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Ontario Bike Summit Opens in Hamilton With Release of New Province-Wide Polling Data on Cycling in Ontario
68% of Ontarians Cycling Occasionally While 3.2 Million Ontarians (22%) Are Daily Cyclists
(HAMILTON – May 1, 2023) – The Share the Road Cycling Coalition (The Coalition) Ontario’s cycling advocacy and policy organization today released province-wide polling data at the opening of the 15th annual Ontario Bike Summit. The data outlines that there is a high prevalence of cycling amongst Ontarians, that the majority of Ontarians want to cycle more often, and that increased investment by governments in cycling infrastructure is something that a majority of Ontarians support.
The poll was conducted by Crestview Strategies (Toronto) with a representative sample of 1000 adult Ontario residents balanced and weighted on age, gender, and region from April 19-22nd 2023, with a comparative margin of error of +/-3.1 per cent.
The findings are outlined below:
Ontarians are cyclists – and motorists too
· 68 per cent of Ontarians (9.8 million people) ride their bike at least monthly.
· Of those, 22 per cent of Ontarians (3.2 million) say they ride a bike frequently (daily or almost daily) and an additional 46 per cent report riding occasionally - weekly or monthly.
· Ontarians are both cyclists and drivers: 87 per cent of Ontario’s 3.2 million frequent cyclists say they also drive frequently, while 85 per cent of Ontario’s 9.8 million occasional cyclists say this is the case.
· The top two reasons for cycling are recreation, with 72 per cent of individuals cycling for this purpose, and exercise, with 65 per cent using bicycles for this activity.
· Shopping and running errands are the reason 16 per cent of Ontarians cycle occasionally (33 per cent for frequent cyclists), with visiting friends also at 16 per cent (34 per cent for frequent cyclists).
· Commuting to work and school is the choice of 11 per cent of occasional cyclists, with frequent cyclists at 20 per cent.
· 8.5 Million Ontario residents (59 per cent) live in a Bicycle Friendly Community, as designated by Share the Road's Bicycle Friendly Communities program
There is pent up demand for cycling in Ontario
· A majority (51 per cent) want to cycle more often with 70 percent of regular cyclists and 58 per cent of occasional cyclists, indicating this preference.
· A majority of Ontarians, 65 per cent, expressed their desire to cycle more if there were improved cycling infrastructure.
· The biggest obstacle to cycling more is fear at 48 per cent.
· 61 per cent of respondents stated that they would feel more comfortable cycling if their area had well-connected and safe cycling infrastructure.
· 56 per cent of Ontarians agree that “Where I live, cyclists need more bike lanes or paved shoulders”
There is strong support for action from the provincial government on cycling
· 66 per cent of Ontarians believe that their government should allocate funds towards cycling infrastructure in order to make cycling a safer and more convenient mode of transportation.
· 65 per cent of respondents felt that such investments would benefit cyclists and motorists
· 57 per cent Ontarians see a need for a dedicated active transportation fund by the provincial government.
· 68 per cent support investments in cycling and bike paths.
· 61 per cent support investments in a new cycling education program that will offer cycling education options to Ontarians of all ages.
· 77 per cent are in favor of investment streams that prioritize pedestrian infrastructure.
· There is strong support, with 92 per cent of Ontarians in favor of plans that promote walking and cycling to schools.
Perceptions related to investments in cycling infrastructure and tax incentives
· 72 per cent believe investing in proper cycling infrastructure makes it safer for all road users.
· 65 per cent say “investing in cycling is good for my municipality”.
· 58 per cent agree that investing in cycling is good for their city’s business and tourism.
· 55 per cent agree there should be tax breaks and incentives to offset the cost of purchasing a new bicycle or e-bike.
· In terms of voting intentions 42 per cent say they would be more likely to vote for a local or provincial candidate if they make a strong public commitment to road safety and cycling infrastructure funding.
· When it comes to contributions to taxes that fund transportation infrastructure 54 per cent of Ontarians agree that cyclists are contributors, and pay taxes (e.g., through property taxes, sales taxes on bikes).
“This data confirms what we know through our work in communities – that Ontarians are cyclists, and that they want to cycle more often, given the numerous benefits cycling brings in terms of healthy, safe and active communities. In addition, the fact that the data shows that Ontarians are both motorists and cyclists, points to the fact that a false narrative has developed, and that somehow cycling is a divisive issue. This is simply not the case. With Ontario motorists also cycling regularly there is a clear imperative that we all focus on making our roads and our communities safer with investments that will save lives – and lessen congestion,” said Ed McMahon, Board Chair, Share the Road Cycling Coalition.
“The support by Ontarians for increased investments in infrastructure is a powerful statement that will assist our ongoing work with municipal – and provincial – governments towards enhanced investments in infrastructure as well as programs to enhance cycling and road safety,” McMahon noted.
About the Share the Road Cycling Coalition The Share the Road Cycling Coalition is Ontario’s cycling advocacy and policy organization created to unite cycling organizations from across the province, work with and on behalf of municipalities to enhance their ability to make their communities more bicycle- friendly and advocate for investment and engagement by provincial and municipal governments. Core to the organization’s mission and mandate are safety, education and awareness campaigns.
For information and interviews: Janet O’Connell, Managing Director, Share the Road Cycling Coalition cell: (705) 641-0745 [email protected]
Ontario Bike Summit 2023 Announces Early BIrd Registration and Call for Speakers
Bicycle Friendly Community Program Undergoes Refresh
December 14, 2021: Kingston Receives Silver and Nine Ontario Communities Renew Designations
Nine communities across Ontario have renewed at Bronze (Brampton, Caledon, Greater Sudbury, Ingersoll, Mississippi Mills and Thorold), Silver (Ajax, Hamilton) and Gold (Ottawa). The City of Kingston advanced from a Bronze to Silver BFC status, with innovations across the four “Es”: Engineering, Education, Encouragement, and Evaluation & Planning. Click here for a complete list and map of winners, and view the press release.
November, 2021: How to Safely Ride your Bike Through the Winter
The first snowfall of the season doesn't mean you have to put your bike away. "You can still use pedal power to get to your destinations and have your daily dose of exercise" says Subha Ramanathan, Manager of Programs and Partnerships for Share the Road Cycling Coalition. Click here to read the full article in the Winter 2021 issue of CAA Magazine.
June 22, 2021: Three New Bicycle Friendly Communities
Share the Road Cycling Coalition has reached two new milestones in its Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) award program: the number of BFCs has surpassed 50, and Whitehorse, Yukon is the most northern community in Canada to receive an award. Brantford and Lincoln, Ontario have both upgraded from Honourable Mention to Bronze designations. Click here for a complete list and map of winners, and view the press release.
June, 2021: Get Out and Ride
When riding as a family, it is important to ensure that the bike and helmet fits your child. Share the Road shared tips on finding a properly fitting helmet. Click here to read the full article in the Summer 2021 issue of CAA Magazine.
April 4, 2021: New Bicycle Friendly Communities
Ten communities across Canada have been awarded a new or higher Bicycle Friendly Community Designation, and three communities are being recognized with an honourable mention. Click here for a complete list and map of winners, and view the press release in English and French.
This news was also featured in national news: have a look at the article from Radio Canada International.
March 30, 2021: Important Safety Tips for Drivers and Cyclists
Share the Road was interviewed for CAA Magazine and discussed 6 safety tips for drivers and cyclists to share the road:
1. Respect other road users; 2: Use the Dutch Reach; 3: Be predictable; 4: Leave room; 5: Follow the rules of the road; 6: Have perspective.
Click here to read the full article.
The most recent application round for the Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) Program saw the Town of Essex, Norfolk County and The Town of Saugeen Shores all become Bronze level BFCs, bringing the total number of BFCs in Ontario to 44. The City of Hamilton and the City of Guelph both renewed their Silver BFC Designations, while The Town of Halton Hills and the City of St. Catherine's both renewed their status at the Bronze level. The City of Brantford and Haliburton County received Honourable Mentions for their submissions. Click here for the full press release.
January 13, 2018: Response to Financial Post article titled "Rip out the bike lanes"
You may have seen that the Financial Post is publishing a 4 part series on bicycling written by Lawrence Solomon. The piece published on January 2 was titled "Rip out the bike lanes - before more innocent people get hurt". We felt compelled to respond, and an abbreviated version of our response was published as a comment in the print version of the National Post on Saturday, January 13. We invite you to read our full response online here.
January 10, 2018: Share the Road announces Ontario's 40th Bicycle Friendly Community
The most recent application round for the Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) Program saw the City of Greater Sudbury earn a Bronze Award, making it Ontario's 40th BFC. The Town of Ajax received a Silver award, an upgrade from the Town's previous Bronze designation. In addition, the City of Thorold renewed it's Bronze and the City of Ottawa renewed its Gold status as one of Ontario's leading bicycle friendly communities. The Town of Lincoln and the Town of Saugeen Shores received Honourable Mentions. Click here for the full press release.
December 4, 2017: Ontario to invest $93 million in cycling infrastructure
This year, Ontario will be investing $93 million in cycling infrastructure in 120 communities across the province. This represents a doubling of the initial investment of $42.5 million, announced earlier this year. Share the Road applauds the government for this record investment. Click here to view our full release, and click her for a list of recipient communities.
Minister Steven Del Duca and Minister Eleanor McMahon made the announcement in Toronto alongside Toronto's Deputy Mayor Ana Bailo, local MPP Cristina Martins and Jamie Stuckless, Executive Director of Share the Road.
September 20, 2017: Ontario to introduce new charge of careless driving cause death
Share the Road was in Toronto this morning as the Province introduced plans for tougher legislation around careless and distracted driving. A new charge of careless driving cause death would see fines of up to $50,000, up to two years in jail and license suspensions of up to 5 years imposed on drivers. Click here to read our full release and click here to read the provincial release.
September 14, 2017: 12th Annual Greg's Ride Coming to Hamilton
After 11 years of hosting our Annual Greg's Ride in Milton, we have decided to move the event to Hamilton. This move will allow us to take advantage of generous local partnerships with Cycle Hamilton, Grupetto, Shawn & Ed Brewing Company, etc and provide participants with urban and rural ride routes. Click here to read the full release.
September 12, 2017: Ontario investing in secure bike parking at GO Transit Stations
Ontario is investing approximately $2.5 million in bike parking at GO Transit Stations. This will include 120 bike lockers and 28 secure bike parking rooms across the region to help people commute by bike. Click here to check out Share the Road's map of planned bike parking facilities, and click here to read the full release.
September 5, 2017: Province announces $3 million for Active & Safe Routes to School
Ontario is investing in new and expanded well-being programs for students across Ontario. This investment includes funding for active transportation, including walking school buses and biking to school programs that create more physical activity opportunities for students. Click here to read the full media release.
Driver partners and riders in Toronto and Ottawa will receive vital information to help prevent collisions, like remembering to keep bike lanes clear and watching for bicyclists when they open car doors into traffic. New information on cycle safety will be featured in the driver app each week. Read more in the media release here.
April 27, 2017: Ontario to invest $50 million in cycling infrastructure
Share the Road was at Queen's Park today for the release of the 2017 Budget, which includes $50 million for commuter ccling infrastructure. Read more in our media release here.
April 11, 2017: Ontario now has 39 Bicycle Friendly Communities
Share the Road recognized Ontario's newest Bicycle Friendly Communities at the 2017 Ontario Bike Summit. Bronze award recipients include the City of Belleville, the City of Brampton, the Town of Ingersoll, the City of St. Thomas and the Town of Whitby. Click here to view the full release.
Together with the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, Ontario by Bike and the Greenbelt Foundation, the Share the Road Cycling Coalition is calling on the province to continue to invest in building safe spaces to ride a bike. Click here to view the full release.
February 14, 2017: 5 New Bicycle Friendly Community Awards Announced
Share the Road announced today the latest Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) awards for Ontario. The following communities were awarded new BFC status, all at the Bronze level: The City of Cambridge, The Town of Collingwood, The City of Cornwall, The City of Temiskaming Shores and the Town of Whitby. Kingston, London and Markham were all renewed at the Bronze level. Honourable Mentions were given to The City of Belleville, the Town of Essex, The Town of Midland and Norfolk County.
Award recipients will be recognized at an awards ceremony during the 9th Annual Ontario Bike Summit (April 11 & 12, 2017 in Toronto). Click here to view our media release.
June 10, 2016: Stiffer penalties for careless drivers closer to reality
Bill 213 passed second reading at Queen's Park on June 9th. The Bill - tabled by MPP Eleanor McMahon - seeks to increase fines for careless driving causing serious bodily harm or death.
June 8, 2016: Provincial Investment in Cycling through Climate Change Action Plan
Today, the Government of Ontario took an important step towards the goal of seeing Ontario recognized as the best Canadian province for cycling.
The Climate Change Action Plan was launched at a press conference this morning and includes plans to invest $150 - $225 million in cycling infrastructure. A PDF copy of the full Plan is available online here, with specifics about cycling on pages 22 and 63.
The Plan outlines commitments to improving commuter cycling networks, accelerating the implementation of Ontario's Cycling Strategy and building grade-separated cycling facilities. This commitment to cycling has the potential to be truly transformational and to bolster individual, municipal and provincial efforts to fight climate change.
At the 8th Annual Ontario Bike Summit this Spring, the Share the Road Cycling Coalition and Cycle Toronto urged the province to leverage the cap & trade program to invest $200 million in cycling infrastructure over the next 4 years. A copy of our letter can be viewed here. We made this request because building safe spaces for people to cycle can have a huge impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, especially when people hop on their bikes for trips under 5km. We also know that there is a pent up demand for cycling in Ontario and a need to provide residents with meaningful transportation choices.
Share the Road is pleased to see a clear commitment to cycling in the Climate Change Action Plan and we would like to thank all individuals and organizations that submitted letters of support for our ask for a $200 million investment. We look forward to working with our partners and the province to ensure that this investment is rolled out to the maximum benefit of municipalities across Ontario.
May 30, 2016: Bike Summit Looks at Windsor's Cycling Culture
A look at what is happening in Windsor to encourage cycling and next steps as part of the first Windsor Bike Summit. The event was hosted by Bike Windsor-Essex.
May 23, 2016: Building community through bike-friendly planning
A profile of 5 of Ontario's bicycle-friendly communities by Dandyhorse Magazine.
May 20, 2016: Huron County Takes Part in Bicycle Friendly Workshop
A short summary of Share the Road's workshop with Huron County stakeholders.
April 25, 2016: Celebrating Community and Building Bike Infrastructure
A re-cap of the 8th Annual Ontario Bike Summit by Dandyhorse Magazine.
April 20, 2016: Cycling Advocates Call on Province to Invest $200 million in cycling infrastructure
At the 8th Annual Ontario Bike Summit, Share the Road, in partnership with Cycle Toronto, called on the provincial government to leverage the cap and trade program to provide $200 million for cycling infrastructure funding over 4 years. We wrote to the Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Honourable Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation because cycling can play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting our climate change goals, while also providing meaningful transportation choice to Ontario residents. Both Minister Murray and Kathryn McGarry, the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation, joined us for the summit's keynote breakfast.
We encourage you to join Share the Road and Cycle Toronto and write a letter of your own letting the province know that you support this ask and commitment to providing safer, more connected spaces to cycle. Write your letter to Minister Murray and the Queen's Park All Party Cycling Caucus:
To: "Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of Environment & Climate Change" <[email protected].
April 19, 2016: Three Ontario Communities Receive Bicycle Friendly Community Awards
At the 8th Annual Ontario Bike Summit, Share the Road announced the latest Bicycle Friendly Community awards for Ontario. The following communities were awarded Bicycle Friendly status: Burlington - Silver (moved up from Bronze), Niagara Falls - Bronze (new in 2016) and Mississippi Mills - Bronze (new in 2016). Oakville, Oshawa, Richmond Hill and Welland were renewed at their Bronze designation levels, while Hamilton was renewed with a Silver designation. An Honourable Mention was given to North Bay.
Photos by David Keogh
November 17, 2015: Ontario's First Bicycle Friendly Businesses Announced
On Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 Share the Road recognized Ontario's first recipients of the Bicycle Friendly Business Awards. With the generous support from our partners at The City of Hamilton, The City of Thunder Bay, EnviroCentre, BikeBrampton and Evergreen's We Are Cities Community Innovation Grant, we are pleased to bring the BFB Program, which was developed and proven successful by the League of American Bicyclists, into Canada.
Highlights of the first round of award winners includes:
- 34 employers recognized with BFB Awards: 8 Gold, 10 Silver and 16 Bronze
- Over 24,000 employees in 9 different cities now work at a BFB
- A wide variety of industries represented, from food and beverage service to engineering and consulting to post secondary education, awarded.
October 22, 2015: Province Streamlining Process to Build Off-Road Bike Paths and Recreational Trails
Ontario is helping cities become more sustainable and environmentally friendly by making it easier to build off-road bike paths and large-scale recreational trails.
The province has created a new streamines process for municipalities to submit proposals for environmental assessments on new paths and trails. The new process will be easier and quicker, saving municipalities considerable time, money and effort.
The amendments were proposed by the Municipal Engineers Association and received significant public feedbacl during the province's public consultation. The new environmental assessment process also supports CycleON, the province's long-term strategy to help make Ontario the number one province for cycling in Canada.
July 3, 2015: Ontario Opens Applications for Cycling Skills Training and Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Funding
On Friday, July 3, The Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transportation, MPP Kathryn McGarry announced the opening of the application period for both the $10 Million Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Fund and the $380,000 Cycling Skills Training fund. Share the Road has been advocating for dedicated provincial funding to assist municipalities in building safer cycling facilities since releasing our 2009 Green Paper entitled When Ontario Bikes, Ontario Benefits, and we are extremely pleased to see both of these new pools of funding made available to improve the safety of Ontario's roads for all road users. See our press release here.
MPP Kathryn McGarry with Share the Road Board member Dave McLaughlin, July 3, 2015
On Tuesday, June 2, The Making Ontario's Roads Safer Act (Bill 31) was unanimously passed at Queen's Park. This modernization to the Highway Traffic Act includes provisions that will make Ontario's roads safer for all road users, including people on bikes.
Bill 31 includes:
- 1m safe passing law when passing people on bikes
- Allowance of traffic control signals specific to bikes and contra-flow bike lanes
- Increased fines for "dooring" people on bikes and distracted driving
- Allowance of cycling on paved shoulders of a highway that is divided into two separate roadways
For more information on Bill 31, visit the Legislative Assembly of Ontario's website.
May 28, 2015: Stay Safe, Stay Back Campaign Launched in Ottawa
Share the Road was in Ottawa this week for the launch of our Stay Safe, StayBack campaign. This bilingual campaign includes a video, website, bus-back ads and truck decals. Stay Safe, Stay Backwas developed by Share the Road in partnership with the Canadian Automobile Association and Top Drawer Creative Inc. with translation to French by the City of Ottawa. The objetive of the campaign is to educate both truck drivers and people who bike on the best ways to safely share the road. Specifically, the campaign materials highlight the "no go zone" where people on bikes are invisible to drivers and urges drivers to give cyclists space at intersections.
We were joined in Ottawa for the launch event by Mayor Watson, Ottawa City Councillors, the National Capital Heavy Construction Association, the Canadian Automobile Association and Citizens for Safe Cycling.
Ottawa is the second municipality to adopt the Stay Safe, Stay Backcampaign in Ontario (after Toronto in 2013) and the first to launch the messaging in French. The campaign is available to all municipalities. Connect with us at [email protected] for more details on how to spread this important messaging or buy decals for your trucks.
Visit www.staysafestayback.ca to view our video!
May 11, 2015: More and more Ontarians warming to cycling
A summary of the Ontario Bike Summit written by Yvette Tendick in the Guelph Mercury.
April 30, 2015: Sometimes a Bike Isn't Just a Bike
Almonte Councillor Jill McCubbin shares her thoughts on the 2015 Ontario Bike Summit, the Bicycle Friendly Communities designation and why communities should invest in cycling.
As part of the 7th Annual Ontario Bike Summit, the Share the Road Cycling Coalition (Share the Road) announced the latest Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) awards for Ontario.
The following communities were awarded Bicycle Friendly status: Newmarket – Bronze (new in 2015), Thunder Bay – Bronze (new in 2015), Blue Mountains – Silver (moved up from Bronze), Peterborough – Silver (moved up from Bronze) and Toronto – Gold (moved up from Silver). Honourable Mentions were given to Barrie, Cobourg, Cambridge and Ingersoll.
“Share the Road is proud to recognize municipalities that are choosing to invest in cycling,” said Jamie Stuckless, Executive Director of Share the Road. “We know from our research that 54% of Ontarians want to cycle more. This is a call to action being answered in bicycle friendly communities. We congratulate them on their progress and look forward to working with staff and community stakeholders to continue building safe, healthy and connected communities.” (read the media release)