Since 2009, cycling stakeholders from across the province have gathered together at the Ontario Bike Summit to share best practices, be inspired, and show their support for continued provincial action on cycling and road safety. The event is hosted each year by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition, a provincial cycling advocacy organization. This year 3 delegates will be attending to represent Brampton.
This year’s summit theme is Just Add Bikes: the role of cycling in mobility and community building. More than 30 speakers from across North America will be looking at topics such as cycling and complete streets, partnership building and advocacy best practices. Summit highlights include a municipal leadership panel discussing Why Cycling Matters to Communities, as well as updates on provincial cycling priorities from The Honourable Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and The Honourable Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation.
“The Ontario Bike Summit is an opportunity for advocates and municipal elected officials to connect with provincial leaders about their cycling priorities,” says Jamie Stuckless, Executive Director of Share the Road. “We are seeing a growing commitment to safe cycling among leaders at all levels, and this is reflected in the continued growth of the Ontario Bike Summit. With 250 delegates expected in Toronto, this will be our largest summit to date.”
Over the past 9 years, the summit has also been a venue for the province to announce new cycling initiatives. This includes the 2014 launch of CycleON Action Plan 1.0, which set in motion a 20-year vision for making Ontario the most bicycle-friendly jurisdiction in Canada. This year’s summit will be an opportunity for BikeBrampton and the Brampton Cycling Advisory Committee to voice support for a $50 million investment in cycling infrastructure funding in the 2017 budget, as well as the launch of CycleON Action Plan 2.0 this year.
We know from Share the Road’s research that more than half of Ontario residents want to cycle more than they now do. Provincial leadership on the cycling file has been impactful in our community. Some notable projects that received support through OMCIP and Cycling Training Fund include the restoration of the Franceschini Bridge, the northern and southern extensions of the Etobicoke Creek Trail, and the training of new CAN-BIKE instructors that will be delivering cycling courses this year.
To learn more about the summit, visit www.sharetheroad.ca/OBS