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.