Vodden St bike lane

BikeBrampton Celebrates 10 Years

The biggest change over the last 10 years is the culture shift. When we started BikeBrampton in 2013, seeing a cyclist was so rare we took a photo! Now we see cyclists every day!

People ride bikes not only for recreation on a weekend afternoon. They ride to work, to do errands, to visit friends and family. They ride in good weather and when it rains and snows. They ride on the trails. They ride on the roads. They ride on bike lanes. They even ride on sidewalks when they technically shouldn’t… However, that reflects education and how safe folks feel on the infrastructure that is continually improving.

When we started BikeBrampton there were fewer than 10 short bike lanes across the City. Bike lanes went from nowhere to nowhere and were strictly for traffic calming on over-engineered wide roads.

Brampton's PathWays Master Plan Vol 1

There was no Active Transportation Master Plan. We had the 2002 Pathways Master Plan that spoke to knitting “parks and valleys together [to] provide convenient pedestrian and cycling routes across Brampton”. This was considered a “bold step”, and indeed it was, as this was a progressive plan in its day! It described better “east-west connections” and accessibility to public transit. The City wanted pathways that are customer-driven, beautiful and valued.

Pathways Master Plan bike lane
The bike lane photo used in the plan was taken in Toronto, not in Brampton!

The 2002 plan mentioned the importance of developing pathways for all users, a maintenance regime, educating users about proper trail etiquette, and understanding the community volunteer base!

There were 89km of pathways in 2001. A public attitude survey by Environics showed 90% of respondents favoured “Brampton spending money to maintain, expand and improve the pathways system”. Benefits noted by those surveyed: health 51%, social & community pride 16% and preservation of nature and green spaces 14%.

Brampton 2002 existing pathways map
Brampton Pathways in 2001

Brampton AT Today

Fast forward to today! We have a Brampton Active Transportation Master Plan (2019), an Active Transportation Planning team, and an Active Transportation Advisory Committee.

Brampton has 217 km of multi-use pathways/trails, and approximately 50 km of bike lanes. The Brampton Trail and Bike Route Map was updated in 2022, and the City continues to install more lanes and update the map.

Brampton Trail Bike Route Map 2022

As roads are re-surfaced, the City has a ‘fix-it’ plan that replaces high curbs with tactile accessible depressed curbs. Green paint and bike boxes are being including now.

There have been numerous signalized pedestrian and cycle crossings at intersections and where trails cross roads.

Brampton AT Programming

BikeBrampton volunteers meet monthly to discuss our advocacy and programming. Meeting Minutes since April 2013

Brampton Community Rides have been running since 2016 with 14 rides from May to September, led by volunteers from the advisory committee and BikeBrampton.

We have a region-wide highly successful signature event, Bike the Creek, which after 8 years, registered 1,350 cyclists! One can cycle easily north to Caledon and south to Mississauga along the Etobicoke Creek Trail.

Since 2015, BikeBrampton with support from our community partners, first TRCA and subsequently PCHS, have run the Brampton Bike Hub & Caledon Bike Hub to deliver Pedalwise mentorship and BikeWrx basic bike repair programming. On Aug 18, 2022, we opened “Different Spokes“, the first region-wide do-it-yourself bike repair co-operative in downtown Brampton. With funding from Region of Peel and City of Brampton, we offer a bike lending library, mentorship and bike repair facilities and training. (Summarizing 5 Years of Community Cycling in Peel Region).

Different Spokes grand opening
Different Spokes grand opening, Aug 18, 2022

BikeBrampton has supported Bike to Work Day, CeleBrampton, Bike to School Week and so many events that it is impossible to count! We have taken our messages to Share the Road’s Ontario Bike Summits, Velo Canada Bikes’ National Bike Summit, University of Guelph and the CanU 6 Summit on Tactical Urbanism. We were there to support the City with their COVID-19 interim bike lane, a map to lock-down allowed destinations, and a video in English and Punjabi on how to use the interim bike lanes. We pivoted on a dime to turn our in-person bike hubs into BikeWrx pop-ups along Brampton and Caledon trails and to offer virtual zoom training.

BikeBrampton has a history of advocating and providing programming to encourage children to walk/cycle to school, with our Brampton Kids on Bikes project and our participation on Peel Safe and Active Routes to Schools Committee.

We have created a series of 9 Cycling Safety videos to help with educating road and path users.

The culture is changing indeed and we are really starting to see the results!

Wow, what a 10 year ride it has been — figuratively and literally!