T’was a beautiful day for a Tweed Ride!

Our second annual Tweed Ride, held Oct. 1, was a resounding success. We had a much larger turnout this year, which isn’t a surprise, considering how beautiful the weather was.

We started off at the Arboretum, stopped at the University Bike Centre at University of Guelph, then proceeded to the old University Village neighbourhood. From there we enjoyed refreshments at the John McCrae house. We continued on to the covered bridge, and ended up at Royal City Brewery.

Thank you to: Speed River Bicycle, Wike, Speed River Paddling and Royal City Brewery for the excellent prizes.

Urgent Action required: Proposed Speedvale underpass trail at risk

Hello all,

You may have heard of the proposed Speedvale underpass trail for Guelph. In 2015, council  unanimously supported the planning of this trail.

This trail is proposed for those going North/South along the Trans Canada Trail, and then moving freely under the newly built Speedvale bridge. The trail was proposed as a way of having a continuous, barrier free, safe active transportation network for seniors, families, and everyone in between, without having to cross busy traffic at Speedvale.

Despite the Consultant’s report  conclusion that the trail, along with mitigating efforts,  will result in no negative impact to the significant woodland, or to any endangered species, city staff is recommending that no further studies be done, mainly due to environmental concerns.

Staff also cited safety concerns as a factor because of flooding potential. Flood hazards are a risk with any trail, yet trails are still built in all jurisdictions in floodplains. Furthermore, the safety concerns of crossing busy Speedvale Avenue to get to the other side of the trail, have been ignored in their report.

If the new Speedvale Bridge is built with no accommodation for an underpass trail as the staff is currently recommending,  then there will be no chance of a trail under the bridge for 50 + years.  It is now or never for this vote to take place.

The staff recommendation to reject any further study of the Speedvale underpass will go before council at the Committee of the Whole at City Hall this Monday, Oct. 2 at 2pm.

GCAT will be urging council to continue  moving forward to allow an underpass trail to become part of Guelph’s Active Transportation network.

If you wish to show your concern,  please consider delegating or writing a letter to city council (clerks@guelphca. Deadline is 10 am Friday morning) If you are free on Monday afternoon, it is very good for council to see many people in council chambers who support the underpass.

For more information, please contact info@gcat.ca . Thank you.

Come join us for a Tweed Bicycle Ride, Sunday Oct. 1!

Get your bike and finest Tweed  dusted off for Guelph’s second annual Tweed Ride, taking place on Sunday Oct. 1, 1-3pm.  Come dressed in your tweeds or old-timey clothes! We’ll take a leisurely 7km bike ride through some of the city’s finest locations and trails. Admission is free!

Tweed Rides are a worldwide sensation that started in London in the fall of 2009. The organizers thought that it would be fun to have a slower paced “cosmopolitan ride with a bit of style.” So they dressed in tweeds and rode their bikes through London streets.  Now Tweed Rides exist from Tokyo to Finland!

For our ride, we’ll meet at the Arboretum and bike toward the University of Guelph Campus, enjoying the beautiful fall colours.  We’ll stop at the University Bike Centre for refreshments, then ride through University Village on the way to the beautiful Royal River Trail. We’ll finish the ride at the Royal City Brewing Company, where we’ll celebrate the “spirit of a bygone era”, where cycling was more than just for sport.

Participants will have the opportunity to win prizes, such as those for the best dressed male and female as well as the coolest bike. While all bicycles are acceptable, vintage bicycles are encouraged. Sponsors included Speed River Bicycle, Wike, Royal City Brewing Co., Speed River Paddling and Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation. This event is being hosted by the Guelph Hiking Club.

Please meet at the Arboretum Centre, College Avenue East, at 12:45 for registration and to sign a waiver.  Ample bike and vehicle parking is available across from the Arboretum Information Centre.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact info@gcat.ca sgates14@hotmail.com

 

Come to Porchfest-A celebration of music, community, and active transportation!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

12:00-1- Active Transportation Parade

1-5 Porchfest Music Festival

Where: 41 and 47 Meadowview

Come join us at our second annual Mini Music Festival in the Junction Neighbourhood on Meadowview Ave!

Two covered porches will be our stages as the Junction Neighbourhood group plays host to five different musicians from a variety of genres of music, folk, indie, soul, singer song-writer. The music will be mostly acoustic or softly amplified.

Porchfest will be preceded by an Active Transportation Parade hosted by Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation at 12:30pm. Families are invited to wind their way with us through the streets in the Junction neighbourhood on bikes and on foot. Celebrate your creativity by decorating your bikes and wearing costumes to celebrate your joy of community and Active Transportation! Come at 12pm for children’s face painting and bike decorating!

Things to know:

  • To keep the congestion away from Meadowview Ave, please walk or bike. If you drive, please park on Allan or Galt.

  • Children’s area will be open at 47 Meadowview for the day’s events!

For more information, please contact junctionnsw@guelphneighbourhoods.org or info@gcat.ca

Have you tried the new Bike Box and green bike lanes on Gordon Street?

The City of Guelph wants you to let them know what you think of the green bike lanes on Gordon Street through the intersection at Waterloo Avenue and the bike box at the intersection of Gordon and Waterloo. Due to a high level of collisions,  this area was chosen for improvements to cycling facilities.

These changes make bicycle lanes and people using them more visible, signaling all road users to use extra caution at intersections and driveways, and reminding turning vehicles to slow down and watch for other road users, including people who are walking and biking.


Take the short survey and let them know. There is also is an opportunity to say what further improvements you would like to see. You may want to contribute your thoughts about adding protected infrastructure, such as planters or bollards to protect the cyclists in the bike lane. You can even provide links to your favourite designs!

I hope you show your support for the green lanes and bike box. The bike box says “We’re here and we matter”, and so do the green lanes.

We are moving in the right direction. Let the city know by filling out the survey and nudging them to eventually going even further with better facilities.

Love Your Bike Festival June 24, 9:30-2pm

The fourth annual “Love Your Bike Community Cycling Festival’ will be held on June 24/17 starting at 9:30am on the front lawn of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church., 161 Norfolk Street (at Suffolk).

The festival includes the young and old in celebrating Guelph’s favourite mode of transportation – The Bike. Together with community partners, three of Guelph’s cycling shops (Backpeddling, Paramount Sports and Speed River Bicycle) will be on hand to offer complimentary mechanical checkups in preparation for the Tour de Guelph which rolls out the following day.

  • Don’t miss the “Wrench-Off” at 10:00am featuring Guelph’s top bike mechanics versus our special guest “Mystery Mechanic’ in a friendly flat-fixing competition.
  • As a special bonus, Clayton Foxall of Backpeddling will be displaying part of his antique bike collection. Neighbours are encouraged to come early for coffee and treats.
  • The morning will be rounded off by a moment of silence for fallen cyclists followed by a blessing of the bikes
  • There will be two group rides. One, led by GCAT, include include a police escorted family ride, “The Easy Rider Parade” around Exhibition Park
  • The second ride will be led by  Guelph Off Road Bicycling Association (GORBA). The “Two Rivers Ride” will be along the recreation trails to Guelph Lake and back.
  • Both rides (helmets and signed waivers required) leave at 11:00 sharp
  • Rides finish at The Wooly at 12:00noon with a BBQ, refreshments and activities provided by Steam Whistle. Kids get a free hotdog and a drink!

GWWRTC, GCAT & GORBA Submit Public Comments on Identifying a Province-Wide Cycling Network

In April, the Ministry of Transportation released it’s strategy for a province-wide cycling network and called for stakeholders to comment. GWWRTC, GCAT, and GORBA collaborated to submit comments regarding the existing and proposed network routes in the region. The comments submitted to the Policy and Planning Division at the MTO, are listed below.

Here is the link to the MTO #CycleON Action Plan 1.0, and EBR with map and KML file embedded

May 26, 2017

Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation
Guelph Wellington Waterloo Regional Trail Committee
Guelph Off-Road Bicycling Association

Monica Russell
Senior Policy Analyst
Ministry of Transportation
Policy and Planning Division
Transportation Planning Branch
Environmental Policy Office (Toronto)
777 Bay Street Suite 3000
Toronto Ontario M7A 2J8

Subject:  Public Comment on Identifying a Province-Wide Cycling Network

These comments are being submitted jointly on behalf of several Guelph based organizations that are active stakeholders in the advocacy for, development and use of trails and cycling infrastructure within the Guelph community and surrounding region.

Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation (GCAT)

GCAT is an incorporated organization whose mission is to increase the quantity, quality and safety of active transportation options in Guelph. The organization has over 60 members and 500 supporters.

Guelph Wellington Waterloo Regional Trail Committee (GWWRTC)

Formed in August 2016, GWWRTC is a collaborative trails initiative in Wellington County and surrounding areas with aims to centralize regional trail resources, advocate for greater trail use, liaise between local government, trail users, and property owners, and support new trail infrastructure development.

Guelph Off-Road Bicycling Association (GORBA)

GORBA is the largest group in Guelph devoted to the needs of the off-road cyclist since 1992. By providing a group voice, we can preserve, maintain, and even increase the trail network in the Guelph area. As a group, we can participate in discussions with other trail user groups, and with organizations such as the Grand River Conservation Authority and the City of Guelph.

We would like to comment on the proposed province-wide cycling network, with a particular focus on the routes in the Guelph region.

To accompany this online submission (submitted through the environment registry/EBR), we have also sent an email to CycleONStrategy@ontario.ca with maps that correspond with our comments. The maps in the email are numbered and those map numbers are referred to in the comments below.

Guelph To Goderich Trail Connections (Refer to “Map1 – G2G”)

We have concerns/questions about routing from the city of Guelph boundary to the Guelph to Goderich (G2G) trail via the Edinburgh Rd. extension/hydro corridor.

  •     The current condition of the “trail” using the hydro corridor beginning at Edinburgh, and extending north of Woodlawn Road is not bicycle-friendly (very large rocks, not well marked). Are there plans to improve the condition/accessibility of this trail?
  •     This hydro corridor is under private ownership. It is our understanding that Ontario Hydro requires fences to be built around the base of each tower to keep trail users from climbing. has this issue been resolved with property owners and Ontario Hydro?
  •     County Road 30 is a busy highway without space for cycling. An alternative connection from the hydro corridor to the G2G trailhead is the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) “Marden Tract” trail that goes from the hydro corridor to the current G2G trailhead (this trail already allows bikes and is in good condition.)
  •     Currently, most cyclists utilize Silvercreek Pkwy. N/County Rd 39 to reach the G2G trailhead. This route does not accommodate cyclists. We recommend that wide paved shoulders along this road be added to improve safety.
  •     Regardless of the route chosen, we urge the province to work with all levels of government to implement a safe and direct connection to the G2G trailhead. This is a critical link in the regional cycling network.

Alternative Routes (Refer to “Map2 – Alternative Guelph”)

We would like to propose an alternative route using mostly established Guelph trails and lower traffic roads on two draft routes that travel south from downtown Guelph. We would propose to avoid routes on Gordon St. (and also Claire Rd. if possible), which are high-traffic streets with no physical separation from motorized traffic. Instead, Guelph’s established recreational trails (“Royal Recreation Trail”) and lower-traffic streets could be used.

  •     These alternative routes connect to the routes which connect Guelph to Hamilton/Greenbelt Route, and Guelph to Hespeler/Cambridge.
  •     A few connections in Guelph could be improved with minor trail improvements. We urge the province to provide the City of Guelph with funding opportunities which would prioritize the completion of the province-wide network.

Downtown Guelph to Guelph Lake Conservation Area (Refer to “Map3 – Guelph Lake”)

We recommend that the network provide a route to connect downtown Guelph via existing trails to Guelph Lake Conservation Area. Along with the conservation area providing the only campsites near the city, there are also opportunities for swimming, mountain biking, and hiking. The trails that lead to the conservation area are excellent for cycling.

Guelph to Hamilton Route (Refer to “Map4 – Hamilton”)

A more direct route that connects Guelph with Hamilton should be included in the network. We recommend using Watson Rd. and Centre Rd. This would not replace the proposed route in the draft network, but would provide a more direct alternative which does not prioritize the connection to the Greenbelt Route.

Hespeler to Cambridge Connection (Refer to “Map5 – Cambridge”)

We recommend an additional connection from Hespeler to Cambridge west of the Grand River. Existing trails are in place including the “Mill Run Trail” and “Riverside Park” trails, along with on-road use of Fountain St.

  •     This is a preferred connection to the trail that runs continuously from this region to Lake Erie. It is mostly off-road (therefore safer) and also more direct, while still passing through or very close to city centres.

Guelph to Kitchener Connection

We strongly urge the province to provide a safe, direct cycling route connecting Guelph to Kitchener. The province’s leadership is critical since there are so many jurisdictions involved (cities, county, township, etc.), and also due to their role in ongoing ON Highway 7 and rail transit projects that could be leveraged.

Additional Suggestions

  •     We urge the province to recommend that campgrounds enact “no-turn-away” policies to accommodate self-supported touring cyclists that arrive for a single night without prior reservations. For more information refer to Adventure Cycling.
  •     We urge the province to continue to grow their investment in cycling infrastructure, both on and off-road, to provide safe cycling routes for everyone.

We thank you for the opportunity to comment. If any clarification and additional feedback is required, please use the contact info listed below.

Sincerely,

Taylor Moran (taylor.moran@gmail.com) – GWWRTC
Yvette Tendick (info@gcat.ca) – GCAT
Don Casey (don.casey0@gmail.com) – GORBA

Beautiful day for Cycling the Bridges of Guelph

What a day we had! On May 27,  40 people came out to enjoy a nice cycle ride over the many bridges of Guelph. Hosted by Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation and 2Rivers festival, old and newly proposed bridges were highlighted. Older bridges included the Norwich Bridge, Heffernan Bridge, the Covered Bridge, and Gow’s Bridge.

Participants also learned of a couple of bridge proposals. The proposed bridge over Emma and Earl Street, as well as an underpass trail under the new Speedvale Bridge so that cyclists and pedestrians do not have to cross over the Speedvale Avenue.

The trip was concluded with a pint at the Royal City Brewery. After all, what is more fun than cycling, beer, and conversation?

Bridges and a Pint: Cycling the Bridges of Guelph Past, Present and Future

Bridges and a Pint: Cycling the Bridges of Guelph Past, Present and Future
WHEN
May 27, 2017 at 1pm – 3pm
STARTING LOCATION
Enabling Garden, Riverside Park
Guelph, Ontario

END LOCATION: Royal City Brewing Co., 199 Victoria Rd S, Guelph

2017 is a year of celebrations, and Guelph has its own events to celebrate: 120 years with the Gow Bridge and 25 years with the Covered Bridge. You’ll hear how these bridges came to be, and how these and other bridges impact how we connect with our two rivers and give us a sense of place. While cycling, let’s look at some future plans for getting around the city more actively via various proposed pedestrian and cycling bridge building projects. Finally, let’s enjoy a pint at Royal City Brewing while discussing ways to use bridges to make Guelph a healthier, more vibrant city.

This Event is hosted by 2Rivers Festival , Wellington Water Watchers and Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation

Start Location: Enabling Garden, Riverside Park

End location: Royal City Brewing Co., 199 Victoria Rd S

For more information, contact info@gcat.ca