Ontario Expanding Cycling Networks and Improving Safety
News from the Government of Ontario
Posted April 18th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
Queens’s Park, Toronto – Ontario is providing $662,000 to Niagara municipalities over the next two years to help build new cycling infrastructure through the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program.
Niagara Region will receive $325,000 to install a new 1.06 kilometre cycling and walking path that offers an off-road alternative to Merritville Highway and provides improved access to Brock University.
Fort Erie and The Niagara Parks Commission will receive $250,000 to improve a scenic, 3 kilometre long section of the Niagara River Recreation Trail, which forms part of the Greater Niagara Circle Route, the Trans Canada Trail network, the Waterfront Trail and the 475-km Greenbelt Route. This work includes a new off-road path for walking and cycling and a signed bicycle route on a shared roadway.
Niagara-on-the-Lake will receive $87,000 to construct a new 1.2 kilometre cycling and walking path alongside Niagara Stone Road. This work will separate cyclists from motor vehicles on a busy road and provide a safer route to two schools and to tourism destinations. The new path will also link to an existing cycling route to create a connection between the Old Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and the community of Virgil.
Last year, Ontario announced $10 million to help municipalities across the province improve cycling safety and invest in cycling infrastructure. Ontario is providing 50 per cent of eligible project costs, to a maximum of $325,000 and municipalities awarded funding under the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program will begin receiving funds in spring 2016. Eligible projects for funding include the installation or improvement of on-road cycling lanes, off-road cycling and walking paths, cycling-specific traffic signals and signs, active transportation bridges and bike racks.
The Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program is helping implement #CycleON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy, the government’s 20-year vision to encourage the growth of cycling and improve safety for cyclists across the province.
Investing in cycling infrastructure is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- Projects selected for funding most effectively aligned with the program objectives: improving connections between local cycling networks, promoting safety, enabling recreation and tourism, encouraging innovation, research and data collection, supporting partnerships and improving awareness of cycling as a viable transportation mode.
- Almost three million Ontarians hop on their bikes at least once a week during the spring, summer and fall and many cycle year-round.
“This is great news for Niagara Region municipalities. Investing in our local cycling infrastructure will help keep our cyclists safe and encourage more people to ride a bike. Cycling is good for our environment and our health. “ — Jim Bradley, MPP for St. Catharines
“Building cycling infrastructure is important in helping us make Ontario a great place to ride a bike. Working together with our partners, the cycling community and local municipalities, I know we will succeed in making Ontario a cycling leader in North America.” — Kathryn McGarry, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation
“With Niagara being an incredible cycling location that includes the Greater Niagara Circle Route, Niagara Region welcomes the provincial Government’s investment in new cycling infrastructure. Investments in active transportation align with Regional Council’s priorities by enabling us to build up Niagara’s infrastructure and support healthy communities. ” — Alan Caslin, Niagara Region Chair
“This cooperative project will close the gap in our cycling route along the Niagara River and permit cyclists to enjoy one of the most scenic routes in the world and travel safely to many points of interest in Fort Erie and beyond. We should all celebrate this enhancement to the Trans-Canada Trail that will provide so much pleasure to so many individuals. ” — Wayne H. Redekop, Mayor of Fort Erie
“This is great news for Niagara-on-the-Lake. The funds we receive will go towards the construction of an off road multi-purpose trail on Niagara Stone Road from Henegan Road to St. Michael School. On behalf of Town Council, thank you to the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program for assisting us in our goal of making our community more walkable and bicycle friendly.” — Pat Darte, Lord Mayor of Niagara-on-the-Lake
“As an Agency of the Provincial Government, The Niagara Parks Commission is pleased to have partnered with the Town of Fort Erie on this successful application. Since it was opened in 1986, the Niagara River Recreation Trail has allowed cyclists and trail users to enjoy the unique natural and cultural heritage experiences that can be found all along the Niagara River corridor. What better way for us to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this important trail system than by expanding its reach and connections for all those who wish to use it.” — Janice Thomson, Chair of the Niagara Parks Commission
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