The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is proposing actions to accelerate and enhance implementation of #CycleON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy by improving commuter cycling networks in Ontario (see links section). Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) identifies an intended investment of $150 to $225 million from cap and trade proceeds to support the creation of better cycling networks, more cycling facilities in urban areas, and more bike parking at transit stations and provincially owned, publicly accessible facilities.
MTO has developed a discussion paper to serve as the basis of our consultation (see links section). The paper highlights key challenges to increased cycling in Ontario and how the province proposes to address them. Towards the end of the discussion paper, several questions are asked and we invite you to provide us with your comments.
As part of implementing the province’s CCAP commitments, MTO is proposing a program that includes the following components:
- Local Cycling Infrastructure - The province would help municipalities build cycling infrastructure that improves safety in urban areas and supports commuter cycling between residential communities, major transit stations, employment areas and other destinations travelled to on a frequent basis. Eligible infrastructure would include on- and off-road cycling facilities such as painted bike lanes, paved shoulders, cycling lanes separated by a curb, off-road multi-use paths and associated infrastructure (e.g., cycling signals, signs).
- Provincial Cycling Infrastructure - The province would fund initiatives that will address provincial barriers (such as highways and bridges) that impact local cycling networks. Additionally, the government would make direct investments in provincial highways in urban areas to create the conditions to increase cycling for commuting and other frequent trips, where safe and feasible to do so. Infrastructure funded under this component could include on- and off-road cycling facilities (e.g., painted bike lanes, paved shoulders, cycling lanes separated by a curb, off-road multi-use paths), active transportation bridges and associated infrastructure (e.g., cycling signals, signs).
- Bicycle Parking – The province would support construction of bike racks, bike shelters, bike lockers and bike enclosures at government-owned, publicly accessible facilities, transit stations and potentially private facilities such as workplaces and condominiums, where cycling for commuting and other frequent trips is reasonable. Constructing bike storage facilities at destinations can make it easier for people to choose active transportation for day-to-day trips. Having bike parking at transit stations can make it possible for people to bike to and from transit, allowing them to leave cars at home and add physical activity to commutes.
The ministry’s goal is to enable more Ontarians living in urban areas to cycle for commuting and other frequent trips instead of travelling by car. Ontarians travel to many destinations on a day-to-day basis, including work, school, public transportation, the grocery store and recreational facilities.
54 per cent of Ontario residents say they want to cycle more than they currently do and, of these, 42 per cent would consider cycling more to work or school.1 Many day-to-day trips currently made by passenger cars could be made by bike. One third of Ontarians have a daily, one way commute of less than five kilometers – a distance that an average adult can cycle in 30 minutes or less – so increasing and supporting cycling can help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and manage congestion. In addition, there is a growing opportunity for Ontarians to cycle instead of drive from home or work to public transit, as well as to other destinations travelled to on a frequent basis.
1 See discussion paper for references and supporting information.
Discussion Questions on the Proposed Plan
We invite you to review the discussion questions below and provide us with your comments on the government's proposed plan to improve commuter cycling networks in Ontario. The questions are also included in the discussion paper.
The input received will help guide the program design and ensure that investments lead to a shift from motor vehicle trips to cycling trips.
Plan to Improve Commuter Cycling Networks
- What infrastructure should be prioritized to make cycling in Ontario safer and more convenient to support commuter cycling between residential communities, major transit stations, employment areas and other destinations travelled to on a frequent basis?
- What evidence can demonstrate the impact of cycling infrastructure investments on the number of cyclists and on GHG emissions?
Local Cycling Infrastructure
- For local cycling networks, what types of cycling infrastructure would best support commuter cycling between residential communities, major transit stations, employment areas and other destinations travelled to on a frequent basis?
Provincial Cycling Infrastructure
- What types of cycling infrastructure on provincial highways would best support commuter cycling between residential communities, major transit stations, employment areas and other destinations travelled to on a frequent basis?
- What types of bike parking facilities (e.g., bike racks, lockers, fee-based enclosures) are needed to support cycling for commuting and other frequent trips?
- What types of government-owned, publicly accessible facilities should have bike parking?
- What types of transit or transportation stations should have bike parking to support improved cyclist access (e.g., GO Stations, LRT stations, bus terminals)?
- What types of private facilities could potentially be eligible to receive provincial funding for bicycle parking facilities?
This proposal was posted for a 30 day public review and comment period starting October 31, 2016. Comments were to be received by November 30, 2016.
All comments received during the comment period are being considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry.
Please Note: All comments and submissions received have become part of the public record.
Other Public Consultation Opportunities:
In accordance with the Ministry of Transportation’s Statement of Environmental Values, the Ministry believes that public consultation is critical to sound environmental decision making. The public is invited to submit written comments regarding the discussion paper on proposed cycling initiatives under the Climate Change Action Plan to the Ministry of Transportation EBR Coordinator using the contact information provided. Alternatively, you may submit your comments online. Comments should be submitted within the 30 day timeframe noted at the top of this notice. Please quote the Environmental Registry Number when submitting comments.
The ministry will be pleased to review all comments and advice regarding the proposal’s contents and approach. All public comments received during the posting of the discussion paper on proposed cycling initiatives under the Climate Change Action Plan will be taken into consideration by the Ministry of Transportation during the finalizing of the policy.
For further technical information contact:
Dawn Strifler, Policy Advisor
Sustainable and Innovative Transportation Office
Transportation Policy Branch
Ministry of Transportation
777 Bay Street, 30th floor
Toronto, ON M7A 2J8
All comments will be considered as part of the decision-making by the Ministry if they:
a. are submitted online through this EBR posting or submitted in writing with the EBR Registry number clearly referenced; and
b. are received by the Contact person within the specified comment period.
Please Note: No acknowledgment or individual response will be provided to those who comment. All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record.
Senior Policy Advisor
Ministry of Transportation
Policy and Planning Division
Transportation Planning Branch
Environmental Policy Office (Toronto)
777 Bay Street
The documents linked below are provided for the purposes of enhancing public consultation.
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