Bermuda Plan 2018 tackles sidewalks issue
A new plan for Bermuda could lead to more sidewalks in an attempt to boost health and fitness.
The draft Bermuda Plan 2018 review and strategy report said that walking was a healthy way to get about; there were very few pedestrians outside of Hamilton, Dockyard and St George's.
The report included the result of a survey of the island's roads, which mapped areas that did and did not have sidewalks or verges that pedestrians could use.
It said: “A detailed look at the survey results indicate a notable lack of sidewalks in certain areas including east Devonshire, west Smith's, a large section of Southampton, north Sandys, north and east Pembroke, south and east Hamilton Parish and portions of St David's.
“Planning has a role to play in creating an environment which would make walking more attractive and appealing.
“Planning policies can require new or improved sidewalks to be built in certain locations and planners can negotiate for sidewalk infrastructure improvements as part of development proposals.”
The report said a policy in the 2008 Bermuda Plan allowed the Development Applications Board to require sidewalks be included on a site that borders a main road.
It added: “This policy will be retained and strengthened in the new Bermuda Plan and the information provided from the Department of Planning's walkability study will be used to highlight priority areas for additional sidewalk improvements.”
The report said there had been an increased focus on road safety in Bermuda and highlighted The Royal Gazette's Drive for Change campaign.
The document added: “Planning policy and community planning initiatives can assist the Drive for Change initiative's objectives, particularly regarding road design and management, street lighting and community-wide road safety awareness.
“In addition, planners can advocate for the provision of more and improved sidewalks to encourage greater walkability and increased pedestrian safety.”
The report also said the draft plan took into account the increased use of electric vehicles in Bermuda. It added: “In order to accommodate these, the new Bermuda Plan will include a policy requiring electric vehicle charging stations for every ten parking spaces.
“In the November 2017 Throne Speech, Government announced a thorough review of transportation and in March 2018, the Ministry of Transport and Regulatory Affairs launched a Transport Green Paper survey to gauge public views on Bermuda's public and private transportation.
“Unfortunately, the results of this survey are not yet available.
“However, it is anticipated that new legislation and policies will be developed for a range of transport issues including public transport payment options, road and traffic management, the ageing public bus and ferry fleet, oversized vehicles, speeding and dangerous driving.”