In today’s society, active transportation (AT) has become an important part of urban planning. It offers effective strategies with far-reaching social, environmental and transportation benefits.

WSP’s experts have been involved in AT for many years, providing core competencies in the promotion of active transportation strategies across the world.

Active transportation planning and design can reduce demand for road infrastructure, improve multi-modal network performance, enhance safety and reduce construction and maintenance costs of traditional vehicle-oriented roads, and support the development of vibrant cities.

From conceptual network planning to detailed facility design and implementation, WSP’s multidisciplinary approach helps in creating healthy and sustainable communities through innovative and effective transportation solutions, as well as complete street planning and design. Benefits associated with efficient Active Transportation networks include:

  • Minimizing capital expenditures for roads and parking
  • Improving travel efficiency
  • Reducing climate change related emissions
  • Supporting the use of public transit
  • Increasing the overall sense of community
  • Improving general health and promoting an active lifestyle

Through the collaboration of our transportation planning, land use planning and urban design teams, we are able to deliver complex projects, such as mobility hub designs, that improve access to transit, create vibrant centres, promote active travel and road safety (Vision Zero) and generate economic activity. Our specialists in travel demand management also work with local communities to develop behaviour change strategies to realize the full potential for transit, cycling, pedestrian and high occupancy vehicle travel.

WSP was mandated to develop the Ontario Traffic Manual Book 18 on Cycling Facilities, which is now the Provincial Standard providing practical guidance on planning, design and operation of cycling facilities in Ontario, Canada. We are also putting these guidelines into practice by developing a provincial scale cycling tourism network strategy for Ontario that could see a cycling network of over 8,000 km of on and off-road routes connecting communities and major tourism destinations across the province.

Active Transportation Expertise and Awards

As a global leader in the design and implementation of cycling networks, pedestrian and trail facilities, WSP’s Active Transportation teams provide expertise in:

  • Pedestrian and bicycle facility planning and design
  • Complete street planning and design
  • Neighborhood design solutions
  • Speed mitigation and traffic management solutions
  • Multi-modal transportation planning
  • Route signing and pavement marking
  • Community, subdivision and site plan design
  • Land use planning
  • Environmental management
  • Landscape design
  • Risk management assessment
  • Infrastructure management strategies and tools
  • Road safety / Vision Zero studies
  •  Travel demand management strategies

WSP’s integrated, multidisciplinary capabilities enable us to successfully guide active transportation projects from concept and planning, through to detailed design and implementation.

Our Feasibility Study for the Expansion of Bike Share in Toronto, Canada, won an award from the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) in recognition of exemplary urban and rural planning in the province of Ontario.

In the UK, the Birmingham Cycle Revolution is an ambitious plan to make cycling an integral part of the city’s transport network. This is the first part of the plan based on a Cycle City Ambition Grant from central government to upgrade cycle routes within a 20-minute cycle time of the city centre. WSP’s team carried out the outline design and public consultation for the Main Corridors and quieter Parallel Routes, as well as substantial cycle parking and new 30 km/h zones.

As a cost-effective alternative to managing travel demand, without increasing capacity, WSP can assist municipalities with incorporating active transportation principles into community planning and infrastructure renewal. With our knowledge of policies, design guidelines and ongoing initiatives, we can develop active transportation networks as part of a larger multi-modal transportation solution that effectively manages travel demand, reduces congestion and increases safety and accessibility.

WSP is committed to developing reliable, user-friendly active transportation facilities that promote healthy and active lifestyles, as well as leading outreach and promotional programs that educate and motivate people to take advantage of these facilities.