ROB DRAL The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Already the “Trail Capital of Canada,” a group of cyclists from Uxbridge want to turn the town into a “Cycling Hub.”
Members of the Uxbridge Cycling Club, supported by the Uxbridge BIA, dropped by the Council Meeting on Monday, July 11, to present their proposed ‘Uxbridge Cycling Plan.’
The Cycling Plan is a three to 10 year action plan, to identify and recommend the most affordable means, to fully utilize and improve infrastructure, safety, and tourist traffic in Uxbridge.
The cycling plan will focus on various areas of improvement. During the first year of the plan, The Uxbridge Cycling Club is planning to propose an extension of the existing Greenbelt Loop, already in use by cyclists, and create a loop through downtown Uxbridge. The current Greenbelt Loop only reaches as far north as Brockdale Rd.
The Uxbridge Cycling Club believes extending the loop to include downtown Uxbridge would benefit local businesses by attracting thousands of cyclists a week.
The club will also create a Focus Group, in order to better understand the needs of the community, as well as the Township. This focus group will include: Durham Region Tourism, Uxbridge Ward 3 Councillor, Dave Barton, the Uxbridge BIA, local business, and The Uxbridge Cycling Club.
Another area of improvement, identified by the cycling plan, is additional road signage and shoulder pavement improvements. Proposed signage to be added includes signs indicating: Share the road (bike/car/tractor) (approx.15-20 signs), two riders max, 1-meter rule indicated, and single file on steep hills. The Uxbridge Cycling Club estimates the signs will cost the Township $1,800.
Year 2 sees the group advocating for and identifying, infrastructure funding opportunities, such as, Ontario’s five-year, $8.4 Billion Climate Change Action Plan. They would also like to identify routes that can better connect the surrounding municipalities to Uxbridge.
The Uxbridge Cycling Club hopes to make downtown Uxbridge a destination location for cyclists. This sat well with Councillors.
“I know in my ward, Ward 1, Goodwood, Anita’s Bakery averages about 3,000 bike riders a weekend... if we could pull them into Uxbridge also, that would be truly amazing for tourism,” said Ward 1 Councillor, Pamela Beach.
“This will cut down on greenhouse gasses, people want to ride their bike to and from work, and it’s an education process,” said Regional Councillor, Jack Ballinger. “I like the idea that you would help put up signs, you would help raise money, it makes it a safer community,” continued Councillor Ballinger.
Ward 3 Councillor and avid cyclist, Dave Barton was excited to be part of the focus group. “I would be honored to be part of the group, there is tremendous opportunity for us, going forward,” said Councillor Barton.
However, some concerns about safety were brought up by councillors. The Uxbridge Cycling Club assured council, further safety education between cyclists and motorists will also be taking place.
“Safety is a huge concern and education is the key, both for the drivers and the cyclists,” said Councillor Barton.
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