A cycling advocacy group here supports the proposed Ottawa Cycling Plan, except it wants to see it implemented more quickly.
After five years of studies, a final draft of the Ottawa Cycling Plan that contains four recommendations to improve and encourage cycling in Ottawa will be presented to the Transportation Committee for approval on Wednesday.
The 20-year plan is designed to triple bicycle use by making riding safer, easier and more convenient — largely through a cycling network that connects communities, said Wilf Koppert, program manager of the Cycling and Pedestrian Facilities Unit.
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“That’s the heart of the plan.”
“We like the network plan,” said Citizens for Safe Cycling president Charles Akben-Marchand. “It’s important to have a network of routes across the city, and we believe education and promotion is a very important aspect.”
But the 10-year timeline for the first phase needs help, he said. “They should be meeting the goal sooner.”
More financial investment is also needed, said Akben-Marchand, who notes the budget for the first phase is $26 million, which averages out to $3.10 per resident per year.
“It will be crucial for councillors to ensure future city budgets back this plan up,” he said.
Group member Zlatko Krstulich, who has been cycling in the city for 25 years, said he wants to see the plans approved and accelerated, but otherwise likes what the proposal offers.
“The plan does provide for some east-west connectivity in the city, and has a lot of details about proper design of transport infrastructure to accommodate cyclists, how to plan intersections of roads and also plans for bicycle parking,” Krstulich said.
“Cycling is very important in Ottawa already and if we can increase cycling, then we can decrease the amount of cars on the road and we’ll have better air quality and a healthier population,” said Koppert.