Bike To Work Day postponed, but progress on cycling accelerates

by Jamie Stuckless, Executive Director, Share the Road Cycling Coalition

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People enjoying #ActiveTO in Toronto this past weekend (photo: @Docs4Cycling on Twitter)

Monday, May 25th was supposed to be Bike to Work Day. Even though the event has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, communities across Ontario still had something to celebrate yesterday.

The first news of the day was the City of Toronto’s #ActiveTO announcement. The proposed plan includes cycle tracks along Bloor St, Dundas Street East, University Ave and Brimley Rd as well as new multi-use trails and bicycle lanes. The plan calls for this infrastructure to be built as early as the summer of 2020.

Council is set to vote on this at their meeting on Thursday. If you live in Toronto, Cycle Toronto is asking you to voice your support for the plan by emailing your councillors.

More details from Cycle Toronto available here.

Progress for cycling was also announced Monday in the City of Waterloo as council unanimously passed a motion directing staff “to asses opportunities to quickly and affordably expand active transportation infrastructure to facilitate essential trips and to provide more equitable access to safe, green spaces”. The City wants to explore the use of pilots and interim projects while also engaging with the public to inform more permanent approaches.

CycleWR has been working hard to capture community support for this motion in advance of the vote and we’re thrilled to see it pass unanimously!

The Town of Saugeen Shores also launched a community consultation survey Monday night to find a solution for safe trail access along the flooded North Shore Trail. One idea — that Share the Road has voiced our support for to council — is converting a lane of vehicular traffic into a multi-use trail along North Shore Road. With the trail closed due to water damage, this street rebalancing would help to accommodate the estimated 25,000+ monthly trail users over the summer months.

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The North Shore Trail (photo: Visit Saugeen Shores)

With more people seeking space for outdoor recreation and using active transportation for essential trips, we believe this rebalancing makes sense. The survey is open online until June 5th and hard copies are available. Residents are invited to share their thoughts.

This week’s progress is on top of work already underway in Barrie, Brampton, Ottawa, London and North Bay among others to make more space for active transportation as part of the pandemic response & recovery.

If your community hasn’t taken action yet to rebalance streets, check out this article by Elise Desjardins in The Hamilton Spectator urging Hamilton to create more spaces for active transportation. Many of the points in the article are relevant beyond Hamilton.

You can also visit our website sharetheroad.ca/rebalancing for more updates and resources.

Share the Road Cycling Coalition

Working to build a bicycle-friendly Ontario since 2008

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