Active Transportation

Active Transportation

Quick links on this page:

Active Transportation Vision

Pedestrian Tips and Tools

Biking Tips and Tools

More Information on Active Transportation

 

St. Thomas Active Transportation Vision

The City of St. Thomas is committed to providing a safe, healthy and vibrant community as outlined in the City's Community Strategic Plan.

A part of that plan is to develop and promote healthy options to get around the City through all modes of Active Transportation as outlined in a council approved report ES-12-13. This initiative began with the Elgin-St. Thomas Active Transportation Initiative Report produced in 2012 by the Elgin-St. Thomas Healthy Communities Partnership (which the City is a member of).  The report contained recommendations to improve the St.Thomas Active Transportation network.  Following the recommendation's provided by the report, the Healthy Communities Partnership developed the Elgin-St. Thomas Cycling Master Plan.

The Cycling Master Plan was completed and adopted by City Council in 2014 through report ES-98-14.  Phase 1 of the Cycling Master Plan is being implemented as time and resources allow.  Report ES-81-15 is the most recent staff report to Council which approved work to begin on the Northwest route in our City.  The City encourages you to take advantages of our Active Transportation network to help live a healthy active lifestyle.

Pedestrian Tips and Tools:

What is a Courtesy Crossing?

Courtesy Crossing for pedestrians are marked with oversized yellow warning signs, depressed curbs with ramps and a white ladder style crosswalk pavement markings.

Sample Courtesy Crossing sign at the Elgin County Courthouse

Courtesy Crossings have been installed in some municipalities throughout Ontario to highlight uncontrolled crossing locations in low speed urban environments.  As an uncontrolled crossing there is no law which requires vehicles to stop for pedestrians at the crossing.  To avoid a false sense of security, caution signs are also installed at the crossing to advise pedestrians that "vehicles are not required to stop".

sample sign warning pedestrians that vehicles are not required to stop at Courtesy crossings

Currently the City has 14 Courtesy Crossing Locations throughout the City:

  1. Centre Street east of Moore Street
  2. Elm Street west of Parkside Drive
  3. Kains Street east of St. Catharine Street
  4. Ross Street north of Centre Street
  5. Talbot Street east of William Street
  6. Talbot Street east of Metcalfe Street
  7. Talbot Street west of Hincks Street
  8. Talbot Street east of Mary Street
  9. Talbot Street east of White Street
  10. Talbot Street east of Moore Street
  11. Talbot Street east of Horton Street
  12. Talbot Street east of Alma Street
  13. Wellington Street west of Metcalfe Street
  14. Wellington Street east of Princess Avenue

If you would like to request a Courtesy Crossing at an intersection near you, please feel free to contact the Roads and Transportation Services at 519-631-1680 ext 5130 or email dwhite@stthomas.ca and we will process your request.

Pedestrian Responsibilities

  • Stop at the edge of the street and look both ways and over your shoulder before crossing the street.
  • Hold your arm out to signal your intention to cross and wait until the cars have come to a complete stop before entering the roadway.
  • Make eye contact with drivers to ensure they know you are going to cross before you do so.
  • Cross as quickly as possible, don't dawdle, or talk on your phone or text while crossing.
  • Walk, don't run (when you run, your head is usually down and you can't see if cars are moving and you are more likely to fall)
  • Always get off your bicycle and walk it across the street.  Never ride it across.

Driver Responsibilities

  • Yield the right way to pedestrians in marked crosswalks.
  • Stop and make eye contact with pedestrians about to cross so they know you have seen them.
  • Be alert when approaching a marked crosswalk in case pedestrians dart out without looking.
  • Do not pass cars stopped at a crossing walk - it is against the law!
  • Ensure pedestrians have made it safely to the other side before you continue on you way.  Failing to do so is against the law.

Biking Tips and Tools:

Share the Road

Cyclists are a vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act and are responsible for sharing the road and following the same rules as motor vehicles.

It is important to remember the following when driving:

  • Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals
  • Bicycles are vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act and should be respected
  • Be patient, slow down and give one metre clearance when passing bikes
  • Check for bicyclists before opening your car door
  • Always look for pedestrians and cyclists before turning
  • Be patient, older pedestrians may need more time to cross the road
  • Stay alert, slow down and be prepared for the unexpected
  • JUST DRIVE

It is important to remember the following when cycling:

  • Obey all traffic laws, signs and signals
  • Signal all turns
  • Ride one metre from the curb
  • Ride past parked cars as if all the car doors were open
  • Ride in a straight line and on the right hand side of the road
  • Wear a helmet and bright clothing
  • Bikes are required to have a horn or bell, white light on the front and red reflectors or red light on the back
  • When cycling on trails, pedestrians have the right of way; please use a bell/horn when passing

It is important to remember the following when walking or jogging:

  • Where there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic
  • Cross at marked crosswalks or traffic lights, not in the middle of the block or between parked cars.
  • Make sure drivers see you before you cross
  • Cross only when traffic has come to a complete stop
  • Watch for traffic turning at intersections or driveways
  • Wear bright clothing with reflective strips when walking in dusk or darkness
  • When walking on trails, keep right to allow other to pass

Be aware of others.  Same road, same rules, same rights.  For more information please head over to Active Elgin's webpage.