Nicole Arsenault

Manager, Transportation Services, York University

“Pedestrians and cyclists animate public spaces.”

At York University, Nicole oversees all the transportation projects for the community of students, faculty and Staff at the school.  YorkU has made active efforts to improve sustainable transportation at its locations and is one of the founding partners of the Smart Commute North Toronto, Vaughan, an award-winning non-profit that partners with businesses to reduce traffic congestion and to advocate for sustainable transportation. This is just one of the ways they help improve air quality and foster a healthier work environments for employees.

Through their work to promote sustainable transportation, YorkU has reversed their modal split. In the late 1990’s, 70% of the YorkU community came in single occupancy vehicles and now 80% come by means of sustainable transportation. The focus at Transportation Services now is to increase active transportation specifically by investigating cycling and walking amenities and programs at the University. With the arrival of the Spadina subway extension in 2015, the core of the car-oriented Keele campus will undergo a radical greening to create vibrant walkable spaces. In preparation for this increase in transit access, York U updated their Master Plan with a goal to improve wakalbility on campus by incorporating a `Put Pedestrians first` Lens.

As we expand regional transportation systems, short trips to and from the rapid transit hubs present a significant new window of opportunity for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure planning and investment. Active transportation facilities are crucial components of a balanced and efficient regional transportation network that addresses the accessibility of transit while contributing to the health, liveability and prosperity of York region and the greater GTHA.