My thoughts on Ontario’s Cycling Strategy can be summed up pretty easily –> It sucks.
Anthony from ibiketo.ca who got me on this topic was a little nicer … “If someone were to ask me how I would describe Ontario’s new Cycling Strategy in a word I would have to choose one of these: “vague,” “wishy-washy,” or “same-old, same-old” ….”
As cyclists our opportunity to provide feedback lasts until the end of January 2013. Take a read of the strategy and provide your feedback to the Province.
- Link to Government website providing more info and a submit comments button
- Link to a good piece from ibiketo.ca
- Link to Ontario’s draft Cycling Strategy
Dear Bob Chiarelli or whomever has the the Ministry of Transportation portfolio come spring,
It helps to have a compelling vision for cycling in Ontario before you come up with a strategy. What does a successful implementation of your strategy look like? From reading your strategy paper, I have no idea. A vague, impassioned vision leads to a lack luster strategy, particularly when there’s no suggested timeline.
Here’s a wishlist I put together in like 10 minutes before reading the draft strategy. Pick one, pick a date, start acting on it and voila you’ve got a better strategy. And one more thing, ask Ontario’s cyclists to hold you (or whomever) accountable.
- Inclusion of a bicycle safety course as part of the provincial mandatory curriculum in elementary school (say grade 7).
- Inclusion of cycling awareness in the Ontario Driving Manuals.
- Upgrade provincial standards for roundabouts to include safe cycling paths or lanes, here in Waterloo Region they plop down a roundabout and pretend cyclists don’t exist 10 feet before and after, at least that’s where the cycling lanes begin and end. (Usually I just take the lane).
- Provincial standards for road maintenance of cycling lanes and or sides of roadways; too often cyclists must ride in the gutters that are filled with debris, potholes, ruts, man hole covers, drainage grates, or it’s the place where ploughs dump all the snow.
- Whenever a road is resurfaced mandate at least a paved shoulder, painted cycling lane or even better a segregated cycling lane.
- Launch awareness campaigns on the rights of cyclists, beginning a conversation to educate drivers. A good start would be the 1 meter passing law followed by at fault accident legislation when a motorist hits a cyclist. Make drivers tremble with fear if they were to ever hit a cyclist or pedestrian. The dutch put the onus on the driver to prove they’re not at fault when a driver collides with a child.
- When a new bike is sold in Ontario make sure it’s safe … ie. we don’t sell cars without lights, so why do we sell bicycles without them.
- Legislate away laws prohibiting cyclists on sidewalks of roadways where there isn’t a cycling lane (ie don’t make it illegal to be safe).
- Decrease speed limits t0 a maximum of 40km/hr in urban areas.
- Any urban roadway where the speed limit is more than 50km/hr should be accompanied by a segregated bicycle lane (thinking Homer Watson in Kitchener).