Complete Streets Forum 2012 - Program Detail

Complete Streets Forum 2012 - Monday, April 23, 2012
at Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto

Program Detail (Download Here)
Note: Program May be Subject to Change


Complete Streets:  the Foundation for Building Healthy Communities

  • Gary Toth, Senior Director, Transportation Initiatives, Project for Public Spaces

Complete Streets has done more to influence needed policy change in the transportation world than any other single movement.  It has been an amazing program that sets the table for communities to reframe their future around people, not just cars. To reach its fullest potential, communities and advocates need to understand the difference between Complete Streets and Complete Systems, and also how to use Placemaking and Land Use planning to go beyond the engineering foundation provided by Complete Streets and create truly walkable communities.

In his Plenary, Gary Toth will foster a full understanding of what Complete Streets is trying to accomplish:  creating places not thoroughfares.   Topics covered will include:

  • Understanding the mindset of transportation professionals who have been trained to focus on automobile efficiency
  • Tools for working with transportation professionals to change auto oriented mindsets, including flexible design principles
  • Case Studies of what other communities around North America are doing
  • How “Incomplete Streets"  based on inappropriately high street design speeds not only degrade place and limits biking and walking, but also adversely affect transportation performance.
  • How to use the concept of “Street Typologies” to accommodate all road users via Complete Streets Network.
  • How to use the idea of Place to create the foundation for creating a Street Network that accommodates all road users using Complete Streets principles
  • A truly Complete how to facilitate a citizen driven vision planning process which works “upside down” by first engaging community stakeholders themselves to identify existing assets and areas of opportunity

Laying the Foundation for Complete Streets

  • John N. LaPlante, P.E., PTOE, Vice President and Director of Traffic Engineering, T.Y. Lin International

The goals of the morning plenary presentation are to bring together diverse agency staff, advocates and other stakeholders from across the region to:

  • Build a common understanding of the complete streets concept and approach
  • Explore how complete streets policies can help achieve multiple transportation, health and community goals
  • Present examples of the types of complete streets polices

Walking Audits: Lessons, Best Practices, and Effecting Change

  • Dan Burden, Executive Director and co-founder of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute.

Having worked in over 3,500 communities and led over 4,000 walking audits throughout North America, Dan Burden is both the inventor of the walking audit and the “Johnny Appleseed” of walkability.  He is currently a senior urban designer and executive director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, and previously co-founded Walkable Communities and the Bicycle Federation of America. Join Dan Burden as he discusses lessons learned from walking audits—also known as a “walking workshop” — and the discoveries he has made about complete streets.  Dan will provide best practices for streetscapes, urban development, infill, public spaces, parking and traffic management.  Additionally, Dan will share ideas of how to effect change at the program, policy, project and personal levels.

Improving Health through Active Transportation

Monica Campbell will speak to the health impacts of walking and cycling in urban areas. Specifically, he will present evidence from a new public health report that explores walking and cycling patterns across the City of Toronto, quantifies the health benefits of active transportation in Toronto and investigates the costs of collisions and injuries. The presentation will include strategies for increasing the safety and use of active transportation across Toronto.

  • Dr. David L. MowatMBChB, MPH, FRCPC, FFPH, Medical Officer of Health,  Region of Peel Public Health

Active Living in Peel Region. The ways in which our communities have been designed and built have changed our world… and our health.  Peel Region is a rapidly growing jurisdiction within the Greater Toronto Area with a population of 1.3 million.  Auto-oriented low-density development has been a widespread trend in Peel for the last 10 or more years.  Creating health-promoting built environments that encourage physical activity is challenging because the path is unpaved, and the levers to address the issue lie within several sectors, such as transportation, development and urban planning.

In collaboration with Peel Planning, Peel Public Health has been working to develop health-based rationale to consistently guide planning decisions, develop benchmarks and standards to evaluate the health-promoting potential of land use, and incorporate language into Official Plan policy that recognizes the relationship between planning and health.

Dr. Mowat will highlight recent accomplishments achieved through partnership including: the Healthy Development Index, Health Background Study and Active Transportation Plan.  Through the forging of unconventional partnerships, and tailored policy development, Peel Health is paving the way for major strides in chronic disease control in Ontario.


Complete Streets and Policy 

  • Ryan Anders Whitney, TCAT Complete Streets Researcher + Project Manager
  • Hannah Evans, Director, Partnerships and Consultation, Ontario Growth Secretariat

This session will share the results from research completed by the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) that reviewed Complete Streets supportive language in the Official Plans of 17 communities across Ontario. The conclusion will discuss potential opportunities to strengthen Complete Streets supportive policy language, common barriers and potential solutions towards adopting and implementing a Complete Streets approach, and opportunities to strengthen support for a Complete Streets approach at the provincial level.

This panel will address how the framework established by the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe helps to create move vibrant communities and more complete streets. In addition, two case studies will be presented that illustrate how this framework can be realized.

What do Complete Streets Look Like in a Rural Community? Policy and Practice

  • Sue Shikaze, Chair, Communities in Action Committee + Health Promoter,Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
  • Kate Hall, Project Coordinator, Communities in Action Committee

This session will describe how the principles of complete streets can be applied in rural communities by highlighting work in Haliburton County. Rural communities have different needs and opportunities than urban areas when it comes to active transportation and complete streets planning, promotion and implementation.

This session will provide: examples of infrastructure investment and changes in Haliburton County that promote and support active transportation; results of the first two phases of the evaluation strategy including a community survey and key informant interviews; and, a report on influence with decision makers and changes in community awareness and behaviour with respect to active transportation.

Where do you think you're going? Building Complete Streets + Livable Communities

  • Robert Voigt, MCIP, RPP,  Manager Planning and Infrastructure Projects Town of Collingwood
  • Dan Burden, Executive Director and co-founder of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute. 

This session will discuss placemaking within the context of complete streets, active transportation and community livability.  The presentation will include successful placemaking stories with numerous images of successful projects, stop-motion animation, and 3D simulations. 
The presenters will show how these concepts can be envisioned; developed into ground-breaking policies and regulations; and implemented.  Community benefits to placemaking approaches and initiatives will be highlighted.

The speakers will also show how innovative, cost effective ways to engage citizens can positively affect organizational change and community participation; including, how the “three degrees of influence” can bring unforeseen regional benefits from key partnerships.


Developing a Complete Streets Design Guide for the City of Calgary: Successes + Challenges

  • Joe Olson, P.Eng., PTOE, Complete Streets Project Lead, , Transportation Solutions Division, Transportation Planning, Transportation Department, City of Calgary

The City of Calgary is half way through the development of a Complete Streets Guide to provide the necessary guidance to City Administration and the Development Industry on how to incorporate 'Complete Streets' into the planning, design, and construction of all streets, and reconstruction of existing streets.

The presentation includes; revision of basic cross-section elements, development of new detailed design sheets for construction of Base (or typical) cross-sections, and development of 'Alternate' cross-sections; discussion of the key issues and 'trade-offs'; and the process, with internal City and 'external' stakeholders, by which the new standards and practice were developed. 

Lessons from 20+ Years of Completing Streets

This session includes experiences in developing complete streets, and a roundtable discussion about what you can do in your community to advance the cause. It will begin with a review of some of the efforts over the past three decades: traditional neighborhood design, traffic calming, context sensitive design and solutions, urban street design, real intersection design, walkability.  The presenters will share their experiences, analyzing what has and has not worked, looking in particular at current efforts in Chicago.

Participants may bring information to distribute.  The presenters and other will offer criticism and advice to help those in the trenches learn from those who have gone before.

Shared Streets and the Vision Impaired

  • Mark Van Elsberg, Project Manager, Pedestrian Projects Unit, Public Realm Section, Transportation Services
  • Sheyda Saneinejad, Project Lead, Public Realm Section, Transportation Services
  • Boyd Hipfner, Canadian National Institute for the Blind

Curbless streets result in reduced travel speeds and benefit users with mobility challenges such as those on wheelchairs. However, while trying to cater to the needs of these users, we may be putting the vision impaired at a disadvantage. Without the ability to make eye contact and negotiate their space with vehicles, vision impaired individuals may feel at risk in such streets.

In this roundtable discussion, we present the opportunities and challenges in the design of shared streets and encourage participants to share their insights, experiences and innovative ideas on how to address these challenges. What kind of warning and guidance system could be used? How are the AODA standards translatable to these spaces? What kind of legislation needs to be in place? How do we educate all road users and make it more legible and intuitive?



A Spectrum of  "Start Points" for Engaging the Public in Active Transportation Infrastructure Improvements

  • Paul Young, OALA, CSLA, Planner, Landscape Architect + Health Promoter with the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition
  • (B.N.) Raj Mohabeer, MCIP, RPP, AICP, ASLA, RLA (FL LA001726), LEED®AP - Transportation Planning Lead, Parsons Brinckerhoff Halsall Inc.

This session will explore a spectrum of public engagement “start points” from community-initiated projects to engagement that stems from a legislated requirement.  It will present three general types of engagement - all resulting in change to a road or proposed development. Each type of engagement will have characteristics and will rely on the participation of various actors (residents, elected representatives, lawyer, designers, etc.).  Advantages, disadvantages and unique considerations will be discussed.

1. Confront / Challenge (i.e. Ontario Municipal Board and a grass roots campaign)
2. Utilizing a Legally Required Engagement Process (i.e. Environmental Assessments, public meetings)
3. Pro-active (Visioning, Strategic Planning)

Mobility + Public Space

This session will explore the relationship between complete streets, active transportation, conventional transit, and active public spaces as a component of city and community building. The presentation will discuss a case-study that provides a foundation to quantify and qualify the public space and mobility conditions found within Saskatoon's City Centre. The findings, portrayed in the charts, maps, and illustrations in the report, were generated using a methodology that can be repeated in future years to assess changes to the quality of public life in Saskatoon's City Centre. The sessions also includes a discussion of the experiences of other Canadian cities, focusing on lessons learned, and a facilitated conversation about the potential of transit investment to facilitate both city building and active transportation.

Stepping Towards Complete Streets with Children's Mobility

This session will present lessons learned from various programs and projects the presenters have implemented with children and youth. They will share the results of this engagement, what needs to be done, and why it is essential in the creation of successful Complete Streets. They will show how this supports complete streets in local communities and initiates more fundamental discussion on built environment, health and community action.

The presentation will include: a video that youth created based on their experiences with AT in their own community and other cities in Canada; and, a demonstration of how Canada’s School Travel Planning initiative provides communities and schools with the tools they need to influence travel behaviour and supports community planning for complete streets.