The City of Cambridge is preparing a new 20 year plan that will link bike trail systems and improve cycling safety with the aim of getting more people on their bikes. The cycling master plan initiative follows nearly three decades of work that has created more than 200 km of on road bike lanes and 130 of off road trails in Cambridge.
Consultation with stakeholders and the public began in May. The City and the consultants envision a network that better integrates on-road and off-road trails. It will also examine what barriers exist to cycling, specifically what the barriers are that keep people from taking up cycling for pleasure and commuting in the first place.
The consultant, Urban Systems, is well experienced having completed dozens of active transportation plans throughout communities in Canada.
The Region of Waterloo, and Cambridge have well established cycling networks including on street, off street and recreational trails. This exercise provides an opportunity to integrate the various trails and to provide a connected network of cycling routes connecting the many parts of the city.
People must feel that cycling in the city is safe for them to take it up. The consultant and City hope for a design that will make riding appealing for everyone from children to seniors, commuters to recreational riders.
Many people feel that cycling on the roads is dangerous, not only because of the high volumes of traffic, but because of the number of people driving cars who are visibly distracted talking on their phones and texting. Enforcement of distracted driving laws is one way to make the roads safer for all vulnerable road users (cyclists and pedestrians), but so are separated bike lanes on busy streets. Separated lanes are used globally in cycling friendly cities and have proven to greatly reduce collisions between cars and bikes.
The City reports that to date they have received input from 30 stakeholders and from 227 online survey respondents. They hope to work with the consultant to create a plan that addresses the concerns that the are raised. The City can help controls safety issues, dedicated bike lanes, better directional signage, and parking issues and security. Cyclists will have to contend with the weather problems though.
Cycling tourism, another economic incentive to improve the trails, remains a largely untapped opportunity in the area, but the success of that will depend heavily on the cycling infrastructure to be in place.
You can read about the Cycling Master Plan here. Please take a few minutes and read the plan and provide your input. Whether you ride or not, this plan will make the City a much more livable place to live.
The City of Cambridge is updating its Cycling Master Plan and we need to hear from you. The City would like to encourage cycling as a means to a healthier lifestyle as well as a practice to reduce road congestion, and the Cycling Master Plan will include measures to improve safety and access so that it is easier for residents to use cycling to get around as a first choice.
Our City has a strong network of off-road trails as well as on-street cycling routes on both municipal and regional roads. The Cycling Master Plan will build off the direction from the City’s 2008 Bikeways Network Plan and 2010 Trails Master Plan, and will look for opportunities to work from the existing infrastructure to reflect current best practices in bicycle planning and design, to expand our City's ‘all ages and abilities’ (‘AAA’) cycling network, and to continue to build a cycling culture in Cambridge.