Greens call for all party support for bill to make roads safer for cyclists


December 9, 2013

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Queens Park – PC Norm Miller’s (MPP Parry Sound-Muskoka) Bill 137, the Paved Shoulder Construction and Bicycling Act, 2013, is an important step towards a safe environment for cyclists in Ontario, according to Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner. 
The Green Party is calling on all parties in Ontario’s legislature to set aside partisanship in order to make our roads safer. The Green Party supports Bill 79 because there is an urgent need to make cycling safer. Paving the shoulders of rural roads is a good start. 
“Making our roads safe for all users is good for our communities, environment and economy,” says Schreiner. “We need more action and less talk from all parties at Queen’s Park to make our roads and streets safe.” 
The Green Party is also pushing all parties to support funding for the improvements mandated by Bill 79. In addition, the Green Party continues to push for investing 1% of the transportation infrastructure budget for cycling and 1% for walking infrastructure to make our roads and streets safer. By comparison the U.S. spends 1.6% of its transportation budget on cycling.
“How many cyclists and pedestrians must die before the provincial government takes action to establish a permanent and dedicated fund for cycling and walking infrastructure?” asks Schreiner. 
Making our rural roads safe for cycling is also good for Ontario’s economy. Bike tourism in Quebec generates $134 million a year. Cycling in Quebec creates approximately 3,000 jobs and $17.2 million in tax revenue. 
“I want to thank MPP Norm Miller for his ongoing efforts to make rural roads safer for cyclists,” adds Schreiner. “I want to challenge all MPPs to not only get behind Bill 79, but to also support a Complete Streets Act to make all our roads and streets safe for all users.”
The Ontario Bike Strategy released earlier this fall called for a Complete Streets Act. To date, no one has introduced legislation for a Complete Streets Act.