OBS 2015 Recap
The 7th Annual Ontario Bike Summit took place at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel in downtown Toronto on Tuesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 1, 2015.
The 2015 Ontario Bike Summit was our largest summit to date with 215 delegates in attendance. Fifty-nine (59) communities were represented from all 4 geographic regions of Ontario. A variety of stakeholders were in attendance to discuss cycling, including elected officials (municipal, provincial and federal), advocates, non profit groups, municipal and provincial staff, planning professionals and consultants, representatives from the business community, public health officials and tourism experts.
The event kicked-off with afternoon workshops on the Bicycle Friendly Communities program, followed by the distribution of Bicycle Friendly Community awards to 5 communities. As part of the Winter 2015 application round, we awarded our first Bicycle Friendly Community designation to a community in Northern Ontario (Thunder Bay - Bronze) and the province's second Gold designation (Toronto, up from Silver in 2012). Peterborough and Blue Mountains also moved up to a Silver designation and Newmarket received a Bronze.
Over the course of 1.5 days, delegates participated in lively discussions about cycling in Ontario. Highlights include:
- 21 speakers examined the 5 key themes of #CycleON in a series on concurrent sessions (Healthy, Active and Prosperous Communities, Cycling Infrastructure, Awareness & Behaviour Shifts, Cycling Tourism and Safer Streets & Highways)
- Keynote addresses delivered by Howard Chang (President of Top Drawer Creative Inc.) and Kathryn McGarry (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation)
- 8 members of the Provincial All-Party Cycling Caucus attended the keynote dinner
- A consultation on Ontario's speed limit was hosted at lunch
- Closing workshop facilitated by the Ministry of Transportation seeking feedback on local barriers to active transportation
- Provincial announcement on spending $15 Million on cycling routes that provide key connections and linkages on highways, such as paved shoulders and barriers that separate cyclists from vehicles. Early proposals include: (1) Highway 33 west of Kingston - part of the Waterfront Trail, (2) Highway 137 structure over the 1000 Island Parkway - part of the Waterfront Trail, (3) Highway 6 on Manitoulin Island and south of Highway 17 at Espanola - part of the Georgian Bay Cycling Route, and (4) Highway 17B and Highway 17 between Sault Ste. Marie and Espanola - part of the Lake Huron North Channel Cycling Route.
Thanks to everyone who attended this year's event! We look forward to seeing you again in 2016.
Word Cloud: All Presentation Titles from OBS 2015
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