Vaughan Cycling Forum: Making Vaughan more cycle-friendly

On Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 at 7 p.m., the City of Vaughan will host the third Vaughan Cycling Forum. The event will be held at Vaughan City Hall. Residents and cycling enthusiasts are encouraged to attend this free forum to share their input on various bicycle initiatives for 2014, including a potential community-led “BikeFest.”

The Vaughan Cycling Forum has been a huge success in the past. We’ve received valuable feedback from Vaughan residents about cycling needs and ideas for encouraging cycling in Vaughan. Here are some of the suggestions collected from past forums:

Cycling facilities

  • Desire for connected cycle routes, including east-west connections and cycle facilities on regional roads
  • Link cycling and transit routes, including connections to future subway stations
  • Need for safe cycling facilities to increase ridership (e.g. bike lanes, cycle tracks, paved shoulders, Share the Road signs and pathways)
  • Need for cycle parking at transit stops (e.g. bike lockers at major transit stops)

Education

  • Work with schools to encourage active transportation
  • Increase youth representation at Vaughan Cycling Forum meetings

Encouragement

  • Motivate cyclists to increase ridership
  • Suggest City-wide and community-driven cycling events (e.g. street closures for cycling, Bike to School Day)
  • Encourage active transportation to reduce school traffic congestion
  • Encourage cyclists to use bike bells

Evaluation and planning

  • Land use and transportation planning is key to smart growth and establishing a bicycle-friendly community
  • Implement online surveys to obtain feedback and ideas

Why cycle?
Cycling provides benefits to both the rider and the city. These benefits include:

  • A cleaner environment, including less air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and noise
  • Healthier lifestyles through increased physical activity
  • A more cost-effective alternative to motorized traffic
  • Reduced crime and safer roads

For more information on the benefits of walking and cycling, read the City of Vaughan’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan Study.

Get cycling
There are lots of opportunities to get cycling in Vaughan. To view the York Region Cycling Map, visit york.ca.

Bike Month has a calendar of events, workshops, lectures and races happening across York Region.

The Kids CAN-BIKE and CAN-BIKE Junior Instructor programs are geared to elementary and high-school students in York Region. Part of CAN-BIKE, the Canadian Cycling Association’s nationally standardized cycling safety program offers courses that teach students about steering, signalling, changing gears, avoiding road hazards, wearing a helmet properly and more.

The City also offers adult bike-training courses. For more information about classes and registration, visit RecOnline or contact the Recreation and Culture Department at 905-832-8500 or rec@vaughan.ca.

Avoiding theft
Bicycle thieves will either steal an entire bike or parts/items attached to the bike that are not securely fastened. Here are some tips to prevent theft:

  • Lock the frame of the bike and both wheels to a bike rack or immovable object (two locks are better than one). If you only lock one wheel, your bicycle can be quickly detached and carried away.
  • Lock your bike when leaving it unattended, even for a short period of time and if it’s in a garage or on a porch.
  • If you don’t need a quick-release seat and wheels, replace them with standard bolts. If you do want quick-release parts, take them with you or lock them to your frame.
  • Take lights, mirrors, bags and bicycle baskets with you, along with anything else that is not securely fastened.
  • Consider riding an inexpensive bicycle for everyday use and short trips.
  • Register your bike online with York Regional Police.

Cycling safely
The Ontario Highway Traffic Act recognizes a bicycle as a vehicle, which means that cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists to obey all traffic laws (click here for information on cyclist fines). Cyclist responsibilities include:

  • Stopping for red lights and stop signs
  • Signalling your turn
  • Yielding or stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks
  • Ensuring your bicycle has front and rear lights, reflectors or reflective tape
  • Fastening a bell or horn to your bike
  • Wearing a helmet if you are under 18 (click here for tips on how to properly fit a helmet)

We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming Vaughan Cycling Forum:

Date: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013

Time: 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Location: Vaughan City Hall, Committee Room 245, 2141 Major Mackenzie Dr.

To register: Contact Geoffrey Haines, sustainable transportation specialist, at 905-832-2281 ext. 8026 or geoffrey.haines@vaughan.ca. Provide your contact details and the category of cyclist you are — recreational, commuter or don’t cycle yet

Thanks,

Geoffrey Haines
Sustainable transportation specialist
Development/Transportation Engineering



 

 

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