We have celebrated a couple of milestones recently.
A few weeks ago marked the five year anniversary of our first ever Eco-Display Classic bike counter installation! Since 2013, we’ve installed Display counters all over the world and Eco-Counter’s Display range has become a revered emblem of a community’s support for cycling.
April also marked the tenth anniversary of the Ontario Bike Summit, the premier cycling conference in Ontario. Hosted by Share the Road Cycling Coalition, OBS is a forum for cycling stakeholders across the province – Eco-Counter has proudly attended every one of them!
This year’s theme, “Looking Back and Rolling Forward“, allowed us to reflect upon just how much the Ontario Bike Summit and Eco-Counter have grown together.
Ten years ago, the inaugural Ontario Bike Summit was held in Waterloo, Ontario and approximately 75 attendees from the region came out. In 2017, the summit saw a 26% increase in participation from 2016 with over 290 delegates. In 2018, the OBS sold out all 300 available spots, with elected officials, municipal staff, consultants, advocates and other stakeholders from all over Ontario and beyond vying for a ticket.
— Share the Road (@STRCycling) April 18, 2018
Fun fact: our Client Consultant Marian, pictured above, was not with Eco-Counter at the time but was a volunteer at the first ever Summit. At the time, Eco-Counter did not even have a North American office – our Director Jean-Francois flew all the way from France to attend!
Today, our Montreal office has 15 proud full-time staff, making the journey to the Summit a bit less complicated…
Highlights from the 2018 Ontario Bike Summit include:
Minister of Transportation Katherine McGarry and Daiene Vernile, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, announced the latest developments of the Ontario cycling strategy CycleON 2.0. Included in the strategy is a $150–225 million investment identified in Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan to accelerate and enhance implementation of Ontario’s Cycling Strategy and Action Plans to:
1. Design Healthy, Active and Prosperous Communities
2. Improve Cycling Infrastructure
3. Make Highways and Streets Safer
4. Promote Cycling Awareness and Behavioural Shifts
5. Increase Cycling Tourism Opportunities
The plan includes widespread education programs for cycling and the long-term development of a 9,800km cycle route network to connect different regions.
Jamie Stuckless, CEO of Share the Road, shared with the Summit new polling data overviewing public opinion on cycling in Ontario. The data captured how public opinion has evolved on the issue and the extent to which cycling is valued as a recreational activity, means of transportation and source of tourism. Notably:
- 67% agree the provincial government should invest in cycling infrastructure
- 61% agree the Government of Ontario should invest in a new cycling education program, much like swimming lessons
- 32% of Ontarians would like to cycle to or from work.
- 70% support making it more convenient to take their bikes on buses
- 42% of Ontarians are more likely to vote for a candidate if they make a public commitment to fund new cycling infrastructure.
To learn more, explore the full data here.
10 years after hosting the first ever Ontario Bike Summit, the City of Waterloo was awarded the gold level Bicycle-Friendly Community designation!
With this award, Waterloo becomes the first mid-sized city in Ontario to receive gold designation, with only the large cities of Toronto and Ottawa previously receiving the status. Thanks to the inclusion of the City of Waterloo, 70% of Ontarians now live within a Bike Friendly Community.
We are proud to have worked extensively with the City of Waterloo over the years are are so excited to see what’s next.
Here’s to 10 great years at the Ontario Bike Summit. We will definitely see you next year!
Cover image source: NorthernOntario.travel