Haliburton Village, Haliburton County

Overcoming barriers through effective partnerships, the Haliburton ANC project demonstrates how a Complete Streets approach can succeed in a rural area.

Challenges specific to a rural municipality

Within the Municipality of Dysart, Haliburton Village is one of two main hubs in Haliburton County. In this rural county, the village is the location of most economic and social activity. The county has a year-round population of just over 17,000, and a large number of seasonal residents which increases the population to approximately 45,000 in summer.

In this project, we teamed up with Communities in Action (CIA), a committee conducting research to help build active, healthy communities in Haliburton County through active transportation. Together, we engaged residents to create a Complete Streets vision for County Road 21 (CR21)/Highland St., which is one of two main roads that cross Haliburton Village. A Complete Street is designed for all ages, abilities and modes of travel. On Complete Streets, safe and comfortable access for pedestrians, bicycles, transit users and the mobility-impaired is not an afterthought, but an integral planning feature. In Haliburton Village, County Road 21 serves a dual function: it is a local highway that connects Haliburton to other towns and it serves the village locally as a “linear neighbourhood” with a cluster of commercial and residential developments. Thus, our challenge was to create a space that would both accommodate pedestrians and local businesses, and allow vehicles to efficiently cross the village.

Overcoming barriers through effective partnership

Our Haliburton project exposed a key barrier in planning Complete Streets on rural county roads: county roads are often intergovernmental spaces, where the municipality has decision-making authority over sidewalks and other peripheral elements, while the county is responsible for the road’s traffic lanes. To overcome this barrier, our professional workshop engaged people from both levels of government, creating a collaborative space.

Our project has already seen some key successes in Haliburton, including piloting pop-up traffic calming measures on County Road 21, and the submission to council of a detailed study that advises a Complete Streets approach for the road.