Kitchener - Council today voted unanimously to approve new intitiatives presented as part of a "BikeKitchener" cycling engagement campaign under the previously-approved cycling master plan.
BikeKitchener is a platform to promote and foster a sustainable culture of cycling among Kitchener residents of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Whether residents are looking for information on cycling routes, safety tips, promotional events or upcoming projects, BikeKitchener is the city’s cycling strategy providing information, resources, and support to those interested in cycling.
Announced initiatives to be delivered through the BikeKitchener platform:
- Downtown King Street super-sharrows and road signage
- Artistic bike racks
- Bike Map
- BikeFest, Sunday, May 26, 2013, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- 2013 Bike2Work Challenge
- Cycling study survey and BikeKitchener branding
"The initiatives contained in this report serve to further promote and encourage cycling among Kitchener residents," said Josh Joseph, transportation demand management coordinator for the City of Kitchener. "As the city strives to improve quality of life, celebrate diversity, and pursue sustainable development, cycling will play a key role in transforming our community and creating a safer environment for all road users."
The City of Kitchener’s cycling advisory committee identified sharrows on King Street as a top cycling priority for 2013. In addition, Kitchener’s cycling master plan, approved by council in 2010, recommends sharrows on King Street in downtown Kitchener due to narrow traffic lanes, frequent blocks, wide sidewalks, high pedestrian traffic, and low traffic speeds.
Sharrows are symbols painted directly onto the roadway which indicate to cyclists and motorists that cyclists may take the lane, in single file. Kitchener will be the first municipality in Ontario to introduce super-sharrows; sharrows further defined by green paint to increase awareness and visibility. Sharrows have been shown to improve motorist and cyclist safety, while making roadways and urban areas more cycling-friendly.
Artistic bicycle racks are designed to enhance a cycle-friendly downtown as well, with racks appearing at storefronts, key transportation hubs and at regular intervals along King Street to promote bicycle use in downtown. Each artistic bike rack supports a few bicycles, creating a secure and aesthetic method for locking up your parked bike.
The Bike Map, a first for Kitchener, will be a resource for residents planning cycling trips to work, school, or around the city. The Bike Map will display on and off-road bikeways, signed routes and connections, secure bicycle parking facilities, popular amenities such as the Iron Horse Trail and Walter Bean Trail, and other important information related to cycling trip planning.
BikeFest is a city festival celebrating the power of the simple bicycle and raising awareness of its potential in positively transforming our health, environment, and community. The event will feature free bicycle tune-ups, a downtown scavenger hunt, a bicycle polo tournament, food and live music. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada will host the BigBike team event, a national fundraiser to promote cardiovascular health through physical activities such as cycling. Eight teams of 29 participants will ride from Kitchener City Hall to Madison Avenue along King Street. The event will also feature cycling skills training workshops delivered by certified CAN-BIKE instructors to educate residents about positive cycling behaviour.
"These initiatives are about realizing, in actions and outcomes, the intent of the cycling master plan," said Coun. Yvonne Fernandes. "They represent an excellent value for taxpayer dollar when the full benefit is realized, including reduced impact on city infrastructure, a healthier and more sustainable community, and increase in road safety - a real opportunity and change residents can be proud of."
Funding for the proposed cycling initiatives will be allocated from the cycling master plan capital budget.
Kitchener’s cycling master plan identifies a number of key objectives to attract new cyclists, strengthen bicycle policies, create a bikeway network on city streets, increase bicycle parking, expand programs to support cycling, increase bicycle facilities, and create a sustainable culture of cycling development. The plan was strongly guided by public input through consultation with the cycling advisory committee, stakeholders, and members of the public at various cycling tours, stakeholder workshops, and consultation events.
Cycling offers a variety of benefits to individuals, communities, and the environment, including healthier and active lifestyles, reduced traffic congestion and parking demand, and improved air quality. By accommodating all modes of transportation and emphasizing the importance of sharing the road, the City of Kitchener will improve safety for all road users, including pedestrians, motorists, transit users, and cyclists.
Transportation Demand Management Coordinator
City of Kitchener
519-741-3400 ext. 3167
Communications and Marketing Associate
Communications and Marketing Division
City of Kitchener
519-741-2200 ext. 7458