The City of Mississauga has taken a creative approach to improving safety for road users with the return of its tactical urbanism project, Sharing Lanes. This year’s pilot project is located along The Credit Woodlands, specifically around Bert Fleming Park, where the City has implemented a new two-way traffic flow around the park, a car-free community space and vibrant asphalt art. In addition to increasing safety for pedestrians and cyclists, the project has created more space for the community to connect and play, and improved access to the park.
Tactical urbanism is an approach to city building that uses affordable temporary measures to demonstrate different uses for roadways and public spaces. Through Sharing Lanes, the City identifies spaces that vulnerable road users, like pedestrians and cyclists, may find uncomfortable or challenging to navigate – where adding traffic calming measures can have a positive effect.
In the spring, the City engaged with the community to understand their main concerns moving through the area and what would best enhance the enjoyment and safety of the space. The project addresses several road safety concerns noted along The Credit Woodlands, including speeding, misuse of the one-way traffic flow around the park and lack of safe pedestrian crossings to the schools and park.
Informed by feedback from the community, the following changes have been implemented.
New traffic flow to improve road safety
The traffic flow around Bert Fleming Park has been converted from one-way traffic to two-way traffic. This was done by replacing two traffic islands with new controlled intersections, including two all-way stops. Six new crosswalks have also been added, connecting to the park and two nearby schools. This new configuration encourages drivers to drive the posted speed limit and improves safety for pedestrians and cyclists, including families and students travelling to and from school, and residents using the park.
Vibrant designs inspired by the community
The community shared their ideas for the asphalt art during the engagement process. The most common response was to include local nature in the designs.
Along sections of the roadway and crosswalks, whimsical images of foxes, deer, birds and squirrels on colourful backgrounds now bring the spaces to life. This helps make the space more enjoyable while improving road safety by increasing the visibility of the crosswalks and other pedestrian spaces. It also encourages pedestrians to cross at the designated crosswalks and drivers to drive slowly and be alert.
Car-free space for play and connection
A new car-free area provides additional space for local families and residents to play and connect. Colourful barricades separate it from the roadway while providing pedestrian access to the park. New picnic tables have also been added. The City collaborated with students in the Sheridan College Urban Design Program to design and install the asphalt art for this space, which incorporates the animal imagery on the roadway and crosswalks. It also creates opportunities for free play and games like hopscotch, four-square and more.
The Sharing Lanes project along The Credit Woodlands will be in place for a minimum of two years. The City will use data and resident feedback to determine the impact the project has on the safety of all road users travelling though the area. This data and community feedback will inform if and how these changes may be made permanent.
To learn more about the project and access FAQs, visit yoursay.mississauga.ca/sharing-lanes.
To learn more about how the City is improving safety for all road users, visit mississauga.ca/roadsafety.
SOURCE City of Mississauga