The provincial government is consulting the public on its “Action Plan 2.0” for the implementation of Ontario’s Cycling Strategy. People have until March 07, 2018, to submit their comments.
Ontario launched it Cycling Strategy in August 2013 and began working on it with “Action Plan 1.0”. Initially, no money had been set aside for the strategy, but eventually the government did provide funding for various cycling projects in the province. For example, at one point, Ottawa received $325,000, which it used to cover its share of the cost of building the Mackenzie Avenue bike lane next to the American Embassy.
The Ontario Government is looking for public input about Action Plan 2.0 based on the following objectives:
1) Design Healthy, Active and Prosperous Communities;
2) Improve Cycling Infrastructure;
3) Make Safer Highways and Streets;
4) Promote Cycling Awareness and Behavioural Shifts;
5) Increase Cycling Tourism Opportunities.
The government has provided an online form that people should use to electonically submit comments on the action plan.
For what it’s worth, here is what I submitted to the government for Action Plan 2.0:
I recommend that Action Plan 2.0 include the following action items:
1) Government adopt a policy to ensure that a paved shoulder suitable for cycling be added to all thoroughfares and major roads when they are being constructed or rehabilitated. This would apply to all provincial and municipal roads and streets, with the exception of the 400 highways and quiet residential streets.
2) That the province and municipalities be required, over a period of time, to conduct a safety audit of all intersections under their jurisdiction to determine the extent to which these intersections are suitable and safe for cyclists, and where necessary, adopt a plan to improve the safety and suitability of these intersections for cyclists.
3) That the government introduce a bill in the legislature to immediately adopt the “Idaho Stop” in Ontario. This would allow cyclists to treat stop signs like yield signs, and red lights like stops signs. This arranagement first became law in Idaho over 35 years ago. In addition to encouraging cycling, the Idaho Stop has been found to be as safe, or safer, than the status quo.
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