Because of community activism, Guelph gets a Multi-Use path on one of the busiest roads in the city.
Over the years, Woodlawn Road has become more and more populated with restaurants, a bowling alley, a theatre, and huge concentration of employment in the manufacturing industry. Much of this employment is low wage.
Yet, people using Woodlawn Road to get to work or to shop other than by car, such as by bicycle or on foot or by transit, had no safe passage. A well worn goat path was the only way many of them traversed this busy and dangerous road.
In 2014, city council voted in an $300,000 Active Transportation line item to fund a sorely needed multi-use path along the very busy Woodlawn Road.
However, for some reason, city staff, in their proposed budget of 2015, eliminated the funding of the MUP for one year.
The Active Transportation community did not passively accept this. Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation and GOTbike rallied concerned citizens. 13 out of the 20 delegates that spoke on Feb. 25. spoke against the defunding of this Multi-Use path. Moms of young children, engineers, cyclists, transit users and landscape architects spoke about the need for proper cycling/walking infrastructure in Guelph. And city council heard us loud and clear.
On March 25, we were hoping to get $300,000 re-instated in the 2015 budget for Active Transportation. But, we didn’t get that.
Instead, we got $600,000!!!! We got enough money, combined with the $300,000 from 2014, to actually build the Multi-Use Path beside Woodlawn Road this year!
The support from council was overwhelming. The motion for $600,000 was put forward by Councillor Mike Salisbury and seconded by Councillor Bob Bell. Half of the $600,000 was to be covered by development charges, and therefore the budget was only increased by $300,000.
It was voted in 11 to 2! Councillors who voted for the motion were: Phil Allt, Bob Bell, Cathy Downer, Dan Gibson, James Gordon, Mayor Guthrie, June Hofland, Leanne Piper, Mike Salisbury, Karl Wettstein, and Andy Van Hellemond.
So please consider thanking your ward Councillor and Mayor Guthrie for actually funding a real live multi-use path that can be used right away this year. The path will be located on both sides of Woodlawn (off road) from Nicklin to Silvercreek Parkway. No longer will cyclists, walkers, and transit users be subjected to using an unsafe goat path, or to travel precariously on Woodlawn Road.
We are pleased that council had the vision to listen to the overwhelming support from Guelph citizens for this important active transportation corridor. Thank you to all of you who delegated and wrote letters to ward councillors. Thank you for the joint support from GOTbike as well.