Information about reallocation of street space for cycling and walking
Photo: Blair Smith, Urban Systems
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant more people are walking and cycling. The BCCDC recommends re-balancing streets in B.C. municipalities to support this change. If we repurpose public spaces now, we can sustain this strategy and have long-lasting population health impacts on walking and cycling.
- Space for appropriate physical distancing
- Prevention of injuries through separation of active road users from motor vehicles
- Increased physical activity and positive mental well-being
- Contribute to the economic viability of local businesses
- Reduced social isolation and increased community connectedness
- Improved air quality by reducing emissions from motor vehicles.
COVID-19 Street Rebalancing Guide
- From the Federation of Canadian Municipalities,
- helps communities respond amid continuing COVID-19 transmission.
- ensures safe public mobility as towns and cities re-open.
- is intended for both decision-makers and practitioners.
- demonstrates how to temporarily redesign streets to ensure physical health, mental health, safety and well-being.
- includes a toolkit of immediate and longer-term response strategies and treatments.
Reallocation of Roadway Space for Physical Distancing
- From the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
These guidelines help local governments design temporary treatments for active transportation opportunities.
- Address gaps in the active transportation network
- Including sidewalks, bicycle routes, and off-street pathways.
- Make sure people feel safe
- Scientific literature suggests safety as a motivator (or deterrent) for active transportation.
- COVID-19 safety is a new dimension to consider when designing or adapting spaces. Consider safety in active transportation, recreation, and queuing.
- Address equity and vulnerable communities
- Including racialized populations, people living with low income and those without vehicle access.
- Promote universal accessibility
- For older populations, children and people with reduced mobility.
- Increase sidewalk widths beyond usual recommendations
- Accommodate increased active mobility traffic.
- Spacing required for physical distancing
- Access to essential services, spaces, and transit.
- Create a welcoming and inviting space
- Use unique elements of local characteristics and history to strengthen community identity.
- This can improve positive social interactions. It also helps build a special sense of place and shared culture for all users.
- For more information, see the
COVID-19 Street Rebalancing Guide.