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.
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February 2023OVCATA receives 2022 community service award
January 20232022 Bike Bank report
2022 Co-chair's report
June 2022OVCATA Opens Bike Bank Renfrew County for 2022
May 2022County of Renfrew and OVCATA celebrate expansion of cycling networks
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February 2022OVCATA and MPP John Yakabuski support road safety education and enforcement
November 2021Volunteers send bikes to Cuba from Eastern Ontario, with sweat and love
July 2021Bike Bank reaches 100-bike milestone
November 2020County municipal leaders and staff hear how Petawawa is becoming a Bicycle-Friendly Community "one bite at a time"
October 2020Fall is a great time for cycling in the Ottawa Valley.
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May 2020Algonquin Trail Report - May 2020
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December 2019Active Transportation is growing in the Ottawa Valley
October 2019OVCATA launches municipal outreach campaign
August 2019OVCATA salutes Tour de Whitewater success, setting records for participation, activity
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April 2019Renfrew County Council to lead on Active Transportation Month activities in June
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October 2018OVCATA meets with Ontario's new transportation minister - our own MPP John Yakabuski
June 2018OVCATA promotes active transportation for seniors with provincial support
March 2018Join OVCATA - Win A Bike
December 2017Local cycle routes win big with December provincial funding!
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October 2017OPP to share bike collision stats at Renfrew OVCATA meeting
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June 2017New provincial cycling funding could be used in Renfrew County - OVCATA
May 2017Help Sprocketman fly! Online cycling advocacy music video
April 2017RIDE OF SILENCE 2017
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Silver Chain Challenge relaunches in June, 2017
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October 2016Véloroute Voyageur / Voyageur Cycling Route would connect Northeastern Ontario
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