Posted by Editoress on 10/21/14
Share the Road has sent out the following report and request for support. All Ontario cyclists should urge their municipal candidates to support the Active Communities Pledge outlined below.
Today, the Government of Ontario introduced the Safer Roads Ontario Act into the Provincial Legislature. This is the most significant change to Ontario's Highway Traffic Act in decades, and much of it is geared towards making the roads safer for all road users, with a specific eye towards improving cyclist and pedestrian safety. Increased penalties for "dooring", provisions permitting novel infrastructure like contraflow bike lanes and bicycle signal heads and a one-metre safe passing law requiring motorists to give cyclists one metre of space when passing are all vital elements of this Bill. Combined with stiffer penalties for those that drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol and an increase in the penalty for distracted driving to up to $1,000 and three demerit points, this Bill will give Ontario some of the strongest road safety legislation in North America. For more information on the Bill, click here.
The passage of this Bill represents a significant milestone in our work at Share the Road - it's something we have been championing at Queen's Park for years, something we never could have done without your support. We've worked together to achieve this, and now it's time to leverage these legislative changes at the provincial level along with improvements in infrastructure and education for cyclists all over Ontario to create a province where cycling is safe, comfortable and accessible to all. This Bill is a reminder of what can be achieved when we work collaboratively, and an inspiration for the cyclists of Ontario as we move forward together.
Which brings us to the Active Communities Pledge...
In just six days, voters all over the province will go to the polls to elect municipal leaders that will set the agenda for the next four years. We have a tremendous opportunity to move cycling forward together as a province, but we need your help to ensure that active transportation is a vital element in every community's transportation mix moving forward.
So far, we have over 400 candidates that have signed the Active Communities Pledge, vowing to make walking a cycling a priority as they move forward - a tremendous increase from the 150 candidates that signed during the 2010 election. Consensus around the benefits of cycling is growing, but we need to provide decision makers with the tools to move from vision to implementation once elected.
When we launched the Pledge, we set a goal of raising $5,000 to promote the pledge and to develop and enhance resources that we can deploy to our municipal partners after the election to ensure a good working relationship with their new council. So far, thanks to the generosity of supporters like you, we've raised close to $3,000 to help move our shared vision of a safer Ontario for all road users forward.
In the home stretch of the municipal election campaign, we need your help to raise the final $2,000 to ensure that advocates all over the province are prepared to work effectively with their new elected officials, and to ensure that those that did sign the pledge have the tools and resources to make their communities more walkable, bikable and livable.
Together, we can elect more great champions like John Scott in Essex and create great walking and cycling communities all over Ontario. With your help, we can provide training and resources to advocates all over the province on how to work with their newly elected officials in a productive, results focused way. Your support makes the work that Share the Road does possible, and makes cycling safer and more accessible to all, so please consider a gift today. Click Here to donate now.
If you aren't able to make a gift, there's still lots you can do to make cycling safer in Ontario! Be sure to look at the list of which candidates have signed the pledge and consider who has signed when you cast your votes next week, and if the candidate that you support isn't on the list, send them a message and ask them if they have heard about the pledge, and if they will consider signing it.
With the election in its closing days, we need your help to keep Active Transportation on the radar in your community. You can help by taking the following steps:
1. If you haven't already, take a moment to pledge your support by clicking on "Take the Active Communities Pledge!". When you sign the Pledge, you are adding your voice to thousands of others who are calling on government to promote active transportation and bike-friendly communities.
2. Forward this message to all your networks and to elected officials (both provincial and municipal). You will be helping us build a strong voice for those who believe cycling and other active transportation contributes to Ontario’s future.
3. Promote the Active Communities Pledge Campaign by sharing it! You can share the Pledge by promoting it at local events, or by posting Take the Active Communities Pledge! to the comments section of your own social forums, your own blog, or local newspaper website.
Thank you for your continued support and commitment to supporting Active Communities!
Warm regards from all of us at Share the Road
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