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Transportation Master Plan looks to the future

Having a long-term plan and guiding document for how the City’s transportation networks will interface with one another – to enhance the mobility choices of residents, visitors and workers, support goods movement and connect land uses – is of vital importance.

That overarching goal, along with extensive community engagement, the new travel demand model, technical analysis and previous plans and studies, all informed the development of the 2023 Transportation Master Plan (TMP).

Lethbridge City Council recently approved the TMP to provide direction for the continued development of transportation networks and programs in the city, as well as to provide access to transportation funding sources that require a Transportation Master Plan. Funding for projects and programs identified in the 2023 TMP will be requested with future Capital Improvement Programs and Operating Budgets. Existing Capital Improvement Programs and Operating Budgets already cover several projects and programs identified in the TMP.

The condensed 56-page TMP can be viewed here and the full 280-page Detailed Technical Report can be viewed here.

The TMP is based on 12 themes or lenses, which look at the mobility network from different angles and include a wider set of values when deciding how to design and make future improvements.

“The plan will serve as a guide for shaping future transportation networks in Lethbridge,” says Adam St. Amant, Transportation Engineer and Project Manager for the TMP.

The TMP recommends:

  • Connected land uses so that daily resources and necessities can be easily reached from anywhere in the city
  • A third arterial crossing of the Oldman River along the Chinook Trail alignment may be required after 2039, to be reviewed every 10 years with TMP updates (related news release from October 2022 is here)
  • An expanded heavy truck network along select corridors
  • Expanding the pathway network, particularly in the river valley including a new river crossing for active modes
  • Improved cycling and pedestrian crossings at intersections
  • More protected cycling infrastructure in existing and new areas
  • Using Universal Design standards to improve accessibility for new or redeveloped infrastructure

“The world has changed considerably since the since previous TMP was approved in 2012,” says St. Amant. “With autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing companies, new strategies in multi-modal planning and design and a greater focus on building a transportation system that is inclusive, the City is rethinking its mobility from new perspectives.”

The City has developed many land use, natural area and transportation plans and studies during the past 10 years. These documents provide valuable background information that has helped form the 2023 TMP. The key guiding documents are plans that continue to be implemented and work in parallel with the TMP to create a more sustainable, equitable, and complete transportation network. They include:

  • Municipal Development Plan (2021) – Activity Nodes & Approved Area Structure Plans
  • Transportation Safety Plan (2020) – Actions and Resources for a safer transportation system
  • Mobility/Accessibility Master Plan (2020) – Long-term visionary plan to create a universally accessible city that is designed for all people regardless of ability
  • Cycling Master Plan (2017) – Build-out of cycling network, short- and long-term projects
  • Transit Master Plan (2017) – Recommends transit actions focusing on frequent, local, community, and on-demand transit levels

Feedback from Council was incorporated into the TMP throughout the process and various public engagement opportunities were offered. Summaries of the all the TMP public engagement can be found in the What We Heard Reports on the Get Involved Lethbridge TMP project website here.

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