Hamilton to host Ontario Bike Summit amid efforts to make the city more cyclist-friendly


Published April 26, 2023 at 1:57 pm

Hamilton has been chosen to host the 2023 Ontario Bike Summit, an annual event organized to discuss ways to create a more bike-friendly Ontario.

Organized for 15 years by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition, the event invites municipal and provincial leaders, engineers, urban planners and city builders, advocates, and private sector companies and investors to discuss the benefits of cycling and ways to improve access for cyclists on roads and trails.

The summit will take place from April 30 to May 2 at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel near King and Bay Street.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mayor Andrea Horwath said she was thrilled to have Hamilton host the event.

“It’s a chance to learn from other success stories to make sure we’re doing everything we can to help make sure cyclists can travel safely,” said Horwath. “It’s also a fantastic opportunity for our local economy.”

The theme for this year’s summit is Cycling Connects. Presenters including the Dutch Cycling Embassy will host a design workshop on April 30th, focused on translating best practices from the Netherlands onto intersections and streets in Hamilton.

Ed McMahon, Chair of the Share the Road Cycling Coalition, says Hamilton is making progress on building safe streets for all.

“The investment in a separated bike network, connecting the lower and upper city with the Keddy Access Trail and the development of micro-mobility programs including Hamilton Bike Share and the Everyone Rides Initiative, are examples of a city that is making important investments and decisions that prioritize safety and inclusion,” said McMahon.

A 2022 ranking of the best cycling cities listed Hamilton as 23rd out of 85 large cities in Canada and the United States, and 151st out of 1105 cities overall, putting it in the 86th and 73rd percentile respectively.

The ranking combined its own analysis score with a community survey score based on six criteria: safe speeds, protected bike lanes, road diets, intersection treatments, network connections, and trusted data.

Hamilton is considered a Silver Bicycle Friendly Community by the Coalition’s Bicycle Friendly Communities (BCF) program, and Mayor Horwath says the city can do better.

“As Mayor, I believe we can achieve Gold Bicycle Friendly Community status. This year’s Ontario Bike Summit will connect Hamilton with the experts and tools we need to get there — making sure everyone has room to ride and get where they are going safely,” said Horwath.

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