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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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

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.

Presentation: Active Transportation Master Plan!

The next Planning & Development Committee agenda for September 23, 2019 is available, and features a presentation on the Active Transportation Master Plan!

Nelson Cadete, Project Manager, Active Transportation, Transportation Planning, Planning and Development Services, will present a report and presentation on the Active Transportation Master Plan.

Overview of Report

The 2015 update of the Brampton Transportation Master Plan recommended that the City develop a comprehensive active transportation master plan to include information and recommendations on policies, programming, design standards and infrastructure, and to identify an implementation strategy.

The Brampton 2040 Vision calls for transportation and connectivity to be “a mosaic of safe, integrated transportation choices and new modes, contributing to civic sustainability, and emphasizing walking, cycling and transit.”

Supporting the Vision, the Active Transportation Master Plan (ATMP) states that “Through developing an integrated, attractive, and accessible system of sidewalks, cycling facilities and trails, Brampton will be a liveable city where all members of the community can safely and conveniently access places, goods and services and connect to transit using active modes of transportation.”

This report seeks Council’s endorsement of the Active Transportation Master Plan recommendations which are organized around the themes of “Connecting the Network,” “Design for Safety and Comfort,” “Providing Yearround Mobility,” and Developing a Walking and Cycling Culture.”

The proposed 2041 active transportation network has been costed at a value of approximately $126.6M. The resources and funding required to implement the ATMP will be identified and considered as part of the annual Capital Budgeting process, pending Council approval.

Funding of $4.9M is available for this initiative in the 2019 Capital Budget in support of Active Transportation project implementation.

If you are able, please attend this meeting to show your support for changing the face of transportation in Brampton!


Join BikeBrampton members at Greg’s Ride

This Fall, a group of us from BikeBrampton will be participating in Greg’s Ride on Sunday, September 22. We’ll be cycling from Brampton to Hamilton on Saturday, riding in Greg’s Ride on Sunday, then cycling home Monday. BikeBrampton’s participation in this annual event has grown from one rider in 2013 to our larger team of riders this year.

BikeBrampton chair David Laing, Dayle Laing, Share the Road founder Eleanor McMahon, Wayne Noble, Lisa Stokes at Greg’s Ride 2018

Who is BikeBrampton

We are a group of volunteers who have met monthly for the past 6 years, discussing and developing action plans for cycling advocacy in the City of Brampton and Region of Peel. With the help of our partners, we host the Brampton Bike Hubs, Caledon Bike Hubs, regular Community Rides (with BCAC), and our annual Bike the Creek event.

Brampton has been recognized by Share the Road as a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community and, of course, we aim for Silver! In February, we were asked to work with City staff to prepare a “Big Ask” for $1.75 million for new highly visible cycling infrastructure.

OPP Sergeant Kerry Schmidt with David Laing at Greg’s Ride 2016.

Why we participate in Greg’s Ride

The bigger provincial policy picture is something BikeBrampton discusses at our meetings. Some of us go to the Ontario Bike Summit annually to learn and to share. We also support the advocacy efforts of Share the Road and the advocacy objectives they raise funds for through Greg’s Ride:

  1. Every student in Ontario should have the opportunity to learn to safely ride a bike.
  2. All residents should feel safe and comfortable hopping on their bicycle.
  3. We want to see the province connected by a network of paths, bike lanes and paved shoulders. Those of us who have had the opportunity to participate in some cycle tourism, know just how important this network is for travel, commuting and recreation.

For us, making it safer and easier to ride a bike is also deeply tied to the need to address climate change.

Lisa Stokes, Wayne Noble (on the left) start Greg’s Ride 2018

Cycling and Climate Change

The City of Brampton joined 500 other municipalities around the world by declaring a Climate Emergency on June 5th.

Vancouver has been hailed as leading the way with its climate emergency declaration, that has created 6 new “big move” pollution reduction targets. What are the top two? Why, Active Transportation targets, of course.

  1. Walkable communities: By 2030, 90% of people live within an easy walk and roll of their daily needs.
  2. Safe and convenient active transportation and transit: By 2030, two-thirds of trips in Vancouver will be by active transportation and transit.

We know that when it comes to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions #BikesCanDoThat! And with transportation accounting for 30% of Ontario’s emissions, making cycling safer & easier needs to be part of local and provincial climate change action plans. Together with Share the Road, we’re working to make this happen.

BikeBrampton members are pleased to support Greg’s Ride as Share the Road’s major fund-raising activity, but it’s also a fun opportunity to ride alongside advocates from across the region and to chat all things cycling over food & drinks afterwards.

For registration and additional information about Greg’s Ride, visit If – like us – you’re riding as a group of 3 or more, contact for a 20% group discount code!

David Laing, Dayle Laing (on the right) start Greg’s Ride, 2018
Wayne, Dayle, Rani, Peter, Lisa, Tracy at Greg’s Ride 2018

See you there!

Our thanks to Share the Road, for first publishing this in their Greg’s Ride blog. Special thanks to Executive Director Jamie Stuckless, for her kind editing! #BikesCanDoThat

Community in Action

Bringing the 2040 Vision to Life

Sat May 11, 2019 9am-4pm, Brampton City Hall

The day will have a focus on Active Transportation, and how we can educate and inform the public on the benefits and opportunities that Active Transportation provides. We will have a workshop on Bicycle Friendly Communities as we attempt to advance from Bronze to Silver status.

Space is limited, so check out free registration before May 8th.

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

Brampton Bike Hub 1st Anniversary

Bike Cage Official Opening

A crowd of over 60 BikeBrampton members, Pedalwise mentors and protégés, and dignitaries gathered to celebrate the 1st anniversary of Brampton Bike Hub and the official opening of the bike cage at PCHS.

David Laing, BikeBrampton Chair, welcomed everyone with the following remarks:

“BikeBrampton almost had 3 levels of government representing 3 political parties to celebrate biking and active transportation… If you visit the Brampton Bike Hub virtually any Wednesday evening you may get the impression we are a small group with big ideas. What we do seems like we are enjoying ourselves, mostly talking, planning rides, planning routes, complaining about weather, roads and paths, and generally having a good time. We get people out of their cars and onto their bikes. Each of us is trying to do our part to reduce the 30% of Ontario’s carbon emissions coming from transportation… It’s getting easier being an early adopter in the suburban cyclist movement…But there are still too many stories of close encounters of the motorist kind and too many cyclists injured or killed on Brampton roads. We must do better…

I am grateful to partners like PCHS who provides us with support and free space and is quietly there for us. I am grateful to Vélo-Canada-Bikes having faith in letting BikeBrampton be part of the national coalition, and Environment and Climate Change Canada for funding our EcoAction project. I am grateful to Peel Public Health for the Healthy Living Supports grant which allowed us to build this bike cage. And I am grateful to Peel Public Works and the AT team who through their work, generated most of the ideas for the Pedalwise and BikeWrx programs we run in the Brampton Bike Hub.”

Judi Varga-Toth, Executive Director of Vélo-Canada-Bikes, travelled from Ottawa for our celebration. She wowed us with news that the Brampton Bike Hub success is the talk of the country!

Sonia Sidhu, MP Brampton-South, who sits on the Federal Health Committee, has been a great federal supporter of the active transportation work we do at BikeBrampton. She thoughtfully presented us with the following plaque. MP Sidhu rose in the House of Commons on Dec 13th with these Facebook video comments where she graciously acknowledged the volunteers at BikeBrampton.

BikeBrampton welcomed new City of Brampton Regional Councillors Wards 1&5, Rowena Santos and Paul Vincente to our official opening. We were honoured to receive their certificate.

MP Sidhu, David Laing, and Regional Councillors Vincente and Santos presented our EcoAction Carbon Challenge winners with their certificates.

Peel Public Health Manager Pat Bromby spoke of the physical and mental health importance of an active lifestyle. Their grant allowed BikeBrampton members Gerald, Peter, Steve and David to design, build and outfit this new bike cage.

Peel Public Works Commissioner Janette Smith conveyed her remarks, with thanks to everyone there and their on-going commitment with the new Community Cycling Program contract that will continue the Bike Hub, expand in Brampton and extend to Caledon.

Official ribbon cutting opens Brampton Bike Hub bike cage – photo by Bruce Marshall

David Laing; Janette Smith, Commissioner Public Works; Joe Avsec, Manager Traffic and Sustainable Transportation

Bike mechanics Steven and Gerald (Peter not in this photo)

A new protege family with 2 children, brought their kids for their bike loan fitting in the cage bike library… yes, following our ceremony!

We gathered for a pot-luck party afterward, in our usual Unit 108, 50 Sunny Meadow Blvd.

The enthusiasm in this crowd is not to be contained!

Check out our Video summary of successes this past year…

Onward, for more fun, carbon reduction and cycling in 2019! See you on the streets, trails, City Hall and at our Jan 16th winter pot-luck party….

Carbon Reduction Challenge

Winners of Pedalwise Summer/Fall Carbon Reduction Challenge announced

The purpose of the Carbon Reduction Challenge was to encourage Brampton Bike Hub’s Pedalwise protégés to use their bikes as often as possible to get to destinations.  The Challenge did its job and then some!

Congratulate the winners at the Official Opening of Brampton Bike Hub’s bike cage on Wed Dec 19th 6:30pm at 50 Sunny Meadow Blvd, Unit 108. Ceremony begins at 7pm in underground parking, accessed from main lobby elevator. Bike cage sponsored by Region of Peel ‘Healthy Living Supports and PCHS.

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding Program, as well as our partner agency PCHS, has made this Challenge possible. BikeBrampton also thanks all the Protégés, our dedicated volunteer Mentors, Bike Mechanics, CAN-BIKE instructor, Velo-Canada-Bikes, Region of Peel and City of Brampton. The Bikeport by Kevin Montgomery set up and analysed the Strava Brampton EcoAction Club data to determine the winners.


Carbon Reduction Challenge Winner Results:

From July 1st to October 31st,

    • Protégés logged over 480 trips
    • Cycled almost 8,000km
  • Displaced 2.5 tonnes of carbon!

10% Carbon Reduction Challenge Winners:

  • Jason, Heidi, Peggy, Ewa, Raquel

These protégés rode at least 10% more between July 1st to October 31st than they did between January 1st to June 30th. That was in terms of number of trips cycled and kilometres ridden. Even for those who cycled very little in the first half of 2018, the minimum challenge was 11 rides and 110km.

Grand Prize Distance Winners:

    • Jason 3,553km
    • Heidi 1,124km
  • Peggy 767km

These protégés cycled the farthest distance during the contest period.

Grant Prize Percentage Winners:

    • Ewa 810%
    • Alexandra 179%
  • Peggy 68%

These protégés really stepped up their game during the summer and fall, and cycled much more than they had in the first half of the year.

Brampton, Bicycle Friendly Community – Who Cares?

Do you care that City of Brampton was awarded Bicycle Friendly Community Bronze status in spring of 2017?

Probably not. The state of cycling in the City likely is not top of mind for most Brampton residents. Yet, the achievement of this award represents an important milestone, and not just for those who regularly bike in the City. Here’s why, according to David Laing, Chair of BikeBrampton.

Brampton currently faces a number of serious issues related to its rapid growth and land-use policies. With a population approaching 600,000 (according to the 2016 census), Brampton is Ontario’s 4th largest City being bested only by Toronto, Ottawa and Mississauga. With a growth rate of over 13%, it is also one of North America’s fastest growing Cities. Yet Brampton struggles with urbanization and its growth is mostly “out” not “up”.

Brampton’s population density is roughly half that of Toronto’s. Suburban sprawl means longer commute distances. Providing frequent and therefore convenient public transit is economically out of the question for all but the most densified routes. The result? Most people use single occupancy vehicles to get around. But the car centric culture comes with costs and a host of problems.

Driving everywhere means traffic demand quickly outstrips road infrastructure leading to congestion, long commute times and added stress. The costs of building and maintaining roads create a huge financial burden for the municipality. Development charge revenue from new homes doesn’t cover the costs of providing and supporting this infrastructure. The City’s growth, therefore, becomes an ever increasing burden on the existing tax base.

Driving everywhere means the population is being robbed of a significant opportunity for physical activity. Sedentary living increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and other heart, lung and circulatory diseases. It is not hard to draw a link between this inactivity and the fact that Brampton’s emergency care units are among the busiest in the country!

Driving everywhere means we are clogging the air with climate changing carbon emissions and disease causing pollutants. More than 30% of the carbon emissions in Ontario come from the transportation sector. Thousands of premature deaths in Ontario and thousands more hospital admissions are associated with breathing dirty air. Recent studies also link air pollutants with increased risk of contracting dementia related diseases. In summary, Brampton has major health and environmental problems related directly to its car-centric tendencies.

So what has traffic congestion, pollution and land-use planning to do with Brampton becoming a Bicycle Friendly Community? It means City staff and politicians recognize that Brampton’s future as a livable city depends on more people cycling. It means the City embraces cycling as a legitimate transportation alternative. And it means Brampton’s planners recognize they must develop higher density neighbourhoods that are walkable, bikeable and environmentally sustainable.

The Bicycle Friendly Communities Program measures capacity across five categories referred to as the 5 “E”s.

The first “E”, Engineering, or the physical infrastructure, represents the ability for residents to use a bicycle to get from place to place safely and conveniently. This may involve separated bike paths or bike lanes or it may involve on road, “paint on pavement”, markings like sharrows or urban shoulders. Working with its various partners, the City has opened new pieces of cycling infrastructure in the past few years including urban shoulders on many city streets, extensions to the Etobicoke Creek Trail both at the north and south ends. And, in the spring of 2018, the City opened the Franceschini bridge connection across the 410 just north of Williams Parkway dedicated solely for walking, cycling and other forms of Active Transportation.

Often pathways and existing secondary roads can be combined to form a comprehensive cycling network without huge investments. Properly designed, the network is one of the biggest factors in encouraging more cycling behaviour. In order to do so, it must meet three main criteria: Connectivity, convenience and safety. With the Active Transportation Master Plan due out by the end of 2018, Brampton is now well on its way to defining this type of cycle network.

Encouragement, the second “E”, is where Brampton excels. From virtually nothing five years ago, Brampton now boasts a whole range of cycling related events. Bike the Creek, Brampton’s signature ride, attracts hundreds of participants each June and showcases many of Brampton’s and Caledon’s natural and cultural heritage attractions. Bramalea Cyclefest, put on each spring by the All People’s Church, rides along the Chinguacousy trail and includes visits to Chinguacousy Park and Professor’s Lake. The Brampton Bike Hub hosts two programs, Pedalwise, a cycling mentorship program and Bikewrx, a basic bike repair skills program. And Brampton’s Cycling Advisory Committee continues to host a series of Community Rides starting at locations throughout the City. These rides always end at a local store for a complementary beverage or ice cream cone that delivers guilt free calories!

Peel Police kick off bike season with Neighbourhood Policing Unit (NPU) officers patrolling on bikes. They provide friendly enforcement on the paths and other areas not easily accessible by cruiser. Enforcement is the third “E” of the program,. And, with the introduction in 2016 of a law requiring motorists to pass cyclists leaving at least one metre of space, Peel officers have yet another enforcement tool they can use to make City roads safer.

In the winter season, NPU officers help out with the fourth “E”, Education as they promote cycling and walking safety by visiting schools throughout the Region. Brampton is also home to Peel Police’s Safety Village which helps elementary students practice skills in a safe environment. In 2016 Brampton’s Cycling Advisory Committee trained 6 new CAN-BIKE instructors. And Brampton Recreation continues to offer a range of cycling skills training courses, at attractive rates, for both children and adults.

The last “E” in the Bicycle Friendly Communities program is Evaluation. An extensive monitoring and measurement plan is part of the City’s Active Transportation Master Plan. Brampton is installing bike counters at strategic locations and collecting data from a mobile GPS tracking app that produces a cyclists’ heat map.

Becoming a Bicycle Friendly Community is a game changer for Brampton. There is no question that cycling popularity in the City is on the rise. And recent studies by Share the Road Cycling Coalition suggest that cycling activity will continue to increase as safe, convenient infrastructure is installed.

Increased cycling in Brampton will help to relieve some of the traffic congestion while at the same time making Brampton a healthier and more environmentally sustainable community. More cycling will help offset rising taxes, increase road safety and make our neighbourhoods more friendly and liveable.

These are just some of the great reasons why we should all care deeply that Brampton has received this Bicycle Friendly Community Bronze award!