December 7, 2017 - On Monday December 4, 2017, representatives from Thunder Bay District Health Unit and Lakehead University appeared before City Council to share results from a research project investigating walkability and pedestrian safety in Thunder Bay. The research project consisted of an analysis of ten years of pedestrian-vehicle collision data, as well as the results of a community survey on perceptions of walkability and pedestrian safety in Thunder Bay. This is the first time local collision data has been analyzed and summarized in Thunder Bay, marking the first step for further research on walkability.
Joanna Carastathis, health promotion planner with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, hopes that the research shines a light on the importance of building Thunder Bay streets with vulnerable road users in mind. “When streets and sidewalks are built safely, in a way which prioritizes pedestrians, it can promote walking as an accessible, affordable, and pleasant mode of transportation,” said Carastathis.
“If the streets are built for people instead of cars, the whole community benefits. Walkable communities have the potential to increase physical activity levels, improve health outcomes, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost local economies.”
The new report will also serve as a source of information for City Administration.
“This report provides data on pedestrian collision locations and causes that the City’s Engineering & Operations Division can use to prioritize and inform capital work, which will improve pedestrian safety,” said Kayla Dixon, Director – Engineering & Operations, City of Thunder Bay.
“Used in conjunction with the forthcoming Transportation Master Plan recommendations, we hope to see more people using active transportation and enjoying our many trails and pedestrian corridors.”
This project was the result of collaboration between the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Dr. Lindsay Galway with Lakehead University, and Adam Krupper, Mobility Coordinator for the City of Thunder Bay. The full research findings and recommendations are documented in a comprehensive report which was provided to City Council members.