According to the 2011 Have Your Say Active Transportation Survey, an overwhelming majority of respondents support investment in active transportation (95%) and outdoor recreation (92%) opportunities in Lambton County.
"Community response highlighted an interest in providing opportunities that support active living as well as a need to educate all transportation mode users on bicycling safety and rules of the road," says Kelley Elliott, Health Promoter with the County of Lambton Community Health Services Department and member of the Lambton County Active Transportation Committee. "Results are being provided to municipal planners, engineers and councillors for consideration in the Transportation Master Plan and official plans."
The survey, conducted by the Lambton County Active Transportation Committee (LCATC), was completed by 470 respondents over a six-week period. It identified barriers to physical activity and gauged interest for additional active transportation and outdoor recreation options in their respective community.
Elliott says the survey identified walking/jogging and cycling as the most popular outdoor recreation activities; vehicle use was acknowledged as the main transportation option. The most common barriers to active transportation or outdoor recreation activities included:
- Traffic and driver behaviour
- Need for more bike lanes/bike paths
- Lack of sidewalks (or poor condition)
Distance from school and traffic safety concerns were the most common barriers noted by parents. Multi-use trails, bike lanes/paved shoulders and better snow removal were mentioned as the most likely ways to increase participation in outdoor activities.
Locations most cited for new or improved trails/bikeways were:
- East/west connection through Sarnia
- Completion of the River Road Trail
- Lakeshore Road (Sarnia to Bright's Grove)
When it came to Sarnia Transit use, respondents felt it was "quicker to drive to (their) destination" than to take the bus, and the "transit schedule (was) not convenient." Recommended suggestions included improved routes and frequency. Linking transit service to smaller communities such as Corunna, Petrolia, Camlachie and the Aamjiwnaang First Nations was also suggested.
"LCATC will work with community partners to address barriers and opportunities identified in the survey so health and transportation equity are considered in all transportation planning," added Elliott.
To view the 2011 report, visit www.lambtoncountytrails.com and click on Active Transportation. Additional information is available by calling 519 344-2062 ext. 2346, toll free 1-800-387-2882, or visit www.lambtonhealth.on.ca.