Mayor's Bike Ride
Thank you to all those who joined Mayor Scott Aitchison to bicycle around Huntsville! The 2nd Annual Mayor's Bike Ride took place on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 6:30 P.M. at River Mill Park and was a huge success with close to 100 cyclists taking part.
Thank you to:
- The SportLab for championing this event and the Kids' Bike Rodeo
- Algonquin Outfitters and The Bike Shop who helped get cyclists ready to ride
- Totem Juice, Lala's Real Foods, Soul Sista's, and Whimsical Bakery who kept us fueled.
- The O.P.P. officers who rode with us
The mostly flat 12km ride is manageable for most riders who can ride to 45 minutes. There are a couple short hills to climb but you get to go down the other side! The ride will be well signed and have lead and sweep cyclists so that no one is left behind. There will be experienced cyclists riding with you during the Mayor's Bike Ride. They will know the route and will be modelling smart cycling skills and share the road principles. If you are hesitant about cycling, this is a good opportunity to practice riding in a safe and supported route.
Kids' Bike Rodeo
New in 2016 is the Kids' Bike Rodeo! This event taught kids the basic cycling skills and safety. Over 75 kids and their parents/guardians joined us on Thursday, June 9, 2016 from 4:30 - 6:30 P.M. at Huntsville Public School.
Many thanks to The SportLab, Algonquin Outfitters, Rotary Club of Huntsville/Lake of Bays, and the O.P.P. for helping with this event.
With our partners The SportLab and the O.P.P. kids are guided through different stations each with a separate cycling focus, including: helmet and bike safety checks, road safety (signs and signals), a mock intersection, shoulder checks and agility.
Riders will travel the stations in small groups of up to six. The entire rotation will take each group approximately 30 minutes. Each cyclist will end the Rodeo with a healthy snack, completed checklist, a certificate, and some bike goodies.
The Kids' Bike Rodeo is appropriate for kids aged 5-12 who can ride a bike. A parent or guardian must accompany each child on foot. The Rodeo is free, but registration is required.
Crosswalks and Sharrows
We're trying to make Huntsville a safer, easier, and more convenient place for people to walk and ride their bikes. Our first projects from the Active Transportation Strategy (see below) are more visible crosswalks and bike symbols called "sharrows" painted on the road.
There has always been a crosswalk in this location, but the new method of painting (contrasted painting) makes them more visible for drivers to spot pedestrians in the crosswalk. The high-contrast paint pattern tells drivers to slow down in this area (Centre Street North and Caroline Street) near a public school and church.
photo credit: The Huntsville Forester
Sharrows are the name for the bicycle symbols that have been painted on the road along Dara Howell Way, Caroline St. and Centre Street North. The word "sharrow" is a combination of the words "arrow" and "share the road" with two chevrons pointing the way forward. The markings are meant to attract cyclists and remind two-wheeled and four-wheeled road users alike to share the road with each other. When we're courteous towards other road users, the roads are a safe place to drive and cycle. "Share the Road" signage is spaced out along the sharrows route.
Active Transportation Strategy and Reports
From September to December 2012, a group of planning students from Ryerson University developed an Active Transportation Strategy for the Town of Huntsville. Three main themes emerged in the strategy and form the basis for their recommendations: connectivity, accessibility, and education. Read the full report.
The Ryerson report is so comprehensive, that in order to implement some of these projects we needed to narrow the scope. Through a grant from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and the Healthy Partnership Program we were able to hire a consultant to help us identify projects that will be quickly actionable (within 2 years) and impactful.
Next steps: staff will present the report to committee for prioritization and seek costs for proposed projects. Read the consultant report .
Active Transportation in the Official Plan
In 2014, the Town of Huntsville again received funding through the Healthy Communities Partnership Program of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. The project goal was to draft Official Plan statements that will provide policy support for planning decisions that result in active transportation (human powered modes of transportation). Our "Idea Bombing" event (held January 15, 2015) was designed to gather your ideas through fun and engaging activities which ultimately contributed to the final report. Read the report: Active Transportation Oriented Official Plan Policies.
These policies will be integrated into the Official Plan Review that is currently taking place (fall 2015 and winter 2016). To learn more about this process and to participate, please visit the Official Plan Review page.