Don’t expect investment in local cycling any time soon

The provincial government has made it harder for communities like the United Counties of Prescott and Russell to invest in cycling infrastructure.

Initially, the Ford government had said it would take money from the cancelled cap and trade program to put towards the Commuter Cycling Program—then it cut that program too.

Earlier this year the UCPR was surprised to receive $419,000 through the program.

Conditional to receiving the money, the UCPR had to adopt an official cycling plan, which it did last month. That ensures the money will go towards paving County Roads 4 in Hawkesbury and 9 in St-Isidore and their shoulders.

That may just be the only cycling funding coming from the UCPR since the resolution adopting the plan gives council an exit door by saying it would only pursue the plan as funding became available.  

In an email, Marc Clermont, the director of public works for the UCPR, explained the current plan as follows, “In 2014, council had mandated our department to proceed with paving the shoulders when we are in the process of paving the road.” He adds, “However, the approved plan does show in some locations wider paved shoulders which is not the minimum standard that we are presently paving.”