Report to Freewheeler Board and Bike Niagara
2018 Ontario Bike Summit – Looking Back, Rolling Forward
InterContinental Toronto Centre Hotel,Toronto, April 16 to 18, 2018
Attendees from Niagara:
David Hunt attended the above summit (Day 2 & 3) hosted by Share the Road Cycling Coalition, on behalf of the Freewheelers and Bike Niagara and offers this summary report of Summit highlights. Also noted in attendance from Niagara were:
- Ken Forgeron, Niagara Active Transportation Sub-Committee, who helped organize the summit
- Lisa Gallant (also a Summit organizer) and Jackie Gervais from Niagara Region Public Health
- Carolyn Ryall, Director Transportation Services, Niagara Region
- Larry Chettle, Town of Lincoln
Not attended was Day 1 on April 16thwhich was a late add-on workshop focusing on the Provinces review and support for a Bicycle Education Program.
Introduction – This is Share the Road Cycling Coalition’s 10thannual bike summit. The agenda over three days had about 20 individual sessions/activities. The author of this report attended events within the last 2 day period, which amounted to 14 sessions, producing 27 pages of notes. No, I will not burden you with all the details but will try of give just a few bullet points for each session.
Abstract Overall Impressions:
- The momentum is continuing to grow for more cycling and for significant measures of support for cycling
- The conference was attended by two Provincial Ministers who have responsibility for key components of Ontario’s Bicycle Strategy. The Honourable Eleanor McMahon, President, Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, and The Honourable Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Transportation (MTO)
- The number and depth of interest groups and agencies that are engaged in some form of cycling support is very impressive. There were 277 reported attendees at the summit.
- Funding support for bicycle infrastructure and education seems to keep growing.
- Planning and design solutions to problems and challenges are being addressed through best practises and reviews.
- Data collection and display is becoming more prominent through computer mapping and GPS crowdsourcing.
Summary Highlights – The following key highlights are noted as items which stand out during the sessions attended. Some session notes have been aided byhighlights from the Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation:
Day 2, April 17, Pre-Summit Sessions:
- Toronto Bike Tour #1 – Both scheduled tours were cancelled due to snow cover and cold temperatures but a virtual tour was held inside, showcasing cycling infrastructure in Toronto. Key takeaways included:
- Toronto now has 16 staff members who work on bicycles
- Many different infrastructure designs (contraflow bike lanes, bike boxes, cycletracks, signage, etc.) are applied to meet the challenges of high bike demands amidst motor vehicle congestion.
- Queen’s Quay is applying a complete streets approach with a cross section which includes the motor vehicle roadway, a transitway, bikeway and a pedestrian way. On major event days however, the bikeway becomes a pedestrian way due to the high numbers or people. Challenges also exist for people exiting transit vehicles onto the bikeway.
- Intersection signage with bike lanes for turning motor vehicles is also an issue. Some bike lanes are dotted at intersections (allowing cars to enter the bike lane to make a right hand turn) while other bike lanes have solid lines at intersections into which cars are not allowed to enter for right turns but must turn wide to avoid conflicts with bikes. Signs were installed to message motorists to give yield for cyclists and give cyclists the right or way at intersections, but the signs were confusing, so they are now under review.
- Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program (OMCCP)
- This program draws from a significant commitment of up to $225 million towards bicycle infrastructure.
- Funds are obtained form the Provincial Government’s Climate Change Action Program’s Cap and Trade for carbon reduction.
- The OMCCP has spent $94 million in 2017/18, involving 118 municipalities.
- It was announced that the program will continue into fiscal year 2017/18, subject to review by the government at that time.
- Bicycle Friendly Communities seminar
This seminar was cancelled due to lack of numbers and turned into two hands-on presentation sessions as follows:
3a – Wayfinding Approach in Thunder Bay
- This municipality has hired a consultant to produce a major wayfinding design for its bike and active living routes. The elements of distance, direction and destination were applied within a consultative process to produce very appealing options. Participants engaged in a survey to pick the most appealing sign designs.
3b – Neighbourhood Bikeways (Greenways, Boulevards) – Dale Bracewell, Manager, Transportation Planning, City of Vancouver
- Neighbourhood bikeways are used on residential streets to calm and remove traffic through such economically efficient means as bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, bump outs, pavement markings, reduced speeds, green landscaping, medians, pinch points, lane shifts, and speed bumps.
- A major challenge is the divergence of traffic to other areas, so broad consultation is required in the planning and design stages.
- Wayfinding – it was learnt that cyclists will follow paint on the pavement rather than read signs on posts.
- Advisory Bike Lanes – a new item of bike infrastructure, which paints bike lanes on local, narrow streets that have parking and are not wide enough to allow head on passing. It promotes a share the road message to help all road users negotiate travel in tight spaces.
- Reception and Awards Dinner
Welcomefrom JamieStuckless Share the Road CEO and from Cooperators Insurance Company who are very supportive of cycling.
Awards – The 2018 Bicycle Community Friendly (BFC) awards and Wheels of Change Awards were presented.
- Lisa Gallant from Niagara Region Public Health received a Wheels of Change award.
- Niagara still has 7 municipalities with BFC status, no changes in standings. From 71 applicants this year, new BFC’s in Ontario include:
- Town of Ajax – silver
- Waterloo – silver
- Caledon – bronze
- Cobourg – bronze
- Greater Sudbury – bronze
- Ontario now has 42 bicycle friendly communities as shown on the attached map
- Members from the Provincial All-Party Cycling Caucus – representatives from the three key parties except, surprisingly the NDP were present to voice non-partisan support for cycling and active living. The Honourable Eleanor McMahon, President, Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government gave an emotional tribute to the work done by Share the Road Cycling Coalition.
- Keynote Address by Dale Bracewell, Manager, Transportation Planning, City of Vancouver
Dale Bracewell gave an inspiring presentation on Vancouver’s Transportation 20/40 Master Plan which has a strong focus on walkability and bikeability: http://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/walk-bike-and-transit.aspx
- The plan has over 300 km of bike routes with 25% complete.
- 32% decrease in distance driven per resident since 2007.
- 10% of residents bike to work.
- Half of all trips are using sustainable modes (walking, biking, transit).
- 25% of their cycling network is AAA (All Ages and Abilities).
- Vancouver’s 10 Guidelines for AAA Bike Network: http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/design-guidelines-for-all-ages-and-abilities-cycling-routes.pdf
- Components of the plan also include complete streets, design guidelines, enhanced safety data, and education.
- For complete streets projects it is important to market the product and make it look nice through street scaping.
Strategic takeaways from his experience to support cycling is as follows:
- Do whatever is available, one step at a time, then push to complete the project (i.e. network, bike lanes, etc.). Don’t wait for perfect conditions, take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
- Take a long term view and build towards your objective bit by bit.
- Good land use planning is critical. Note: local input to Officials Plan is important.
Day 3, April 18:
- Welcome from Jamie Stuckless Share the Road CEO– Jamie gave a State of Cycling Presentation from new polling data.
- The data shows that cycling is increasing and there is majority support for investments in cycling infrastructure and cycling education.
http://www.sharetheroad.ca/opinion-poll-data-s17022 (includes additional link to full Nanos results).
- The Honourable Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Transportation (MTO)
- The Minister provided a review of cycling supportive programs:
- $150 million to $225 million for cycling programs from the Climate Change Action Program.
- Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program – $25 million announced in 2016 funded 37 projects ($15 million for Provincial Highways, and $10 million for municipal roads).
- Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program – $94 million, 118 municipalities have signed an infrastructure agreement.
- Cycling Education Workshop on April 16thas part of this Summit discussed a future comprehensive cycling education program with standards, certified instructors and delivery province-wide.
- Three announcements were made:
- Cycling Strategy Action Plan (CycleON 2.0 Action Plan.) was released which contains overviews about new funding streams, and the province’s strategies for benefiting from cycling (print copy attached).
- The province has just released an update of the Cycling Skills Guide (print copy attached):
- A final Province-wide Cycling Network was also released to the public. This is an 8000 km, on and off-road cycling network for both recreational cycling and cycle tourism. Half of the network uses existing routes, with Niagara having 4 existing routes identified within its boundaries.
Photo Radar Question
- One interesting question about photo radar was asked and it was confirmed that photo radar will be implemented at specific safety sites (e.g. schools). The program is waiting for regulations to be approved and for the appropriate technology to be determined.
- Bike Equity For All – One of 3 concurrent sessions which had 5 short presentations and an additional add-on as follows:
Friendly Streets Hamilton: Improving Equity of Active Travel For All (Elise Desjardins, Cycle Hamilton, and Kevin Love, Environment Hamilton)
- A community engagement project involving over 200 stakeholders in Hamilton with a focus on identifying walking and biking opportunities around the Hamilton General Hospital.
- Produced a toolkit for “safe and vibrant streets”.
Prioritizing Equity in Transportation Planning (Alta Planning + Design, Cailin Henley)
- This presentation offered a data approach using socio-economic and demographic indicators to identify geographic areas of highest need for access.
- Historically the disadvantaged and vulnerable have greater access needs and overlapping the mapped data sets showed areas where access gaps could be filled with non-motorized priorities for cycling and walking.
Bikes Optional: Providing Cycling Education for Underserved Youth (Caroline Cox, EcoSuperior Environmental Programs)
- Thunder Bay now has 37 active safe cycling instructors, which support kids cycling courses.
- Safe Cycling Thunder Bay was launched in 2012. In 2014 it had put through 24,000 students with the total now at 30,000, supporting a full time co-ordinator position.
- Challenges include no bikes, broken bikes, broken helmets, no helmets, learn to ride requirements, loaner bikes needed, a need for bike mechanics on site, storage and transportation of equipment.
- Challenges met through:
- helmet purchases ($26.00 each) in different colors (red large, purple medium) to simplify size sorting.
- Support from Bike shops for sponsorships.
- Capacity of human resources expanded through police, nurses, exiting staff helping.
- Partnerships formed to help purchase bikes and provide transportation.
#GetAjaxMoving: shifting transportation behaviour one person at a time (Elysia Leung, Town of Ajax)
- The Town has launched a community engagement project about a new transportation awareness initiative to give Ajax residents the tools they need to get around easier, faster and smarter!
- #GetAjaxMoving includes a set of practical tools designed to help the mobility of Ajax residents, including options for biking, walking, transit, school trips, telecommuting, and winter trips
- With 160 km of on and off-road bike routes, they want to increase the non-motorized modal share to 30% by 2021.
Ontario Active School Travel (Kate Berry and Armi de Francia, Green Communities Canada)
- This school travel planning project started in 1996, has a $3.5 million government grant through the Ontario Active School Fund and seeks to get more students walking and cycling to school
- Barriers included traffic, access, routes, security, weather and attitudes
- The plan incorporated the 5 E’s and was enabled through skills training by CAN-Bike instructors, the supply of safety equipment such as bells, lights, etc., good planning for routes, and tips for implementing bike rodeos.
- Bike to School week is coming up from May 28thto June 1st.
- There has been an increase in participation from 2016 by 40%
Add-on Presentation – National Cycling Strategy Yvonne Bambrick
Urban Cycling Consultant
- There is a movement to create a National Cycling Strategy in Canada to have funding and support at a National level.
- The presentation Vélo Canada Bikes reviewed the need for a National Cycling Strategy and also about the upcoming National Bike Summit in Ottawa, on May 28th and 29th, 2018 at Ottawa City Hall and Parliament Hill, with that agenda here (our Eventbrite page.)
- Building on the success of the 1st National Bike Summit, this event will bring together cycling and active transportation stakeholders from across the country, to take tangible steps towards building a bike friendly Canada.
- Summit Objectives:
- Demonstrate the need and importance of Federal leadership to advance everyday cycling in Canada.
- Mobilize cycling stakeholders to work together to achieve a bike and active transportation friendly Canada.
- Meet with Parliamentarians and elected officials from all levels of government and discuss cycling.
- Second Concurrent Session – Community Inspiration
A “20×20” session where presenters had 20 slides and 20 seconds for each slide.
Small efforts add up to big data: How Bike Ottawa is putting cycling on the map (Shawn Gettler, Bike Ottawa)
- Bike Ottawa has a very intensive computer tech. approach to obtaining data and mapping it to show safety hot spots, collisions, traffic stress areas
- https://blog.mapillary.com/update/2017/11/17/completing-the-map-for-bicycle-advocacy-in-ottawa.html is a mapping project for advocates to make a case for infrastructure improvements which produce the following maps https://maps.bikeottawa.ca/.
- This is way over my head, but it can also be done by consultants or as a college project.
Prove it – CO2 emissions (Kate Whitfield, Alta Planning + Design)
- The challenges and difficulties of measuring CO2 reductions from cycling projects were listed.
- Difficulties can be experienced from before and after counts, assumption of change from autos to bikes, assumptions of number of trips from one mode to another.
- The importance of having data was underlined in order to do any analysis.
Make it count – How local organizations can enrich data-poor cities (Kelsey Lane, Halifax Cycling Coalition)
- The Halifax Cycling Coalition developed a crowdsourcing app called Cycle snApp to capture geo-tagged citizen feedback on anything cycling related, which then can be mapped https://cyclehalifax.ca/learn/snapp/ .
- The project partnered with the local university and overcame lack of trust from city engineers.
The Toronto Bicycle Music Festival Series: animating public space with the power of music, art, and bicycles (Keagan Gartz Cycle Toronto)
- This festivalis a bicycle-powered mobile music festival that’s been taking place since 2010. Their message: “Just add bikes” to an event. http://torontobicyclemusicfestival.com/
- Risks involve the weather, funding, permits and building partnerships.
Building Resilience: Equity, Mobility and Sustainability (Darnel Harris, Rapid Transit Greenway)
- This is the application of complete streets in a greenway concept in the form of a linear parkway along the Finch Rapid Transitway in Toronto.
- Challenges include timing to get the concept accepted in a space for sidewalks, bikeways, roadways and rapid transit.
Why don’t we bike to the GO? (Matt Pinder, Metrolinx and James Scholfield, TransForm Lab – Ryerson University)
- Bike parking at GO stations is much more efficient that car parking and even walking, but only 1% of users park bikes, or there are 80 cars for every bike.
- But a recent survey indicated 1 out of 3 commuters would try biking, if conditions were safer (i.e. good routes and more convenient secure parking.
- Go will be adding more bike infrastructure and marketing improvements to build a culture for cycling.
Finding the Right Metrics for Your Project Session – Behind the Scenes of North America’s Most Extensively Studied Bike Lane
I did not attend this session but offer these notes from Jordan and Yvette from Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation, since it is a very high profile project.
Final report to Council
This was about Toronto’s Bloor St. Protected Bike Lane Pilot Project. There were a HUGE number of contributors to this from cycling advocacy, BIA’s, resident associations, Toronto city hall, researchers, consultants, doctors/health advocates.
Highlights from the data collection for Bloor St. Protected bike lane project:
- Daily cyclist count went from 3,300 in June 2016 to 4,900 in June 2017 (49% increase).
- The total number of conflicts/near-misses between all road-users decreased by 44%.
- Bike/vehicle conflicts reduced by 61%.
- 85% of cyclists now feel safe, compared to 3% before.
- LUNCH Speaker – Brett Chang (Uber Canada) – Ridesharing and Cyclists: How technology can make for safer roads
- Uber partnered with Share the Road Coalition and was made the ride sharing sponsor for the summit.
- A very impressive message from Uber to support cycling as follows:
- Uber is about offering alternative options for safe, efficient transportation through multimodal connections.
- Uber has acquired JUMP (a pedal assisted vehicle company) to enhance its service.
- Safety is a key objective regarding cycling in the following ways:
- Legal Obligations – all uber drivers will accept a dialogue requiring a legal, mandatory obligation to share the road.
- Awareness and Education – no drop-offs in bike lanes, education video series, door prize stickers.
- Support for Partners – uber bike carriers (e.g. Uber Eats) to be given safety equipment (e.g. bells, lights, etc.).
- Advocacy – join others in voicing support for bike legal protection, infrastructure, designs, etc.
- LUNCH Panel Discussion: The High Impact of Connected Cycling Networks
Moderator: Jacquelyn Hayward Gulati (City of Toronto)
The following 4 panelists gave a short presentation with the following key messages:
Katharine Glowacz (City of Calgary)
- Calgary put in a pilot project of 6.5km of protected cycle tracks using temporary posts
- Cycle volume tripled, and the project was approved
- Challenges include going from one-way to two-way streets and conflicts for access to bus stations
- Advice includes:
- Connecting the network is important
- Pilot approach works
- Data collection important
- Use photos to tell the story
- Leverage the opportunities and experience of other jurisdictions and their best practises.
Tyler Golly (Stantec)
- Edmonton, a city of 1 million, implemented a cycle track network and offered the following advice:
- Frame objective to be broader than just bike lanes
- Complete streets are about more than just cycling
- Work to obtain broad community support and listen to concerns
- Use visuals for analysis rather than just the numbers
- Make the project attractive with street scaping. It can’t look like garbage.
- Data collection is important. Partner with a 3rdparty for enhance objectivity like a university.
Jean-François Pronovost (Vélo Québec)
- The importance of route connections was emphasized in building La Route Verte, a 5000km bike network for touring, recreation, and in urban areas commuting trips.
- Challenges included dealing with local parochial issues, but now La Route Verte is branded as the backbone of the Provincial Bike Network.
- Trip purpose has not become important for building new routes, just being part of the network is key.
- Over a 5 year period to 2015 a survey showed that overall cycling increased by 20%, but commuter cycling by 200%.
Dorothy Kowpak (City of Vaughan)
- Vaughan is planning for 13.4km of cycling facilities in their future downtown development plan.
- All residents will be within 200m of a cycle track.
- Concurrent Session (#3) – Cycling Design (2 part session)
Part One: Ontario Traffic Manual Book 18 (David McLaughlin, WSP Canada and Marco D’Angelo, Ontario Traffic Council):
- Cycling Facilities are being updated in Book 18 which was last completed in 2013.
- Changes are necessary due more innovative designs, pedestrian/cyclist conflicts, new facilities (advisory bike lanes, median bike lanes) complete streets concept, vision “o” movement for safety, urban intensification, pavement markings, and climate change
- Some of the additions being considered are as follows:
- Improve the facility selection nomograph
- Intersection treatments – protected, cross rides, 2-stage bike boxes, tactile strips for handicapped (AODA compliance)
- Sharrows not a facility type
- Liability and risk considerations for designers and operators
- New guidelines are also being developed:
- Provincial Maintenance guidelines
- Transit mobility hubs
- Trip-end facilities – parking, showers, repair stations
An on-line survey is available to participate – www.surveymonkey.com/r/2018OBSOTC
and a web site for information: – OTMBook18Update@wsp.com
Part Two: Members of the Ontario chapter of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) hosted a workshop on key bikeway design topics and associated case studies.
- Topics included protected intersections, cross-rides, cycle tracks (one-way or two-way), buffered bike lanes, pilot projects and data collection and how to select appropriate bikeway facilities for specific locations.
- A work group reviewed the application of Advisory Bike Lanes which are popular in Europe and the USA and involve placing bike lanes on quiet, low volume local roads in urban areas, that have only one lane for two way traffic. See Ottawa’s video here:
- Closing Session – 2028: Cycling Into the Next Decade
Four panellists, 4 slides each and 5 minutes to highlight a future issue for cyclists. Topics included:
- Identify cyclists as a new roadway userwithin the Ontario Highway Traffic Act to gain a higher legal profile for cyclists
- Automated vehicles (AV)should be a positive force for cyclists by creating more road space due to offsetting parking and road space demands, unless AV’s are retrofitted into the existing status quo where a mix of operations will create conflicts.
- Cycle Tracks can be a means of building coalitions and support for cycling if selected motor vehicles such as ambulances and delivery vehicles are allowed to use them.
- Protected Vulnerable Road Users Act (Bill 158/37) is needed to enhance the existing Vulnerable Road User Laws (Bill 174 – Road Safety Act) in Ontario.
Summit Ended at 4:30pm
Summit Event Summary – Share the Road Cycling Coalition will be providing a event summaryon their website shortly.
Member, Niagara Freewheelers and Bike Niagara