Transportation study: A draft is sitting on a desk somewhere in city hall.

News 100 redBy Staff

August 29th, 2018



City hall is telling citizens that over the next 25 years, Burlington is going to grow in its urban areas.

“With 193,000 people expected to live in Burlington by 2031, the city is planning for future population growth including how people will move through the city.

“Over the last 30 years, Burlington’s transportation network has accommodated growth by building more roadways. This strategy is no longer sustainable. The city does not have the space to build new roadways and the financial cost to maintain a larger network of roads is significant.

“A 21st century city is built around a different transportation model, one designed to provide people of all ages and abilities with more travel choices for things like walking, cycling and transit.

“Go Bold is Burlington’s Transportation Plan. The plan is built around eight new directions for the City of Burlington. When implemented, these directions will result in a new era of transportation.

In a Transportation study that seems to be talking ages to make it to a city council Sanding Committee the department explains that eight New Directions are being worked on.

The study will provide a wide range of options for getting around regardless of age, means or ability, including walking, cycling, public transit and automobiles

Uses compact modes of travel like buses, bicycles and walking to efficiently move larger number of people

Is well connected to transportation systems in surrounding regions

Offers fast, reliable and more frequent transit

Features improved facilities and safety for cyclists and pedestrians


Traffic barriers in place on LAkeshore for the Car Free Sunday last year were expensive and not really used. The event was poorly attended.

Fully Align Land Use and Transportation

Ensure all land use and transportation decisions made at City Hall, from policy-making to budgeting, are integrated and support walking, biking, transit.




Re-think streets

There was a time when LAkeshore was known as Water Street and traffic was a little slower. But Burlington isn't a sleepy little town anymore - traffic has toi be controlled.

There was a time when Lakeshore was known as Water Street and traffic was a little slower. But Burlington isn’t a sleepy little town anymore – traffic has to be controlled.

Rethink Streets

Creating more travel options for the community means thinking differently about how our city streets look and function. One of the ways to allow for more travel choice is to create complete streets. These are streets that are designed to be safe, comfortable and efficient for people of every age and ability including pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and drivers. They also easily connect people to the places they live, work and play.

In rural areas we, envision the potential for rural roads to serve more than just automobiles, but instead as key pieces of infrastructure that improve community interconnectivity and social interaction.


Prioritize choices

Lot of traffic lights at big pole

Reprioritize Mobility Choices

Reprioritize decision making at City Hall to support the creation of new facilities for walking, biking, transit that can compete with the automobile.





New street - being rebuilt

New Street when the Road Diet was thought to be a good idea.

No new street capacityNo New Street Capacity

Land use intensification with further auto-oriented design will only result in continued auto-dependency, expensive infrastructure and overall traffic failure. Understanding that as the city grows, expanded mobility will be achieved by investing in walking, biking, and transit instead of building new roadways.




Walking more enjoyableSnow on street - lady - walkerMake Walking More Enjoyable

Walking is the foundation of the transportation system. Design streets that are safe, vibrant, active and easy to navigate.






Biking more enjoyableCycling in BurlingtonMake Biking More Enjoyable

Design streets with biking infrastructure that provides a safe, well connected system throughout the city. In the rural areas, encourage development of biking opportunities over time with infrastructure where strategically appropriate.




Public transit more enjoyableBfast poster with BG logoMake Public Transit Enjoyable

Implement significant and strategic improvements to transit in order to improve experience and increase ridership. The result is a transit network that offers quick, reliable and more frequent transit service.





Transit - Vito Tolone

Vito Tolone – Director of Transportation

Walk the talk folow thru“Walk the Talk” in the Follow Through

Dedicate energy and attention to ensuring the actions identified in GoBold are implemented. Align decision making and budgeting to support the new mobility hierarchy.





Phony baloney according to ward 2 city council candidate Lisa Kearns. She explained to a small audience last week that the problem with all these studies is that they are never related to each other.

Her example was the traffic study done for the now approved development on the NE corner of Brant and James, directly across from city hall makes no mention of the traffic study done for the development Reserve Properties wants to put up on the SE corner of that intersection.

Kearns at podium

Lisa Kearns before she announced her decision to run for the ward 2 city council seat.

According to Kearns it makes no sense to look at the traffic projection studies independently.

There is a report on traffic impacts attached to every application – the problem is that the cumulative impact of the developments never appears in the reports and so far the public hasn’t seen anything from the Transportation department on just what that cumulative impact is going to look like.

The people who live in the downtown core don’t need a study to know what the impact is going to be – they experience it every time they drive in the downtown core.

Using her whimsical, straight to the point style Lisa Kearns got it right: phony baloney indeed.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 comments to Transportation study: A draft is sitting on a desk somewhere in city hall.

  • Stephen White

    Lovely. Looks like some eager, idealistic researcher lifted this stuff straight from the Leap Agenda. Ari Lewis and Naomi Klein would indeed be proud!

    Time to start dealing with the real problems faced by real people in the real world. What is the Transportation Department going to do to address the myriad of congestion issues in this city? At any time of year it takes longer for me to drive from southeast Burlington to the intersection of Plains Road and LaSalle Park Boulevard than it does to drive New Street–Rebecca–Bronte Road–Upper Middle to northeast Oakville on the same time of day of the week. The Oakville trip is 7 kilometres longer. Why?

    Here are some reasons:

    (a) poor traffic light synchronization;
    (b) no cut in lanes on curbs to allow buses to safely load and unload passengers without blocking traffic;
    (c) limited advance greens at major intersections (some are as short as 15 seconds which barely allows one car safely through);
    (d) no prohibitions against drivers making turns against the flow of traffic and trying to cut across two or four lanes of traffic;
    (e) repeatedly dodging bikers who are incapable of riding in their bike lane, or cyclists who insist on riding two and three abreast;

    Time to get real. Real means… coming up with plausible solutions to address the everyday problems faced by taxpayers. Real definitely does not mean wasting copious amounts of time, energy, money and effort producing another meaningless transportation study filled with idealistic clap trap which the vast majority of residents won’t read or care about, and which won’t contribute one scintilla to improving the lives of drivers, pedestrians, transit riders or cyclists.

  • Collin

    I don’t believe there is a draft plan. While I don’t agree with Hans when he says we’re stuck with private cars forever, I think he’s right on when he says “euphemisms and clever sayings are not a plan.” And Ken’s comment hit the nail squarely on the head.

    What I’d like to know is:

    1) What are the terms of reference for this so-called plan? When we at BFAST asked about this, we were told we couldn’t see them. Do we have to file a Freedom of Information claim to get even basic information?

    2) How many hundreds of thousands of dollars has the city spent on consultants’ fees for this supposed plan over the past five years or so, and for what? Let’s see the product our tax dollars paid for.

    So far, it’s just another example of how the people on Council who yell loudest about saving tax money are the ones who squander it most. Let’s get out and vote Oct. 22 and start the hard work of clearing up this mess.

    Editor’s note: We asked the following of the Director of Transportation: Can you provide me with the following.
    When was Transpiration given Directions to conduct a study of the longer term transportation needs of the city?
    If there was a budget amount attached to the Staff Direction what was that amount.
    Have there been studies commissioned with consultants?
    Are you able to say who the consultants are and what they have been asked to study or investigate?
    Do you have a date for the next Transportation department report to a Standing Committee?

    • Hans

      “..stuck with private cars forever..” is not what I said. In the very long term everything will change.

  • Hans

    Re: “A 21st century city is built around a different transportation model, one designed to provide people of all ages and abilities with more travel choices for things like walking, cycling and transit.” – Saying so doesn’t make it so; euphemisms and clever sayings are not a plan.
    Most of what I read above is a denial of reality; e.g.: in Canada we have winter; walking to appointments is unrealistic, unless the walker happens to lives a block from the appointment location; grocery shopping requires transportation that can accommodate bags of groceries and that must be fast enough to get home before frozen purchases thaw or spoil; retrofitting a city that was designed/built mostly in the middle 20th century and spread over a large area is simply not doable – some adaptation is all that can be achieved; there is no “mobility hierarchy” – no other mode of transportation can “compete with the automobile”, period; the “complete streets” concept is nothing more than the “fad-du-jour” and is best forgotten, like the “pet rock”. Etc., etc…….

  • Ken

    I can’t wait for the new Transportation Plan to final makes it’s arrival.

    It’s likely to be nothing more then a pig with lipstick on, filled with hyperbole and glamorous concepts that have no relation to what the situation on the ground really is.

    My idea of a Transportation Plan would be to charge City Staff the market rate for parking (now included in their pay) and to mandate that every City Staff take Active Transportation or City Transit at least once a week to work.

    Oh Boy! My guess is there’d be a whole more sobriety at City Hall if that were to happen.