Three small towns are taking some essential steps to improve their cycling infrastructure. Ontario is investing $475,000 into the expansion of cycling routes in Simcoe County through the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program. The money is going toward funding projects in the City of Orillia, the Town of Midland and the Town of Collingwood. The program’s objectives are to connect local cycling networks, promote safety, enable recreation and tourism, and encourage research and data collection. This investment is 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 Ontario minister of transportation Steven Del Duca. “Working together with our partners, the cycling community and local municipalities like Orillia, Midland and Collingwood, I know we will succeed in making Ontario a cycling leader in North America.”
The city of Orillia will be building a 1-km pathway that will allow cyclists to safely travel across the Highway 11 and a busy road with multiple intersections. The new pathway is designed to help cyclists travel to work, school and recreation destinations to the west of the city. The town of Midland is building a 2.43-km bike loop around the downtown area that will open up bicycle lanes with physical barriers, signed bike routes on shared roadways and raised cycle tracks. It will connect existing routes to the commercial downtown area and destinations outside of town. The town of Collingwood will be installing a 700-m path to help cyclist travel to Millennium Park and make the recreation destination more accessible to families.
The two-year Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program was launched in 2015 and allocates 10 million dollars in funding to help municipalities across the province build new and improve existing cycling infrastructure. The province provides 50 per cent of costs for eligible projects up to $325,000. Eligible projects include on-road cycling lanes, off-road cycling paths, cycling specific traffic signals and signs, active transportation bridges and bike racks.