Cycling infrastructure to improve for Londoners
Credit: KERRA SEAY
With the addition of $325,000 to increase and improve London cycling infrastructure in the city, more Londoners will be able to bike safely.
The province has added funding of $10 million towards the improvement of cycling infrastructure throughout the province across 37 municipalities. The municipalities will be working towards developing infrastructure to increase safety and convenience for the cyclists. The funds will be invested to install or improve on-road, as well as off-road cycling lanes, cycling specific traffic signals, walking paths, bike racks and active transportation bridges.
The municipalities will be able to get 50 per cent of the local project costs to the maximum of $325,000 with the help of this funding.
“We at London Cycle Link advocate the need of cycling infrastructure to be well linked throughout the city. For example, to go to Fanshawe College, there is a route through Cheapside, which goes from a quiet neighbourhood, but there is no link to the Fanshawe downtown campus from the main campus for cyclists. We need more routes that are well linked with the city and also between cities for cyclists to be able to ride safely,” said Bonnie Lee, board member of London Cycle Link.
Sharrows are shared routes for cars and cyclists. They are safe for cyclists when the area has less car traffic and lower speed limits.
“We do not prefer sharrows since they are highly unsafe for cyclists at times. London has some sharrows where the speed limits are not too safe, making the cyclists feel insecure about using the bikes on the road,” Lee said.
According to government data, there have been 129 accidental deaths while cycling between the years 2006 to 2010.
The Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure program is working towards the #CycleON: Ontario's Cycling Strategy, which is a 20- year vision of the government to encourage the growth of cycling throughout the province by improving infrastructure and safety for cyclists.
“Investing in Ontario's cycling infrastructure will help keep our cyclists safe and encourage more people to ride a bike. Cycling helps reduce congestion in our cities and is good for our environment and our health,” said Kathryn McGarry, parliamentary assistant to Minister of Transportation.
The polling data released by the Provincial Bicycling Organization showed that 78 per cent Ontarians believe more people will cycle if there was better cycling infrastructure.
“The commitment made by the government is really going to improve the cycling culture in Ontario. After the roads are made, it is difficult to change them. But now we have an opportunity to keep advocating the changes required before they have been made. London Cycle Link does that and will keep doing the same,” Lee said.
With the improvement in infrastructure, Ontario is moving towards an eco-friendlier and healthier mode of transportation.