Summarizing 5 Years of Community Cycling in Peel Region

Peel Region Publishes a Retrospective Analysis of its Community Cycling Program in Brampton, Caledon & Mississauga.

Like many communities in the Greater Toronto Area, Peel Region faces multiple challenges. Inflation is putting a squeeze on household finances, traffic volumes threaten to swamp available road space, health issues related to the pandemic and to sedentary lifestyles are threatening to overburden healthcare systems. And a rapidly changing climate is wreaking havoc on local and worldwide weather patterns, causing untold suffering and threatening to overwhelm disaster relief systems. Increasing bicycle use is one important way to positively impact all of these issues, especially if the bike ride replaces a car ride to shorter-distance destinations.

With most people in Peel not getting enough daily exercise, bicycle riding is an effective, low-impact form of physical activity that improves fitness and helps with weight loss. Using a bicycle for short-range trips instead of a car, helps people to be more physically active without having to schedule it or pay for it.

Bicycles represent a very efficient and low-cost form of transportation. Bicycles are six times faster than walking and are 90% less expensive to own and operate than a car. With proper knowledge, bicycles are simple to maintain in top working order. And, with proper care and suitable clothing, bicycles will last for many years and can be ridden all year long.

Environmentally, a bicycle produces no carbon emissions or polluting particulates. Bicycles take up less road space than a car and are less damaging to road pavement. The more bicycles replace car trips, the less congested roads become, the safer roads become, and the cheaper roads become to build and maintain.

So encouraging more people to ride bicycles is a good thing for everyone in the community, even those people who don’t ride. Since 2015, the Region of Peel’s Community Cycling Program has helped thousands of Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga residents become safer, more proficient cyclists both for transportation and recreation. The program offers a range of free services including, bicycle loans, bicycle repair training and bicycle riding mentorship. Participants in the program have saved money, improved their health, increased their confidence and skill and better connected with their communities.

Peel recently completed a retrospective analysis of the program’s results over the 5 years it has been operating since the first pilot project began in Brampton in 2015. The full report can be accessed here. The report concludes the Community Cycling Program has successfully increased access to cycling, increased cycling skills and knowledge, and made cycling in the Region a normative behaviour by creating a cycling community. Peel is now evaluating how the program fits into its integrated transportation plans for the future. Let’s hope it will come up with an approach that will expand the program and provide long-term stable funding.

Brampton endorses historic energy plan

Brampton Council endorses historic energy plan, including 7% mode share for active transportation to meet 2041 targets.

City of Brampton Council unanimously passed motion to support the Community Energy and Emissions Reduction Plan (CEERP), and to initiate the creation of Community Centre for Energy Transformation (CCET).

This will position Brampton as a community leader in the fight against climate change.

Brampton Energy Transition CEERP

Community Energy and Emissions Reduction Plan 2020 Report

CEERP provides a path for the City to be environmentally sustainable while providing significant economic, social and health benefits to City residents.


Benefits of CEERP

According to a 2016 energy audit, almost 80% of the City’s carbon emissions come from transportation, (mostly private vehicles) and from energy inefficient homes.

Brampton Energy Emissions by Sector

As part of the CEERP, Brampton Council has adopted aggressive targets for greenhouse gas reductions, especially in these areas.

Brampton 2041 Targets - Transportation

Brampton 2041 Targets - Energy

The CEERP calls for the City to implement 6 priority projects within the next 5 years.

CEERP Priority Projects

Priority Project # 6 is particularly exciting. The Community Centre for Energy Transformation will be a not-for-profit entity independent from the City. This will operate independently from the City and not be subject to City restrictions or changes with Council priorities.

Regular readers of BikeBrampton blogs will recall that the CCET is the revised name for Institute for Sustainable Brampton, which was reported in our Jan 13, 2019 blog post.

CCET Collaboration

The CCET will support community wide projects by accessing funding from both the government and private sectors. It will allow the City to create thousands of well-paying green jobs and help repatriate a large portion of the billions of dollars that are currently leaving the community through energy costs to large multinationals and through energy waste.

Most important to active transportation advocates and enthusiasts is that it will provide for more funding and programming to encourage walking and cycling in the City of Brampton.

City of Brampton media release


COVID19 Interim Bike Lanes

To help protect the health and safety of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, City of Brampton is implementing interim bike lanes along the Vodden Street corridor. These routes will provide an alternative cycling option to recreational trails for residents, and allow cyclists to maintain physical distancing.

(photo credit: City of Brampton)

As of Saturday, April 18, Brampton is temporarily closing off curb lanes to vehicular traffic along the following sections of road and repurposing the lanes for bicycle use only:

  • Vodden Street – Ken Whillans Drive to Howden Boulevard
  • Howden Boulevard – Vodden Street to Central Park Drive

These sections of road, referred to as the ‘Big Ask’, are a part of the planned East-West Cycling Corridor connection as proposed in the  Active Transportation Master Plan. The City is working to implement permanent protected bike lanes on these streets in line with the Brampton 2040 Vision and the Streets for People Term of Council Priority.

Vehicular traffic in Peel Region is down 33 per cent as a result of COVID-19, giving the City a unique opportunity to showcase a part of the planned East-West Cycling Corridor to provide cyclists a safe connection to essential amenities and the City’s trail network.

The ‘Big Ask’

In collaboration with City Staff, Bike Brampton and the Bikeport by Kevin Montgomery developed the “Big Ask” Report. It was delegated to Committee of Council on Apr 3, 2019. The Vodden Street corridor was the east-west route selected for bike lanes. See Agenda pages 29-62 for the delegation slides and pages 63-116 for the report. Report pdf link also below. Youtube of delegation starts at 52 minutes and ends at 1:38.45. Vodden Street Cycling Staff report went back to Council, May 29, 2019.

2019 Active Transportation Big Ask Report FINAL


“As we continue to navigate this unprecedented time, our residents remain our top priority. I am proud to say that Brampton is reconfiguring streets and repurposing traffic lanes to give cyclists and pedestrians more room to maintain physical distancing. I encourage people to continue to follow physical distancing recommendations and remain as active and healthy as possible under these trying circumstances.” – Patrick Brown, Mayor, City of Brampton

“Brampton believes in promoting, supporting and implementing active transportation to keep our city moving. Given this Covid-19 emergency, we must now more than ever ensure that pedestrians, cyclists, and cars maintain a safe distance apart. As a cyclist myself, I am proud of our collaborative efforts with the community to make these temporary bike lanes happen and we look forward to implementing permanent solutions in the near future.” – Rowena Santos, Regional Councillor, Wards 1 and 5; Member, Cycling Advisory Committee

“The City is temporarily reallocating road space for cyclists to keep residents healthy and active while maintaining physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. With less traffic on our roads, we hope to provide a positive and safe experience for anyone wanting to ride a bicycle during this time.” – David Barrick, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Brampton

“In this time of isolation, an important part of how my wife and I maintain our physical and mental wellbeing is by riding our bikes to buy essentials and for exercise. I am grateful to Mayor Brown, Councillor Santos, all of Brampton Council and City staff who understand the need and are dedicating important public space for a bike lane that will reduce the pressure on pathways, so we can all get outside while meeting the requirement for physical distancing.” – David Laing, Chair, BikeBrampton

Interim Bike Lane FYI

General Information

  1. Public health authorities advise that moderate exercise can help keep our immune systems stronger.
  2. The temporary bike lanes are intended to provide a safe space for people of all ages and abilities who want to ride a bike for exercise, or to access essential services such as grocery stores, pharmacy, medical appointments, and essential jobs.
  3. The temporary lanes have been set up to relieve pressure on crowded recreational trails.
  4. Only bikes with wheel bases below 50cm (children’s size bikes) are allowed to be ridden on sidewalks in Brampton.
  5. When using the road, cyclists are subject to the same rules as motor vehicle drivers.

Using the Interim Lanes

  1. The temporary bike lanes are one-directional. Ride on the right side of the road in the same direction as traffic, and obey all traffic signs and signals.
  2. Cyclists must keep a safe distance, a minimum of 2 bike lengths if from different households.
  3. Passing another cyclist should be avoided, unless you can safely move out into the lane of traffic to clear the cyclist in front of you while maintaining a width of 2 metres (6 feet).
  4. Use hand signals to indicate your intention to left or right, and to stop.
  5. Do your shoulder check before you make a turn to make sure the way is clear.
  6. Beware of drivers entering and exiting driveways. They may not easily see you. Slow down and be prepared to stop quickly.
  7. Even when you have the right of way with a green light, pay attention to your surroundings and do not assume that others will stop at red lights.
  8. Especially pay attention at intersections to make sure that drivers are not turning right. Remember, they may not see you.
  9. Sound your bell. By Ontario law, you should have a bell or horn.
  10. If you need to stop somewhere other than at an intersection, signal your stop and pull over, up onto the curb, so you can safely let other cyclists pass you keeping the physical distance.

COVID 19 Precautions

  1. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you.
  2. Wash your hands before you start your trip.
  3. If you touch a signal crossing button, use your elbow, not your hand.
  4. If you need to cough or sneeze, use your arm or sleeve. Do not spit or blow your nose without a tissue
  5. Clean your bike frame with a soapy cloth at the end of the ride.
  6. Wash your hands when you finish your trip.

BikeBrampton working with Brampton Council & Staff

We would like to thank Mayor Patrick Brown and Councillor Rowena Santos (Council representative for Brampton Cycling Advisory Committee) for their support and leadership. Staff has moved mountains to implement these interim lanes quickly during the pandemic. A special thanks to Transportation Planning, who sees the ‘big picture’ of Complete Streets for all in Brampton.

Special thanks to Traffic Services for installing the bike lanes. (photo credit: Lisa Stokes) They also changed traffic signals along the route to automatically display ‘walk’ with the green light — less need for us to touch the ‘beg’ button! They are continuing to install more signage and monitor the spacing of cones.

This curb ramp makes entrance and exit off the Etobicoke Creek Trail safer than ‘bumping down’ from the high curb. These ramps, along with signage and yellow bollards, are located at all the trail openings adjacent to the new bike lanes. Approach with caution to get the angle right!

As the weather warms, there will be increased use of Brampton extensive system of pathways. These bike lanes will help relieve pressure on the paths, as well as make it easier to cycle for essential trips to groceries, pharmacies and medical centres. Exercise is an important component of our physical and mental health. Cycling may be a preferred option for short trips to essential work and help workers get fresh air instead of taking transit.

Additional Resources

City of Brampton Media Release – Apr 17, 2020

City of Brampton Temporary Bike Lanes Information

City of Brampton Active Transportation Plan – endorsed by Council Sept 23, 2019

City of Brampton East-West Cycling Corridor Project

Need refresher skills to use your bike with confidence?

Check out the Brampton Bike Hub, part of the CCP (Community Cycle Program), operated by BikeBrampton and PCHS on behalf of Region of Peel. We are operating virtually right now. We have a bike lending library. Check back with us for borrowing a bike, as we are out of bikes now.

Bike Lane Tips Video

Brampton ATMP

The Active Transportation Master Plan was endorsed by City of Brampton on Sept 25, 2019.

The City’s first ever Active Transportation Master Plan provides the network plan, policies and programs to support Brampton’s 2040 Vision for a mosaic of safe, integrated transportation choices and new modes, contributions to civic sustainability, and emphasizing walking, cycling, and transit. 

Brampton Active Transportation Master Plan Full Report

Active Transportation (walking, cycling and other self-propelled mobility options) presents one of the greatest untapped opportunities for reducing single occupant vehicle trips, and for addressing a host of community design and public health issues. Incorporating global best practices in active transportation and promoting the concept of ‘complete streets’ and ‘sustainable’ community design is a guiding principle for the City’s planning and engineering efforts.

The Active Transportation Master Plan focuses on the implementation strategy for building a connected cycling and pedestrian network across the City (and connecting to neighbouring municipalities) to enable safer, more convenient travel by non-motorized modes, and to encourage cycling as a viable means of transportation for both recreational and utilitarian purposes for the general public.

BikeBrampton & BCAC members came out to support Brampton ATMP delegation, championed by Councillor Rowena Santos and Councillor Paul Vincente.

Region of Peel Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Jessica Hopkins sees the new ATMP as “an opportunity to promote the health of Brampton residents”. She delegated about the health issue of physical inactivity, where “62% of the adult population in Peel is overweight or obese and 1 in 6 adults has diabetes. Only 15% of adults and 7% of children in Canada meet the minimum requirements for daily physical activity.” Dr. Hopkins added that “more physical activity improves mental health and overall well-being. Reduced vehicle use improves air quality and respiratory health. Walking and cycling infrastructure investments improve road safety.”

MOH Dr. Jessica Hopkins delegating on Brampton ATMP.

Kevin Montgomery, BCAC Co-Chair delegated in support of the ATMP, suggesting the resources and funding requests be approved. The budget request for 20 years is comparable to a one-year budget for widening of 4 roads.

BCAC Co-Chair Kevin Montgomery delegating in support of ATMP

David Laing, BikeBrampton Chair delegated with a show of support for the Brampton ATMP, suggesting “funding requests as outlined by staff be approved and that staff take the appropriate steps to begin implementation”. David’s delegation

BikeBrampton Chair David Laing delegating in support of Brampton ATMP, as City of Brampton Active Transportation Manager Nelson Cadete looks on.

BikeBrampton has long awaited Brampton’s Active Transportation Master Plan. We congratulate City of Brampton staff, especially Nelson Cadete, Henrik Zbogar and Tamara Kwast for their dedication and expertise in working with IBI Group to create this excellent plan. We appreciate that they have encouraged the dozens of hours of input from BikeBrampton members.

Brampton Mayor Proclaims Bike Month

City of Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and Council delivered a Proclamation that “June is Bike Month” this past week. BikeBrampton was honoured to receive the proclamation on behalf of the cycling community.

Bike Month kicks off May 27th with Bike to Work Day

We cycle to Garden Square for breakfast at 7:30am to celebrate Bike to Work Day.

Brampton Community Rides

Brampton Cycling Advisory Committee and BikeBrampton volunteers lead 14 FREE guided Community Rides from May 26 to Sept 22nd. Your choice of 5km or 15km routes as you discover your city and have a free snack at the end, complements of Brampton!

Our first Community Ride this morning from Garden Square!

Bike to School Week – May 27th-31st

BikeBrampton is presenting cycling safety in assemblies, holding workshops at 10 different schools in Brampton. Region of Peel has surpassed their target with 188 schools registered!

Bramalea CycleFest – Jun 1st

BikeBrampton is pleased to help All People’s Church with their 5th annual Bramalea CycleFest, benefiting the Salvation Army Youth Shelter. BikeBrampton volunteers are leading 3, 6, and 12km routes.

TRCA Guided Bike Tours

Check out 3 Friday evening rides in June to cycle at Clairville Conservation Area, Chinguacousy Park and Rosalea Park. Registration FREE link

Bike the Creek – Jun 22nd

You cannot afford to miss our signature cycling event, Bike the Creek. Our 6th annual event is now Region of Peel-wide with partners TRCA, Brampton, Caledon, Mississauga and BikeBrampton. Register for one of the 4 FREE routes and do check out the details! Register by Jun 14th to ensure your free lunch, complements of Region of Peel.

See everyone out at Bike Month activities!

Institute for Sustainable Brampton

The ISB task force delegated to City of Brampton Committee of Council on Feb 13th. Link to Agenda

BikeBrampton’s main purpose is for the City of Brampton to become a more bicycle friendly community; one that encourages safe cycling for both transportation and recreation. A major milestone towards that goal was achieved in the spring of 2017 when the City was awarded Bicycle Friendly Community Bronze status by Share the Road Cycling Coalition.

This past spring the City took yet another step as City Council endorsed Brampton 2040 Vision: Living the Mosaic[1] The visioning process was one of the largest public consultations that the City has ever undertaken. Ideas were contributed by over 11,000 residents, including some members of BikeBrampton. Throughout the process it became abundantly clear, Bramptonians want a green and environmentally sustainable Brampton. As such, sustainability permeates throughout the Vision beginning with the first of seven building block vision statements.

Vision 2040 cover picture

“In 2040, Brampton will be a mosaic of sustainable urban places, sitting within an interconnected green park network, with its people as environmental stewards – targeting ‘one-planet’ living.”[2]

The 2040 Vision specifies the Institute for Sustainable Brampton (ISB) as THE vehicle to steward the City towards ‘one-planet’ living. One-Planet Living is a comprehensive standard by which people enjoy happy, healthy, vibrant living within their fair share of the earth’s resources, leaving space for wildlife and wilderness. It is based on ten guiding principles. The principle most dear to BikeBrampton members calls for reducing the need for travel and encouraging low carbon transport including walking and cycling.

10 principals of One-Planet Living

Its up to us as citizens to make Vision 2040 come to life. In the summer of 2018, members of Brampton’s Grow Green Network, a collection of environmentally focused organizations operating in Brampton (including BikeBrampton), formed the ISB Task Force with the objective of making the Institute for Sustainable Brampton a reality.

Brampton’s Grow Green Network meeting February 2018

The task force has drafted a white paper to:

  • Flesh out the ISB concept as outlined in the 2040 Vision document
  • Present a clear case for the need and priority for the ISB
  • Solicit feedback from residents and other city stakeholders on:
    • the stated goal for the ISB
    • its proposed structure
    • its strategic and operational role
  • Gain support for initial funding and next steps
  • Define priorities for the near, medium and long-term

Let us know your thoughts by sending a message to:


[2] Brampton 2040 Vision – Vision 1, ibid. p.21

Save The Date: Book Ride on April 29, 2018

The Reading Line has partnered with The Festival of Literary Diversity to offer a free Book Ride in Brampton on April 29, 2018.

A Book Ride is a literary festival on wheels. The Reading Line’s Brampton Book Ride is a social justice focused bicycle ride, in partnership with the Festival of Literary Diversity. The ride will move through portions of the city with stops in key locations where authors talk, read and answer questions from riders and attendees.

At the 2017 Ontario Bike Summit awards, Brampton achieved a bronze status designation, which recognizes a community that has launched several initiatives to promote a cycling culture. In recent years, the city has made investments in building a bicycle-friendly community and championing bicycling as a safe, healthy means of recreation and transportation.

The route will begin at South Fletcher’s Library and continue to downtown Brampton thanks to support from the Region of Peel. Along the way, local writers and authors who have appeared at the Festival of Literary Diversity will read from their books or perform poetry.

Please see these websites for more details:

The Reading Line

The Festival of Literary Diversity (The FOLD)



UPS to test cargo bikes for deliveries in Toronto | Toronto Star

Bicycle logistics are used around the world and has now been introduced in Canada. This could be very important as Pearson Airport undergoes redevelopment of its Master Plan. Short trips between logistics terminals and deliveries of smaller items could be well served by cargo bikes!

“Mayor John Tory said deploying cargo bikes could help ‘traffic nightmares . . . . It’s time we take a look at something like this, because it’s being done in Frankfurt, in Vienna, in Hamburg, in Rome.'”

Source: UPS to test cargo bikes for deliveries in Toronto | Toronto Star


New study of Toronto bike lanes shows they are good for business and safety