Over 40 per cent of Ontarians say they are more likely to vote for candidates who make public commitments to fund new cycling infrastructure. This figure sits starkly in contrasts against the 20 per cent who say they wouldn’t vote for candidates who support cycling infrastructure according to a new poll commissioned by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition.
With a provincial election scheduled for June, the latest figures could encourage candidates who support cycling infrastructure to make it a more prominent election issue. That’s certainly what Share the Road executive director Jamie Stuckles hopes.
“Ontarians have spoken clearly about cycling,” said Stuckless. “We are telling all political parties that our goal of new and improved cycling infrastructure will be a game changer in this spring’s election.”
The poll also indicates that the number of people cycling is rising with six per cent of Ontarians hopping on two wheels up to six per cent every day or almost every day. The number would represent some 650,000 people and is up from four per cent in 2014.
Another good indication people in Ontario are supportive of cycling is that 41 per cent said they would prefer to ride a bicycle more than they currently do, with 74 per cent of those people saying the would like to ride recreationally rather than for sport or commuting.
“While recent provincial investments have been made in commuter cycling, we also see real growth potential for investments in recreational trails,” said Stuckless.
Over 30 per cent of people in Ontario also say they would like to cycle to and from work more often. That may require a shift however as nine in 10 people do not think their municipalities do an adequate job investing in cycling infrastructure. With 67 per cent of people strongly or somewhat agreeing that the provincial government should invest more in cycling infrastructure, there is a wave of support that could help influence the upcoming provincial election.
“Representing almost 3.5 million Ontarians, these people have enormous potential to reduce congestion on our roads if cycling was a safe transportation choice for them,” said Stuckless. “Ontarians clearly see the need for more cycling safety efforts.”