Orangeville to get $90,000 grant to add more cycling lanes

December 15, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Orangeville will be receiving $90,000 from the province to help create more cycling lanes in town, giving commuters a choice and to make it safer and more convenient for those users.

The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) recently announced that it is providing $93 million to 120 municipalities as part of its four-year Municipal Commuter Cycling Program. That is more than double the initial $42.5 million announced earlier this year.

According to the government’s website, the investment “is part of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and is “funded by proceeds from the province’s cap on pollution and carbon market.”

Councillor Sylvia Bradley, chair of the Orangeville Sustainability Action Team (OSAT), says the money is fabulous, because they can use it to create two routes, one starting at Headwaters Health Care Centre and the other in the west end of town.

She says the committee is contemplating a request for a comprehensive cycling master plan with the town, along with talks of having divided or segregated lanes.

The grant will further help OSAT’s three-year cycling plan, which will end in 2020.

Mayor Jeremy Williams says that while dedicated bike trails provide safe ways for people of “all abilities and ages” to bike and walk, “we just don’t have enough of a demand for it here.”

Mayor Williams says he hopes drivers and cyclists can continue to share the road, “regardless of signs and paint.”

Councillor Bradley says they worked very hard with the Rotary Club of Orangeville to get the first route completed. “I’m positive as a result of the action taken by our town and volunteers, that it was one of the reasons why we were lucky recipients of this grant.”

Councillor Bradley explained to the Citizen that the Town is eligible to receive more than the original $90,000 from the province. “We can amend our applications for the greater amount,” and will discuss it with the committee.

She says they are looking to begin building the new routes in the spring of next year. “We have to wait and see, because we don’t want to start the work until we have the funds committed completely to us, especially if we’re going to put forward an amendment application.”

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