Leading up to the 2022 municipal election, CycleWR volunteers have been taking municipal electoral candidates for bike rides to show off the best and worst of the cycling infrastructure in their ward/city/region. For a full list of completed rides, click here. CycleWR is a non-partisan organization that does not support any particular party or candidate. Summaries are written by volunteers or candidates and may not reflect the mandate or views of CycleWR. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maria Legault took Tyler Calver, candidate for Regional Council, Cambridge for a ride. Here’s what Maria had to say about the walk:
On a warm and sunny evening in early October, Tyler Calver met up with CycleWR volunteer Maria for a Ride with Candidates outing.
Tyler is running for Regional Council in Cambridge (read more on his website here).
Tyler has heard a lot from Cambridge residents about their concerns around the lack of affordable housing and homelessness in the City. He shared with Maria how passionate he is about advocating for the best interests of the residents of Cambridge. He wants to see positive change in the next four years.
Tyler took the time during this Ride with Candidates outing to consider the importance of strong active transportation infrastructure. He enjoys cycling in Cambridge as often as he can.
The full route is on Ride with GPS here or pictured below:
The route, beginning on Hespeler Road, is expected to get an ‘All Ages and Abilities’ (AAA) facility for cyclists by 2028. Currently the road has no cycling facility and is the busiest street in the city. As a Regional Road, it had 25 to 30% of all reported cycling/car collisions in Cambridge in the last five years.
This was an intimidating road for Tyler and Maria to cycle. CycleWR believes that road projects with cycling and pedestrian improvements should be given higher priority in City and Regional budgets. This ride demonstrated how major connectors like Hespeler Road could be transformed into safe and functional connectors for people to use active transportation to access employment areas and critical services in the City.
The route also took Tyler and Maria up around Conestoga Boulevard. This is a City road, and the Multi-Use Path (MUP) there had almost no markings. These MUPs are quite valuable to cyclists as they are considered AAA facilities. Only 10 to 15% of the population is comfortable cycling on painted bike lanes on a busy road. In contrast, 65% of the population is comfortable on AAA routes.
Next, Tyler and Maria turned onto Bishop Street. Bishop is a busy Regional street and is a good example of how painted bike lanes are not good enough. There is no feeling of safety for cyclists while using painted bike lanes. They are also more expensive than dual MUPs, because with painted bike lanes you also have to build two sidewalks.
You can almost always build a single MUP if you have the space for painted bike lanes, offering even further benefit for efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
On the final leg of the route, Tyler and Maria turned from Concession Road onto Dunbar Road. There was a MUP on the south side of Dunbar, a City Road. This MUP does not extend to Hespeler Road. Tyler and Maria ended up going through the Dumfries Conservation Area to connect back to the start of their route.
Due to a lack of signage on the Dumfries C.A. trails, they had to navigate through unfamiliar and sometimes hilly portions of trail. Rather than coming back out at the YMCA on Hespeler Road, Tyler and Maria circled back to Hespeler Road and completed the route dodging busy vehicle traffic.
Tyler is committed to seeing positive change for the residents of Cambridge. CycleWR was very grateful for his time on this Ride with Candidates outing! We are excited to see what the next four years bring for supporting safe, connected, and efficiently-costed active transportation infrastructure in Cambridge.