Land Use Planning

Integrated transportation and land use planning is an essential requirement to achieving a truly efficient freight and passenger system. The need to identify and protect future transportation corridors and multi-modal freight and passenger facilities will ensure that future freight and passenger network capacity is not constrained. With continued urban expansion it is essential that transport corridors, maintenance centres, rail yards and passenger stations, are identified to meet anticipated future growth in interprovincial, North American and international trade and passenger demand.

Currently there is no national initiative to protect key transportation corridors from development encroachment. In fact, some municipalities are undertaking efforts to encroach on existing rail right-of-ways for other transportation purposes (e.g. the development of bike trails). Typically, land use and development decisions are made by a municipal level of government without regard to the impact of the future development of the railway and multi-modal transportation systems. Freight railways have undertaken extensive efforts to relocate activities outside of urban centers, but public investments in the road system to service the rail facilities has not been adequate. Further, rail corridors within urban centers must not only be protected for the railway freight movements but for use by intercity and commuter railways. The growth in commuter railway ridership has been tremendous over the past decade, an increase of more than 23 per cent since 2005, and is expected to experience strong growth into the future. As such, the continued expansion of railway service within urban centers is inevitable and government policies must be developed and implement to ensure that future growth can be accommodated.

Land Use Planning

Through the joint Proximity initiative, the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) work toward common approaches to the prevention and resolution of issues that may arise when people live and work in close proximity to railway operations. The RAC-FCM Guidelines for New Development in Proximity to Railway Operations address issues concerning noise, vibration and safety and focus on the increasing challenges associated with new residential development.


Media Contact:
Alex Paterson
Public Affairs Coordinator
Telephone: (613) 564-8111

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