Kitchener sharrows

The city of Kitchener has applied to the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program to fund five projects worth $600,000. (Jane van Koeverden/CBC)

The city of Kitchener is looking to fund five cycling infrastructure projects worth $600,000 with the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program, hoping they will encourage commuters to cycle to work.

"It's really to encourage and cater to commuter cyclists, to try and get people out of their cars and travelling by other modes," said Danny Pimentel, active transportation planning project manager at the city of Kitchener.

The provincial program has $42.5 million available this year for municipalities, money comes from Ontario's cap and trade program.

It  will cover 80 per cent of associated costs for approved projects and the city is expected to contribute the other 20 per cent. 

If the province funds the projects fully, the city will receive $480,000 from the program.

The city is hoping to fund:

  • A ramp on the pedestrian bridge connecting Shirley Avenue and River Road W.
  • Active transportation infrastructure along Bedford Road between Sydney Street and Courtland Avenue.
  • Separated bike lanes on Wilson Road between Traynor Avenue and Wabanaki Drive.
  • The installation of bike lanes along Stirling Avenue between Russell Street and Mausser Avenue.
  • Additional bike parking in the city over the next three years.

Pimentel said he's expecting to hear back from the province by end of October for 2018 construction.

Commuter convenience

Pimentel said with this money the city is hoping to link bike paths to other infrastructure, such as public transit and high employment and commercial areas.

"A lot of these projects actually tie into the LRT, whether it be the line itself or future stations or stops," he said.

Pimentel said one project will add a ramp along stairs leading to a bridge that connects Shirley Avenue to River Road W., which over the years has been "a nuisance for cyclists." Another project would see more bike parking over the next three years throughout the city.

The city also has plans to build segregated bike lanes.

"Often times people don't feel comfortable when they have to mix with heavy vehicles, fast-moving vehicles," Pimentel said.

One example is the project on Wilson Avenue between Traynor Avenue and Wabanaki Drive. Due to the high truck traffic, the city is looking at putting in substantial barriers such as planters or a concrete curb, "providing some type of physical separation between vehicles and people who ride bikes."