e-biking4, and others. In practice, walking and
                                                                                      biking are the dominant active transportation
      Active transportation hubs                                                      choices. An average person can travel 2 km on
                                                                                      foot and 5 km on a bike in 20-25 minutes.
      are welcoming spaces where there
                                                                                      attractive routes.
      are supports and tools to help clients
      choose active transportation. Hubs may
      offer DIY bike repair, workshops, group
      bike rides, educational and awareness
      campaigns, trip planning, and other
      supports. They typically operate in
      partnership with mission-aligned
      organizations that have strong, positive
      relationships with the community.

1
 This report focusses on the potential for active transportation hubs in the three cities of Waterloo Region, but over the long term, the plan is to also
bring programs and hubs to the townships.
4
 E-bikes are included here because they are zero-emission vehicles that help people of many ages, abilities and destinations to choose cycling.
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Active transportation mitigates climate change,       are part time. These are community sites that
and it also has major benefits for the individual     host programs on a regular and predictable basis
and the community. For the individual, active         but cannot operate full time due to factors such
transportation can improve physical and mental        as lack of space, smaller client base, and low
health, save money, provide more travel options,      destination density. Permanent signage at part
and increase autonomy. The community also             time hub locations create a constant presence
benefits from less air pollution, a more resilient    that informs residents of available programs and
transportation system, friendlier and safer           symbolizes a commitment to, and investment in
streets, poverty reductions, and infrastructure       the community.
cost savings5. The hubs themselves can help to
                                                      Partnerships are an essential part of an active
build strong communities, divert waste through
                                                      transportation hub. Partners may provide links
bike refurbishment, help to settle immigrants and
                                                      to the community, facilities, staff and volunteers,
newcomers to the community, and engage youth.
                                                      and programming support. In return, the hubs
In the long term, growth in active transportation
                                                      enhance the programs offered by the partner
use can also encourage the evolution toward
                                                      organization and may draw in new clients.
healthy, sustainable communities where all basic
                                                      This report summarizes the current state of
needs are within easy walking distance along
                                                      active transportation, local barriers to greater
Local surveys show that there is community            adoption of active modes of travel, programs
interest in walking and biking more6. Indeed,         that could address these barriers, and the local
the majority of respondents were interested           gaps in programming that could be addressed
in walking and biking to destinations but had         with active transportation hubs. Potential sites
concerns about these modes of transportation.         and partners for such hubs are identified and
Many of these concerns relate to local barriers to    recommendations are made for how to develop
active transportation that fall into the categories   full time and part time active transportation hubs
of infrastructure, skills and knowledge, and social   in Waterloo Region. Supporting documentation is
norms. As municipalities continue to invest in the    found in the appendices.
infrastructure that supports walking and biking,
                                                      Ultimately, active transportation hubs have
active transportation hubs can address the skills,
                                                      the potential to support a great number of
knowledge and social barriers.
                                                      WaterlooRegion residents in choosing walking,
Two types of active transportation hubs are           cycling and other active ways of getting to their
proposed in this report. Full time hubs have          destination. A shift that will not only help us meet
regularhours and drop in programs that                our climate goals, but will also bring people and
generally include DIY bike repair. These are          partners together to build stronger communities.
ideally situated in partner facilities with strong
ties to the community. They should be in dense
neighbourhoods with many destinations close by.
The second type of active transportation hubs
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   2.0 CURRENT STATE OF ACTIVE
   TRANSPORTATION IN WATERLOO REGION
EXHIBIT 3.6: WATERLOO REGION ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK (2018)
                                                                                                        2.1 - ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
                                                                                                        INFRASTRUCTURE
                                                                                                        There are currently over 300 km
                                                                                                        of bike lanes across the Region
                                                                                                        and nearly 1,000 km of active
                                                                                                        transportation facilities7. The map
                                                                                                        below shows the current (2018)
                                                                                                        active transportation network. The
                                                                                                        Region and all three Cities have
                                                                                                        plans to increase the number and
                                                                                                        connectivity of bike lanes and
                                                                                                        active transportation facilities
                                                                                                        in the coming years. Although
                                                                                                        not the focus of this report, the
                                                                                                        townships are also interested in
                                                                                                        promoting active transportation.
                                                                                                        See Appendix A for more details.

                                                                                                        2.2 - MUNICIPAL ACTIVE
                                                                                                        TRANSPORTATION PLANS
                                                                                                        The Region of Waterloo and the
                                                                                                        Cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and
                                                                                                        Waterloo all have transportation
                                                                                                        plans with proposals to increase the
                                                                                                        active transportation infrastructure,
                                                                                                        make a more connected network
                                                                                                        across the cities and the region,
                                                                                                        and make these facilities attractive
                                                                                                        to people of all ages and abilities.
                                                                                                        See Appendix A for descriptions
Note: The active transportation network in this exhibit only includes regionally-managed corridors.     of key strategies, action items,
                                                                                                        and implementation measures
                                                                                                        in the transportation master
                                                                                                        plans that relate directly to active
                                                                                                        transportation.
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2.3 ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION MODE SHARE                   2.4 ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION ATTITUDES

Recent census and local transportation survey          Attitudes and interest in active transportation
data clearly show that only a small fraction (5-       can be categorized into four groups:
9%) of Waterloo Region residents walk and cycle           ● The fearless and strong use active
to work8 , 9. Yet nearly a third spent less than 15         transportation regularly, they will go
minutes commuting or travelled less than 5 km:              nearly anywhere at any time under their
travel times and distances that are generally               own power;
accessible to active forms of commuting. In               ● The enthused and confident will
general, many residents (25%) are choosing to               consider active transportation for many
walk for trips less than 2 km but few (
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                                                                              Results from ClimateActionWR’s survey showed a
                                                                              much larger percentage of respondents were ‘no
                                                                              way no how’ for biking for both the general public
                                                                              and low income/minority groups (32% and 35%
                                                                              respectively). The majority of respondents agree
                                                                              that active transportation is good for physical and
                                                                              mental health; good for the environment; they
                                                                              feel safe walking near their home; and they worry
                                                                              about their safety when walking/biking/wheeling
                                                                              near busy roads.

     Fearless & Strong                       Enthused & Confident
                                                                                  Figure 2 Attitudes toward cycling and walking. Sourced
     Interested but Concerned                No Way No How
                                                                                  from the Alternative transportation modes study: report
                                                                                  offindings 201714.

2.5 ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION AND DEMOGRAPHICS

The primary target population for active transportation hubs are those that are low income, immigrants/
newcomers, and minority groups. The following table shows the 2016 census data related to these categories
for the Region of Waterloo, and the Cities of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo15. Low income cut off after
taxes (LICO-AT)16 is used for the low-income category.

 Characteristic              Region of Waterloo            City of Cambridge               City of Kitchener             City of Waterloo

 Low Income                  7%                            6%                              8%                            11%

 Immigrant                   23%                           20%                             26%                           25%

 Visible Minority            19%                           16%                             22%                           26%

                                             Table 1: Local census data for low income, immigrant and visible minority populations.

Infrastructure Barriers

This report focusses on non-infrastructure barriers to active transportation as the hubs described here are
designed to address these. However, access to bike lanes, trails, signage and bike parking facilities can also
be major barriers to choosing active modes of travel. Communication and collaboration with both Regional
and City governments can maximize the impacts of hub programs and infrastructure investments.

 In 2016, for communities 100,000-500,000, the LICO-AT was roughly $18,000-$46,000, depending on family size.
16
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3.0 LOCAL BARRIERS TO ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION
Five major non-infrastructure barriers to cycling and four such barriers to walking in Waterloo Region
were identified through our active transportation survey, the Alternative Transportation Modes Study17, the
Transportation Tomorrow Survey18, a literature search, and conversations with community groups. This
process was guided by the Building Bike Culture Beyond Downtown report and the resulting barriers are
outlined below.

3.1 BARRIERS TO CYCLING

Long distances and travel times between                      Safety concerns
destinations
                                                             Safety is listed as a top barrier to cycling in many
Long distances and long travel times to                      local surveys22 , 23. Safety concerns often relate to
destinations has been identified as a significant            road design and traffic volumes. However, safety
barrier to active transportation19 , 20. Yet, as noted       concerns may also relate to skills and confidence
in section 2, residents very rarely choose to cycle          on the road. With skills training and practice,
even for very short distances of less than 5 km              cyclists can learn to anticipate driver behaviour,
that would take an average cyclist less than 20              send clear signals to other road users, choose
minutes to complete.                                         safer routes, and navigate busier roads safely
                                                             and confidently.
Perceptions of a trip’s distance and the effort
involved in traveling by bike can be overestimated
by those who are unaccustomed to biking. An
Irish study showed that passive commuters
overestimated the distance between home and
school by an average of 100% while active
commuters were able to accurately estimate the
distance travelled21.

   Infrastructure Barriers
   This report focusses on non-infrastructure barriers to active transportation as the hubs described
   here are designed to address these. However, access to bike lanes, trails, signage and bike
   parking facilities can also be major barriers to choosing active modes of travel. Communication
   and collaboration with both Regional and City governments can maximize the impacts of hub
   programs and infrastructure -investments.
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Transporting cargo                                     at local social agencies suggest that this stigma is
                                                       also present in Waterloo Region. Some suggested
Bikes typically do not come with storage
                                                       that targeting some low income residents with
spaces and utilitarian trips often require room
                                                       cycling programs could reinforce the stigma and
for personal items, shopping or even children.
                                                       unfairly ask those least responsible for emissions
Baskets, saddlebags, child carriers, trailers and
                                                       to make the greatest sacrifices. Messaging should
cargo bikes are available to help address this
                                                       also be mindful of the fact that for some, active
issue. Even with these, the storage space may be
                                                       transportation is a financial necessity, not a choice.
inadequate, the added weight may increase the
effort and time needed to reach a destination, or      Family bike rides, however, are viewed as a
there may be additional concerns about safety          manifestation of good parenting among all
with cargo on board. Social norms may also             income groups26. While these trips are generally
inhibit the use of cargo-carrying equipment.           recreational, they may help to raise the profile of
                                                       cycling, build cycling skills and confidence, and
Social norms                                           open the door to utilitarian family trips.

In our society, driving is the default way to get to
                                                       Access to affordable bikes and bike repair
destinations: it is the social norm. It can take
time and effort to shift from using a personal         The ClimateActionWR Active Transportation
vehicle as the default mode of transportation for      Survey (see appendix B for details) showed that
all travel. However, for some, a shift to active       close to a quarter of respondents did not own a
transportation may be hampered by social               bike. Not affording a bike was a reason for 16%
stigmas. Indeed, for low income and minority           of the general population but 37% of the target
groups, riding a bike can suggest a failure to         population. In conversations with community
afford a personal vehicle and the need to resort       groups working with our target populations,
to what may be considered a childish means of          access to low cost bikes was also noted as a
travel24. A Toronto study reported that cycling        barrier, with few options available for adult bikes.
is also viewed as unfeminine and a symbol              Inability to store a bike was also a barrier. Close
of poverty25. The ClimateActionWR active               to ten percent of all respondents noted that their
transportation survey showed that just under           bike/scooter/skateboard was in need of repairs.
40% of respondents agree that “people who are
like me do not bike or wheel”, which may include
concerns about stigma. Conversations with staff
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3.2 BARRIERS TO WALKING

Long travel times

Surveys show that distances and/or the time it       Sedentary lifestyles and a car culture mean that
takes to get to destinations are major barriers to   more adults are in poor physical condition and
choosing to walk27 , 28. Nearly a quarter of short   this has long-term health consequences. Walking
trips under 2 km are walked in Waterloo region,      is a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to
a distance that takes 25 minutes for an average      improve health conditions33, promote healthy
walker29. Far fewer residents walk for trips that    aging34, and reduce car dependence.
are 2-5 km (2.4% of trips). The employed may
be more likely to cite time poverty as a barrier     Social norms/lack of interest
to walking30. As with cycling, travel times may
                                                     Work in the United Kingdom has shown that for
be overestimated by those who typically travel
                                                     many, walking is not seen as a normal means of
by personal vehicle. Pedestrian pathways can
                                                     everyday utilitarian travel and this limits the
allow walkers to travel a shorter route to their
                                                     perception of walking as a viable option for
destination than a comparable trip by car.
                                                     getting around35. Our survey showed that 30-40%
                                                     of respondents agree that “people who are like
Transporting cargo
                                                     me do not walk to get around”. This may reflect
Difficulties carrying things while walking is        physical abilities, but it may also reflect social
another major barrier identified by local surveys.   norms and ingroup/outgroup identification.
In general, walkers are limited by what they are
                                                     Although no local research on social stigmas
able to comfortably carry on their person. Walking
                                                     associated with walking is available, it is likely
may therefore only be a viable mode choice for
                                                     that some of the same stigmas associated with
simple shopping trips or for destinations that do
                                                     cycling may also exist for walking if it is perceived
not require extra baggage. Carts are available to
                                                     as an alternative to driving
transport groceries and other items but use of
these may have negative social stigmas, require
storage space, take extra energy to push, and
can be cumbersome to use.

Exhaustion or health barriers

Walking even short distances can be exhausting
for those who are not in good physical condition
or have mobility challenges. Local surveys show
that physical exhaustion is among the top barriers
to walking for all but the fearless and strong31.
Many of these survey respondents are older and
retired. Populations that are low income, middle
class and/or unemployed are more likely to
experience health barriers to walking32.
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4.0 PROGRAMMING TO
ADDRESS BARRIERS
Programming that will be successful in increasing
active transportation mode share for utilitarian
trips under 5 km must change people’s
transportation habits. Behavioural change
research36 suggests that it is important to first
target populations that are contemplating or
preparing for change. Next, individual barriers
must be addressed in a way that includes
social support for behavioural change. Social
support includes fun and inclusive face-to-face
interactions that encourage and reinforce positive
changes. Commitment strategies, feedback
opportunities, and incentives can further promote
sustained behavioural change.

As municipal governments continue to invest
in physical active transportation infrastructure,
active transportation hub programs can offer
skills and knowledge supports, social supports,           Figure 2. Cycling adoption theory cycle
and address social norms. The table below
shows how the barriers identified in section 3 can
be addressed using these approaches. These
proposed programs should be developed with
partner groups who have strong positive
relationships with their clients. Ultimately, it is the
clients themselves who can best identify what
supports they both need and want.
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Barrier                   Skills/Knowledge Supports      Social Supports         Social Norm Programming            Physical Supports

Takes Too Long/Too        Trip planning                  Group rides/walks                                          Loaner e-bikes
Far (Overestimating
Time/Distance)

Safety Concerns           Adult training workshops       Group rides/walks
                          (e.g. CANBIKE)                 Buddy system
                                                         (to build confidence)

Transporting Items        Education campaign on                                  Education/awareness                Loaner e-bikes
                          carrying baggage                                       campaigns with images of
                                                                                 people with carriers

Social Norms              Target parents as biking as    Offer programs to       Education/awareness
                          a family is generally viewed   different groups        campaign using images of a
                          positively                     e.g. churches,          diversity of people cycling/
                                                         community centers       walking
                                                                                 Finding a champion from
                                                                                 target populations

Physically Exhausting/                                   Buddy programs       Education/awareness
Health Barriers                                          Group walking/       campaigns using images of
                                                         cycling programs     all types of people on bikes
                                                         aimed at people with
                                                         low physical fitness

Access to Bikes, Bike     DIY bike repair                                                                           Access to low cost
Repair                    Mobile bike repair                                                                        refurbished bikes
                                                                                                                    Earn a bike

                      Table 2 How the local barriers to active transportation can be addressed with programs that fall under the
                      categories of skills/knowledge supports, social supports, social norm programming, and physical supports.

4.1 PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS

The following describe the different types of                          Markham Cycles and Scarborough Cycles have
active transportation programs that could be                           successfully operated out of a mid-sized shipping
offered by active transportation hubs. Some of                         container. These can also require significant
these programs already exist in our communities                        trained staff and volunteer time to guide DIY
but could be expanded, and some are new but                            repairs and to disassemble unusable bikes for
have been successful elsewhere.                                        spare parts.

DIY bike repair facilities are an affordable and
empowering way to help cyclists fix and maintain
their bikes. These facilities require significant
programming and storage space, although
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Recycle Cycles in Kitchener and the University           Safe cycling/walking workshops can include
of Waterloo Bike Centre offer DIY bike repair            learning to ride, skills training, instruction on road
facilities, although the latter only serves University   rules, safe road riding training, information on
of Waterloo students and staff. Recycle Cycles           all-weather cycling, bike maintenance, carrying
has a waiting list for volunteers eager to help          cargo with a bike, guided bike rides, and more.
but struggles with limited storage space and             These can be offered to the public in general or
the volunteer hours needed to refurbish or               may target certain underserved populations such
disassemble donated bikes.                               as women, minorities, newcomers, or parents.
                                                         These workshops can take place outside and
Mobile bike repair programs can set up
                                                         may be offered by instructors with special training
at events and neighbourhood sites to offer
                                                         (e.g. registered CAN-BIKE instructors). Online
affordable bike repair services. These programs
                                                         e-learning modules are also available through
require storage space for a cargo bike or e-bike,
                                                         CAN-BIKE.
tools, and access to affordable spare parts
(e.g. from disassembled bikes that are not               Cycling into the Future provides comprehensive
roadworthy). Trained staff and/or volunteer time         bike training for students in Waterloo Region
depends on the scope of the program.                     through the school system. Training is designed
                                                         to be inclusive of all children and includes road
Kitchener Bike Rescue started mobile bike
                                                         rules and safety; bike tune-ups; tire repair; rodeo
repairs in the summer of 2020, operating out of
                                                         riding; road riding; assessment; and learn to
Victoria Park in Kitchener and various community
                                                         ride. In 2019, they reached 1243 students in 17
centres in the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo.
                                                         schools; distributed 179 bikes and 195 helmets;
Their programs are limited by available volunteer
                                                         and helped 75 first time riders. They are planning
hours and they are currently in need of further
                                                         to develop parent-child cycling workshops and
funding and storage space.
                                                         have piloted projects to support walking for Gr
Earn a bike is a program where individuals from          3-4 students.
low income households are taught to refurbish
                                                         Recycle Cycles in Kitchener has offered bike
donated bikes and, through their volunteer hours,
                                                         repair workshops for general and target audiences.
earn a refurbished bike of their own. These are
generally offered at sites that already have DIY
bike repair facilities but require significant trained
staff or volunteer time for mentorship.

Scarborough Cycles runs an 8-week earn a bike
workshop program that had 80 youth (under 14
years old) and 50 regular participants in 201937 .
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Several local optimist clubs, bike shops and other      Buddy programs match an avid walker or cyclist
organizations arrange bike rodeo events in              with someone who is interested in exploring
Waterloo North, Southwest Kitchener, and in             walking or cycling. The buddies plan regular outings
community centres across Cambridge. These               to destinations in their neighbourhood while building
annual events include bike tune-ups, safety training    confidence in navigating the roads and paths safely.
and bike skills training, and they are well attended.   These face-to-face interactions can strengthen
                                                        commitment to a change in travel choices.
Guided bike rides/walks help pedestrians and
cyclists gain the skills and confidence to safely       Scarborough’s Bike Host program targets
navigate their neighbourhood. These may be              newcomers to Canada who practice safe cycling
most effective when conducted in a person’s own         skills, practice their English, and learn about civic
neighbourhood where they can become familiar            engagement all while exploring their new
with local routes and destinations within their         community with a supportive mentor. In 2016, 37
range. Group rides can also help to build               people completed the Bike Host program after
supportive relationships, challenge social              which an average of 31% of participants’ daily
norms, and provide the encouragement and                trips were cycled and 92% would recommend the
accountability needed to develop new habits.            program to friends and family.
It can be particularly effective to offer targeted
                                                        Loaner e-bikes and cargo bikes offer potential
tours: family bikes rides, women only bike rides,
                                                        cyclists the opportunity to test out e-bikes and
walking tours for people with low fitness levels,
                                                        cargo bikes before investing in one of their own. For
and others.
                                                        many, e-bikes may be the solution for trips that are
Recycle Cycles has offered monthly group bike           too long or too arduous on a regular bike. E-bikes
rides starting from downtown Kitchener. Cycling         also have great potential for helping seniors stay
into the Future’s programs target the entire grade      active as they age38, and helping people with health
4-5 population in Waterloo Region and include           challenges shift to a healthier lifestyle39. Cargo bikes
road-riding tours of neighbourhoods around              are a great investment for those who are committed
specific schools.                                       to cycling but are limited by an inability to transport
                                                        cargo and/or children.
The Walking School Bus program supports
groups of elementary students in walking                Markham Cycles has partnered with a local
to school accompanied by adult volunteers               library to loan out standard, cargo, tandem,
Kitchener has 9 participating elementary schools,       recumbent, and ebikes using a library card.
the city of Waterloo has 5 and there are no
participating schools in Cambridge.
active transportation hubs in waterloo region:
                                                                                            a research pilot project   15

Educational and awareness campaigns are                travel behaviour. Since 2004, they have worked
media campaigns about active transportation            with 40 neighbourhoods, reduced over 5 million
that target a broad audience. They may                 km of drive alone trips, and saved over 1,500
provide information on topics such as road             tonnes of associated greenhouse gases.
sharing or navigating traffic circles; they can        Trip planning maps and apps can help users
increase awareness of programs offered in the          plan out the best routes to their destinations
community; and they can help to change social          and estimate total travel times. These can also
norms. To combat stereotypes and promote               highlight supportive features such as secure bike
cycling by a diversity of residents, it is important   parking, bike repair stations, and connections to
that people of all ages, fitness levels, ethnicities   public transportation. Users may also be able to
and incomes see images of people they can              choose routes based on their comfort levels on
identify with in these campaigns.                      different types of roads and trails.

BikeWR has run the following region-wide               The Region of Waterloo and all three cities have
campaigns: Who is a Cyclist?; How to Navigate          bike and trail maps, and BikeWR also has maps
a Pedestrian Crossover; Bright On!; and Thumbs         on its website. Google Maps and other mapping
Up, WR.                                                programs can also help with route planning and
                                                       travel times but generally do not include supportive
CycleWR is running a region-wide campaign
                                                       features. No trip planning apps specifically designed
called “Discover your Superpower: Walking and
                                                       for Waterloo Region were found.
Wheeling to School”.
                                                       A high profile active transportation champion
Commitment strategies ask the user to make a
                                                       can be very effective at promoting behavioural
public commitment to a change in behaviour for a
                                                       changes and changing social norms within
certain time, often after they have participated in
                                                       their community. Even everyday citizens can
an event that models or introduces that behaviour
                                                       be effective champions of active transportation
change. Prompts and incentives can be used to
                                                       within their circle of family and friends: they may
reinforce the commitment. Studies have shown
                                                       just need some extra encouragement and support
that once the new behaviour has been sustained
                                                       to start a conversation.
for a period of time, often months40, it is more
likely to lead to lasting behavioural changes41.       As a volunteer BYCS bicycle mayor for Waterloo,
                                                       Arcy Canumay plans to work with community
TravelWise in Waterloo Region is a workplace
                                                       stakeholders to make Waterloo one of the leading
program that has offered prizes for participating in
                                                       cycling cities in Canada.
bike to work and winter walk to work challenges.

King County in Washington State operates a
community-based social marketing campaign
called In Motion that involves information, action
commitments, prompts and incentives to change
active transportation hubs in waterloo region:
                                                                                         a research pilot project   16

Fort Collins, Colorado has a Bicycle Ambassador      4.2 PROGRAM EVALUATION
Program where residents can teach classes,
participate at events, report infrastructure
opportunities, and lead by example. In 2020, 110     Active transportation hub programs can be
bicycle ambassadors connected with 1,604             evaluated using the following metrics:
community members at events and in courses.             ● Number of participants served;
                                                        ● Number of participants who would
Amplifying the impact. While each of these
                                                          recommend the program to others;
programs can be effective in increasing active
                                                        ● Number of volunteer and staff hours
transportation mode share, they are likely to have
                                                          required; and
the greatest impact if the programs are
                                                        ● Program costs.
coordinated and promoted together across the
region. Their impacts can also be amplified by       The active transportation mode share impacts
integrating them with infrastructure development,    of active transportation hubs can be estimated
transit plans, policies that restrict car use,       based on:
public health planning, and other related
                                                        ● Travel mode share surveys, such as the
developments42.
                                                          Transportation Tomorrow Survey,
                                                        ● Census data on commute mode share, and
                                                        ● Trail usage counters43 placed on trails and
                                                          bike lanes near the hub before and after
                                                          programming.

                                                     The climate mitigation impacts of active
                                                     transportation hubs can be estimated based on:

                                                        ● Changes in travel mode share for short trips
                                                          and municipal models for community
                                                          greenhouse gas emissions44.
active transportation hubs in waterloo region:
                                                                                           a research pilot project   17

4.3 GAPS IN EXISTING ACTIVE                           supports are located in the downtown which
                                                      can be difficult to access for those living on the
TRANSPORTATION PROGRAMMING                            other side of the expressway. The best approach
                                                      to promoting active transportation in Kitchener
Waterloo Region                                       may be to engage an Active Transportation
                                                      Hub Coordinator who can promote, expand,
Across the region, there is a need to promote,        enhance existing programs, and establish part
expand, and enhance existing programming to           time active transportation hubs in underserved
reach underserved communities and populations.        neighbourhoods. The part time hubs would provide
One notable example is high school students           space and support for existing programs and
who generally live within active transportation       develop additional programs that fill service gaps.
distance of their school but have few supports to     Community centres have expressed interest in
encourage this mode of travel. Transportation         partnering to offer active transportation programs.
habits established in the teen years can have
lasting impacts on travel choices.                    Waterloo

Cambridge                                             The City of Waterloo enjoys the highest walking
                                                      and cycling commuting mode share in the region.
Cambridge is underserved by existing active           The low cost bike repair facilities at the University
transportation programming and major roads            of Waterloo are aimed at students and staff,
make it difficult to access programs offered          while those at Recycle Cycles may be too far
in Kitchener and Waterloo. The city lacks an          or otherwise difficult for Waterloo residents to
accessible and low cost bike repair facility          access. There are also four bike shops in the city
Such a facility would ideally be part of an           and many of the active transportation supports
active transportation hub that offers a variety       located in Kitchener are accessible to those
of programs including those listed above.             living in Waterloo. Community groups working
Cambridge’s population is concentrated in three       in the City of Waterloo have noted that there is
main areas: Hespeler, Preston, and Galt. A full       an unmet need for affordable bike repairs and
time hub will therefore have a limited client base    cycling supports. However, there are very few
unless it also offers programming at events and       potential hub locations that would be accessible
supports part time hubs at partner locations          to the majority of residents of Waterloo. An
throughout the city. This programming should be       Active Transportation Hub Coordinator could
offered on a predictable and regular basis to allow   seek opportunities to promote, expand and
positive relationships to form.                       enhance existing programs in underserved
                                                      neighbourhoods while developing programs to fill
Kitchener                                             service gaps and seeking suitable sites for a full
Kitchener has many active transportation              time or part time hub.
supports, including what is in essence a bike hub:
Recycle Cycles. These supports, however, are in
very high demand and often serve only a segment
of the population. Furthermore, many of these
active transportation hubs in waterloo region:
                                                                                                                          a research pilot project   18

4.4 ESTIMATED MATERIAL COSTS

 Program                            Item                                    Estimated Cost

 Active Transportation Hub          Shipping container45 - midsized,        ~$300046
                                    unmodified, delivered
                                    Tent or shelter with branding           $1,000-1,50047

 DIY Bike Repair/Earn a Bike        Bike stand and tools                    $300-$500/station48
                                    Spare parts                             $1,80049
                                    Storage space                           varies

 Mobile Bike Repair                 Bike stand and tools                    $300-$500/station50
                                    Spare parts                             $1,80051
                                    E-cargo bike                            $4,000-$7,00052
                                    Cargo bike                              $1,000-$2,50053
                                    Storage space                           Varies
                                    Utility trailer for storage space       $6,500+54

 Loaner E-Bikes                     E-bike                                  $2,700-$4,000/bike55
                                    Storage space                           varies                         Table 3 Estimated material costs
                                                                                                           for active transportation hubs.
 All Programs                       First aid kits/safety materials         $250-$35056
                                    Promotional materials                   varies

 City of Waterloo zoning does not currently allow shipping containers on city properties.
45
active transportation hubs in waterloo region:
                                                                                                    a research pilot project   19

5.0 TARGET
NEIGHBOURHOODS
5.1 EVALUATING POTENTIAL TARGET                                 Low walking and cycling mode share are
                                                                assessed using:
NEIGHBOURHOODS
                                                                   ● Walking commuting modal share from
                                                                     2016 Census;
A target neighbourhood has high active
                                                                   ● Cycling commuting modal share from
transportation potential but low walking and
                                                                     2016 Census;
cycling mode share, and contains a high
                                                                   ● % walking primary mode share from 2016
proportion of underserved populations (low
                                                                     Transportation Tomorrow Survey; and
income, immigrants/newcomers, and ethnic/
                                                                   ● % cycling primary mode share from 2016
religious minorities). Guided by the Building Bike
                                                                     Transportation Tomorrow Survey.
Culture Beyond Downtown report, several maps
were used to identify target neighbourhoods.
                                                                High proportion of underserved populations
Links to some of the maps are included in the list              are based on:
below and the remaining maps can be found in
Appendix C.                                                        ● Prevalence of low income based on low
                                                                     income cutoff after tax (LICO-AT) from
High active transportation potential can be                          2016 Census;
assessed using the following data:                                 ● Immigrant as a percentage of total
                                                                     population from 2016 Census;
     ● Cycling potential maps from the                             ● Visible minority as a percentage of total
       municipality based on existing road                           population from 2016 Census; and
       network connectivity, land use mix, 		                      ● Equity maps from the municipality based on
       permeability, topography (available for                       percentage of youth, seniors, immigrants,
       Cambridge57 and Kitchener only, see                           indigenous, low income (available for
       Kitchener Cycling and Trails Master Plan);                    Cambridge58 and Kitchener only, see
     ● % of households without a car from the                        Kitchener Cycling and Trails Master Plan).
       2016 Transportation Tomorrow Survey;
     ● % of trips 0-2 km (walking and biking                    The factors above can help to identify
       distance) and 2-5 km (biking distance) from              neighbourhoods that are likely to benefit from
       the 2016 Transportation Tomorrow Survey;                 active transportation programs. Interest from
     ● Located within the City of Cambridge active              the target community is the most important
       transportation priority area to support                  factor, however, any community that expresses
       rapid transit, found in the Moving 		                    interest should, if feasible, be offered programs.
       Cambridge report;                                        Conversely, a neighbourhood that resists the
     ● Walk score map; and                                      introduction of active transportation programming
     ● Population density from 2016 Census                      is a poor candidate no matter what its rating.
       (high population density areas have greater
       total active transportation potential).

 Cambridge’s cycling potential map is not publicly available.
57

 Cambridge’s cycling equity map is not publicly available.
58
Active Transportation Hubs                                                                                                               active transportation hubs in waterloo region:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   a research pilot project                                                                                      20

5.2 TARGET NEIGHBOURHOODS IN WATERLOO REGION

Figure 4 shows the locations of 11 target neighbourhoods and shows how each is rated using the factors
listed above. Four of these neighbourhoods are potential targets for full time locations, with the goal of having
one in the City of Cambridge and one in the City of Waterloo: these are Elgin Park/North Galt, Preston Central,
Central Waterloo, and Lakeshore Village/Sunnydale. The remaining neighbourhoods, including all identified

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          Map designed by Julie Witmer Custom Map Design, January 2021
 Contains information provided by the Regional Municipality of Waterloo under licence
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              Figure 4 Locations of target neighbourhoods for active transportation hubs. Dark markers show possible
              targets for full time hubs while pale markers show target neighbourhoods for part time hubs.                      Map designed by Julie Witmer Custom Map Design, January 2021
                                                                                                                       Contains information provided by the Regional Municipality of Waterloo under licence

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active transportation hubs in waterloo region:
                                                                                           a research pilot project   21

Four neighbourhoods (see dark yellow circles) are     provide the sites for programs and any necessary
targets for full time active transportation hubs.     supports. Storage needs may be met on or offsite
Finding a partner organization that works in or       (many part time hubs may share resources stored
near these neighbourhoods is a priority. It may       in one site). Partners may include municipalities
be necessary to look beyond the borders of the        (e.g. parks), community centres, schools, faith
neighbourhood to find organizations with strong,      communities, cultural community centres, event
positive relationships with the target community:     planners, major employers, and others. Ideally,
hubs have been successful in less ideal locations     programs should be offered on a recurring basis
but strong partners.                                  (e.g. once a week or month) to provide continuity,
                                                      reliable access, and to allow supportive
Seven neighbourhoods (see pale yellow
                                                      relationships to form.
circles) are targets for part time active
transportation hubs. These part time hubs can
be temporarily set up in a community to offer
active transportation programs targeted to the
community’s needs and wants. Potential partners

6.0 PARTNERSHIPS                                      6.1 EVALUATING POTENTIAL PARTNERS

Community active transportation hubs typically        Appendix E includes a link to a spreadsheet
have multiple partners, each playing different        of all local organizations identified throughout
roles. These roles may include funding, facilities,   this project and guidelines for how they can
staff and volunteers, links to the community, and     be systematically evaluated for their suitability
programming. In return, the active transportation     as a partner. Although the ratings for each
hub should further the partner organization’s goals   characteristic are numerical (0-4), attention
or mission: the best and most enduring partnerships   should be focused on the ratings for the elements
are those in which both parties benefit.              that best reflect a hub’s needs rather than the
                                                      overall score.

   Active transportation hub
                                                      General criteria
   benefits include:
                                                      All potential partner organizations are rated based
      ● Promoting physical activity,
                                                      on mission alignment, staff interest, organizational
      ● Promoting physical health,
                                                      strength, opportunities for mutual benefits, and
      ● Promoting mental health,
                                                      their history of partnerships. There are a great
      ● Waste diversion,
                                                      diversity of organizational goals that may be
      ● Reducing air pollution,
                                                      relevant for community active transportation
      ● Immigrant/newcomer settlement,
                                                      hubs, see the callout to the right on the benefits
                                                      of active transportation hubs59.
active transportation hubs in waterloo region:
                                                                                              a research pilot project   22

Funding                                                  Facilities
Organizations may be able to provide funding             Active transportation hubs require facilities to
directly or indirectly. Businesses may be able to        store materials, repair bikes, and to run programs.
provide direct sponsorship for events, startup           Initially, many community bike hubs have
costs, operational costs, and they may also              operated out of shipping containers situated in
provide discounts for their products or services.        the parking lot of a community partner, another
Not for profit organizations can apply for grant         option is an enclosed utility trailer as has been
funding from a variety of local, provincial, and         used by Kitchener’s mobile skate park and the
federal sources. A sample list of funding sources        Create Waterloo program. They may also rent or
can be found in Appendix F.                              access other indoor and/or outdoor spaces on an
                                                         as needed basis for programming. Part time hubs
Links to the community                                   need onsite programming space and facilities to
                                                         store resources. Resources and storage facilities
All organizations on the potential partner list have
                                                         may be shared by multiple part time hubs. If
links to the community and/or to our target
                                                         programming includes accepting donated bikes
groups. They can help with program
                                                         for refurbishment or disassembly for spare parts,
development, outreach, and promotion of active
                                                         additional space will be required. Potential facility
transportation hub programming and events.
                                                         partners are rated based on location, space in a
                                                         building, space for a shipping container.
Staff and volunteers
An Active Transportation Hub Coordinator is              Programming
recommended for both full and part time hubs.
Their job may include:                                   Programming partners may help in delivering
                                                         programs and have existing relationships with
   ● Supporting the promoting, expansion, and
                                                         target populations. Programs offered by the
     enhancement of existing programs;
                                                         community active transportation hub may extend
   ● Building positive relationships with clients;
                                                         or enhance programs already being offered by
   ● Developing and running programs;
                                                         the partner organization or they may complement
   ● Seeking new funding and partnerships;
                                                         existing programming. Potential programming
   ● Recruiting and training staff and volunteers; and
                                                         partners are rated based on staff capacity,
   ● Completing other administrative tasks.
                                                         access to programming space, and access to
     One Coordinator may serve multiple hubs.
                                                         programming resources.
Ideally, the Active Transportation Hub Coordinator
is an employee of a partner organization to ensure
integration into their existing programming but
their salary may come from other sources. At the
Gateway Bike Hub in North York, for example,
staff are employed by non-profit community
organizations but funded by City of Toronto Solid
Waste Management. Potential staff partnerships
are evaluated based on existing staff knowledge,
workspace availability, volunteer capacity, and
financial capacity.
active transportation hubs in waterloo region:
                                                                                            a research pilot project   23

6.2 POTENTIAL MAJOR PARTNERS

The following organizations have been                  proportion of low income, minority groups, and
approached and have expressed significant              newcomers to Canada. They currently operate
interest in partnering to develop active               a popular supportive walking group and have
transportation hubs. Further work is needed to         identified a need for services to support cycling.
identify an organization that is willing to take the   They are open to hosting further programs,
lead in developing active transportation hubs.         especially if funding were available, but currently
Space and facilities are also in high demand for       have no suitable hub or storage space.
most community organizations, although some
                                                       The University of Waterloo is a major employer
of these organizations have shown a willingness
                                                       within Waterloo Region with a large student
to explore possibilities for use of space or siting
                                                       population, many of which are low income and
of a shipping container.
                                                       belong to minority groups. The University is a
Carizon serves the Waterloo Region with                member of TravelWise, has offered cycling
a mission to “help families thrive in their            programs, and the student association operates
communities by strengthening their mental              a Bike Centre with bike repair facilities and bike
health and wellbeing”. They operate several            rentals. The Sustainability Office is interested in
small community centres and have hosted                having further conversations about active
bike programs in the past. They are open to            transportation programming.
hosting further programs. They are also open
                                                       Recycle Cycles is a part of The Working Centre,
to developing and offering programs if staff and
                                                       an organization dedicated to using creative action
overhead funding were available but have no
                                                       to build community, address unemployment, and
suitable hub or storage space.
                                                       reduce poverty. They have expressed interest
Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank serves                   in learning more about possible active
Cambridge residents and their vision is that           transportation hubs but have been unavailable
“every person will have access to healthy foods        to meet due to pressures related to COVID-19.
and opportunities for growth”. They are in the
                                                       Langs operates in Cambridge and as a mission
process of developing a wellness hub that uses
                                                       is “committed to ensuring that every person in
food as a vehicle for programming on health and
                                                       our neighbourhoods will have a place to call
wellness. There may be interest in including active
                                                       home for health, wellness and community
transportation in that programming. At the
                                                       support”. They operate community hubs that
current time, they are strained for space and
                                                       bring partners together to provide health and
challenged by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
                                                       social services. They have expressed interest
Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre             in exploring how active transportation supports
offers primary health care, community health           might enhance their programming and what a
supports, and a variety of programs to help            partnership might look like.
clients manage their health. Their clients come
from across Kitchener and include a high
active transportation hubs in waterloo region:
                                                                                          a research pilot project   24

Community Centres - Community centres                can allow municipal governments to learn
(CC) typically have strong relationships with        directly from community members about
their communities and are always seeking new         local infrastructure challenges and to ensure
programs that meet the needs and interests           their active transportation investments work
of their clients, they also typically lack storage   synergistically with other community supports.
space. In Cambridge, Alison Neighbourhood CC         One or more of these municipal governments
and Greenway Chaplin CC, both near Elgin Park/       also support existing active transportation
North Galt, have expressed particular interest in    programs through partnerships with Cycling Into
active transportation programming. In Kitchener,     The Future, BikeWR, Student Transportation
Community Centres have expressed interest            Services of Waterloo Region (supports School
in partnering to provide active transportation       Travel Planning), The Working Centre (operates
programming in their centres but due to COVID        Recycles Cycles), and TravelWise. Members
are not currently in a position to explore this      of the municipal transportation departments
further. In Waterloo, most community centres are     and sustainability offices have expressed
under construction and are not looking for new       interest in active transportation hubs. The
programs at this time.                               Kitchener-Waterloo Joint Services Initiative has
                                                     been proposed as a possible mechanism for
The Region of Waterloo and the Cities of
                                                     developing hubs that support both cities.
Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo all have
goals of promoting a transportation mode
shift from personal vehicles to active forms
of transportation. Active transportation hubs

7.0 RECOMMENDATIONS
1. Find one or more partners interested in taking    2. Reach out to Waterloo Region municipalities
the lead in developing active transportation hubs,   to explore how they can support active
using section 6 as a guide to evaluating partners.   transportation hubs in their communities.
   a. ClimateActionWR may be the best situated       3. Plan for a mix of full time and part time
   to find such a partner.                           active transportation hubs. Full time hubs have
   b. Promoting, expanding, and enhancing            regular hours and drop in programs that often
   existing programs should be a key role of         include bike repair facilities. Part time hubs are
   any active transportation hub. Promoting and      communities that host active transportation
   enhancing existing programs may include           programs on a regular basis.
   finding additional funding or volunteers,
                                                     4. Prioritize finding facilities for full time hubs
   marketing, coordinating the delivery of
                                                     in the cities of Cambridge and Waterloo, and
   multiple programs to a community, assistance
                                                     facilities to store part time hub resources in all
   with program development and delivery, and
                                                     three cities. Consider using a shipping container if
   other supports.
                                                     indoor space is not available.
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