The commitment to provincial cycling infrastructure has been extended by $50 million for the next year, and $225 million over the next five years in total, in the Ontario budget announcement. In the consultation period leading up to the budget, the government heard from stakeholders across the province, including a joint submission from the Share The Road Cycling Coalition, Ontario Waterfront Regeneration Trust (Great Lakes Waterfront Trail), Ontario Greenbelt and Ontario By Bike. This was bolstered by letters of support other stakeholders including 51 municipalities, that locally included Brockville and the United Counties of Leeds Grenville.
While details of an extension to the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program (OMCIP) remain to be determined, the last tranche of $25 million was split $15 million for MTO projects and $10 million for municipal projects. Locally, one of the three funded MTO projects was the inclusion and extension of the St Lawrence Recreational Path’s multi-use trail along the 1000 Islands parkway corridor, over the Hwy 137 bridge. Brockville’s $325,000 grant was one of 37 awarded from 150 municipal applications.
For Brockville to benefit again, it will be important for City Council to make good on their cycling network commitments to residents, and ensure that shovel-ready projects are approved.
The cycling infrastructure funding, coupled with recent announcements for the provincial cycling network and the cycle tourism strategy, deepen and extend the province’s commitment to implementing #CYCLEON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy.