City Council approves shared-use policy for rural pathways

City Council today approved the Rural Pathways Shared-Use Policy for the Osgoode and Prescott-Russell pathways and directed City staff to undertake a policy monitoring program and report back to the joint committee of Transportation and Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

As part of the Economic Stimulus Funding Program in 2010, two new rural pathways were established along former rail lines. The Osgoode pathway runs north to south from Leitrim Road to Buckles Street, and the Prescott-Russell pathway runs east to west from just west of Anderson Road to the eastern city limits. City staff was directed to review the issue of the use of motorized vehicles on these rural pathways.

Under the new policy, all motorized vehicles are prohibited on the pathways from spring to fall, except for emergency and maintenance vehicles and motor-assisted wheelchairs and scooters. This is intended to provide the best environment for the primary trail users – pedestrians and cyclists.

Snowmobiles will be allowed on the pathways in the winter but are subject to restrictions, such as speed limits and curfews.

In the summer of 2013, City staff will report back to the joint committee on the monitoring program with any recommendations for policy changes.