With a population of just over 50,000, Fredericton is the smallest city in the walkable index. It’s also one of the safest, with only 25 pedestrian-vehicle accidents recorded in 2007. That’s no small stat, given that with two local universities and one of eastern Canada’s mildest climates, walking per capita rivals that of larger cities.
Late last year, the city signed the International Charter of Walking, as well as created its own version. The local government’s commitment to travel by foot yielded running and walking clubs and almost a 10-per cent increase in resident use of the city’s 85 km of multi-use trails. “Today, an impressive 86 per cent of locals use the city trails,” notes Stephen Hartman.
In addition to its natural resources (such as urban forests and a river that draws people to its banks), “Fredericton is also based on a grid pattern with a walkable downtown,” says Mitchell—two catalysts that make the city’s recent Trails and Bikeways Masterplan a realistic target by 2026.
Insider Stacy Russell’s Fredericton Walking Tour
Stacey Russell is the Tourism Coordinator at Tourism Fredericton and a proud pedestrian.
Distance: 5 km
Time: 3 hrs
This story was originally published in the August 2009 issue of up! magazine as part of the Canada’s Most Walkable Cities 2009 feature, profiling 10 of Canada’s most pedestrian-friendly urban centres. Take a look at more of Canada’s Most Walkable Cities in 2009.