The Ontario government is injecting $1.95 million into municipalities in southwest Ontario to build new and improve existing bike paths. Through the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program projects around the province are eligible for funding that will cover up to 50 per cent of the cost to a maximum of $325,000.
The six projects in the municipalities of London, Tecumseh, Windsor, LaSalle, Kingsville and Chatham-Kent have received maximum funding because they meet the program’s objectives of connecting local cycling networks, promoting safety, enabling recreation and tourism, and encouraging research and data collection. The investments are an effort by the Ontario government to support partnerships with municipalities and improve awareness of cycling as a viable and safe mode of transportation.
“Building cycling infrastructure is important in helping us make Ontario a great place to ride a bike,” said Kathryn McGarry, a provincial parliamentary assistant to the minister of transportation. “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.”
The city of London will be building a 1-km cycling and walking path that connects existing routes in Kiwanis Park which will include the installation of two active transportation bridges, one crossing a railway line that is a major obstacle to cyclists.
The town of Tecumseh will be building a 3.5-km off-road cycling and walking path that will connect to the Herb Grey Parkway Trail. The path will be one of the last missing sections of the Trans Canada Trail in the region and allow every municipality in the Windsor-Essex region to be connected by cycling infrastructure.
The city of Windsor will create 1.6-km of cycling paths on Cabana Road with a combination of painted bicycle lanes, signed bike routes on shared roadways and raised cycle tracks. The project fills a gap on the Windsor Loop a 42.5-km loop intended to connect city neighbourhoods and access the Trans Canada Trail.
The town of LaSalle will build a new 800-metre cycling and walking path offering an off-road alternative to a narrow bridge on Todd Lane connecting existing bike paths.
In the town of Kingsville, 4.1-km of cycling routes will be built that will include paved shoulders, an off-road path and signed bike routes on shared roadways. The project provides a safe and comfortable cycling network along the town’s waterfront linking residential areas to waterfront parks and other cycling routes.
Chatham-Kent will instal 4.35-km of painted bike lanes that will connect existing multi-use trails and form part of the Trans Canada Trail. It is the first step of a 21.5-km route that is being developed to the west of the city of Chatham called the Round the River Route.
The investments are part of a larger plan the province calls CycleON which is a 20-year initiative of the Ontario’s ministry of transportation intended to grow cycling and improve safety for cyclists across the province.