Trail Ambassadors, Lane markings and Clear sight lines (T.L.C) help improve safety on the Tom Taylor Trail
Since the start of the pandemic, the Town of Newmarket's popular Tom Taylor Trail, has seen a spike in all modes of traffic as the community gets outside to move their bodies, clear their minds and stay social. To address increased congestion, encourage a safe mix of users on foot and wheels and ensure everyone has a positive trail experience, the Town has completed some TLC on the Tom Taylor Trail. This fall, the Town's introducing Trail Ambassadors and has added centre lane markings, cleared sight lines and increased signage along the trails.
"The Tom Taylor Trail is an artery that keeps our Town moving and connects us to our neighbouring towns through the Nokiidaa Trail," says Mayor John Taylor. "But with great popularity comes more people and more types of users which can create challenges too. The Town has made some immediate safety improvements this fall, and we'll be exploring ways we can keep the trail system working for the community we have today, and tomorrow in an upcoming workshop. Now, we look to our residents to help too – be mindful of one another, practice compassion and let's all share the trail together."
Say hello to your friendly, Town Trail Ambassadors who will be out in the community, in person to help trail goers navigate and share the trail system safely with fellow users. They hit the trail this past weekend and will be out-and-about on foot or by golf cart until November 7. In addition to speaking with residents, Trail Ambassadors will conduct traffic counts and gather data to help plan for more improvements next year. The Trail Ambassador will be easy to spot in an orange vest and a Town baseball hat.
Ahead of the Trail Ambassador launch, the Town conducted the following trail improvements:
- Lane markings – a centre line has been painted along higher traffic trails around Newmarket to create defined lanes for users. This will help cyclists navigate sharp turns and hills and provide a safe space for pedestrians.
- Clear sight lines – trees and shrubs have been selectively removed to maintain the trail's natural beauty while improving visibility, particularly where the trail winds and curves.
- Improved signage and pavement markings – added hazard signage and markings for early notification of hills, curves and crosses along with more cohesive educational trail signs.
These trail improvements are an immediate solution to more long-term strategy to enhancing safety on Newmarket's most popular trail system. During the pandemic, the Tom Taylor Trail has seen high levels of use from diverse modes of movement from cyclists to skateboards, pedestrians to mobility scooters.
Whether trail goers are walking the dog, out with kids or staying social, everyone should be mindful of their fellow human (and four-legged friends) and put others first to keep the trails safe and welcoming for all. Help keep Newmarket's trails safe by following these simple safety tips.
Six ways to share Newmarket's trails
- Use safe speeds. Gauge your speed on the trail to give everyone space and peace of mind to enjoy our trails. Use your best judgement to be mindful of others and take a slow and cautious approach. Be sure to slow down or dismount on bridges.
- Wheels yield to heels. Cyclists and rollerbladers should yield to walkers and runners. Slower and more vulnerable trail users should get the right of way.
- Be alert. Stay in tune to your surroundings, this will make your actions more predictable to fellow trail users. If you use headphones, keep the volume low and one earbud out. Always look behind you before changing directions or passing another trail user.
- Pass to the left. Just like on the road, stay right to stay the course and pass on the left. If you're cycling or rollerblading, slow down when passing another trail user and ring a bell as you approach.
- Keep pets on a short leash at all times in public spaces. Our furry friends love the trails, but not all trail users know how to act around pets and vice versa. A short leash will help everyone keep a safe distance and makes fido a great trail ambassador too!
- Take the trail less travelled. Did you know there are more than 150 kilometres of trails in Newmarket? Tom Taylor Trail along Fairy Lake is popular among the community, making physical distancing a challenge. Try a new path, such as the Dave Kerwin Trail on Gilpin Drive or one of the many trails within York Region's Forest Tract.
In addition to these fall improvements, the Town is looking at a more long term approach which will be discussed at a future Council Workshop in 2022.
For more information visit newmarket.ca/sharethetrails and share your trail experience on social media using #ShareNewmarketTrails and tag @TownofNewmarket for a chance to be featured.