TCAT’s Research Report on Barriers to AT Included in TAC Conference Program

In June 2014, TCAT Director Nancy Smith Lea, in collaboration with Dr. Paul Hess from the University of Toronto, completed a research project that investigates barriers to the implementation of active transportation policies in Ontario.

Although policies have recently come a long way in recognizing and promoting active transportation, aligning policy is different than aligning practice, and current policies are not necessarily translating into successful on-the-ground implementation. The project explored the institutional barriers that exist in detailed planning, development, engineering, and construction process that have not caught up with higher-level policies including engineering standards and other institutionalized practices.

The project included:

  1. a review of provincial and municipal policy, and professional street design guidelines;
  2. focus group sessions with planning and engineering professionals;
  3. case studies of Toronto area road projects that either incorporated, or failed to incorporate, active transportation facilities.

The research found that despite high level policies that encourage active transportation, institutionalized barriers continue to exist that promote roadway design primarily oriented toward accommodating motor vehicles.

On June 16th, an abridged version of this research report was accepted for inclusion in the 2014 Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) Conference. The authors will present the paper on September 30, 2014 in Montreal.

Posted On: June 18, 2014