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A Call on the Province to invest in cycling infrastructure

28 Apr 2016, Posted by Kevin Montgomery in Action Requests, Cycling Benefits - Economics, Cycling Benefits - Health, Ontario Cycling

Cycling Advocates Call on the Province to invest $200 million in cycling infrastructure over 4 years.

(From Share the Road)

At the 8th Annual Ontario Bike Summit, Share the Road, in partnership with Cycle Toronto, called on the provincial government to leverage the cap and trade program to offer $200 million in cycling infrastructure funding over 4 years.

BikeBrampton encourages you to support this recommendation by writing your own email. If you need a place to get started, we’ve included a copy below based on a letter Share the Road wrote to get started. Please let the province know that you support this ask and commitment to providing safer, more connected spaces to cycle.

Address your email to Minister Murray and the Queen’s Park All Party Cycling Caucus.

To: “Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of Environment & Climate Change” <gmurray.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org>, “Honourable Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation” <sdelduca.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org>, “Kathryn McGarry <kmcgarry.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org> “Eleanor McMahon, MPP” <emcmahon.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org>, “Norm Miller, MPP” <norm.miller@pc.ola.org>, “Michael Mantha, MPP” <mmantha-co@ndp.on.ca>

cc: info@sharetheroad.ca, info@cycletoronto.ca, info@bikebrampton.ca

Sample Letter

Dear Minister,

I am writing you to join Share the Road Cycling Coalition in recommending that the provincial cap and trade program be leveraged to provide $200 million for cycling infrastructure across Ontario over the next 4 years. This funding commitment will help to meet the goals set out in Ontario’s Climate Change Strategy, and contribute to meeting goals in the Province’s CycleON Strategy and Action Plan 1.0.

Road transportation accounts for 27% of carbon emissions in Ontario (David Suzuki Foundation). To meet the greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets outlined in Ontario’s Climate Change Strategy, the province must look at ways to cut private automobile travel, especially for trips under 5km. A life cycle analysis of the
environmental impact of various modes of transportation concluded that for each passenger kilometer travelled, bikes emit 92% less CO2 than cars (European Cyclists Federation 2011). Studies have also shown that increasing walking and cycling rates can lead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of between 11 to 14% (Maizlish et. al. 2013 and Mason et. al. 2015).

Increasing cycling can play an important role in meeting our climate change goals, but provincial investment is needed to incentivize communities further to make cycling a safer and more convenient mode of transportation. Ontario’s daily cycling mode share is currently 1%. An Ontario-wide poll also shows that 4.5% of Ontario residents ride a bike at least monthly and that 54% of Ontario residents want to cycle more than they do. Of those, 67% would be encouraged to cycle more if there were more and better cycling infrastructure available (Share the Road, 2014).

There is pent-up demand for cycling in Ontario and a need to give residents meaningful transportation options. There is also strong interest among municipalities in building and investing in cycling infrastructure, as demonstrated during the first funding round of the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program, which received 150 applications from municipalities.

Share The Road’s recommendation of $200 million for cycling infrastructure represents 0.6% of the province’s 10-year capital transportation budget. I believe that this is a necessary investment, especially in the context of provincial goals to support and promote cycling for all trips under 5km and to become the most bicycle-friendly place in Canada (CycleON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy). Over 4 years, this is also a fair share investment based on cycling’s current mode share. And with 68% of Ontarians in support of provincial investments in new cycling infrastructure, the potential to greatly increase cycling and reduce greenhouse gas emissions is significant.

This investment in cycling infrastructure will also complement the investments in public transit being made at both the provincial and federal levels. Cycling plays an important role in promoting public transit, helping Ontarians make the journey to and from the nearest transits stations, making transit more convenient and accessible.

I look forward to a safer, greener and healthier Ontario.

 

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