Week 10 – March 8, 2016
Weather: A mix of sun and cloud. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h this afternoon. High 13. UV index 4 or moderate. Mainly cloudy. Wind southwest 20 km/h. Low 8
Attire: Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) rain resistant, breathable knee length jacket, cycling gloves, 180s ear muffs.
Variable Attire based on the temperature: sleeveless dress
Over the past few weeks I have spent time in meetings related to creating bicycle friendly communities. On Monday February 25, I was privileged to speak at the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) Conference in Toronto. I was a part of a panel of speakers talking about building bicycle friendly communities. Jamie Stuckless the CEO of the Share the Road cycling coalition (@STRCanada) spoke first. The Share the Road Cycling Coalition is a provincial cycling advocacy organization working to build a bicycle-friendly Ontario. We work in partnership with municipal, provincial and federal governments, the business community, road safety organizations and other non-profits to:
- Enhance access for bicyclists on roads and trails
- Improve safety for all bicyclists
- Educate citizens on the value and importance of safe bicycling for healthy lifestyles and healthy communities.
Jamie spoke about surveys that undertaken on behalf of their organization that identify without a doubt that the majority of Ontarians support government investment in cycling and other active transportation corridors.
The second speaker was Shawn Everitt who is the Director of Recreation for the Town of Blue Mountains. Shawn spoke about the investments that the Town has made related to cycling and cycling tourism and was able to demonstrate that the investments have paid off dramatically. Town of Blue Mountains is a destination for cyclists and host the annual Centurion Cycling Race sponsored by Subaru.
I was the third speaker and my comments were focused on building an Accessible Community. My opening remark is formed in a question related to “who am I”. The following is an image of my slide. Many people define me as many things such as a cyclist, a mother, a wife, and a sister. I am all of these things, but I am also a temporarily able bodied person (TAP). As a member of Council I know that investments in active transportation also ensure that I am investing in an accessible community.
On Monday February 29 I was invited to join the Ontario Minister of Transportation – Cycling Strategy Working Group. This meeting was focused on provision of comments to the Ontario Government related to their #CycleON strategy. At the meeting the government provided an overview of what they have done and what they plan to do related to delivering on a 20 year vision for cycling in the Province of Ontario. There was resounding support for the plan, and many voices around the table that said Ontario is ready, the citizens are ready, and municipalities are ready. Continued consultation is not needed….please Minister, build it and they will come.