Thunder Bay proposed 2020 budget highlights for those who don’t drive to every destination.

This weekend I reviewed most of the Thunder Bay proposed budget for 2020.

There are interesting items in these documents for those who love to walk or bike.  These are just some of the items you can find in the City of Thunder Bay’s proposed budget documents for 2020.  All of these are proposals, you can provide feedback either by contacting your ward Councillor or you can register here and fill out the survey related to the 2020 Budget.

Capital improvements proposed in the budget this upcoming year

For us road, sidewalk and trail users this is captured in the summary and can be found on page 4 of the Executive Budget Summary and Corporate Report

  • Roads and roads related projects and Bridges and Culverts – $18.2 million
  • Transit Improvements – $5.3 million

 

Pavement rehabilitation is proposed:

You can find a list of pavement rehabilitation on page 17 in the same document. For me, the following projects are interesting in relation to collisions data.

  • River St – Madeline to High
  • Dease St – Syndicate to May

Pedestrian collisions at the intersections of River St./Madeline St. and Dease St./May St. have occurred over the last several years. It might be beneficial to review traffic signalling and perhaps in regards to River St. put further consideration to the bus stop locations. 

 

Road Network Improvements proposed:

A list of road network improvements can also be found on page 17.   The Balmoral project is listed here and they are proposing work from Hewitson to Alloy. This is a continuation of the Balmoral St. project started a while back.  Once completed this could be one of the longest North/South connections of multi-use trails in Thunder Bay providing a series of connections from George Burke all the way out to Parkdale. Connectivity from George Burke park also includes the Junot multi-use trail and another more scenic route between the University and College along the river.  This current phase of the project will cross one of the most challenging intersections for pedestrians and cyclists. 

You can see the proposed timeline for this project and expected years and costs on Page 53 of the Infrastructure & Operations proposed operating and capital budget 

 

Vickers Carrick Multi-Use Trail Bridge:

This bridge has been discussed for a long time and some of the cycling community in Thunder Bay have expressed a desire to see this built yesterday.  You can find some links to news articles related to this bridge near the bottom of the McKellar Ward Collisions page.   This bridge is mentioned in the Infrastructure & Operations proposed operating and capital budget on page 43It appears this has lost the support of the majority of council at this time.

Marina Park Pedestrian Overpass:

Also, on page 43 you can see that the Marina Park Pedestrian overpass may receive some attention. This overpass is just below the Prince Arthur Hotel and is used by many to cross Water St.  It is great to see some renewal of this structure as it serves large numbers of people accessing the park from Red River.   

 

Crossovers:

Four new crossovers are also mentioned in the Infrastructure & Operations Proposed Operating and Capital Budget on page 6 and some of the costs associated are mentioned further down in the document but I’m not clear on their installation locations.

 

Continued Investment in LED Lighting:

Infrastructure and Operation’s proposal also includes additional investments in street lighting which you can find page 46

 

Transit is proposing rate changes:  

You can see the proposed fare structures for transit on page 31 of the Community Services Proposed Capital and Operating Budget.  Basically, it looks like on April 1st they are proposing to: 

  • increase cash fare by $0.25 to $3 
  • increase the Single ride 10 ticket pass by $2.75 to $27.50
  • increase the 20 ride punch pass by $3.00 to $47.00
  • increase the Adult monthly pass by $0.50 to $77.50
  • reduce the Family day pass by $2 to $9

They are proposing no change to other types of passes. When you consider the fares on page 286 of the BMA report you might wonder why they only changed a few of the fares. Why has transit made the case to increase the fare based on the average (page 13) rather than a median value (page 193 of the BMA)? Why has transit not proposed more significant increases to the Adult monthly or the 20 ride punch pass? What is the real impact of this fare change and is it fair?

Transit Upgrades:

The proposed budget also has some big investments for transit including what looks like a good plan for fleet vehicles on page 51, on page 44 we see a proposed multi-year investment in transit facilities. There are even more details on pages 52-55 including electronic fare management technology, accessible stop improvements and transit hub investments.

Update on the collision database:

Today January 6, 2020, I wandered down to the Police station at lunchtime and submitted a freedom of information request for collision data from 2019 and 2013.  I hope to continue to expand the data on Thunder Bay vehicle/pedestrian/cyclist collisions.  There is still a lot of other information about countermeasures that I hope to add to it in the future.

Did I miss something, is something incorrect or should something be added above?  Email me at andrew.brigham@gmail.com if you wish to contact me.