We’ve got a recap of some great things that happened in May and a look forward to events happening in June and July 2014. Read on…
Recap of May Political Issues
Provincial election, June 12.
A provincial election has been called for June 12. Unfortunately, all eagerly anticipated provincial legislation that affected cyclists died at that point. The legislation will need to be reintroduced once a new government has been elected, and we’ll be watching closely to see what happens.
The bills that were affected include:
- Bill 173, the Keeping Ontario’s Roads Safe Act
- Bill 137, the Paved Shoulder Construction and Bicycling Act
- Bill 182, the Ontario Bike Month Act
The SCU was at the Sudbury riding’s provincial candidates debate on May 29. We asked a question about sustainable transportation – how would the candidates ensure that sustainable transportation was implemented in Sudbury, that the ability to cycle from Sudbury to southern Ontario would be ensured, and that the safety of all road users – pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and automobile drivers – would be a priority. Andrew Olivier and Paul Peroni talked to finishing the four-laning of highway 69 and completing Maley drive. Casey Lalonde and Joe Cimino said they supported sustainable transportation, but no one answered the question as to how their party would ensure that safe, sustainable transportation really happens.
It looks like the SCU has some work to do on educating our provincial candidates on the issues that surround cycling in Sudbury.
The SCU is also supporting the “Active Communities Pledge” which was just released by the Share the Road Coalition. In a campaign email sent to the SCU on May 30, the Coalition states:
“Share the Road recognizes that creating more active, safer and better connected communities is a vital way forward on all of these issues, creating new jobs, stronger local economies, healthier citizens and more sustainable communities.
You can make your voice heard in this election by keeping active transportation at the forefront of all of the parties’ platforms by taking 2 simple steps.
Sign the Active Communities Pledge and add your voice to a growing chorus of Ontario residents requesting that active transportation remain a priority for all provincial parties, whose support for cycling has been strong and growing every year.
Challenge the candidates in your riding to take the pledge! Every candidate that agrees to support active transportation shows that this is a truly non-partisan issue – it’s one that helps all Ontarians by bolstering our local economies, keeping Ontarians healthier and making our roads safer.”
We’ll be picking up that challenge! Some of us have already signed the pledge. And we’ll be sending our candidates some information and a short survey to bring our concerns to their attention.
So we ask you to sign the Active Communities Pledge by clicking on the link above and electronically signing the pledge!
To read the full press release for the campaign, see here: Press Release
The SCU will be finalizing our municipal election survey next week and we’ll be asking all of the candidates in all wards, as well as the mayoral candidates, to complete the survey. If you want a say in what questions will be asked, attend our next meeting on June 2, or send us an email with the information that you would like to see appear on the survey. Contact us at [email protected]
Second Avenue Construction
Construction on Second Avenue has been delayed as a result of the Minnow Lake Restoration Group’s filing of a Request for a Part Two Order to the Ministry of the Environment. The group indicated that while a Notice of Completion of an environmental assessment was issued on April 16th by the City, no environmental study report was made available to the public. Follow up with the City resulted in the information that no such study was available. The Minnow Lake Restoration Group (MLRG) has therefore requested a higher level of assessment from the Ministry.
The MLRG raised the issues of storm water, atmospheric emissions, and environmental safety concerns.
The project is therefore on hold until the resulting process for dealing with the filing has been completed.
Other capital road construction
We’ve sent an email to the Roads and Transportation department asking for a list of all cycling infrastructure that will be built as part of the 2014 capital roads projects. Let’s hope there’s some good news on the list!
Howie/Bellevue/Bancroft bike lanes
These lanes were initially swept of sand a few weeks ago, but the sweepers left behind sharp stones and gravel in the lanes. We logged a 311 request to the City to get this rectified, but to date, this has not been done. We’ll be following up next week on the status of our call as well as on the painting of the faded lines. Let us know if you’re riding on the lanes and see that something’s been done.
Citizen engagement review
The City has still not released its proposed citizen engagement review. This is something that we will be looking for, as we will definitely want to comment on what we would like to see happen as part of planned capital roads projects for 2015 and as part of the development of policies and plans that affect cyclists, like the Official Plan and the Master Transportation Plan.
Master Transportation Plan and Transportation Study
The word we have is that the Transportation Study will be available for a final public input process sometime during the summer months. This report was initially to be released to the public by September 2012. This is another issue that we will be following closely.
2015 Budget Process
For the past two years, the SCU has had to mobilize to prepare its budget submission during the month of June. Because this is an election year, the 2015 budget will only be prepared in January 2015. This timing is actually advantageous to us as we hope to see a completed Official Plan and Master Transportation Plan in place by then. Yet another issue that we’ll be closely monitoring.
I Bike, I Vote campaign
We’ve received our I Bike, I Vote campaign buttons! If you want to show your support for cycling in Sudbury and want one of our buttons, contact us at [email protected]
Recap of May Events and Activities
Sustainable Mobility Advisory Panel
On May 5, the Sustainable Mobility Advisory Panel presented to the Community Services Committee of Council.
- Complete Streets Policy implementation
- Cycling and walking infrastructure defined clearly in budget
- Public transit must grow and change with the community
- Public transit on Google Maps
- Public transit planner appointed to SMAP
- Transportation demand management
As part of the Sudbury Cycles project, the SCU did a school bike safety workshop for grades 1-2 at Alexander Public School on May 7. Students learned basic road safety, how to properly wear their helmets, and how to check their bikes before they go on a bike ride. These workshops are typically between 30-40 minutes in length and are held in the classroom.
If a school is interested in having us do a safe cycling workshop, they can contact us at [email protected]
Kids Bike Exchanges
On May 10th, Sudbury Cycles held its first bike exchange of the season. As a partner, the SCU was there to help out. In spite of howling winds and very cold weather, we processed many bikes and handed out bikes to many happy children and teenagers. Our final bike exchange will be held on May 31 at Tom Davies Square, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We’ll have final stats after the event.
Sudbury Rocks Race
A number of SCU volunteers participated as race marshalls at the Sudbury Rocks Race, Run or Walk for Diabetes on May 11. It was a great experience for us, and we hope to do it again next year!
Ward 8 CAN Safe Cycling Presentation
The SCU did a 30 minute presentation to the Ward 8 Community Action Network on safe cycling skills, spring bike tuneup tips, and rules of the road.
Junction Creek 15th Anniversary Festival
The SCU had bike valet parking available at the festlval on May 24. While there weren’t many cyclists who attended the event, it was nevertheless a beautiful spring day, and we thoroughly enjoyed the activities at the festival.
Spring Bike Tune-Up BBQ
A big thank you to our SCU hosts, Kevin Morgan and Kim Roy, for the great BBQ at Kevin’s home on May 25. We tuned up a number of bikes for members and friends of members and everyone left with a bike ready for the road!
Georgian Bay Cycling Route
Exciting news! The Waterfront Regeneration Trust issued a press release on May 26 and announced that it will be taking on the implementation of the route. The Georgian Bay Cycling Route is a cycling touring loop around Georgian Bay, and it includes Sudbury.
For more information, see the following:
Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury Annual General Meeting
The SCU was at the Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury (CLS)’s annual general meeting on May 26.The CLS is a grassroots group of citizens and community groups who share a vision of Sudbury as a green, healthy and engaged community. Members include over 570 individual citizens, as well as a wide range of local community groups, including the SCU.
The SCU participates in common campaigns that encourage a more liveable Sudbury and assists with community projects done by the CLS.
The CLS has four top priorities:
1. Supporting local food and agriculture
2. Keeping our natural environment healthy and protecting important green spaces
3. Protecting water quality and keeping our lakes and waterways clean and healthy
4. Supporting sustainable transportation: walking, cycling, and transit
The CLS produces a biweekly newsletter which contains valuable information on upcoming community issues and events. To subscribe, send an email to [email protected]
The SCU went to Toronto on May 26 with reThink Green to participate in a workshop on constructive engagement presented by Innoweave. This workshop will assist the SCU in building a community engagement strategy in partnership with reThink Green.
The SCU also attended a webinar hosted by reThink Green on May 29 that presented what charities and non-profits need to know about Canada’s new anti-spam legislation, which comes into effect on July 1, 2014. This legislation does affect how the SCU will communicate with its members and the public. We will be sending you an email in early June that explains what we will need to do to ensure that we are compliant with the new legislation.
Looking forward to Cycling Activities and Events in June and July
- Last Kids Bike Exchange at Tom Davies Square on May 31, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you’re going to the Gardening Festival or to the Downtown Yard Sale tomorrow, take the time to drop any gently-used bike that you no longer require. Our local children will thank you for your donation! Details at the Sudbury Cycles website.
- As reported last month, the first week of June is shaping up to be a cycling extravaganza! Start the week off on June 1 at the second annual Bike Fest at the Bioski Chalet, Laurentian Conservation Area, 10 am -3 pm. Lots of great bikes and great activities for the whole family.
- June 1 – June 7 is also Commuter Challenge. Compete against other workplaces to get the recognition of logging the most sustainable transportation kilometers. Last year, 31 workplaces and 26 individuals with no affiliation registered. Science North was the winner last year. The SCU is registered as a workplace so if your workplace doesn’t register, you can register with us. You can log the kilometers for trips to your workplace or to school if you are of driving age. There will be a number of activities during the week so check out the schedule on the Sudbury Cycles website.
- June 5 is the annual Sudbury Share the Road ride. Devon Kershaw will again be with us. In the past, this ride has been held in August, but it’s been moved up to June this year. Details on the Sudbury Cycleswebsite.
- Finish the week off by participating in the annual Manitoulin Island Share the Road Ride on June 6 and 7. You can register on line and space is limited, so sign up soon!
- On June 14, the SCU will be assisting with a bike rodeo organized by the Coniston Community Action Network. We’re looking for volunteers to help out. If you’re interested, contact us at [email protected]
- The Sudbury Women’s Bike Group held their first ride of the season last week. They will be holding rides for the summer on Monday nights. Check their Facebook page for more details. We’ll also be posting information on our events calendar once the details for each ride are announced.
- For the past two years, Rainbow Routes Association has been running cycling courses. This year, Sudbury Cycles will taking over the great work previously done by Janet Evans at Rainbow Routes. We are partners in Sudbury Cycles, which is a collaborative between the Sudbury & District Health Unit, Rainbow Routes, the City of Greater Sudbury, and the SCU. Our CAN-Bike instructors and other volunteers will be delivering most of the programming, while the City will be doing registrations, facility bookings and promotion. We have confirmed with the City that we will hold cycling courses this year; we are finalizing details now and should have a schedule available within the next few weeks. If you’re interested in volunteering to help out, contact us at [email protected]
- Clara Hughes is coming to town! Clara, a Canadian cycling star, is riding across Canada and her ride will bring her to Sudbury on June 27, 2014. Her ride is part of the Bell Let’s Talk program to bring awareness to and reduce the stigma of mental illness. More information about this extraordinary event can be found at: http://clarasbigride.bell.ca/en/. We’ve heard that the welcome ride for Clara when she arrives in Sudbury has been cancelled. However, there is a fundraising supper that will be held at the Steelworkers Hall at 6 p.m. Details here.
- July 4, 5, and 6 is Northern Lights Folk Festival Boreal. The SCU will be there again this year to provide bike valet parking. If you are interested in volunteering for this event, contact us at [email protected]
- July 11, 12 and 13 is the Canada Cup races at the Walden Mountain Bike Club trails. They are looking for volunteers to assist. Last year, some SCU members helped out and it was a blast! Awesome races and you get to watch top Canadian mountain bike cyclists! To volunteer, contact the volunteer coordinator Amy Hill (Amy Lou on Facebook) or email [email protected] Details here!