Active Transportation is growing in the Ottawa Valley

Norm Mathurin of Renfrew had the winning ticket, purchased for a Father

Norm Mathurin of Renfrew had the winning ticket, purchased for a Father's Day present by daughter Katarina, for the Specialized e-bike donated by Gearheads in the OVCATA raffle draw on November 23. In the photo, from left: Margo and Mark Johnson of Gearheads, Norm, Brody and Katarina Mathurin, Ron Moss and Debbie Fiebig of OVCATA.

EGANVILLE: Active Transportation is alive and very well in the Ottawa Valley was the message that came through loud and clear at the annual meeting of OVCATA - the Ottawa Valley Cycling and Active Transportation Alliance on November 23 at the Eganville Legion. At the meeting, members heard that public and government interest and recognition is growing, the number of local people and visitors walking, riding and otherwise getting around on their own power is growing, and OVCATA is growing too.

Jennifer Murphy, Mayor of Bonnechere Valley Township and outgoing Warden of Renfrew County attended the meeting as a speaker and actively took part in all its discussions. So did Mark Johnson of Gearheads, the Petawawa cycling and sports store that donate the $5,000 e-bike to OVCATA this year that was raffled off at the meeting.

The winning ticket belonged to Norman Mathurin of Renfrew, whose daughter Katarina bought it for him for Father's Day.

"Active Transportation has made such an important impact in our communities for tourism, infrastructure, and promoting and supporting whole life healthy lifestyles," Warden Murphy told the meeting. "In Renfrew County, we have been busy increasing infrastructure, and seeking opportunities to gain funding and work with the Province to support Active Transportation. "

She outlined the development of the County's Active Transportation Policy since 2014.

The first paved shoulders were installed on County Roads 26 and 51 in the Petawawa area in 2003.  As of the end of 2017, the County had hardened shoulders on 180 km of roadway and over 220 km by the end of 2019. "That represents approximately one quarter of the County 820 km road system."

She said the County has budgeted $150,000 each year for the last number of years for hard-shouldering, but that it is sometimes able to access special funding for to do more than that.

Ms. Murphy reported on recent developments with the Algonquin Trail (the former CP Rail line). "The trail is a great example of another project that along with partners has developed an award winning backbone for all kinds of Active Transportation activities," she said. Warden Murphy reported, with enthusiasm, on discussions with provincial cabinet ministers indicating that some of the funding budgeted for four-laning highway 17 will be used to improve the trail in order to get cyclists off Highway 17.

Ms. Murphy and the group discussed concerns that have arisen over motorized vehicles on the trail. Dirt bikes, she told the group, are prohibited. OVCATA members at the meeting agreed that without better public notice and enforcement of rules, the trail will deteriorate rapidly and become less attractive to visitors and local people.

Local municipalities can benefit greatly by embracing Active Transportation, Ms. Murphy said. She pointed to her township's new paving, with hardened shoulders, of the Fourth Chute  Road. "Active Transportation is probably the reason we got the grant (to pave the road)," she said.

At the meeting, OVCATA members reported on outreach they have been doing to local municipalities, encouraging the setup of committees on Active Transportation in each municipality. OVCATA members have been in contact, so far, with Petawawa, Renfrew, McNab-Braeside, North Algona Wilberforce, Bonnechere Valley, Killaloe Hagarty Richards, Madawaska Valley, Laurentian Valley and Whitewater Region and the City of Pembroke.

OVCATA members Ron Moss, Bob Peltzer and Andris Kalnins reported on plans for the new year, including promoting rider safety on the Algonquin Trail and at the Tour de Whitewater and helping organize the Tour de Bonnechere and other events. Treasurer Debbie Fiebig reported that the e-bike raffle raised $2,632 for the organization, which now has approximately $3,700 in the bank.

New members of OVCATA were acclaimed at the meeting for two-year terms, including Andris Kalnins (McNab-Braeside), Patricia Krose (Whitewater Region), Jason Ng (Pembroke) and Bob Peltzer (Bonnechere Valley).

Year: [All] | 2024 | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016

April 2024

A complete and detailed report on the state of cycle tourism in Ontario.

December 2023

2023 OVCATA annual meeting summary and co-chairs' report

October 2023

Action group formed to cash in on cycle tourism by promoting Trail Towns

September 2023

Arnprior brainstorming session will plan how towns can cash in on cycle tourism

August 2023

Trail towns - what are they and how to make YOUR town one of them

February 2023

OVCATA receives 2022 community service award

January 2023

2022 Bike Bank report
2022 Co-chair's report

June 2022

OVCATA Opens Bike Bank Renfrew County for 2022

May 2022

County of Renfrew and OVCATA celebrate expansion of cycling networks
Silver Chain Challenge is back - enter and log your klicks in June

February 2022

OVCATA and MPP John Yakabuski support road safety education and enforcement

November 2021

Volunteers send bikes to Cuba from Eastern Ontario, with sweat and love

July 2021

Bike Bank reaches 100-bike milestone

November 2020

County municipal leaders and staff hear how Petawawa is becoming a Bicycle-Friendly Community "one bite at a time"

October 2020

Fall is a great time for cycling in the Ottawa Valley.
Petawawa Bike-Friendly Communities champion to speak to OVCATA AGM

May 2020

Algonquin Trail Report - May 2020
Citizens partner with County and OPP to make trails work for all despite pandemic - OVCATA

December 2019

Active Transportation is growing in the Ottawa Valley

October 2019

OVCATA launches municipal outreach campaign

August 2019

OVCATA salutes Tour de Whitewater success, setting records for participation, activity

June 2019

The Ottawa Valley is a cycling paradise

April 2019

Renfrew County Council to lead on Active Transportation Month activities in June
Gearheads donates elite E-bike for OVCATA raffle
Volunteering at OVCATA - there's a place for you
Highway 17 rumble strips could have fatal consequences - OVCATA
2018 a big year for Active Transportation in Ottawa Valley

October 2018

OVCATA meets with Ontario's new transportation minister - our own MPP John Yakabuski

June 2018

OVCATA promotes active transportation for seniors with provincial support

March 2018

Join OVCATA - Win A Bike

December 2017

Local cycle routes win big with December provincial funding!
Education is key to bike collision prevention - OPP Sergeant

October 2017

OPP to share bike collision stats at Renfrew OVCATA meeting
OVCATA Co-chair's report for 2017 - a lot accomplished in Year 1

June 2017

New provincial cycling funding could be used in Renfrew County - OVCATA

May 2017

Help Sprocketman fly! Online cycling advocacy music video

April 2017

OVCATA thanks Renfrew County Council and asks for more commitment.
Voyageur Discovery Route Funding a big step toward trans-Canada cycle route.
Community Rides in communities across Renfrew County this spring
Silver Chain Challenge relaunches in June, 2017
Adopt a Road

December 2016

New hardened shoulders in Renfrew County in 2016
The Algonquin Trail - tell municipal councillors you support it
OVCATA's vision for cycling in Ontario

November 2016

Share the Road Cycling Coalition wants to hear from you
MTO Public Consultation on Cycling Program

October 2016

Véloroute Voyageur / Voyageur Cycling Route would connect Northeastern Ontario

September 2016

Alliance responds to Minister Del Duca, presses for public education
Petition for cyclists and hikers in national parks
Partial lane for cyclists on Hwy 17 west of Petawawa