Good News for Brampton Bikers

Take action now - City seeking input to build bike lanes and green infrastructure.

The City of Brampton has taken a progressive stance towards active transportation following the increasing interest in cycling seen during the ongoing pandemic. As of April 18, 2020 they have decided to temporarily close off curb lanes for vehicular traffic and, instead, install interim bike lanes along an East West travel corridor.

The streets closed for this initiative are:
Vodden Street – Ken Whillans Drive to Howden Boulevard
Howden Boulevard – Vodden Street to Central Park Drive

According to recent accounts by the City of Brampton Traffic Planning Department, the interim bike lanes are seeing anywhere from 500 to 700 cycling trips each week along the different segments.

This is an important test run as the City is working to implement permanent protected bike lanes on these streets in line with the Brampton 2040 Vision and the Streets for People Term of Council Priority.

In addition to this, the City Council voted last fall to put the Williams Parkway project on hold. They also have suspended the Sandalwood Parkway project pending the Williams decision.

The Williams Parkway was set to be widened from four to six lanes, beginning next year. But, on October 16, 2019, the Council approved a motion put forward by Wards 1 and 5 Councillors Paul Vicente and Rowena Santos, to put the project on hold to allow staff time to further research greener alternatives (Frisque, 2019). According to Vicente and Santos, the proposed expansion does not align with the Brampton 2040 Vision. As stated by Vicente, “The vision doesn’t prioritize roads it prioritizes pedestrians, cyclists and transit ahead of cars. The idea that Williams Parkway is to be widened first started to circulate through the halls here at the city more than 15 years ago … I think it’s time that the city rethinks what it’s doing with Williams Parkway and with other road widenings in general” (Frisque, 2019).

There are three alternative options the City Council is considering and they are expected to vote on this in the fall.

Of the three options, Option #3 is by far the best choice for the following reasons:

  • Option #3 represents a vision of a pleasant, attractive “Parkway neighbourhood”, with a diverse range of safe transport options for everyone.
  • Option #3 would create more space for the multi-use paths and additional trees and shrubs. This would provide welcoming shelter from wind and sun, with enhanced noise and pollution protection.
  • Narrower lanes would offer the best solution for encouraging vulnerable cyclists, pedestrians and families with easier, safer road crossings with reduced dangerous traffic speeds and crashes.
  • Option #3 would be the safest for children attending schools along the corridor as it provides a greater buffer between traffic and multi-use path.
  • Option #3 would be the most equitable, providing a wide range of transportation choices to racialized and less advantaged communities that form part of the corridor.
  • Option #3 would be most aligned with Brampton’s 2040 Vision, the Active Transportation Master Plan, and Brampton’s Declaration of a Climate Emergency.
  • Fewer lanes of traffic would dramatically reduce the number of vehicle kilometres travelled, along with greenhouse gas emissions, noise and pollution.
  • There are anticipated federal funding opportunities for green recovery that could mitigate costs of Option #3.
  • Option #3 would provide safe, comfortable network connectivity to trails and bike lanes as required by Brampton’s ATMP (Fletcher’s Creek Trail, Etobicoke Creek Trail, Rutherford Road bike lane, Esker Lake Trail and Franceschini bridge), encouraging more people to select active transportation.
  • There is a lack of demonstrated need for additional lanes on Williams Parkway. The Parkway has almost no commercial or industrial traffic, and only indirect residential road access.

Selecting Option #3 is Brampton’s opportunity to make sure that the city’s urban planning is in line with our recent publicly supported plans and works to lower their climate change impact. It is a watershed decision that will impact other proposed road expansions to 6 lanes and demonstrates that Brampton is a sustainability leader.

Click here to learn more about the three options and to participate in a City-survey on which option you find best, before August 1st.

Click here for a quick survey regarding the Vodden Street bike lanes.

SCCF and other environmental advocates are working hard to gather citizen support to ensure that Council makes the greener choice. Make your voice heard!

Frisque, G. (7 Nov 19). Brampton pauses Williams Parkway widening after councillors question 6-lane roads. Brampton Guardian. Retrieved from

Photo by Dayle Laing.

Local Chapter: