The province has begun to take a greater interest in cycling safety and infrastructure. They have launched a new program to invest up to $42.5 million in municipalities across Ontario. According to Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca "Our government is committed to making cycling safer".
The program is designed to promote safety for cyclists, to make it more comfortable and appealing for daily commuters, and other frequent trips. Minister Del Duca cited recent a recent survey that indicated 67% of people would cycle more if they felt safer on the roads and if there was better cycling infrastructure.
The new program will be a four year one providing up to $41.5 million this year. It is designed to pay 80% of the cost of cycling projects that are focussed on reducing car trips, and enabling bicycle commuting. The program notes that examples of eligible projects include painted bike lanes, physically separated bike lanes, multi purpose paths, intersection improvements, and bicycle racks.
There will be funding for small municipalities (under 15,000 people) and large ones. The smaller municipalities will have a funding cap o f$25,000 a year and they do NOT need to have a cycling master plan in place.
This is great news for the Region of Waterloo and the Townships who can apply for funding for their township roads complementing the Regional initiatives.