Windsor to give active transportation a bump

Monday, June 5, 2017

CTV News/Rich Garton

 

In somewhat of a surprise move, The City of Windsor will be making a long-awaited update to its active transportation plan.

Council approved the fast-tracked study -- which will encompass all forms of active transportation -- and infrastructure.

“That is exactly what we need,” said Walkerville BIA representative Cara Kennedy after the unanimous council vote.

The move came from a debate about bike racksin business improvement areas -- and evolved into a discussion about updating policies around the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

“People are biking more – it’s what people want to do. They want to bike year-round. When they come into our BIA, it’s great for them to ride their bike, but they have to park it on a bike pole.”

Coun. Jo-Anne Gignac put the motion forward, noting the study may be a better approach than continuing a piece-meal approach to certain policies.

“The only reason administration said they haven’t been able to get it underway is a lack of funding,” Gignac said.

"When you take into consideration the discussions we've been having around the council chamber the last several months, before we start adjusting policies, we really need to have that active transportation study done."

The study will cost $350,000, and will be funded from the budget stabilization reserve. It's expected to take about a year for the study to come back to council.

Cycling advocate and ward 4 Coun. Chris Holt was ecstatic with the vote.

"We've been discussing updating the Bicycle Use Master Plan for years now, since I got on council we've been talking about updating the BUMP,” said Holt after the meeting. “We're actually moving forward with it now, so I really commend Coun. Gignac for the leadership she's showing for addressing the active transportation on that and it was endorsed fully by council."

A few cycling advocates and business improvement association reps were at council to press the city to assist with paying for bicycle racks.

“It’s promising, it feels really good,” says Kennedy of the BIA. “It’s one step further for what we need.”