Feedback from the “Ride the Ward ” rides!

This fall, GCAT took on a big task. We decided to do our best to engage all of the candidates in the 2018 municipal election to ride the wards that they were running in. We invited the public as well. We talked about the good, the bad and the ugly in each ward, with a promise to relay this information to the public, councillors, and city staff.  Here is what happened.

The results were phenomenal.

86 people came. 18 of them were candidates.

Ward 3 ride , Sept. 9, 2018

Leader: Duncan McKenzie

Councillors/candidates present: June Hofland, Steve Petric

Mayor/Mayoral Candidate: Aggie Mlynarz

15 attendees

The good

The spur line trail is a very relaxing trail that gets people across some areas of ward 2

The curb cut on Exhibition Road for the Spur line trail

Bike lanes on Willow

To be improved:

Bicycle route symbols: not clear what they show, as there is no explanation

Bicycle route along London St: there are no bike lanes

Most people felt very unsafe on Speedvale: needs bicycle lanes or Multi-Use Path

Need trail from cemetery to Nicklin to connect TCT trail in Woodlawn Cemetery to the Woodlawn MUP.

Spur line trail should be extended south west beyond London Road.

Ward 4 Ride, Sept. 16

Leader: Yvette Tendick

Councillors/candidates present: Mike Salisbury, Matt Saunders

12 attendees

The good

Potential for Hanlon Underpass Trail that could give everyone, teenagers in particular, the ability to go to Skatepark, downtown

To be improved:

Wood chip trail to Margaret Greene Park to become stone dust trail

Trail through Margaret Green Park could go to corner of Hanlon and Paisley

Resident who is Car free in Ward 4 says we need more bike lanes as she is forced to use the sidewalk for safety when riding her bike.

Discussion: What is safer? A bike lane or a Multiuse path?

Ward 5 Ride, Sept. 23

Leader: Laura Brown

Candidates in attendance: Leanne Piper, Aggie Mlynarz. Cathy Downer hosted the after gathering.

15 attendees

The good:

Crushed gravel path very well maintained and appreciated! One rider commented that they prefer gravel over pavement as pavement eventually heaves, costing more money to replace. Comments can be made when the Guelph Trail Master Plan comes up for updating.

To be improved:

No direct way for high school age students to get to Stone Road mall other side of Edinburgh

-Edinburgh road has a huge boulevard…plenty of space for a dual pathway

-many of the University lands, including those around  OMAFRA building, east of Edinburgh should allow public access for bikes…instead areas are gated up (particularly behind the Public Health building (some found this ironic!!) so it makes it very difficult for people to avoid traffic when riding

-Trail behind Collegiate- no curb cuts

Stone and Gordon intersection:

-green lanes make it safer for left turns, but makes it more dangerous with right turning vehicles. We had a near miss with a vehicle that was turning right and did not see us going straight.

Ward 1 Ride,Sept. 29

Leader: Jordan Richard

Candidates present: Bob Bell, Dan Gibson, Barbara Mann, Charlene Downey

15 attendees

The good: Trail system that is already in place

To be improved:

-Wyndham Street should be safe for cyclists when reconstructed from 4 lanes to 2. No sharrows, but protected bike lanes would best as traffic will be angled parking that can back up on to cyclists.

-possibility of an underpass trail at MacDonnell and Arthur Street to remove pedestrians and cyclists from traffic at the intersection

-new trail should be put in the ward along Guelph Junction Railway track to Victoria Road. It is already being discussed by staff but will need to be in the Guelph Master Plan Update in order of it to come to pass. Will need to advocate for this!

-a suggestion of a concrete divider between road and boulevard for separated infrastructure on Grange Road. All agreed that there was plenty of room in the boulevard for a multi-use path.

Ward 6 discussion only, Oct. 13

Attendance; Ishu Arora, Anshu Khurana, Dominique O’Rouke, Stacy Cooper, Mark McKinnon

Total # of people – 9

Things we need

-Need for active transportation

Environment; we need to be careful not to destroy our environment for future generations

-we need to allow children some autonomy with mobility

-there are many people who need to get around and need cars, so we need a balance

-we need an education piece with the parents so that they walk their kids to school rather than drive

-we need south end connections to the business park.

-We need to think holistically and provide subdivisions with amenities

-we need connectivity.

To be improved:

-Robin Rd. Park.  the bike infrastructure just ends

-Jansen Park trail needs boardwalk as it becomes swamped after it rains

-Gordon St. needs flexi posts to protect riders

-need better signage so that people can use trails effectively

-curb cuts are low hanging fruit to make it easier to ride

-education the community about bicycling as a means of transportation, particularly the parents

-bike rodeo needs to be reinstated

-immigrants need opportunities to stay active without spending lots of $$

-getting on the bike good for health and building warm neighbourhoods

Ward 2 ride, Oct. 14

Councillors present: Dorothe Fair, Rodrigo Goller, Jonathan Knowles

# of people in attendance: 20

The Good

-the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) cemetery connection was enjoyed by all. Peaceful and quiet.

-rest of the TCT is also enjoyed.

To be improved

-signage so that we know the TCT cemetary connection exists

-we need the Speedvale Underpass trail to get people safely across Speedvale. Discussion as to whether or not an amendment to allow an anchored boardwalk to reduce costs of trail construction

-We need to get the connection between the TCT to Nicklin to get access to the Guelph to Goderich trail via the Woodlawn MUP

–the crossing of the Trans Canada trail at Eramosa is terrible. Even less safe than Speedvale.

–looking forward to the building of the Emma-Earl bridge as it offers some great east west connection. Some concern about the cost, others agree that more people crossing the bridge will mean that less opportunity for “tent” cities to be built along the rivers’ edge

 

Questions for Municipal Candidates: How do we invite citizens to move around Guelph more actively?

Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation would like Municipal Candidates to express their views on topics related to Active Transportation. To help with this, we request that the candidates respond to these three questions. The answers will be posted as they come in, and will be highlighted once a week in our e-mail, twitter and facebook pages. Scroll down to your ward to get your candidates’ answers.

  1. Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation believes that building safe, connected Active Transportation infrastructure will make it more inviting for people of all ages and abilities to walk or bike around town. This has health,environmental, social and economic benefits to the City of Guelph and its citizens. Currently, building cycling infrastructure is often tied to road reconstruction, which results in a patchwork approach to building the network, and a longer time to complete. Would you work to implement stable, dedicated funding to build connected Active Transportation infrastructure at a faster pace?
  2. What would you do to encourage and invite citizens to get around the city of Guelph, besides using their cars?
  3. What concrete steps will you take to reduce the number of pedestrian and cycling deaths and serious injuries to zero?

Mayoral Candidates:

Aggie Mlynarz:

Q1 Yes.

Q2  Prioritize the funding of public transit in the city budget, and take transit and my bicycle on a regular basis, the latter I already do. Leading by example is something we all ought to do, both for the visuality of it, but to make sure we can understand from the first-hand experience too, something too few on Council until now have done. 

Q3  As only one vote on council, there is little that could be done by me directly within Council chambers – it’s not what I want to say. What I want to say is that I could stop it from happening across the board, but the truth is, it’s a lot of intersecting issues that converge and coalesce into pedestrian and cyclist death. We need to prioritize smart infrastructure that clearly indicates and segregates bicycle lanes, we need officers to enforce dangerous driving and cyclists adhering to the law, and we need stronger education around safe driving and cycling in our communities as well. These need multiple agents within and outside of City Hall, and I am very grateful for the work taken on by GCAT on this. 

Did not respond: Cam Guthrie

Municipal Candidates

Ward 1

Dan Gibson

Q1 I believe through development and intensification (especially in Ward 1), over the coming decades there are some unique opportunities to leverage developer interests as a means to expand our active transportation network. Under the Places to Grow Act, this is the predominant type of growth our City of forecasting (intensification), so developing a funding model that focuses on Active Transportation and transportation alternatives as a means to alleviate vehicular traffic is something I’d be willing to consider.

Q2 I have been vocal in my support of the concept for a Ward Neighborhood Trail along the Guelph Junction Railway line throughout the Ward. A file GCAT is credited with being a champion of. http://www.ward1guelph.ca/2018/06/its-time-to-talk-about-a-ward-neighborhood-trail/ 

Q3 Since getting elected in 2014 I have made pedestrian safety (and by extension cycling safety), a top priority of mine.  I have worked hard to bring crossing lights to the intersections of York & Elizabeth, as well as Watson Parkway & Eastview in my Ward.  Through traffic studies I’ve been able to advocate for the installation of signalized cross walks at Watson & Fleming, Grange & Auden as well as Grange & Kearney in the East End.  We’ve also seen the reconstruction of Eastview Road between Starwood & Watson Parkway in East Guelph which included a multi use path (i.e. separated bike infrastructure).  I have also supported the inclusion of the Speedvale pedestrian underpass as part of the long term vision for the reconstruction of the Speedvale Avenue bridge.

Bob Bell

Q1 Yes, absolutely! But we need to stop forcing cyclists to ride on dangerous and busy arterial roads. The active network needs to be separated and safe.

Q2 Build an active network that is safe, fast and enjoyable. This means underpasses at Speedvale Ave, the Hanlon Expressway, and Victoria Rd. so active citizens can move around town more quickly.

Q3 Reduce speed limits throughout the city to 40km/hr on neighbourhood streets, 50km/hr on busy arterial roads. Implement red light cameras and speed radar as a revenue neutral deterrent.

Mark Gernon

Q1 I have been reviewing the City budget and as many candidates and current council members advise, there is a large infrastructure deficit that needs to be addressed. Many of the newer or re-surfaced roads come with better signalling, and bike lanes.

Speaking for my observations in Ward 1, I plan on advocating strongly to get our East End roads the attention they deserve – and as soon as possible. To answer your question 1 – Yes.

Q2 As I have stated and maintain, the East End has few to no accessible services. We are required to drive or use transit. We need to encourage business to come to the East End. We need Loblaws to build or release the land they have left vacant for almost 20 years, We need to get the Guelph jail grounds back. We need to get York Road fixed and ready to accept new business. AS it is today, York Road is not safe for pedestrians or bikes. There is lots to do – and once we see businesses come to the East End – the reliance on cars will hopefully decline.

Q3 I am all in favour to get cars to slow down. I am in favour of bringing photo radar to all school zones, or designated community safety zones.

I observed two cars drag racing on Victoria on Thanksgiving Monday – cars take shortcuts on Vancouver, race on Eastview – race to the stop sign on Starwood – fly on Watson and Elizabeth. We need to take back our streets and make them safer with proactive strategies. Lowering the speed limits to 30km/h does not mean anything if there are no consequences. The traditional police enforcement ties up much needed resources.
I am also in favour of providing every elementary school child a high visibility vest to be worn to/from school. This will make them easier to see especially once the time change occurs – which may also remind drivers to slow down.
There are many strategies that we can look at – and that do not cost allot of money to implement.

Did not respond: Charlene Downey, Dave Heffernan,  Jamie Killingsworth, Barbara Mann, Jax Thornton

Ward 2

James Gordon

Thanks for this opportunity. I am tremendously supportive and impressed with GCAT’s work in making us a leader in active transportation advocacy.

Q1 an enthusiastic yes!

Q2 On the doorsteps I hear that there is an increased desire to partake in cycling and walking opportunities for getting around the city. There DOES seem to be consensus that a painted line on a road does not create a bike lane that makes riders feel safe on busier thoroughfares. Separated lanes ARE being introduced more often now, but I believe that we need to be more ambitious with this. Making sure that we eliminate the gaps in our cycling infrastructure will really help too. If a rider knows that there is a continuous, safe way to commute within the city, we’ll see use skyrocket which benefits our community well-being in so many ways

Q3 Separated lanes will help with this, but we need as a city to support a major cultural shift from the antiquated position that “cars rule the road”. We need cameras at stop-lights, more traffic calming measures, a greater presence in speed limit enforcement, and safer intersections. In particular find ways to take the “Speed” out of “Speedvale”. That road has become a dangerous highway, and I believe we have failed as a city to properly address this. We need to rethink the way cars and trucks move from west to east in Guelph. We can do it, and if re-lected I am committed to continuing my work as a vocal active transportation advocate. Any investment we make in active transportation infrastructure pays back in our increased quality of life, our citizen’s health and well-being, and the new businesses that offer good jobs with good new residents that are drawn here because they see this as a cycling and walking-friendly city. Keep up the good work GCAT!

Jonathan Knowles

Q1Absolutely I would work to implement stable, dedicated funding to build connected Active Transportation infrastructure at a faster pace.  Active transportation has some funding allocated and is one of the recommended focuses that were Unanimously accepted by Guelph City Council when we presented the updated Community Energy Initiative in May 2018.  I plan to hold myself and others accountable to these priorities through Our Energy Guelph as we move forward.

Q2.What would you do to encourage and invite citizens to get around the city of Guelph, besides using their cars?

Based on what I have seen and heard from residents the two top reasons for not using active transportation are:

a.) Safety; not wanting to be too close to vehicular traffic whether personally or fear for their children being too close to cars and trucks and;

b.) Connected trails through the entire city; to go for a bike ride is nice but if you cannot get to where you need to go to visit a friend or run an errand then it is less useful and less likely to be adopted.

To remove both of these concerns I am very much in favor of having an inter-connected trail network across the city.  Having vehicles and walkers, runners, cyclists and other active travelers separated from the roadways is less stressful, safer, and much more appealing for us all.

Q3.) What concrete steps will you take to reduce the number of pedestrian and cycling deaths and serious injuries to zero?

The primary improvement to safety would be the inter-connected trail network as mentioned in last question.  Increasing police presence to discourage poor driving habits as well as enforcement to reduce speeding, reckless, and impaired driving is a top priority for our residents’ safety.  I would like to see input from all of the cycling community here in Guelph as well as best practices evaluated from other similar cities on what they have had success with. Overall awareness communication needs to be continued and change peoples’ perception of the car being the only important means of moving around the city.  Cyclists and runners should be embraced, not resented, by drivers. Making the infrastructure better will make positive change on all of these fronts.

Dorothe Fair

Q 1. Yes.

Q2. One of my personal goals as City Councillor is to bring the “Bike Share” program to the City of Guelph.
Please google: ‘Bike Share’Toronto .The site states the benefits to the citizens .
I will commit to working with GCAT & other community neighbourhood groups to implement this active transportation option.
I’ve spoken to various employers who would be willing to consider subsidizing the Bike Share rider pass for their employees. They especially like the possibility Bike Share may have a positive impact on addressing a small component of the parking challenges in the downtown core .
I have family members who live & work in Toronto’s downtown core & advocate
the benefits as listed on the Bike Share website .
Using the Bike Share rider pass saves money, saves time, is fun , provides exercise & promotes GO GREEN .

To enhance this program we can continue with our collaboration with City staff regarding the Cycling Master Plan & the Official Plan .

Let’s take this ‘Bike Share’ model & design it to meet the unique needs 
 & characteristics of our city & make it happen for our citizens.

Q3.It is the responsibility of City Council to ensure all Transit safety concerns are addressed for our citizens from elementary to Third Age .
To ensure this commitment as a Councillor I would collaborate with GCAT, City Transportation Services & Community partners to identify ‘high risk’ residential locations or main roads where cycling accidents have occurred or have the potential to be unsafe.

When knocking on doors I’ve heard from many residents in WARD 2 who are very upset with the increase of drivers ‘racing’ through their neighbourhood to bypass main intersections.
Evidence would show the racing interloper often appears when children are walking or cycling to school in the morning creating a very dangerous situation for everyone.

An inclusive Active transportation model must address all aspects of road safety not only cycling.
Consideration & attention must also be given to assisted motorized wheelchairs, scooters, those who use walkers & young children on their way to & from school & play.

For example many individuals have expressed the need for longer lights where Seniors & children require more time to cross certain intersections or cross walks, red lights as deterrents, reduced speed limits & stiffer fines for speeding especially in residential neighbourhoods.

There must be an ongoing educational component & Best Practice reviews to remind drivers, cyclists, Seniors & children to ‘act safe ..to stay safe ‘.

I’m looking forward to being involved in the current Cycling Master Plan, City Master Trail Plan & the City’s Official Plan which identified Active Transportation as a City priority .

I know City Council is addressing our current & future transportation, cycling & mobility Transit needs through community engagement & I urge all residents to stay connected to their Ward Councillors to make sure their concerns are heard & addressed .
I’ve been to City Council advocating for Seniors’  Transit needs & I’m encouraged that City staff are receptive to our suggestions for transportation improvements as part of the Transit review.

By improving our active transportation model Council can provide increased safe & efficient opportunities for all ages to get outside & live an active healthy life .

Did not respond: Rogrigo Goller, Mary Thring, Sudha Sharma

Ward 3

Phil Allt 

Q1Yes. I would like us emulate Montreal and cities like Amsterdam

Q2 Improve buses, support infrastructure for alternative transport including bikes, mobility scooters, I would also advocate to repair our badly in need of repair sidewalks. As we all agree, walking is the most active form of transit that there is. Everyone is hurt by sidewalks needing to be replaced. They’re dangerous,unsightly and points of anger for many people. 

Q3 I am currently working with many people who wish traffic calming and speed enforcement measures throughout Ward 3. Speedvale Avenue needs bike lanes and needs to be re-examined by our traffic department to see how we can stop cars travelling at speeds in excess of 100 kmh. Residential streets need to be thoughtfully assessed to see what traffic calming can be done to ensure they are not used as short cuts. Why we do not use one way streets and 365/24 parking as a cheap form of traffic calming eludes me. If Montreal and Toronto can use these measures, Guelph can too.

June Hofland

Q1 I agree that biking and walking have health, environmental, social and economic benefits to the City of Guelph and its citizens.  I also agree we need a better approach than the patchwork scenario. Last year council approved $12 million be included in the proposed 2018-2027 capital budget.  Council also approved year-round maintenance funding. To answer your question yes I would work to implement stable, dedicated funding to build connected Active Transportation at a faster pace.  Perhaps we could approve a percentage of our road budgets go towards Active Transportation. Happy to work on such a motion with the community.

Q2 Establish the city’s vision to become one of Canada’s most bicycle-friendly communities by providing a safe, practical cycling environment.  Upgrades to our city trails to improve connectivity for all forms of transportation walking, running, cycling and even inline skating. Commuter trails that are not necessarily on the streets, curb cuts, controlled crossing locations, underpasses and bridges where feasible.  Also protected bike lanes. I will also champion frequent, reliable bus service that will get people to their destinations in an efficient fashion. Sidewalks that are accessible, more multi-use paths, and more pedestrian crossovers.

Q3 Traffic calming, speed enforcement, pedestrian crossovers, bike boxes, green painted lanes, protected intersections in other words investing in the a safe active transportation network.

Did not respond: Jason Dodge, Steve Petric, Patrick Sheridan

Ward 4

Matt Saunders

Q1 The data is clear: a population that can rely on cycling for transportation is fitter, healthier, and happier. Our city’s current patchwork approach fails on two fronts: not only do we have many disconnected parts of our bike grid, but what we do have is still right in the middle of traffic! Only dedicated cyclists are brave enough to dodge cars and trucks (and swing around stopped buses) to get to their destination. If we’re going to make cycling work for everybody, we need separate, stable and dedicated funding to build a separated bike travel network.

Q2 We need to accept a real paradigm shift: we need to view cyclists not as vehicles on a road but as pedestrians with wheels. Right now, in Ward 4, nobody lives more than a 20 minute bike ride from downtown. (Sometimes it takes me twenty minutes just to find parking!) But almost nobody chooses to bike — because we haven’t built the kind of infrastructure that makes people feel safe. We need a traffic-separated bike network: connecting our park and river trail system with effective overpasses and underpasses (across the Hanlon, the rivers, and the CN tracks), building new bike routes off the roads and safely away from traffic and bus stops, and building on-road “bike lanes” only as a last resort. We need to stop thinking of bikes as an afterthought and treat them as a viable transportation alternative.

This isn’t a novel idea. The University of Guelph has been criss-crossed with this kind of pedestrian/bicycle shared infrastructure for as long as I’ve lived in Guelph — and it works! Wide sidewalks, asphalt paths, brick walks, and (just as importantly) effective transit connections all combine to make this the only real pedestrians-first area in town.

Q3  By taking bicycles out of car traffic, cycling will be much safer (and drivers will be better off!) We also need to redesign some trouble roads like Speedvale at Kathleen — drivers in that area are subtly encouraged, by the location of the hills and the layout of the road and sidewalks, to treat that section as a fast highway instead of a city street. Good design encourages safety — and we can use good design to make our intersections better.

Mike Salisbury

Q1 – You can partially blame me for this problem. 

Back in my first term of council we had a number of road reconstruction projects completed WITHOUT bike lanes. The reason was that they were not identified as bicycle routes in the cycling masterplan.
The policy that I forwarded and helped implement was that when arterial and collector road reconstruction projects are completed, bike lanes would be included BY DEFAULT. On one hand, the result is a patchwork of cycling infrastructure, but in the long view we will achieve a comprehensive multi-million dollar cycling infrastructure we could not otherwise afford. Short term pain for long term gain…. All the while stretching our tax dollars.
To answer your specific question – YES, we absolutely continue to build connected infrastructure to implement our Active Transportation masterplan as quickly as possible, particularly the Hanlon Expressway underpass.

Q2 – As a lifelong cyclist I support more off street path options particularly to be able to access employment lands and shopping. The west end (ward 4) has serious challenges with regards to this. I fought hard to ensure that the underpass beneath the Hanlon Expressway be included in the Active Transportation Masterplan so that we could develop an off road linkage to the downtown and the Hanlon Creek Business Park. I will continue to make this a top priority for the residents of Ward 4.

Q3 – In 2003 I was hit by a car that turned in front of me while riding down Gordon Street and was nearly killed. There is currently a green cycling awareness lane there now so I’m guessing I’m not the only person who has had vehicle conflicts here.

In addition to improving infrastructure we need to promote Bicycle Safety Campaign that aims to help educate both drivers and cyclists on how to properly use bike boxes, shared lanes and how to make right turns across bike lanes. Cyclists are vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act – nothing makes me angry when I see adult cyclists racing down the wrong way on pedestrian sidewalk. Safety is a joint responsibility. YES, we need to provide safer infrastructure, and YES we need to educate both cyclists and drivers, but we also need to enforce rules of the road to reduce the number of pedestrian and cycling deaths and serious injuries.

Did not respond: Indu Arora, Christine Billings, Brendan Clark, Peter Hamtak, Eli Ridder

Ward 5

Cathy Downer

Q1Yes, I believe we need safe and reliable transportation choices that includes walking and cycling. The Active Transportation Network was approved in 2017 . Council needs to keep its commitment of $12 million over the next 10 years to implement the improvements and connection gaps. 

Q2 The good news is that bicycle trips have tripled over the past 10 years so we are on our way. We need to continue to make cycling and walking a safer and more pleasurable experience so that it becomes a ‘real choice’ for Transportation. We have to carry through with and continue our sidewalk repair program and other infrastructure repairs. Also, we need to ensure we have good winter maintenance on our sidewalks and network trails. Promotion and education needs to start young with expanded ‘walk to school’ programs. Partnerships with GCAT and other groups are important for collaboration in the promotion of alternatives to the car. We also need to improve our transit system with more frequent and reliable service which would include extended service on Sundays.

Q3 This will take a number of approaches – safer separated bicycle lanes, education, better enforcement for cyclists and vehicles, protected intersections, speed photo radar in school zones, change municipal cycling legislation and laws as recommended in the Cycling Master Plan- to name a few. We have an opportunity with the update of the Transportation Master Plan next year to really look to best practices to move us in the right direction in regards to reducing pedestrian and cycling deaths and injuries.

Did not respond: Alex Green, Leanne Piper

Ward 6

Mark MacKinnon:

Q1 Infrastructure projects cannot be looked at in isolation, both for financial and work capacity reasons. This past term of council we created an Asset Management department to take a holistic approach to the creation of new infrastructure and the rejuvenation of older infrastructure. Council will review the Transportation Master Plan update in 2019, which will help guide the direction of all methods of movement throughout the city, and I look forward to reviewing the recommendations regarding our active transportation network. Until we have a new Master Plan in place, we must take a measured approach to active transportation infrastructure that follows our current guidelines. When feasible, its important to prioritise work to ensure no area of the city is left deficient for safe non-automobile travel (such as we did when we installed the separated active transportation lanes on Woodlawn).

Q2 The transit service review that is currently underway is critical to understand how we can improve public transit to help skew the modal split away from personal autos. The next term of council will have an excellent opportunity to make substantial improvements and strategic, targeted investments in our public transit service. For cycling infrastructure, I would like to see more off-street path options (or physically separated paths) when it is financially and infrastructurally feasible. These changes are more difficult in older, built-up areas of the city, so we need to ensure we take advantage of the clean slate opportunities in new neighbourhoods such as the Clair-Maltby and Innovation District areas. I also support the city’s recent installation of new cycling road markings, whether it be green paint highlights at intersections or the creation of a “cycling crosswalk” like we now have at Gordon and Stone. To assist pedestrian traffic, I support the elimination of sidewalk discontinuities across the city and welcome the investments council has made into extensive sidewalk repair and ploughing. Furthermore, residents will feel safer walking across busy roads when we install pedestrian islands (like we did on Downey) and new enhanced pedestrian crossovers (like we did on Grange). Our term of council set the right path forward by activating alternate transportation methods and we should continue this important work over the next council term.

Q3 The city must continue creating safer interaction spaces between vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. This includes installing enhanced pedestrian crossovers and cycling crosswalks at busy intersections, as well continuing our calming traffic plans such as pedestrian islands, vertical and horizontal deflections, and visible lane paintings and markings. These initiatives requires continued council funding during budgets and I have supported such work in the past and will do so in the next council term as well. Additionally, traffic enforcement is a vital component of street safety and I will continue to support council’s integrated relationship with both city bylaw and police departments. Finally, education and communication plays an important role to alert drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians to safe travelling procedures and I will continue to support the city’s efforts through my social media accounts.

Stacy Cooper

Q1 I agree with you on the patchwork style of road reconstruction.  It looks terrible.  I’d rather we build the roads correctly in the first place, knowing that when we have an arterial road, that the road be built with multi-purpose sidewalks for walking/cycling, and leave the roads for the vehicles.  The funding itself would be part of the infrastructure funding that I would review.

Q2 If we got Transit working properly, that would be ideal.  Having transit that would get close to popular stops would be recommended.  From a south end perspective, most paths I want to bike are still dangerous or inaccessible by anything other than a car.  I’m hard-pressed to encourage citizens to bike or walk outside of our ward, especially in light of all the bike thefts.  But, within our ward, we’re just missing a few trail connections to be able to bike to the other wards and within our own ward; and I’m encouraged by the work that David Beaton is doing at the City to get us there.

Q3  I’m baffled by the number of students who don’t wear bike helmets, and regular citizens in general!  Police are allowed to ticket these individuals, they could educate students at schools, and also put out media messaging on radio or print ads explaining the seriousness of not wearing a helmet.  

As citizens we can make it a recommendation to police when reviews come up and could write a letter endorsed by Council immediately for police to initiate this on their own.  I don’t have all of the stats on the injuries or deaths, but I suspect some distracted driving is part of this equation as well and will again need to be part of the police service mandate to initiate solutions.

 

Dominique O’Rourke

Q1 As someone who has done extensive work with the Canadian Index of Wellbeing I understand how important active transportation is to physical and mental wellbeing and for the  environment. Rather than a patchwork, we need to look at the city as a whole system and strive for continuity. The next term of council will have an opportunity to do this by updating the Transportation Master Plan.

We do need to maximize opportunities to build and connect infrastructure like multi-use paths properly the first time, especially in new developments and during road construction. Clair Maltby is a prime opportunity to do just that. 
You refer to this as cycling infrastructure but I think we need to look at universal design for people with strollers or wheelchairs too. 

With respect to dedicated funding to build connected infrastructure at a faster pace, I need more information about the costs, timelines and tradeoffs before committing to that. 

Q2 Better civic design, better connectivity and better transit  would encourage people to get around the city without their cars. 

For example, the Official Plan calls for complete communities with a mix of commercial and residential but we continue to build 70’s style subdivisions where there are very few walkable services. (I’m thinking of the city’s north end.) Once that land is all taken up with housing, there’s no commercial space left. In the East end, hopefully the Commercial Policy review will attract more business and provide more opportunities for people to walk to local services. 
Planning also has to consider connectivity and to view the city as a whole system. I am the only candidate to ask council during the Clair-Maltby consultation to draw the south end rec centre on the conceptual map so we could be sure this future civic hub serves high density housing and is connected by road and bike paths for easy access. A second Ward 6 example is needed connectivity from the east to the west side of the Hanlon Business Park. There is currently no transit service in the West side of the park so you would have to take a bus to Southgate, walk across the Hanlon overpass and then cut through a field because there are no sidewalks. 
Reliable, frequent and affordable transit – including mobility transit – is also part of the solution.
There’s a role for the private sector as well. Employers and businesses can encourage people to walk or bike and to have bike racks available. They can also encourage people to take transit.
All this said, 51,000 people commute by car or truck every day  so we need to maintain robust road infrastructure for private and commercial vehicles and for public transit. We need integrated thinking of “both-and”, not either-or.


Q3 
There are a number of factors at play.

1. Education – Pedestrians, cyclists and motorists all need to know and obey the rules of the road. This means not texting while walking, crossing at intersections, not running across Gordon St to catch a bus! Cyclists need to ride in bike lanes,  not weave, wear a helmet, have lights at night, etc. But most importantly – drivers need to share the road and slow down. Pedestrians and cyclists are much more vulnerable than drivers. This work is never done and we all have an individual and a collective responsibility.
2. Environment – We can improve city planning to ensure intersections are safe for pedestrians and cyclists and the infrastructure is automatically in place in new developments.  I’m running in part because of Arkell Road where we’ve built a number of townhouses on the north side of the road but without a crosswalk for kids to get to school or to the park. That’s poor planning. 
I’d like to see more multi-use paths to separate cyclists from the road and, again, we need to be thinking about continuity. For example, the people who live on Victoria road don’t have a sidewalk to get to Arkell Road or to Jubilee Park. Bad planning has created an island of isolation for that subdivision.  It’s not just for cyclists and pedestians, it’s also for anyone with a stroller, a walker or a wheelchair. We need to be thinking about universal design for an environment that provides a safe and attractive option.
3. Enforcement – Whether it’s more officers or technology like red light cameras, we need to enforce the rules we establish. Increasing the number of officers for traffic safety is part of my platform 
Very few things shape behaviour: the environment itself which nudges behaviour, positive reinforcement or penalty. We need to be looking at all three when we review the Transportation Master Plan.

Did not respond: Usha Arora,  Anshu Khurana,

 

 

 

 

 

Mayoral Candidates Debate and Ward Candidates Meet and Greet Wednesday, Sept. 26

Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation is proud to be one of the sponsors of this event.  Come and see how the mayoral candidates weigh in on many issues, including how they value active transportation. There will be opportunities for the audience to submit questions as well.

Sponsored by:

CFRU
eMerge
CFUW-Guelph
OPIRG-Guelph
Fair Vote-Guelph
The Leap-Guelph
Guelph Labour Council
Ontario Central Students Association
Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation
Guelph Wellington Coalition for Social Justice

Don’t miss the 4th annual Tweed Ride, Sunday, Sept. 30!

Get your bike! Dress in your finest tweeds and join us on  Sunday, Sept 30, 1-3pm, for a leisurely 7km ride through the quiet streets and trails of Guelph. Admission is free!

For our ride, we’ll meet at the Arboretum Centre 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 make a brief refreshment stop at the historic McCrae House, then 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 Trail Club.

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!

 

Please meet at the parking lot 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.

Spaces are limited! Please register at info@gcat.ca

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

“Ride The Ward” rides with your municipal ward candidate!

Want to join some of your municipal ward candidates to  learn about the benefits and pitfalls of riding a bike in your neighbourhood?

This September and October, Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation (GCAT) is hosting ward rides in  Wards 1 through 6  to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of Guelph active transportation infrastructure. Each ride will take approximately an hour at a leisurely pace, with stops along the way. The public and the media are invited to attend and share ideas.

At the end of each ride, we will stop at a pre designated location to discuss what we liked about the ride, and how we can improve active transportation infrastructure in each ward. We will compile the information for all candidates,including mayoral candidates, and city staff!
Here are the dates for the rides: All rides begin at 11am. Click on Ward to get map of the ride: Please RSVP your ride leader or info@gcat.ca if you are interested in attending!
  • Ward 3 Sept . 9 with Duncan McKenzie. mandm@vianet.ca

Starting location: front of Roobarb Cafe, 77 Westmount Rd.

  • Ward 4  Sept 16 with Yvette Tendick  yvelep@hotmail.com

Start and end location: Wild Wing

  • Ward 5 Sept. 23 with Laura Brown laura@ventifact.ca

start and end location: The Boathouse

  • Ward 1 Sept. 29 with Jordan Richard  jbrchrd@gmail.com

start location:  Wooden Bridge, Gordon St. side,
end location Appetizingly Yours, 54 Elizateth St.

  • Ward 2 Oct. 14 with Mike Darmon  mikedarmon@yahoo.ca

Starting point: Parking lot off of Marilyn Dr in Riverside Park
Ending point  Red Brick Cafe, 8 Douglas St.

  • Ward 6 Oct. 13 Discussion of Active Transportation infrastructure in the South end with Yvette Tendick  yvelep@hotmail.com (Ride postponed to the Spring)

Please note time change:  11:30am

Location: Fat Duck Gastro Pub, 210 Kortright Rd. W

 

 

For more information, please contact info@gcat.ca Don’t forget your helmet!

Building the Cycling City- Guelph Book Launch, 6:30pm Aug. 27

On Monday, August 27th, please join us at the eBar to celebrate the release of the book “Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality.”

Enjoy laughs, learning, and a pint, as Melissa and Chris Bruntlett discuss the process of the Netherlands becoming the world’s top cycling nation, and how North American cities are starting to implement Dutch-inspired ideas and infrastructure.

Presented by the Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation.

Copies of the book will be available for sale. More about this project: http://www.modacitylife.com/building-the-cycling-city/

The E-Bar is located at 41 Quebec St in downtown Guelph. Doors open at 6:30pm. The program starts at 7:00pm.  Please let us know you are coming. Tickets are available on Eventbrite

 

 

So many great June Bike Month Events!

So many June Bike Month Events to choose from!

Listed below are the events hosted or co-hosted by Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation!

June 16, 1-3pm “Trees, Bikes and a Pint: A tribute to Henry Kock
June 19 6pm-9pm “Why We Cycle” movie and discussion
June 23 9:30 am, “Love Your Bike” Festival

And of course, don’t forget the culminating event, the  Tour de Guelph on June 24!

So many different events for so many different bike styles!
For a full listing of events, click here!

“Why We Cycle” movie and Discussion, June 19, 6pm

Why We Cycle

A documentary exploring the hidden effects of bicycling on people, societies, and the organization of cities. This film screening is free, courtesy of the City of Guelph.

Afterwards, Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation will be hosting a discussion of “Where do we go from Here?” at the Greenroom of the E-bar, with Benita Van Miltenburg, TDM coordinator, City of Guelph will be attending. Come for a drink, snack, or just for the discussion!

Time
Movie: Tuesday, June 19 at 6:00 pm – Tuesday, June 19 at 7:00 pm
Discussion: after the movie, 7pm Greenroom at the E-Bar
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Event Links
http://whywecycle.eu/

There are more bicycles than people in the Netherlands. More than 25% of all trips are by bike. In some cities this adds up to over 60%. But do the Dutch ever think or talk about this? Not much. This may be part of the success of Dutch cycling: it is self-evident. But what if we would talk about the self-evident?

In this movie regular cyclists and regular scientists from all walks of life paint a picture of Dutch cycling culture. We learn that cycling leads to happiness, health, keeping up cognitive functions and creativity and a state of readiness. Cycling also leads to happy children who enjoy the autonomy of independent travel. Because cyclists are open to their surroundings and each other, city life tends to be more open. Trust among people grows as they interact through cycling.

Join this free event hosted by the City of Guelph to experience the world of cycling in the Netherlands and challenge conceptions of City life, social interaction and every day travel.

Contact
tdm@guelph.ca / 5198221260 ext 2357 (movie)
info@gcat.ca (discussion aftewards)

Trees Bikes and a Pint: A Tribute to the Late Henry Kock

Celebrate the good things in life!

When: June 16, 1-3pm

2Rivers Festival and Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation team up to offer 10km tribute ride to the late Henry Kock, Guelph’s beloved horticulturalist, to celebrate his passion for trees, river systems, bikes and local beer. Enjoy stops along the way with University of Guelph arborist Sean Fox to discover some of Guelph’s magnificent trees. This is a family friendly ride on gravel trails and quiet streets. Mountain/hybrid bikes and helmets are encouraged.

Note: We will meet at the intersection of Florence Lane and Lawrence Avenue. The trip ends up at the Royal City Brewery where we reflect on the experience and slacken our thirst.

Please RSVP at https://www.2riversfestival.org/20event_trees_bikes_a_pint_a_tribute_ride_to_the_late_henry_kock

For more information, contact info@gcat.ca

Come out to the “Love Your Bike Festival”, June 23

June 23, starting at 9:30 am, Front lawn of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 161 Norfolk St.!

Come out for the fifth annual Love Your Bike Festival! This festival includes the young and old in celebrating Guelph’s favourite mode of transportation – The Bike!

Give your bike some love! Three of Guelph’s cycling shops (Backpeddling, Paramount Sports and Speed River Bicycle) will be on hand to offer free mechanical checks in preparation for the Tour de Guelph which rolls out the following day.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • A“Wrench-Off” at 10:00am featuring Guelph’s top bike mechanics in a friendly flat-fixing competition
  • An antique bike display, courtesy of  Clayton Foxall from Backpeddling
  • A moment of silence at 10am for fallen cyclists followed by a “Blessing of the Bikes”
  • Try out a demo bike!
  • Free coffee and treats before 11am!
  • Two Group rides leave at 11am sharp (registration starts at 9:30am; helmets required)
    • A police escorted family ride, called  The “Easy Rider Parade,” around Exhibition Park, led by Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation (GCAT)
    • The “Two Rivers Ride,” along the recreation trails to Guelph Lake and back, led by  Guelph Off Road Bicycling Association (GORBA)
    • Rides finish at The Wooly at 12:00 noon with a BBQ, refreshments and prizes provided by Steam Whistle Brewery, and activities hosted by GCAT.  Kids who participate get a free hotdog and a drink!
  • Rides finish at The Wooly at 12:00 noon with a BBQ, refreshments and prizes provided by Steam Whistle Brewery, and activities hosted by GCAT.  Kids who participate get a free hotdog and a drink!

For more info, contact info@gcat.ca