Ontario Bike Summit 2013

Glen Murray speaking at OBS2013 

Photos by Cosette Schulz

Story by Amelia Brown

The need for the Province to recognize the importance of active transportation as part of a sustainability movement has become, in the words of MPP and Transportation Minister Glen Murray, “truly an existential crisis.”

He spoke at the 2013 Ontario Bike Summit, hosted by Share The Road Cycling Coalition to a large group of bicycle enthusiasts and bike-friendly policy-makers.

Murray who was appointed Minister of Transportation of Ontario earlier this year cited the global milestone we passed this May, reaching a level of over 400ppm CO2 in the atmosphere. He went on to thrill the crowd with an empowered discussion about the role bicycles play in our current transportation planning. “When I became minister, I looked at the Ontario Bike Policy and I knew we could do a lot better.”

The two-day conference, hosted at the Hyatt Regency hotel at King and Spadina on the 28 and 29 of May, included addresses from Chicago Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein, Nancy Olewiler, the chair of Translink B.C., and Michael Chan, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. While speaking at the Summit, Chan announced a new Greenbelt Cycling trail scheduled to launch in 2015.

Pledge, signed by speakers and participants at OBS2013

Eleanor McMahon, founder of Share the Road emphasized the 68% of Ontarians who want to cycle more and don’t as a reason cycling infrastructure and urban planning developments are crucial. It was a common thread between speakers at the Summit.

Share the Road founder Eleanor McMahon 

“We need to start looking at how we develop land. Maybe the first thing we put in isn’t a road, but LRT or transit.” Murray said. He added that we need to rethink how our streets are designed in order to change the way people use them. Streets built primarily for non-auto use will attract alternatives.

Glen Murray signing Share the Road's pledge

Read dandyhorse's coverage of the Complete Streets Forum here.

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