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.

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Bike the Creek 2022

Register for Bike the Creek, the 8th annual regional signature ride through Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga!

REGISTRATION OPEN #bikethecreek22

Bike the Creek is an awesome FREE community event held on June 18th. It raises awareness on the benefits of cycling and how active transportation is essential to building a healthy and sustainable community. Established in 2014, the event is planned with partners, BikeBrampton, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), City of Brampton, Town of Caledon and City of Mississauga. This event attracts over 1000 cycling enthusiasts and engages over 50 volunteers from the community.

Bike the Creek Cycling Jerseys:

Jakroo Canada virtual store is open for your Bike the Creek Jersey order! Our custom jerseys are on sale until May 12th 2:59am. Estimated delivery May 30th to your address, via FedEx. Signature required. Anyone can purchase an event jersey from Jakroo Canada Inc. at a cost of $61.00, available in youth, women and men sizes. Technical t-shirt available at $46.00. Great for a gift or for yourself! To see a 3-D sample of the Bike the Creek jersey, click here. Sizing chart available in the virtual store.

BtC 2022 jersey

Bike the Creek benefits

Whether you can ride 5 or 65 kilometres, this event is for you! It’s not a race. It’s a community party where you can enjoy nature, see friends, make new ones and enjoy yourself. Kids can try out the Bike Rodeo.

Bike the Creek 2020 map

Visit our booths at Jim Archdekin, and stop at the pavilions along the way. Here’s a small sample of sponsors and vendors, and there will be many more!

Bike the Creek 2020 sponsors

Stop to scan the QR code posters to learn about civic facts and BikeBrampton’s video safety tips!

Bike the Creek QR codes


2022 Bike the Creek delegation to Council

Dayle and David delegated on behalf of BikeBrampton to City of Brampton Council.

February Winter Walk to School Month

Celebrate, don’t hibernate! Walk to school this winter.

Whether we were born in Canada or came here later in life, it seems many of us don’t like Canadian winters. Did you know there is a scientific reason why winters make us feel so lethargic and unhappy?

It turns out the lack of light affects our brain’s ability to generate serotonin and melatonin, two chemicals that help regulate our sleep cycles, energy, and mood. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Lack of exposure to full-spectrum natural light also reduces the body’s production of vitamin D, a chemical necessary for calcium absorption. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to many diseases including, breast, colon, and prostate cancers, heart disease, depression and weight gain.

Low levels of vitamin D in children are related to rickets which causes soft, poorly formed bones. Children can also experience SAD and the affects can be similar to clinical depression. This includes negative thinking, changes in sleeping or eating, and lower overall energy. Loss of concentration is another symptom, which may affect the child’s school results.

For many children and teenagers, an effective antidote to SAD and low vitamin D levels is to get outside and absorb the natural light. Even 30 minutes of winter light exposure per day on the face can generate sufficient levels of vitamin D, serotonin, and melatonin.

The World Health Organization recommends children and adolescents aged 6 through 17 get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily to maintain healthy bones and muscles. But, according to the Region of Peel, fewer than half of Peel’s kids are getting the minimum amount of daily activity. And 27% are overweight or obese.

Walking or riding to school and back, at least some of the days of the week, may be the simplest and easiest solution to these related problems. It builds physical activity into the child’s daily routine which supports better mental health outcomes, higher concentration abilities and better academic performance.

February is Winter Walk Month and there is no time like the present to put your child on the “Road to Health”! Encourage them to walk or ride. Walk with them if you have the time or join with a group of parents to form a walking school bus or bike train. Who knows, you may find that winters become enjoyable for both you and your family!

Visit Ontario Active School Travel, or Walk + Roll Peel for more information about walking and riding programs in Peel.

What’s walking and riding to school have to do with the environment? Well, 20-25% of Peel’s morning and afternoon vehicle traffic is from children being driven to school. Increasing the amount of walking or riding will decrease vehicular traffic which is the single biggest producer of carbon emissions in Brampton.

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


Williams Parkway Widening Issue

BikeBrampton encourages residents support Option 3 for Williams Parkway to remain 4 lanes with multi-use path, treed landscaped showing sustainability leadership for Climate Emergency, 2040 Vision and Active Transportation Master Plan. Ask the Mayor and your Councillors to vote for Option 3, by sending your letter prepared by the David Suzuki Foundation.

City of Brampton Staff is proposing to widen Williams Parkway between McLaughlin Road and North Park Drive from 4 to 6 lanes, as planned since 2004. The latest collective knowledge about vibrant city planning, Brampton’s Active Transportation Master Plan (2019), Brampton’s 2040 Vision (2018), and Brampton’s declared Climate Emergency (2019) have cast a much different light on what was logical in 2004, Brampton’s Transit and Transportation Master Plan (2009) and the Environmental Assessment (2011).

Council passed a unanimous motion to pause Williams Parkway road widening

Council passed a Motion on October 23, 2019 to request Staff review options and opportunities for managing traffic congestion due to growth and for maximizing people-moving capacity management opportunities, improvements to active transportation (walking, cycling) and transit infrastructure and services, and operational interventions and improvements, in particular at intersections.

Council Workshop on Williams Parkway Options

Staff returned with a Council Workshop on June 15, 2020, recognizing that “Brampton is at a pivotal point in development”, “we cannot keep doing things the same way” and there are “contrasting views on increasing people moving capacity vs. congestion”. Because “Williams Parkway is the first of several previously identified 6 lane widening projects currently pending”, it is critical that we make the right decision for the growth that Brampton will experience and for our limited time to plan for climate change. Council Workshop Presentation

Option #3 narrows Williams Parkway existing 4 lanes – best choice


It creates more space for the multi-use path and additional trees, shrubs, and a park-like setting. It offers the best solution for encouraging AT with safety, comfort and protection for vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians. Narrowed lanes calms the traffic speeds. This option is most aligned with Brampton’s 2040 Vision, the Active Transportation Master Plan, and Brampton’s declaration of a Climate Emergency.

This is Brampton’s Chance to demonstrate Sustainability Leadership

The Williams Parkway project is our opportunity to make sure that Brampton’s urban planning is in line with our more recent publicly supported plans. It is a watershed decision that will impact the other proposed road expansions to 6 lanes and indicates that Brampton is a sustainability leader. Please complete the online survey which can be found here

Send a letter to Mayor Brown and your Councillors by following this link to a letter prepared by the David Suzuki Foundation.

Staff recommended Option #1 (not unanimous across Staff departments)


Option #1 would proceed with widening 4 lanes to 6 lanes of traffic, providing HOV and transit in the curb lanes. The sidewalk would be removed, and a 3 m. multi-use path for shared cycling and pedestrians would be added to both sides of the road, extending to the sound barrier. Virtually all the green landscaping and trees would be removed, leaving an asphalt corridor. This road is not designated for bus rapid transit. We are not in favour of this option for the following reasons:

Issues with Option #1

1. Induced Demand Effect on Congestion

Induced Demand is a concept well understood by planners since 2011, yet often ignored in traffic demand modelling. It means that building more traffic lanes won’t alleviate congestion. A bigger road offers more supply and this makes driving more attractive, which encourages people to get behind the wheel. Traffic does not get better. When Houston expanded their freeway to 26 lanes at a cost of $2.8 billion, over the next 3 years traffic actually became worse and travel times increased by 30% in the morning commute and 55% in the afternoon. The cost of widening roads is neither an effective use of tax dollars, nor is it good for the environment. Video demonstrating Induced Demand.

2. Trees & Green Spaces – Brampton’s 2040 Vision

Option #1 give the appearance of an asphalt and concrete thoroughfare. Brampton’s 2040 Vision #1 stated that “Brampton will be a mosaic of sustainable places, sitting in an interconnected green park network, with its people as environmental stewards – targeting ‘one-planet’ living.”

3. Safe, Comfortable Active Transportation Infrastructure

Brampton’s 2040 Vision #4 stated that “Brampton will be a mosaic of safe, integrated transportation choices and new modes, contributing to civic sustainability, and emphasizing walking, cycling, and transit”. Brampton’s ATMP also emphasizes Complete Streets and the need for an integrated AT network, sustainable community design and global best practices. Option #1 will not give either cyclists or pedestrians the feeling of comfort between a faster moving HOV lane and the tall sound barrier. Crossing six lanes of traffic is less compatible with Vision Zero.

4. Explore other options for replacing or using Development Charges

The Workshop and the survey assert that DC funding makes Option #1 the most economical for the Brampton taxpayer. This may not be the only solution to selecting the best option.

5. COVID-19 potential changes to Traffic Demand

The traffic demand modelling does not account for potential changes due to COVID-19. There might be permanent drops in traffic as more people continue to work from home. Certain businesses may not reopen.

Option #2 keeps Williams Parkway existing 4 lanes


Option #2 changes the sidewalk to a multi-use path for pedestrians and bikes. There is more of a green landscaping buffer between the vehicles and the path. This option is preferable to Option #1 in our opinion.

We therefore request support for Williams Parkway Option #3.

Make your Voice Heard – Complete the Survey before Aug 1st

Please complete the online survey which can be found here

COVID19 Bike Network Map

Brampton’s new COVID-19 bike network interactive map shows loops for planning essential grocery, pharmacy and medical trips from the interim bike lanes along Vodden Street and Howden Boulevard.


Mayor Patrick Brown unveiled the new map in City Hall on Apr 22nd. The press conference was covered by CP24 TV with this video link. Mayor Brown said in response to a question, “in this term of Council, you are going to see record investment in active transportation because we believe in it… cities are for people not cars”.

Look for Mayor Brown’ remarks starting at the 11:10 mark in the video link, where he unveils the map. Following that, is the announcement by Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon and remarks by the lead Councillor on the file, Rowena Santos. David Laing, Chair of BikeBrampton made his remarks (shown below) starting at the 14:53 mark. Subsequently, Mayor Brown took questions from the media.

Brampton Interim Bike Lanes – bicycle-friendly loops interactive map

The above Brampton bicycle-friendly loops map can be accessed online from City of Brampton’s website. It is an interactive GIS map that can be zoomed in for more detail. The tags on the right margin are map layers that can be clicked and unclicked to pinpoint the essential services that are located along the network loops from the interim bike lanes. You can use the interactive map for planning your essential trips.

David Laing’s remarks at Brampton City Hall press conference:

“My name is David Laing, chair of BikeBrampton, representing the cycling community. Today marks the 50th anniversary of first Earth Day celebration. It is therefore fitting that, while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a crisis felt around the world, it is also today providing a catalyst for what may be lasting and positive change that may well help us avert the worst effects of a climate catastrophe the likes of which would make COVID-19 pale by comparison.

The interim bike lanes provide a long-awaited and much needed safer cycling corridor for those needing to travel east – west through the City’s centre. The maps combine with this spine to create an active transportation network along less busy roads that will connect people to places where they work, buy groceries, buy medications, and avail themselves of other essential products and services.
This past Monday, I saw a cyclist in the bike lane riding on Vodden, west of Centre St. It was interesting that when he got to the end of the bike lane at Ken Whillans Drive, he immediately reverted to the sidewalk, which is both illegal and makes it impossible for him to practice safe social distancing with other cyclists and pedestrians.

I want to thank City staff, especially those in Transportation Planning and Traffic Services, for moving heaven and earth to get the lanes and the maps done quickly and efficiently. I’ve learned there is much more to this process than painting a few signs and dropping some construction barrels on a road!

In this time of hardship and social isolation, when we are frightened for our own health, and that of loved ones, and when so many are without a pay cheque, I want to thank Mayor Brown, Councillor Santos and the rest of Council for providing decisive leadership, for being empathetic to our situation, for recognizing how important it is for us to be able to be outside for exercise and recreation, for recognizing the need to provide more public space to allow for proper physical distancing for walkers and cyclists and for recognizing the need to provide us with transportation options that will both save us money and increase our chances of staying healthy.”

Mayor Patrick Brown said, “I’m glad Brampton is a leader in active transportation and I hope other cities will follow.”

Previous blog posts on COVID-19:

COVID19 Interim Bike Lanes


Cycle in COVID-19 Times

BikeBrampton Cycling Tips Videos

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



Your BikeBrampton friends are working with Mayor Patrick Brown, Regional Councillor Rowena Santos and City Staff on solutions for healthy safe active transportation during this pandemic.

Some of us need to go out to work. Those not in isolation, need to get out for groceries, medicine, and exercise and need guidance on COVID-19.

Region of Peel is experiencing a 33% reduction of vehicular traffic volume according to Manager, Transportation and System Planning.

Google published traffic tracking movement data that shows workplace traffic in Canada is down 44% on average. There is an opportunity to re-purpose this underutilized road space for pedestrians and cyclists. Financial Post

We are noticing anecdotally that more people are using Brampton trails for walking and cycling. As the weather warms, this will put more pressure on the trails, making it more difficult to safely keep 2 metre (6 foot) physical distancing. It is therefore urgent that we come up with a plan.

Research – what are other cities doing in response to COVID-19?

Effective Monday Apr 6th, City of Winnipeg is expanding bicycle and active transportation routes to help with social distancing requirements during the pandemic. Global News Vehicular traffic restrictions will be implemented along four city streets. Winnipeg Public Works announcement

During Mar 28th weekend, the City of Calgary closed traffic lanes. Jose Rodriquez, leader of Public Relations and Media said, “We have proactively closed some traffic lanes so that people can get the physical distance we have repeatedly stressed the importance of”. Mayor Nenshi cautioned residents not to [use] the openings as an opportunity for a street party. Nenshi advised people to stay away from places where people usually congregate and indicated that he would open additional spaces in order to prevent the paths from becoming overcrowded. Six streets in the City were affected by these closures. Global News

Closing Streets to Create Space for Walking and Biking During COVID-19 Webinar Apr 2nd YouTube

Melvin Carter, Mayor of St. Paul Minnesota, Mar 27th announced three roadway closures in response to resident requests for more outdoor room to effectively engage in social distancing. Mayor Carter said, “As an avid runner with a newborn daughter at home, I know that getting outdoors is critical to our well-being — if we can do so responsibly,”. “Our increasingly crowded sidewalks, trails and bikeways demand new spaces and new conversations to ensure we can all safely get out and about.” Twin

Jim Filby Willams, Duluth Minnesota’s director of public administration indicated on Apr 2nd, that more road closures were possible. “Duluth sees this as a wellness issue with residents being at home more than usual and needing regular outdoor forays for their mental health”, Williams said. “Our present focus is getting the community through this crisis physically and emotionally. Our goal is not risk elimination but risk management. It would be impractical and foolhardy to try to eliminate all risk by cooping everyone up.” Twin

In Philadelphia, road closures are seen as a no-brainer. A portion of the city’s Martin Luther King Drive on Mar 20th was closed indefinitely, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With recreational-trail traffic quadrupling “and all those folks being concentrated, it was impossible, really, to keep that safe distance,” said Sarah Clark Stuart, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. “Everyone was happy and pleased that this could be done so quickly.”

Bogata Columbia Mayor Claudia Lopez said: “The bicycle being an individual means of transport, represents one of the most hygienic alternatives for the prevention of the virus, especially [when] it is recommended to avoid close contact and crowds.” British Columbia Cycling Coalition

British Columbia Cycling Coalition has published a thorough and well researched policy statement on their website regarding COVID-19 and Active Transportation. They cite research related to the health risks associated with confinement during times of anxiety and the ability of physical activity to reduce that risk. It states: “While the patterns of movement and personal interactions must change to slow the spread of the virus and flatten the curve, walking and cycling remain preferred options for any required travel; in particular, active transportation can help us all meet Canada’s physical activity guidelines.” #ridealone British Columbia Cycling Coalition

Richard Florida, Professor at University of Toronto’s School of Management and School of Cities, wrote on Apr 4th: “During this crisis we have all learned that we can be outside for walks or bike rides. Biking and walking will be our safest way to get to and from work. Bike lanes should be expanded, and bike and scooter sharing programs should be, too. Some cities are already pedestrianizing crowded streets to promote social distancing. It makes sense to keep such changes in place for the long haul”. Globe and Mail

What does C.O.V.I.D.1.9 mean?

Shout out to Alina for this clever little acronym (initialism)!

Share your Ideas!

Share your constructive positive suggestions by emailing

We will forward suggestions and keep you updated as the Brampton response develops.

Most recent blog post on Cycling in COVID-19 times

Cycling in COVID-19 times

Cycling in COVID-19 times

We are looking for clear direction and the nature of this pandemic is such that rules keep changing. Peel Public Health and our municipal governments are the constant for reliable advice for our local community.

COVID-19 effect on Community Cycling Program (CCP)

While we adjust to the “new normal” for cycling in COVID-19 times, we will be facing restrictions such as ‘social distancing’ (or ‘physical distancing’). There are potential silver lining opportunities to make ourselves healthier by safely cycling more and adjusting the infrastructure to make cycling safer.


The COVID-19 pandemic has suspended all CCP programs and events in Caledon and Brampton. Peel Public Health is discouraging even small gatherings of people, so it is not possible to organize Pedalwise single protégé or group rides. Our partners have closed all their venues, so it is not possible to open the Brampton Bike Hubs or Caledon Bike Hubs and operate BikeWrx sessions or seminars. Peel Public Health has informed us not to expect an easing of restrictions for several months. It may be well into the fall before life returns to anything that could be classified as “normal”.

Recreational cycling has already been banned in parts of Europe, and our local political leaders have indicated regulations here could become tighter. Brampton and Caledon parks have just been shuttered. Cycling in Brampton and Caledon is still legal but that could change if Peel residents do not demonstrate better social distancing compliance.

Existing trails and open roads present a safety challenge for cycling activities in maintaining social distance. Most multi-use paths are too narrow to allow either cyclists or pedestrians to pass with a 2-metre buffer. The roads require single file travel but bunch up could occur at intersections. Added to the possibility of disease transmission is the risk associated with injuries. Cyclists’ falls requiring medical assistance will put unwanted load on the already overburdened healthcare system.


Countering this push for more restrictions, is the realization that outdoor physical activity is an imperative for on-going physical and mental health and well-being. Cycling for transportation has the added benefit of being safer than public transit from a physical distancing perspective. It also offers a cost-effective option for marginalized workers. There is a significant risk to discouraging walking and cycling and the urgency increases the longer the public lock down is in place.

The risks and benefits need to be balanced and actions weighed accordingly. Toronto and Vancouver are currently looking at barring motorized vehicles along certain streets in urban neighbourhoods to allow more public space for pedestrians and cyclists to spread out and maintain social distancing.

If the municipalities and the Region could follow Vancouver and Toronto in closing certain streets to motorized vehicles, the CCP could then host events, seminars, DIY bike repair workshops and Pedalwise mentoring activities that would make effective use of this freed public space.

Considering the fluid situation, it is difficult to put definitive plans in place. We are investigating options that will facilitate at least some form of Community Cycling Program presence in Brampton and Caledon during the COVID-19 crisis. We have had discussions with Brampton Regional Counsellors and Staff on strategies that will encourage cycling that conform to social distancing guidelines, both for transportation and recreational purposes. We are in contact with Peel Public Health and have received guidance on sterilization of our tools and equipment.

Even if events and activities cannot be run until the fall, some program elements can be offered virtually through videos or interactive online chat rooms. We are also looking at ways that we can strengthen our social media profile and encourage safe “solo” riding activities.

Once the height of the crisis has passed, we still expect the public will be reluctant to gather indoors for fear of contagion. Depending on when restrictions are relaxed and, assuming the weather is still conducive, we are looking to start the resumption of Bike Hub activities, first in outdoor spaces. Hopefully the crisis will be well past once the snow flies and we can resume regular services at that time.

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.