London becoming more “bike friendly”

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X

13336040_10156976161150521_5377419788515551738_nIn an effort to make the city more bike friendly, Mayor Matt Brown was at the Central Public Library on Monday, where they unveiled 1 of 3 new bike corrals and fix-it stations.

“Over the past many, many decades, we’ve been working our way towards this week,” said Brown as he¬†addressed the crowd of avid cyclists gathered downtown.

“At the Civic Works Committee on Wednesday, June 8th, the Draft Cycling Master Plan will be presented after more than a year of consultation.”

The bike corrals – located downtown, in Wortley Village, and in Old East London¬†– are placed in a parking spot, allowing for 14 bikes to park, rather than 1 car. William Pol, a member of the Cycling Advisory Committee, says this raises the profile of cycling, “it shows that the city thinks that bicycle parking and bicycle transportation, is just as important as private cars.”

Though some busy streets may not be ideal for cycling, he adds that there are many areas of the city that connect, that are perfect for every day cyclists, “the best infrastructure we have is the Thames Valley Parkway, which is a paved path along the Thames River. It connects major places along the city such as the University, the hospitals and downtown.”

Pol adds that neighborhoods such as Wortley Village and Old East are typically very bike friendly because of the street network, “all of the streets are interconnected, there are short blocks, beautiful shaded areas that make it safe and convenient for cycling. Those are the kinds of city designs that promote cycling.”

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As the city continues to grow, Pol says they are being proactive to ensure new subdivisions are better suited for cyclists, “it’s about doing it upfront, as opposed to retrofitting, which is more expensive.”

Members of the London Police were at the gathering reminding cyclists to be safe, and always wear a helmet.

View Mayor Matt Brown’s full speech below.

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