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November 30/11 17:59 pm - Ontario MPP Introduces Private Members Bill to Pave Highway Shoulders


Posted by Editor on 11/30/11
 

This is an important piece of legislation for all cyclists. Canadian Cyclist urges every Ontario rider to provide your support for this Bill, by contacting both your local MPP and indicating your support to MPP Norm Miller.


Parry Sound - Muskoka MPP Norm Miller today re-introduced his private member's bill which would enhance public safety for the motoring public and promote active transportation in Ontario.

Miller's bill, if passed, would require a minimum one metre paved shoulder on certain provincially owned highways to improve public safety for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists alike.

Studies in other jurisdictions confirm that where paved shoulders exist, accidents are drastically reduced.

"There are obvious health benefits for the individual and society in general, as we provide more opportunities to cycle and walk for recreation, or for transportation. Active transportation routes and connecting links help to promote tourism. Quebec has proven that."

Studies also show that paved shoulders have improved safety for the motoring public, as well as increased tourism opportunities.

"The response to my private member's bill has been overwhelming," continued Miller. "Ontarians want to enjoy healthy activities in safety. This is a practical and affordable way to support them. This bill just makes sense."

Quick Facts

• About 15 to 20 cyclists are killed on Ontario roads every year, with roughly a third in the Greater Toronto Area.
• In October, Ontario's chief coroner began the first ever province-wide investigation into cycling deaths.
• Analysis of safety benefits of paved shoulders in Iowa indicated paved shoulder reduced total crashes: 8.9% immediately and 15.9% after 10 years.


Contact:

Norm Miller, MPP
705-645-8538 or 416-325-1012
norm.miller@pc.ola.org
www.normmillermpp.com

Expressions of Support

"Ontario's doctors would like to congratulate Ontario PC MPP Norm Miller, Parry Sound-Muskoka, on the introduction of "Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Amendment Act, 2011", which would help create safer roadways for cyclists across Ontario. We strongly encourage all MPP's to support this legislation because improving the health of the population and the safety of those who choose to cycle should always be the focus of the debate surrounding cycling infrastructure. Ontario's doctors believe that cycling is a great a way to stay fit and a way for people of all ages to add essential physical activity to their daily lives. We are committed to working with the province and municipalities to create a safer Ontario for our cyclists."

Stewart Kennedy, MD, President, Ontario Medical Association

"With more than 16,500 km of provincial highways in Ontario and more than 90 per cent of Ontario residents living within 10 km of a provincial highway, this private member's bill would provide the environmental supports required to boost our population's participation in active transportation. The availability of paved shoulders on our highways, along with appropriate signage and other safety features, will serve to enhance active transportation opportunities across the province. I believe that the passage of this bill would signify a very sound societal investment."

Dr. Charles Gardner, MD, CCFP, MHSc, FRCPC
Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

"Investing in paved shoulders is a life-saving measure that will enhance safety for all road users - particularly vulnerable road users - cyclists and pedestrians. In addition to safer roads for all, paved shoulders will encourage not just Ontarians to cycle more, but will attract tourists. As such, it is an initiative that will enhance economic development through tourism, and serve to create jobs in communities across the province. Finally, studies have demonstrated that shoulder paving extends the life of the road, thus lowering costs to taxpayers. Given the numerous benefits, this is an excellent idea whose time has come. We applaud Mr. Miller, and encourage his colleagues in the legislature to support this Bill. In particular, we encourage Minister Chiarelli to proceed with the Ministry of Transportation's Bicycle Policy Update which if adopted would include measures such as this to enhance safety, lower emissions and facilitate economic development."

Eleanor McMahon, Founder and CEO
Share the Road Cycling Coalition

"The Ontario Safety League fully supports this bill. For 98 years the Ontario Safety League has not hesitated to champion or support positive efforts that will have an impact on road safety in Ontario. Like previous bills supported by the OSL to encourage seatbelts, driver training and to address HTA amendments all Ontarians will benefit from this Bill's adoption by the Legislature. Road Safety has always been a non-partisan issue in this Province and I call on all members of the Legislature to see the safety value of this bill and support it."

Brian J. Patterson CFE, President and CEO
Ontario Safety League

"Recognizing that the safety of all road users is of paramount concern, the Canadian Automobile Association supports the Private Member's Bill being introduced by MPP Norm Miller. The proposed amendments to the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act, benefit all individuals who use Ontario's roads - drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. In addition, by constructing paved shoulders as part of existing plans for repaving or resurfacing these roads, it provides an additional safety measure for any motorist or cyclist that may require roadside assistance. CAA, through its Roadside Assistance programs, supports our members who are stranded at the side of the road. Having an additional paved shoulder will benefit all Ontarians to enjoy their preferred mode of transportation, and provide safeguards should they be stranded and need assistance."

Teresa Di Felice, Director, Government & Community Relations & Driver Training, Canadian Automobile Association, South Central Ontario

"The Ontario Trails Council / Conseil des sentier de l'Ontario encourages government to reduce risk exposure of cyclists using roads in Ontario; paved shoulders is one of a series of steps that would see right-of-way safety improvements for all road and road shoulder activities. We welcome the initiative of MPP Miller in putting forward a private member's bill to this effect, and encourage all MPP's to support this bill."

Patrick Connor C.A.E.
E.D., Ontario Trails

 


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