City of Ottawa first to receive gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community Award
Ottawa – Today the City of Ottawa had the honour of being the first city in the province to receive the gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community Award by Share the Road Cycling Coalition, a cycling advocacy organization that works with Ontario municipalities to make their communities more bicycle-friendly. The award was presented to Mayor Jim Watson at the Annual Association of Municipalities Ontario conference.
“The City of Ottawa and my Council colleagues are delighted to receive this distinction,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “I’m proud of the progress we are making and excited about the additional plans we have underway to become an even more bicycle-friendly city.”
Ottawa ranked high in all five evaluation categories – engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation and planning. The gold-level recognition reinforces the fact that Ottawa is moving in the right direction with its bicycle-friendly policies and initiatives.
Ottawa has achieved several bicycle-friendly accomplishments to date, including over 10,000 bike parking spaces, over 1,500 ring-and-post racks, 50 per cent of city busses equipped with rack-and-roll mechanisms, and approximately 350 km of bike lanes and paved shoulders. As well, the City of Ottawa has over 70km of additional bike lanes and various other improvements planned for the coming years, including:
“Ottawa’s bike culture is vibrant and growing and it’s vital that we at the City respond with the support and infrastructure to further encourage its growth and evolution,” said Keith Egli, Chair of Ottawa’s Transportation Committee. “An investment in cycling is an investment in the future health of our city.”
Ottawa is also well attuned to the role of cycling in urban planning and sustainability. According to Peter Hume, Chair of the Planning Committee, “Cycling is here to stay. It’s part of our urban fabric and plays an essential role in strengthening our public health and environment. Any planning or development that doesn’t take cycling into consideration on some level is simply not building with the future in mind.”
For more information on Ottawa’s cycling initiatives, visit ottawa.ca