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1.1.5Design and maintain active transportation infrastructure to ensure year-round access, safety, and comfort for people of all ages and abilities


  • Not started

  • Planning

  • Implementation

  • Completed


For most trips to be made by walking, cycling, or rolling, our transportation infrastructure needs to be built and maintained to be used all year, by people of all ages and abilities. This means making sure that the urban heat island effect is minimized in the hot weather, and surfaces are quickly and consistently cleared of ice and snow in the cold weather. As climate change gives us warmer, wetter, and wilder weather, this will become even more important over time.

This action will be led by the Area Municipalities, and the Region of Waterloo. Please see below for the most recent publicly available updates.


The Trails Master Plan (2010) required 3m wide asphalt as standard for new trails. Currently there is no plowing of trails in winter unless specifically designated. Levels of Service for year-round active transportation / trails maintenance are being reviewed through the Parks Master Plan (2023-2025).


Since 2018, operations have been enhanced to support year round active transportation in the following ways:

Service level enhancements:

  • Assisted services program for sidewalk maintenance and window clearing
  • Proactive by-law enforcement program
  • Increased snow loading to clear bike lanes and support visibility on narrow streets
  • Increased response times for primary trail maintenance to support year-round trail use

Operational enhancements:

  • A representative inspection and monitoring route of sidewalks has been established and resourced to meet legislative standards
  • Defined operating procedures/best practices and associated service levels for defined winter maintenance functions related to sidewalks, multi-use paths, bike lanes within and outside of right-of-ways

Resourcing efficiencies:

  • Implemented parks shifts to provide more efficient and effective staff coverage to address winter maintenance needs.


  • Continual review of equipment through annual equipment review process with input from Fleet, Corporate Sustainability Office, Transportation Planning and front-line operators; to investigate and order more compact winter maintenance vehicle has been ordered to accommodate maintenance of “complete street” designs

The City of Kitchener Transportation Master Plan and 2020 Cycling & Trails Master Plan 3 goals support efforts to ensure active transportation infrastructure is accessible year round: 1. Build More Connections, 2. Provide a Safe and High Quality Experience and 3. Create a Culture of Active Living


The City of Waterloo is currently conducting a Winter Control Modernization Review. Additionally the City of Waterloo also has Minimum Maintenance Standards for our Transportation Systems.

The City of Waterloo addresses action 1.1.5 through items included in the City's Transportation Master Plan Update 2020:

  • Aligning design standards and maintenance requirements with existing equipment and methods
  • Facilitating cross-organizational collaboration as part of facility operations and maintenance
  • Developing prioritization of resources for winter control through tiered levels of service by considering factors such as the Primary Network, access to transit, usage volumes, access to destinations, and key connections


The Township of Woolwich addresses this action through designs and operating requirements addressed in the 2023 Active Transportation Master Plan.