If you’re an advocate for active transportation, you’ll be happy to hear there’s money on deck for Oakville’s bike lanes and cycling infrastructure.
Roughly $645,376 in provincial funding was announced on Dec. 4.
Oakville is one of 120 municipalities receiving funding from the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Grant Program.
Burlington is receiving $640,298 in funding, while Halton Hills is getting $225,988. Halton Region’s ‘upper tier’ is receiving $1,835,200.
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That’s good news for the residents who leave the car behind.
Approximately 555 Oakville residents cycle to work each day, according to recent Census data, and 2,895 residents walk.
Of those 555 cyclists, 425 are men. Female pedestrians outnumber men 1,690 to 1,200.
The town will use the money to increase or improve existing on-road bike lanes, multi-use trails, signed routes, and sharrows, or cycle lane markings.
Routes which include a high number of trips, according to the Active Transportation Master Plan (ATMP), are located in:
- Southeast Oakville – Cornwall Rd. to water boundary; Morrison Rd. to Ford Dr.
- Southwest Oakville – Bronte Rd. to Third Line; Lakeshore Rd. W. to water boundary.
- Central Oakville – Trafalgar Rd. to Sixth Line, Upper Middle Rd. E. to McCraney St. E.
A list of the projects and locations will be presented to council for consideration early in the new year.
“This grant will allow us to continue to be leaders in providing bike lanes for our cyclists,” said Mayor Rob Burton.
“Oakville has more bike lanes than Toronto on a per capita basis, and more absolute bike lanes than any of our neighbours.”
The town updated its ATMP earlier this year to improve and expand its active transportation network, and promote cycling and walking in Oakville.
The town currently has more than 200 kms of on and off-road bike lanes and multi-use trails.
Oakville places 8th out of 43 cities for the number of bicycle paths per capita, according to 2016 World Council on City Data (WCCD) rankings — that’s ahead of Toronto (ranked 23rd) and European cities such as Amsterdam (ranked 13th) and The Hague (ranked 12th).
Across Ontario, 120 municipalities will receive funding from the province for new bike lanes and other cycling infrastructure.
Total program funding is $93 million, an increase from the $42.5 million announced earlier this year.
This investment is part of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan and is funded by proceeds from the province’s cap on pollution and carbon market.
The funding can be used to cover up to 80 per cent of eligible project costs.
Projects using cycling grant funds must be completed by Dec. 30, 2020.