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Bicycles boost Mississauga

Bridges are a favourite metaphor for MCAC. Bike bridges close gaps and with them, bicycles become the ultimate shortcut to where you want to be.

Whew!  We are in our final week gearing up for the 3rd annual Tour de Mississauga: Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010.  The weather is looking promising (knocking on wood BIG TIME here).  The online registrations are pacing at more than double this time last year with hundreds already received (four came in while typing this far; wait, now it’s six, oops, seven…. well, you get the idea).

We are excited and humbled at the same time that folks from all over the City are willing to get out of their houses, come to Streetsville with their bikes, and try out the routes we’ve created to showcase the cycling infrastructure already in place.  No road closures, nothing special — it’s all here, everyday of the year.

But of course “infrastructure” is a stuffy word, and for the participants, it’s about having an interesting, safe and continuous ride, and seeing the hidden gems and wonderful natural areas that can’t be known from a car. 
Our Tour subcommittee is making a visual presentation to Council this Wed morning (right after the Cycling Master Plan presentation by Staff, who have been outstanding in their work on this project).  The synergy is amazing between the Tour and the Master Plan.  There is also a mind-body connection being made here against the landscape of the City itself, which expresses the spirit of our residents, and reveals as false the trashing of Mississauga and its citizens that we’ve seen in two recent Toronto Star articles: “Mississauga remains an abjectly car-dependent community that faces an uncertain future” (Hume); “Mississauga is a city without an identity” (Persichilli).  BALONEY! (tempered reaction), and the rapidly growing Tour is but one sign of our unique and growing public culture of participation in a City we love.  We live here intentionally, y’know.
This City may have been designed around the car (hey, it was the seventies), but the cycling retrofit is happening and MCAC is advocating hard for soonest implementation.  The citizens want this, as shown during the Strategic Plan visioning exercise and the Cycling Master Plan, and Council gets it.
You may have read our previous e-mail blast to the cycling community (Sept. 10) where we said:
VOTE WITH YOUR WHEELS:  By participating in the Tour, you help to show the importance of cycling in our City.  MCAC is advocating for cycling participation, safety and connectivity.  The Tour is a way we can showcase the great cycling infrastructure our City already has, and encourage more!  When you register, you support the increasingly connected cycling community.  Click to view our presentation ‘Mississauga IS Cycling’, made at Council in November 2009.

Just one of the many "hidden gems" in Mississauga you will encounter on the 3rd annual Tour de Mississauga Signature and Challenge rides.

We have followed this up with a lead item on our website citing the Mississauga News article of Sept. 10: Cyclists want bike network sped up and we are suggesting that riding on the Tour would support this effort.

It is a chance to learn about other neighbourhoods and see how we all live.  The cycling community also enjoys an opportunity to meet one another and there is a definite social aspect to this.  There is a camaraderie amongst cyclists, regardless of age, sex or level of athleticism, and being out en masse is inspiring and a source of communal strength (we’re used to the feeling of vulnerability when being up against the cars).

The Tour de Mississauga sub-committee is making a presentation to Council on Wed. Sept 15, 2010 with a slide deck that gives a sneak peek at the Tour (Download the PDF).

6 comments to Bicycles boost Mississauga

  • Speaking of bridges, the QEW Credit River study [1] is an opportunity to restore a valuable pedestrian and cycling connection lost during the 1960s QEW widening. The design drawings for the twinning options include bridges wide enough [2] to support a 4 metre wide trail on the current bridge and a 2 metre wide sidewalk on the additional bridge, both with space for standard shoulders and jersey barriers. Connecting the trails to local streets wouldn’t be much of a problem with the Stavebank Road and Kedleston Way ROWs, which extend right up to the QEW ROW, plus the land once used for cloverleaf ramps at Mississauga Road. It would be great if the MCAC supported such an initiative.

    [2] (starting at page 22)

  • The MCAC have and are involved supporters of the QEW River Study’s proposed bike passageway. In a quick search on the Mississauga Cycling web site, I see we need to get the word out (like I always say, “if it isn’t on the web site, it doesn’t exist”). MCAC is very excited about the possibilities of a cycling/pedestrian river crossing in that area. Thanks for the reference links. I would say after the Tour de Mississauga is wrapped up we should get a promotion article out detailing the wonderful opportunities for lovers of cycling to get involved in the study.

  • Victor Bielawski

    Thanks for the good news!

  • Vincent Silveira

    Two comments, none of them about QEW.

    1. I hope The Tour jerseys are in orange, my favourite colour, and incidentally the colour of Mississauga’s “MiWay”.

    2. I see cyclists riding up and down Creditview Road everyday. Does Mississauga’s Plan include bike lanes for this road?

    To a colourful Tour!

    Vincent Silveira.

  • sylvan naidoo

    I together with a bunch riders try to ride at least 5 times weekly – we ride the Mississauga/Oakville/Caledon area. The issue we find is that there is a lack of courtesy between riders and drivers. Incidentally – bus drivers are horrible. They probably think likewise.
    We have had encounters with cars at stoplights – and the short mostly pleasant conversations reveal that it is a severe lack of commiseration on the part of all of us which leads to the divide that exists between drivers and riders.
    Essentially the sentiment from drivers is that we are all couriers and the riders sentiment is that drivers are all taxi drivers.
    Like with everything education will solve this. Thanks guys for all the hard work that you have done and continue to do.

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