Ontario to build bike infrastructure with highways and bridges

no shoulders on highway 60
CC BY 2.0 Highway 60, Ontario, without shoulders for bikes/ Wikipedia

A lot of cyclists take to the highways of Ontario, Canada when the snow finally melts. It's particularly busy up around Algonquin Park and Lake of Bays, where I spend my summer. The locals complain about the cyclists, how they clog up the roads. The cyclists complain about the locals driving too close. Cyclists were always asking for paved shoulders so that cyclists would have a little more room, and the Province always said that it was too expensive to add the extra roadbed and asphalt.

However today, Transportation Minister Glen Murray announced that cycling would be incorporated into every provincial highway and bridge project from now on.

The experience of jurisdictions where they do that is it actually doesn’t cost you any more because… you basically integrate it.. ..From now on, we’ll just simply build it in.

Of course, up around Algonquin Park and Lake of Bays they just rebuilt the roads a few years ago, so it might take decades for it to happen there. But it is, as Jard Kolb of Cycle Toronto noted, "a game-changer."

Bike lanes are part of complete streets / Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Meanwhile, in Toronto...

Glen Murray understands that being in charge of transportation means more than just moving cars, and has announced a $25 million investment in bike infrastructure. In Toronto, Head of Transportation Denzil Minnan-Wong, who tore up the Jarvis Street bike lanes, saying "The cars are going to move faster and I think that's a proper investment," and refuses to lower speed limits because he says "My job at city council is to reduce congestion and gridlock, not to add to it", now wants some of that money. He says in the Star, “Toronto is going to fight for its fair share of the $25 million.”

I hope Glen Murray makes the reinstatement of the Jarvis Street bike lanes a condition.

Tags: Bikes | Bike Sharing | Biking | Toronto

2014 Gift Guide

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK