A new poll shows that 86% of Torontonians support a safe cycling network, including 81% of non-cyclists, and that 67% of Torontonians want an investment of 4.8% per year or more of the City’s transportation budget to build that safe cycling network in less than 9 years. This is yet more evidence that Ontarians consider safe active transportation an economic necessity.
For several years, the Share The Road Cycling Coalition commissioned surveys of Ontarians to measure support levels for different facets of cycling, including infrastructure, investment, behaviours, and more. Those surveys over-sampled the GHTA to ensure validity for the metro area, and results showed high congruence across regions and indeed across the province.
This recent survey, a Angus Reid Forum poll, used a statistically robust methodology to produce a report that’s tightly representative by gender, age and each of Toronto’s six constituent communities (Toronto, York, East York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, North York).
This most recent survey reflects rapidly growing public support of proportionate investment in safe cycling facilities across the entire province, as witnessed by the 30 Bicycle Friendly Communities that are now home to 60% of Ontarians.
Even though proponents knew the support was strong and growing, even Share the Road was surprised by the strength of these results, as shown by this comment on Facebook, “This is just wild. We knew that the conversation around cycling was changing, but these results just make our jaws drop. 86% of Toronto Residents support building a safe cycling network across the City – including 81% of people who aren’t currently cycling. Just incredible.”
The summary report contains several telling results, such as the overwhelming depth of support for investing — 4.8% or $16 million or more per year of Toronto’s $336 million transportation budget to complete the network in 9 years or less. Or, that 76% agree or strongly agree that cycling facilities make roads safer for all users. Or, the chart below reinforcing that “vehicular cycling” cannot achieve the modal shift cities need.
Municipal investment in safe cycling networks and active transportation has quickly become an economic necessity. Those communities lagging in political will are losing the competition to attract and retain families, talent and new businesses.