Mississauga Cycling Now!

▶ Cycling Master Plan (CMP) - Performance

The City of Mississauga's Strategic Plan, Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Downtown Growth Plan, Climate Change Action Plan, Vision Zero Action Plan and countless studies and strategies all speak the right words about increasing cycling as a necessary means to achieve city-building objectives across the board.  Yet the Cycling Master Plan (CMP) which was updated in 2018, is stymied as project after project meets local pushback (often due to parking changes), installation delays, watering-down or outright cancellation.  ▶ See also: COVID Bike Lanes ; 2022 Cycling Survey



2021 Report Card - Cycling Master Plan

[Posted: June 23, 2022; Updated: June 27, 2022]

In 2021, only 0.53km of planned new cycling infrastructure was actually completed, 5% of the target 10.75km, and far short of the 2018 Cycling Master Plan's approved annual target of 18km.  The 2021 Report Card therefore features vaguer elements.

▶ FOR COMPARISON: Take a look at the 2012 Report on the Cycling Plan (6p PDF) which details significant achievements following approval of the original 2010 Cycling Master Plan (120p PDF).

MCN! Comments on the 2021 Report Card:

GREEN BIKE LANE: When the 2021 Report Card infographic was presented publicly to MCAC on June 14, 2022 (Agenda, Item 9.4), Active Transportation (AT) staff indicated that the green bike lane depicted is "conceptual".  This image takes up 50% of the infographic(!) yet it is unclear what it actually represents.  No information value here!

CYCLING EVENTS: Thanks to Port Credit Slow Roll, Roll Cooksville and Streetsville Slow Roll and other volunteer-led rides, there were (37) events, including seven (7) self-guided rides organized by the City.

BICYCLE PARKING: While being able to request bicycle parking on public property is nice(?), this is not an accomplishment.  Why isn't bicycle parking standard in all public settings?  More informative would be an indication of how much public bicycle parking is installed against the number of deficient locations still to be upgraded, including public parks, City-owned buildings, MiWay terminals, and public spaces.  Approval involves many hurdles: "Bicycle parking infrastructure is installed where suitable based on a citywide priority basis as funding allows."

FLEXPOSTS: While bike lanes on Living Arts Drive were enhanced with flexposts, these could not be considered "protection" (they are easily run over or damaged) but rather, visual and physical separation for the 750m length.

"A bike lane is distinguished from a cycle track in that it has no physical barrier (bollards, medians, raised curbs, etc.) that restricts the encroachment of motorized traffic." — NACTO

TRAIL COUNTS: While it is great to see the expected higher usage over the past two years for the well-established Waterfront Trail and Etobicoke Creek Trail (created with other levels of government and largely for recreational use), what is really needed is news of increased availability and usage of bike-friendly infrastructure within Mississauga, enabling all residents to travel around their city safely on a cycling network being completed strategically — for visiting, shopping, entertainment, school, employment, or to make a transit connection (first/last kilometer).

SOCIAL MEDIA: The City's 10,000+ cycling-related engagements on social media may be due in some part to MCN! amplification of City information to a dedicated cycling audience — MCN! achieved over 753,000 impressions on Twitter alone in 2021.  But soft statistics aren't the kind of quantitative information the cycling community craves.




2021 Cycling Infrastructure Program

[Posted: March 31, 2022]

ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION QUARTERLY REPORT (January 2022): Only 0.53km (5%) of planned new cycling infrastructure in 2021 was actually completed, out of a target 10.75km, and far short of the 2018 Cycling Master Plan's approved annual target of 18km.

CHART (left): Four funding scenarios + construction targets were developed for implementing the 2018 Cycling Master Plan Update.  Scenario 'C' was approved by Council, to be in effect as of 2019.

▶ 2021 RESULTS: View the consolidated Active Transportation Quarterly Cycling Program Update, January 2022 (10p PDF).

Even the City's COVID-19 Active Transportation Framework (July 2020) to convert 17.9km of temporary bike lanes to permanent infrastructure by the end of 2020 has stalled at 28% delivery as reported in January 2022.




Bicycle Friendly Community Award - 10th Anniversary

[Posted: April 24, 2022]

Mississauga was designated a BRONZE 🥉 Bicycle Friendly Community in May 2012 as defined and administered by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition in Ontario.  There are five (5) designations: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond.

The BFC Award Program provides a measure of how well our City is implementing its cycling policies and how it compares to dozens of other municipalities in Ontario.  The full list of recipients is posted.

The City of Mississauga was provided with written feedback and recommendations from Share the Road Cycling Coalition’s Bicycle Friendly Community expert judging panel, facilitating alignment of the panel's advice with the actions of the then-2010 Cycling Master Plan.

Ten years later, is the City striving to attain the Silver BFC designation?

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT: The BFC panel recommended, "Add an average of 30 km to the cycling network per year over the next 20 years;  Separated bike lanes and cycle tracks;  'Road diets' to calm traffic and lead to a better use of roadway space;  Ensure that bridges and underpasses, identified as part of the cycling network, are built/retrofitted to accommodate cyclists."  THIS IS STRAIGHTFORWARD ADVICE, STILL TO BE TAKEN.

An MCAC member at the time (who now contributes to MCN!) and the City’s then-Active Transportation Manager worked together to outline the steps required, and to establish a strategy, in order to achieve SILVER 🥈 designation, concurrent with continuing to implement the Mississauga Cycling Master Plan (updated in 2018).  The process was felt to be challenging and that it would take time to accomplish.  A decade later, this is still true.

▶ The Go for Silver Strategy (8p PDF) was reviewed at the MCAC on April 22, 2014 as appears in the Minutes.  The MCAC Motion that the City of Mississauga adopt the goal of achieving a "Silver" designation for Mississauga as part of the Bicycle Friendly Community award program was adopted by Council.

2022 STATUS UPDATE:  Infrastructure targets per the 2018 Cycling Master Plan Update are still not being met, as shown in the 2021 Cycling Infrastructure Program results (above).  On some fronts there has been recent action, e.g. traffic calming, integrating cycling network planning into larger road rehabilitation projects, and the School Streets pilot project planned for May 2022.  An increase in public bike parking is underway, and new rates are being mandated for the provision of bike parking in new developments.  Off-road biking is receiving more attention thanks to the efforts of the Mississauga Mountain Biking Association established in 2020.  But in other areas, Mississauga is not keeping up or is falling behind, e.g. CAN-BIKE courses are no longer offered, even with the surge of interest in cycling.  Intersection safety is still a big issue, with even new trails (e.g. ORT #11) crossing roads without markings, and signalized intersections no safer because signals still do not give advanced priority for cyclists and pedestrians.  The failure of The Collegeway cycle track build and the total lack of development of the west end of Burnhamthorpe Road, where no infrastructure exists to connect to excellent facilities in Halton Region, are other examples.

2018 STATUS UPDATE:  Mississauga didn't meet the targets in the 2010 Cycling Master Plan, which committed to an annual increase in cycling infrastructure of 30km/year for 20 years.  From 2010 to 2016 (a 7 year period), 80 km of cycling infrastructure in total was constructed in Mississauga, including 12 km of sharrows (painted shared-lane markings on the road) which MCN! does not regard as infrastructure.  The final construction number for 2017 is still being ascertained; the target number for 2018 was 9.5 km.

About the Bicycle Friendly Community Award:  The Bicycle Friendly Community Award is presented annually by the Share the Road Cycling Coalition to communities that actively support bicycling.  Municipalities are judged for the award in five categories: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement (dropped in 2020), and evaluation & planning.  A community must demonstrate achievements in each of the five (now four) categories in order to be considered for an award.

About Share the Road Cycling Coalition:  Share the Road Cycling Coalition is a provincial cycling advocacy organization created to unite cycling organizations from across Ontario and work with and on behalf of municipalities to enhance their ability to make their communities more bicycle-friendly.  The organization's mandate is province-wide with a specific focus on developing public policy at the provincial level in order to provide the kind of legislative, programmatic and funding instruments such as exist in other Canadian provinces, notably Quebec and British Columbia.

BIKE FRIENDLY AWARD CRITERIA: The 5 ‘E’s (now 4)

ENGINEERING - Physical infrastructure and hardware to support cycling.

EDUCATION - Programs and campaigns that give people on bikes and in cars the knowledge, skills and confidence to share the road safely.

ENCOURAGEMENT - Incentives, promotions and opportunities that inspire and enable people to ride.

EVALUATION & PLANNING - Processes that demonstrate a commitment to measuring results and planning for the future.

ENFORCEMENT - Equitable laws and programs that ensure that cyclists and motorists are held accountable.

[Enforcement was removed from the BFC criteria in 2020]