Ontario Helping York Region Expand Cycling And Improve Safety
Province Investing $1.3 Million In Local Cycling Infrastructure
Ontario is providing $1.3 million to York Region over the next two years to help build new, or improve existing, cycling infrastructure through the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program.
Markham will receive $325,000 to upgrade two kilometres of cycling and walking paths and to build three active transportation bridges in Milne Conservation Park. This work is part of the City's plan to create an extensive off-road path that will be a key active transportation route, providing a safe connection for cyclists from east Markham to Unionville.
Richmond Hill will receive $325,000 to install a new 2.26 kilometre cycling and walking path adjacent to busy Leslie Street, contributing to a major north-south cycling route and connecting residential and employment areas. The facility will also form part of the Lake to Lake cycling route, intended to connect Lake Ontario with Lake Simcoe.
Newmarket will receive $325,000 for a new 5.28 kilometre long Newmarket east-west bikeway that connects various residential neighbourhoods to downtown Newmarket, the Yonge Street commercial area and a GO bus station. The route will be mainly on-road but separated from motor vehicle traffic by physical barriers for most of the way.
York Region will receive $325,000 to construct and improve a 3.7 kilometre section of the Lake to Lake cycling and walking path. The route will connect Highway 7 cycling facilities within the City of Markham to the existing East Don River cycling trail in the City of Toronto. This new section will create more than 40 kilometres of continuous cycling trail.
Last year, Ontario launched the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program, a $10 million funding program to help municipalities across the province build new, and improve existing, cycling infrastructure. Ontario is providing 50 per cent of eligible project costs, to a maximum of $325,000. Eligible projects for funding included the installation or improvement of on-road cycling lanes, off-road cycling and walking paths, cycling-specific traffic signals and signs, active transportation bridges and bike racks.
The Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program is helping implement #CycleON: Ontario's Cycling Strategy, the government's 20-year vision to encourage the growth of cycling and improve safety for cyclists across the province.
Investing in cycling infrastructure is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- Projects selected for funding most effectively aligned with the program objectives: improving connections between local cycling networks, promoting safety, enabling recreation and tourism, encouraging innovation, research and data collection, supporting partnerships and improving awareness of cycling as a viable transportation mode.
- Almost three million Ontarians hop on their bikes at least once a week during the spring, summer and fall and many cycle year-round.
“Building cycling infrastructure is important in helping us make Ontario a great place to ride a bike. Working together with our partners, the cycling community and local municipalities, I know we will succeed in making Ontario a cycling leader in North America.”
Steven Del Duca
“Cycling is an excellent way to exercise and spend time with family and friends. Our government’s investment in the Milne Conservation Park path will enable more opportunities and connections to enjoy, explore and experience the wonderful community in which we are so fortunate to live.”
“York Region applauds the Government of Ontario for its long-term commitment to expand, modernize and rehabilitate our cycling infrastructure. Cycling is a critical part of our overall transportation network in York Region. It’s not only great exercise, but during much of the year cycling provides residents and visitors with a viable alternative to driving which helps reduce both traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Premier Wynne’s government is to be congratulated for funding this important initiative. These enhancements to the Milne Conservation Park cycling and pathway trails will add to Markham’s existing 200 km. cycling and multi-use pathway network in providing more leisure and recreation opportunities for residents and visitors.”