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Elgin St Thomas Cycling Master Plan
  by Francie Dennison  
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 Elgin St Thomas Cycling Master Plan 

Erica Arnett, Health Promoter with Elgin St. Thomas Public Health, gave a detailed presentation of the Elgin-St. Thomas Cycling Master Plan to Central Elgin Council at their August 25, 2014 meeting.

She said that in developing the Cycling Master Plan they have refined the routes, identified major maintenance projects, identified cycling tourism as a major economic factor, and understood the role cycling plays in community building.

Erica talks fast and whipped through the 15 page report in about 10 minutes. She informed Council that cycle tourism is a growing industry that poses significant economic development opportunities. The Lake Erie Waterfront Trail is recognized as one of Canada's best cycling trails.

Existing and proposed routes include multi-use trails, dedicated bicycle lanes, and paved shoulders. Anyone using Sunset Road can readily see how the paved shoulders on it from Port Stanley to St. Thomas are used by walkers, runners, cyclists and e-bikes, allowing the opportunity for those user groups to travel safely off the portion of the roadway used by vehicular traffic. It also makes it safer for the motorists to have those user groups safely out of harm's way.

Active Elgin is also looking to increase regional connectivity as many people who do not drive vehicles live within 10 km of their work. Cycling becomes a viable transportation alternative for them.

The Healthy Communities Partnership and Active Transportation Technical Committee plan to continue to work collaboratively to develop and deliver cycling infrastructure and programs, and to investigate external funding opportunities to supplement County, City and Local Municipal funding of the cycling network.

By passed resolution Central Elgin Council endorsed and adopted the Elgin-St. Thomas Cycling Master Plan.

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