With an entrance like this to a path along the Welland Canal, you'd be motivated too, to work on a comprehensive cycling plan.(photo Hans Moor).
The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario has been working hard on collecting ideas from stakeholders in the wonderful of cycling (including yours truly Ctizens for Safe Cycling) on how to improve cycling in Ontario. From long meetings came long lists and from long lists came an action plan.
In April 2014, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) released #CycleON Action Plan 1.0, the first Action Plan to implement #CycleON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy. Two of the key commitments (infrastructure and education) made as part of Action Plan 1.0 are to:
· Invest $10 million over three years to help municipalities improve cycling infrastructure; and
· Provide stakeholder partners with new funding to develop or enhance cycling skills training programs.
MTO has secured funding for both of these initiatives and begun drafting the programs. The Ministry’s next step is to consult the public on the draft program designs. This aligns with MTO’s intent to consult the public on elements of the Action Plan that the Ministry is responsible for delivering.
1. Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program
Building cycling infrastructure is important to achieving the Ontario Cycling Strategy’s vision for cycling in the province. Making investments in infrastructure helps promote safety for people who travel by bike and helps make it more comfortable and appealing for people to cycle for day-to-day travel, recreation and tourism. Cycling infrastructure can include pavement markings like sharrows, on-road bike lanes, separated cycling facilities, multi-use paths, cycling-specific signs and bike racks.
The MTO posted its ideas on program design on the Environmental Registry for public consultation. We invite you to comment on the draft program designs, particularly on the specific questions on which the MTO is seeking feedback. The comments they receive will help guide final program development. Comments will be accepted until October 31, 2014. You can find the postings and submit comments to 3 questions here.
We also encourage you to review the associated document entitled “Proposed Design of the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program”. You can find a link to the document in the Additional Information section of the posting.
2. Cycling Skills Training Funding Program
Many municipalities and community-based organizations currently offer cycling training programs. These programs range from teaching children how to ride a bike to coaching adults on how to cycle defensively. Ontario is committed to working with municipal and community partners to help increase cycling training. #CycleON Action Plan 1.0 commits to providing stakeholder partners with new funding to develop or enhance cycling skills training programs. This time-limited funding is part of Ontario’s Promotion, Celebration and Legacy Strategy for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.
This Environmental Registry posting provides information about the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) proposal to support cycling training delivered by stakeholders. It also includes a set of questions for public input. Based on feedback that it receives, MTO will finalize the process to apply for the time-limited funding. The financial support is expected to be up to $400,000 in total, launched by the end of 2014 and may be in place until March 2016, depending on budget approvals.You can find the postings and submit comments to 2 questions here.
Should you have any technical questions about the proposed programs, please feel free to contact the program leads listed in the Environmental Registry postings.
The deadline is October 31st, 2014.