New cycling master plan endorsed by development and technical services committee
KITCHENER The development and technical services committee set the wheels in motion for Kitchener to become a more bicycle-friendly city last night by endorsing the 2010 cycling master plan, entitled Cycling Master Plan for the 21st Century.
The cycling master plan outlines the implementation of a network of approximately 114 kilometres of bikeway over 20 years, at a cost of $6.1 million to the city. This will require an investment of $200,000 annually to start, increasing to $300,000 annually beginning in 2015.
“It’s difficult to articulate the number of benefits cycling provides as active transportation -- from personal health and environmental preservation, to reducing demand on roadways and other related resources and infrastructure,” said Ron Schirm, the city’s supervisor of crossing guards. “Ultimately, having a plan like this will increase the quality of life of our residents.”
The cycling master plan has been in the making for a number of years, as a follow-up to a bikeway study that was conducted in 1998. Since then a cycling advisory committee has been established and co-funding through the Ministry of Transportation has enabled the City to pursue the development of a cycling master plan at a considerable cost savings.
A great deal of public consultation went in to the creation of the cycling master plan, including a cycling tour with members of the cycling advisory committee; a stakeholder workshop; two public opens houses and a public information session.
The plan is designed to guide city council, staff, the cycling advisory committee and residents on the development of cycling policy, programs and infrastructure over the next 20 years.
The document contains detail identifying immediate and shorter term needs and goals as well as policy and direction to assist staff in making significant improvements in bicycle infrastructure and programming and promote cycling not only for recreation, but as a viable transportation alternative over the long term.
The goal is to provide an environment that addresses the needs of not only those who already cycle consistently but moreover the majority of people who would like to cycle, but whose lack of comfort or feeling of safety in the present on and off road environment within the city are a barrier to cycling.