I am clearly not spending enough time in Mississauga.

On January 19th, I attended Walk and Roll Peel’s Public Forum, where I learned about walking and cycling initiatives in Mississauga and Peel; preliminary results from the Peel GPS Cycling study, and ideas on how Mississauga and Peel should move forward to create active, healthy communities.

Also, there was a special guest speaker: Dave Cieslewicz: Former Mayor of Madison Wisconsin from 2003 to 2011. He discussed how Madison was made into a Platinum-rated “Bike Friendly City”. It was open, encouraging, and just plain awesome.

As I’m sure the G.T.A. is keenly aware, there has been a lot of polarized talk in Toronto over bike lanes and cycling infrastructure in general. While this has been going on, Mississauga has experimented with multi use lanes, and running pilot projects that would allow cyclists to legally ride their bikes across the street at designated crossings (H.T.A. does not allow for this, legally). At the same time, they’re testing a new roadway painted box at high-risk intersections that gives cyclists a safe place to wait at a traffic light where there is a right-hand slip lane. All of this in the neighboring city to Rob Ford, despite his now notorious views on cycling and cyclists in general. If you need a reminder:


At the same time, Peel Region is analyzing data from a G.P.S. cycling survey, that I’m please to say I participated in, that will show when people choose to cycle, where they cycle, and barriers to doing so. More broadly, I also learned that many municipalities outside and around the G.T.A. are increasingly integrating cycling infrastructure, and getting awards for them.

These are some very exciting developments for cyclists across Ontario. Be sure to follow #PeelSummit2013 on Twitter as more information is presented. In the meantime, here’s a dialogue I had recently that highlights the importance of separated bike lanes for the sanity of cyclists and drivers alike.