Share the Road Announces Bicycle Friendly Community Awards: 40 Communities in Ontario now recognized as Bicycle Friendly
Jan 10, 2018
Sharing this news release on behalf of Share the Road Cycling Coalition
Ottawa, Ontario (January 10, 2018) – The Share the Road Cycling Coalition (Share the Road) announced today he latest Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) awards for Ontario.
The most recent application round saw the City of Greater Sudbury earn a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Communities ward, making it Ontario’s 40th Bicycle Friendly Community. The Town of Ajax also received a Silver Award, which is an upgrade from the Town’s previous Bronze designation (2011). In addition to the new awards, The City of Thorold renewed its Bronze designation and the City of Ottawa renewed its Gold status as one of Ontario’s leading bicycle friendly communities. The Town of Lincoln and the Town of Saugeen Shores both received Honourable Mentions for their applications.
“The new & renewing award recipients in this round illustrate how cycling is growing and evolving across the Province of Ontario,” said Jamie Stuckless, Executive Director of Share the Road. “Municipalities of all shapes and sizes are recognizing that when their communities bike, their communities benefit, be it through improved road safety, decreased congestion, increased support for the local economy or improved health and well-being.”
The City of Greater Sudbury joins Thunder Bay and Temiskaming Shores as Bronze level BFCs in the Ontario’s North, demonstrating the growing demand for cycling in all areas of the province. “Greater Sudbury is an example of how the work and support of community groups can help to foster a culture of cycling,” noted Stuckless. “Local organizations like Rainbow Routes and the Sudbury Cyclists’ Union have been working for years to educate people about the benefits and opportunities for cycling in Greater Sudbury, laying the foundation for a more bicycle friendly community. Greater Sudbury has now invested in staff resources and made budgetary commitments to improve their cycling network. They are also receiving more than $1.1 Million from the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program, giving them the opportunity to develop a connected network of safe cycling infrastructure in the near future.”
Ajax is a community that has been a part of the BFC network since the program began, providing information, leadership and inspiration for many other communities in Ontario as they strive to become more Bicycle Friendly. Ajax was one of the first communities to submit a BFC Application when the program was launched in Ontario in 2010, and was part of the inaugural group of BFCs announced in 2011. Since then, the Town has made improvements in their infrastructure, building a well-connected network of off-road trails while also making improvements to their on-road cycling infrastructure. “Ajax has long been a leader in Durham Region when it comes to active transportation,” said Stuckless. “They were one of the first municipalities in Ontario to adopt a Complete Streets Policy, and they continue their innovative work with their #GetAjaxMoving social marketing campaign. It’s very exciting to see them continuing to make progress and advance through the BFC rankings.”
Stuckless noted that 2017 was a great year for cycling in Ontario, with the announcement of $93 Million for municipal cycling infrastructure. “We anticipate that many of our BFC partners will be making substantial improvements in the ‘Engineering’ sections of their applications thanks to that funding,” she said. “Ajax, Greater Sudbury and the City of Ottawa have all set an example of the importance of the other 4 Es of the BFC Program – Education, Encouragement, Enforcement and Evaluation & Planning, and we encourage all municipalities to learn from their successes as they go about building new cycling infrastructure and programs to support cycling. As we see communities set their sights on Platinum and, eventually, Diamond BFC certifications, an integrated approach to building not just cycling infrastructure, but a cycling community is going to be required – so it’s best to lay those foundations now.”
About the Bicycle Friendly Community Awards and Share the Road
The Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) Program, an initiative of the Washington-based League of American Bicyclists, was launched in Ontario in 2010 by Share the Road with support from the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) South Central Ontario. The program provides incentives, hands-on assistance and award recognition for communities that actively support bicycling. Municipalities are judged in five categories often referred to as the Five “E’s” of being bicycle friendly: Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement and Evaluation & Planning. A community must demonstrate achievements in each of the five categories in order to be considered for an award. The Award categories are: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond.
Share the Road is a provincial non-profit organization working to build a bicycle friendly Ontario. We work in partnership with municipal, provincial and federal governments, the business community, road safety organizations and other non-profits to:
• Enhance access for bicyclists on roads and trails
• Improve safety for all bicyclists
• Educate citizens on the value and important of safe bicycling for healthy lifestyles and healthy communities.