Do you care about safe cycling in Sudbury? If so, call or email your councillor to let him/her know that you want the 2014 budget to include dollars directed to cycling.

In June 2013, the SCU presented to Council the items that we feel are most important in making cycling safer in Sudbury.

In October, with only a few days notice to the general public, staff sent budget options to the Finance Committee for review at a budget meeting – options that recommended no dollars for cycling.They stated that the City is already spending money on cycling infrastructure whenever they do roads projects.

We disagreed with their approach, and sent emails and made phone calls to councillors. At the meeting staff even went further to say that spending on cycling would detract from the roads infrastructure deficit they already have Рthey have not yet understood that cycling infrastructure IS roads infrastructure, and that they have an obligation to ensure the safety of ALL road users, not just automobiles and trucks.

The result? All of the councillors supported dedicating monies to new cycling infrastructure. Staff was directed to return with budget options for cycling dollars. This has not yet been reviewed so there’s still time to make your opinion heard!

We asked for budget items in three areas:

1. Infrastructure – money to create new cycle paths, bike lanes, sharrows, signage, and bicycle parking
2. Education – money for public awareness campaigns and courses/workshops for cyclists and motorists
3. Policy – money to properly plan and implement recommendations coming from the revised Official Plan and the Transportation Plan. This includes dollars for a full-time Sustainable Transportation Coordinator at the City.

Infrastructure

We asked for 1% of the roads capital budget to help create new cycling infrastructure. This translates to approximately $380,000. Considering that the City just spent over $9M on the Lasalle/Notre Dame intersection alone, this is not a large amount to invest in the safety of cyclists. Implementing bike lanes can be as inexpensive as $10/metre per lane if only painting is required.

We also asked for $20,000 for additional bike racks for City properties. There are numerous parks, community centres and other City buildings that do not have bike racks.

Education

We asked for $40,000 for radio spots, billboard ads, information campaigns, and cycling course expenses. Both cyclists and motorists need to be educated on how to properly share the road so we can ensure there are no serious cycling accidents in 2014.

Policy

We asked for $50,000 for an Active Transportation Coordinator who would coordinate planning and implementing new transportation infrastructure, coordinate the different City departments involved in sustainable transportation, and implement Complete Street plans that would ensure the safety of all road users or all ages, including pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and motorists.

Our presentation can be read here: 2014 Budget Presentation