Local Matters Speaker Series is presented by Mike Schreiner and the Guelph Greens.
2017 was a great year for Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation! We worked hard to support and encourage citizens who want to bike and walk in Guelph. Here are some highlights the work that we have done this year. Please support our membership drive for 2018 so that we can continue to work hard for Guelph citizens to make Guelph a leading city for Active Transportation!
- successfully delegated at city council to support 12 million dollars funding over 10 years to complete an Active Transportation Network
- formed a coalition with other stakeholder groups to get staff and city council to reverse decision on cancelling Speedvale Bridge Underpass project. Helped to organize delegates (11!) and letter writers (27!) and petitioned (420 names!) to reach this end
- gave input to the Guelph Trail Master Plan Update
- facilitated at Learning for a Sustainable Future’s EcoLeague Youth Forum to engage high school students on importance of alternative transportation options
- ran workshop at Resilience Festival on “Building Emotional Resiliency through Outdoor Exercise”
- submitted comments along with Guelph Wellington Regional Trails Committee, Guelph Off Road Cycling Association on identifying a Province Wide Cycling Network
- City of Guelph’s Transportation Demand Coordinator, Jennifer Juste to spoke about cycling in Guelph at our first Annual General Meeting
- had booths at several community events, such as the EcoMarket, Tour de Guelph, Hillside Festival
- helped the City of Guelph promote BikeMaps.org (an international organization working to make cycling safer by mapping trouble spots) by doing encouraging public to do volunteer surveys, handed out bikemaps.org bling
- participated in citizen run Southwestern Ontario Regional Bike Summit sponsored by London Cycle Link to learn best practices from other advocacy groups in Southwestern Ontario
- wrote this and this article in the Guelph Tribune to raise awareness of issues to the general public
Fun Events to encourage a culture of cycling in Guelph
- Magnolia Ride-ride through the Magnolia trees in Guelph, followed by a tea party
- Bridges and Beers-celebrated at 2Rivers Festival with a bike ride on the Bridges of Guelph over the Speed and Eramosa Rivers, celebrated with a pint at the end
- Love Your Bike Festival– celebrated with 2Rivers and St Andrews Church, and led families on a bike ride through Exhibition Park, and finished at Wooly’s pub for free hotdogs and face painting
- Tweed Ride– we dressed in old timey clothes and rode through the beautiful neighbourhoods of Guelph and celebrated with a pint
- ran bike tour with Alex Chapman, City of Guelph, highlighting energy innovations in Guelph at Municipal Innovators Conference
- Guelph Community Santa Parade-we all got dressed up and rode all kinds of bikes..we won the “Best community” award!
Please join us in 2018 on our journey to get more people to enjoy healthy transportation! For only $10, your membership in GCAT will allow us to give a voice to more and more people who want to be healthy, fit, and contribute to the well being of the city.
It’s that time of year to get your GCAT membership for 2018 and show your support for GCAT’s work toward better cycling and walking infrastructure!
For only $10 for an individual membership, there are several perks:
- 10% off parts, clothing and accessories from Speed River Bicycle
- 10% off parts and accessories from Paramount Skis Bikes and Boards
- $10 off certificate for a meal at Mijiidaa Cafe and Bistro!
In addition, the first 50 people who renew their membership or become new members will have their name added in a draw to win a free safety inspection* at Speed River Bicycle! (valued at $50!) Memberships must be paid for before Feb. 17, and the winner will be announced at this year’s AGM!
If you wish to donate more than $10 for an individual membership, there is the $25 sustaining option. This membership is for those who want to pay a little more in order to help GCAT become an even stronger voice for those who want to cycle and walk safely and comfortably in Guelph.
Please get your membership at http://gcat.ca/membership/
Thank you sponsors for your generous donations!
*safety inspection must take place between Feb 22 and March 22
Due to widespread public support, the Committee of the Whole meeting of November 6, 2017, City council decided unanimously to have staff take a second look at the design of the Speedvale Underpass. This is great news, as the underpass trail was recommended by staff to be dismissed at the Oct. 2 Committee of the Whole meeting
Efforts on behalf of Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation, the Guelph Hiking Club, the Guelph Wellington Seniors Association, 2Rivers Festival as well as an informed, engaged community were able to convince council and staff to work together to make this happen. Mayor Guthrie also championed this project on his blog, which undoubtedly helped move the project forward.
GCAT is very pleased with the result, but we also understand that we can’t sit back and expect the underpass to be built.
Therefore, over the coming months, our groups will continue to be engaged with city staff to get an all ages and abilities design that meets provincial and city guidelines in terms of accessibility, safety, and respect for the Natural Heritage systems.
Once again, it is the public rallying together that saved this underpass trail, and for this, we are grateful.
This year’s theme: All kinds of bikes make Guelph a better place!
We would love to have you join us!
In past years, we’ve had a wedding dress, someone dressed as a banana, a chef with a large chef hat, and of course, Mr. Canoe Head! We had a 4 wheeled bike, a cargo bike, and lots of sporty kids on bikes!
This year, we are hoping to have a wider assortment of bikes: cargo bikes, vintage bikes, stroller bikes, and canoe trailers. Of course, regular bikes are welcome.
Use your imagination to show that you that cycling make the city a better place. Cycling isn’t just for those who are super athletic, it is for everyone!
Parade rules are that you must be over 9 years old, and that you must wear thematic costumes.
A waiver is required to participate.
Parade starts at 1:30 pm. We will gather at our spot along the parade route at 1pm.
Who’s in? It will be lots of fun! Please RSVP at email@example.com.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank you.
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 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.