OVCATA's vision for cycling in Ontario

Alliance outlines its vision in response to MTO's Discussion Paper on Cycling Initiatives under the Climate Change Action Plan

This fall, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario held extensive consultations on its CYCLE ON strategy. OVCATA members attended sessions in Ottawa and Kingston.

In addition, MTO circulated a Discussion Paper on Cycling Initiatives under the Climate Change Action Plan and invited citizen input on it. OVCATA's response to this paper provides a good summary of the kind of actions for which our Alliance is pressing the provincial planners and politicians.

The paper asked what infrastructure should be prioritized to make cycling in Ontario safer and more convenient to support commuter cycling between residential communities, major transit stations, employment areas and other destinations travelled to on a frequent basis.

OVCATA wrote, in response, that all provincial highways should have hardened shoulders, both for cycling safety and for the other benefits derived: lowered maintenance costs, greater safety for motor vehicles, extended road life. The shoulders of all highways being resurfaced should, routinely, be hardened.

Building a provincial network of highways with hardened shoulders will take time. Priority should be given to hardening shoulders of those segments of provincial highways that pass through urban areas, This will enable residents to cycle safely to shopping areas, work or school; and to access public services such as libraries, hospitals, parks and recreation facilities by bicycle. Painted bicycle lanes and standard “share the road” signage should also be installed.  A province-wide inventory should be done to identify these “urban” segments of provincial highways, using an inclusive definition of “urban” area such as that employed by Statistics Canada (i.e., a population of at least 1,000 and a density of 400 or more people per square kilometre).

In general we recommend that MTO place focus on low-cost measures that will be most effective in encouraging commuter cycling. These include

1. Rigorous enforcement of the Highway Traffic Act, especially  speed limits and the 1-metre rule. Currently, speeding of up to and in excess of 20 km/hr above limits is routinely tolerated, which makes cycling risky and scary.

2. Development, in coordination with counties and municipalities, of cycling routes.

3. Prominent signage identifying cycling routes and educating drivers and cyclists about road safety.

4. Widespread and prominent public education, both for drivers and cyclists, about cycling and driving safety.

The paper asked for evidence that could demonstrate the impact of cycling infrastructure investments on the number of cyclists and on GHG emissions. 

OVCATA responded that the Province should designate and promote a certain day each month (e.g., the first Monday) as “Ontario Bicycle Day.” On that day, volunteers in communities around the province would count the number of cyclists passing a particular point over a given time period.  Data would be sent to the MTO, which would track trends and publicize the results through outreach to media and local cycling groups.  Trends would be calculated on a per capita basis (size of community) as well in absolute numbers.

Regarding cycling infrastructure that would best support commuter cycling, OVCATA replied that local cycling networks require well-identified cycling routes and lanes, where possible. As with commuter cycling between residential communities, identification of routes, prominent signage and widespread public education should be top priorities. ALL public buildings, including federal and provincial offices, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, and transit stations should have bike parking.

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