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Support the creation of a dedicated Cycling Advisory Committee

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Dear Councillor,,

 

Please support the creation of a Cycling Advisory Committee (CAC).

London is currently deciding whether to create a dedicated committee that would represent cyclists’ needs in planning and transportation issues. The creation of such a group would be a huge step forward in making London the world-class city we all know it can be, and I urge you to support it.

There are many reasons to support a Cycling Advisory Committee:

·      London is practically the only city of its size in Ontario that does not have a CAC.

·      As Ontario’s new cycling strategy recognizes, cyclists have unique needs compared to cars and trucks.

·      The city of London has already made commitments to active transportation and complete streets. A CAC will be instrumental in helping London meet those commitments.

·      Londoners are asking for it. In a survey of 500 Londoners conducted by advocacy group London Cycle Link this spring, 85% of respondents said London needs an organization to represent cycling interests at council. Cyclists feel unsafe on our streets.

Cycling is good for people and the economy

Beyond transportation and the obvious health and environmental benefits, a Cycling Advisory Committee would also help London achieve social and economic goals:

·         Retain our young entrepreneurs, professionals and graduates. To compete for the best and the brightest, London must become a cycling and transit friendly city. Young professionals prefer to live and work in vibrant downtowns, and the number of people under the age of 30 getting drivers’ licenses is dropping dramatically.

·         Reduce infrastructure debt. It was recently revealed that London has a massive road infrastructure debt. Investment in the construction of bicycle facilities such as multi-use paths will yield a return for the local economy approximately nine times the initial expenditure.

·         Reduce energy consumption.  The city recently put out a call for neighbourhoods to propose how they can help all Londoners use less energy. Neighbourhoods with dense development, high street connectivity, and access to transit opportunities will consume up to 25% less energy from motorized vehicles compared to neighbourhoods built without active transportation in mind.

·         Create jobs. London continues to struggle with unemployment. Cycling infrastructure projects create a total of 11.4 local jobs for every $1 million spent and pedestrian-only projects create 9.9 jobs per $1 million. Road-only projects create 7.8 jobs per $1 million.

The current model isn’t working

The current model that sees cycling interests represented though the Transportation Advisory Committee is a failed model. It has left London cyclists with no effective voice or input to planning. There is often talk in the city of “complete streets,” but London has yet to build one. An Advisory committee on cycling would provide input and advice on where to spend our stretched infrastructure budget to help create a cycle- friendly city.

Had a Cycling Advisory Committee existed, someone would have noticed in the planning process for Saint André Bessette Catholic Secondary School that there was no safe active transportation plan for the students.

 

Please support a Cycling Advisory Committee

Following the successful model of many North American cities by creating a Cycling Advisory Committee would be a huge step forward for the Forest City. When this issue comes back to the Corporate Services Committee and then to city council in November, 

 

I ask you to vote in favour of creating a dedicated Cycling Advisory Committee.

 

Thank you!



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