I've mentioned before how much I hate sprawlurbia and how I secretly (or not so secretly) am waiting for peak oil to hit and get all the cars off the road, and force urban planners to prioritize active transportation in their planning.
As many of us already knew, sprawlurbia is killing us in various ways. The obesity and diabetes rates are way up partly due to our culture of sitting in the car for an hour to get to work. As well, as the previously mentioned (see below) Toronto Public Health report states, the pollution caused by automobiles is doing quite a number on us.
To the rescue is the Ontario Provincial Planners Institute. They've just released a report titled Healthy Communities, Sustainable Communities.
The report calls for many things near and dear to a cyclists' heart: they call for an expansion of transportation legislation to include walking and cycling, and not just automobile use, in establishing transportation master plans.
They advocate for arterial roads to contain no more than "two or four private vehicle lanes: if additional travel demand exists, the additional corridor space should be devoted to transit or bicycle lanes."
They ask urban planners to pay "specific attention to reducing use of petroleum-fuelled vehicles in favour of other transportation technologies and modes, and placing greater attention on greening our urban environments with green roofs and trees, especially along heavily travelled thoroughfares."
And finally, as part of their summary, they write "Communities that adopt these planning principles are walkable, cyclable, and transit-supportive, include transit-oriented development, and promote alternatives to the single occupancy vehicle."
Right on - death to single occupancy vehicles, suburban utility vehicles, and urban sprawl.