Windsor

Bike summit looks at Windsor's cycling culture

A two-day summit is bringing representatives from various cycling organizations in Ontario, Quebec and Michigan to Windsor to talk about how the city can move past its reputation as a car-first town and encourage more cycling.

'There’s a really latent demand for cycling here in Windsor'

Jamie Stuckless, a cycling advocate says cycling encourages healthy, vibrant communities. She says Windsor needs to look at putting in the infrastructure to connect its different communities. (Alex Brockman/CBC)

Windsor's first bike summit is underway and after taking a bike tour of the city Sunday, out-of-town delegates seem to like what they see — but want to see more improvements to cycling infrastructure in the city.

The two-day summit is bringing representatives from various cycling organizations in Ontario, Quebec and Michigan to Windsor to talk about how the city can move past its reputation as a car-first town and encourage more cycling.

Infrastructure upgrades discussed

"There's a really latent demand for cycling here in Windsor and that can be leveraged by building those connections to some of the facilities that are already here," said Jamie Stuckless, the executive director of the Share the Road Cycling Coalition.

Stuckless said the City of Windsor is working with her organization to look at how its infrastructure can be improved.

"Cycling is not just about cycling," Stuckless said. "It's about building healthy, vibrant and enjoyable spaces to live."

Windsor received a bronze award in a recent report from the coalition. That means things are good but there is room for improvement, something that will happen when bike lanes are included in the Cabana Road rebuilding project.

"When you're in an environment, a community where cars are going slow, there are people biking and other pedestrians on the street, it's just an enjoyable place to be," Stuckless said.  "Building a place for cyclists helps people who want to bike, but it also creates a community where everyone wants to be."  

'You need everyone on board'

Jean-Francois Pronovost was Sunday's keynote speaker. Pronovost is part of the team behind Quebec's province-wide cycling network.

Though he missed the slow ride in Windsor, Pronovost spent time in Detroit riding the nearly two-kilometre Dequindre Cut trails near downtown.

Jean-Francois Pronovost is with Velo Quebec. He's speaking in Windsor as part of the Windsor Bike Summit. (Alex Brockman/CBC)

He told CBC News building something similar in Windsor would take a partnership between elected officials and cyclists.

"You need to have everyone on board, including the technicians, politicians, cycling organizations, people from business," Pronovost said. "It's important to see there is business, you can make a business with cycling. It's important for the vitality of communities like Windsor."   

Day two of the summit continues Monday. 

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