SIMCOE, AUGUST 20, 2014 – Shiny, new bike racks have been cropping up across Norfolk County this summer offering cyclists a safe spot to lock up their bikes. Staff from the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit and the Public Works department have been scoping out prime locations to install 50 bike racks to encourage people to leave the car at home and cycle to their destinations.
“Our original plan was to focus on installing racks at county facilities like the libraries, administration buildings, museums and community centres,” says Michele Crowley, Health Promoter for the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. “But given further consideration, and some interest from area businesses, we have also decided to install some of the racks curbside in the downtown cores, similar to the ones installed in Port Dover in 2012. It’s far easier to lock up your bike and walk into a shop than to have to circle looking for a parking spot for your car,” adds Crowley.
It should also be noted that for many people, a bicycle is their primary mode of transportation.
These simple bike racks speak volumes to the growing support for cycling in Norfolk County. As do the Share the Road signs.
For the fourth year in a row, the County is also expanding its Share the Road signage program. “The latest installment of a dozen or so signs will follow the Talbot Trail cycling route in the west end of the County,” says Bill Cridland, Roads Manager for the Public Works department. “Drivers in the Courtland area and to the south will be reminded to give cyclists the room they need to ensure everybody’s safety,” adds Cridland.
The key message tied to this initiative is simple: Same roads, same rules, and same rights.
Drivers need to treat cyclists as if they too are drivers. It isn’t safe to pass another vehicle when there is oncoming traffic. The same thing applies to bikes. If you are trying to pass a cyclist, and there is oncoming traffic, do everyone a favour and hold back behind the cyclist until the oncoming lane is clear.
On the flip side, cyclists need to ride in a predictable manner. “It’s the responsibility of all road users to follow the rules. This is the only way to keep our roadways safe and ensure cyclists are able to enjoy their riding experience,” says Staff Sergeant Rick Tout, Norfolk OPP.
The Health Unit offers free Share the Road bumper magnets for drivers who support cycling and want to help spread this important road safety message. To order magnets visit www.hnhu.org/sharetheroad.
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Ext. 3239 at either 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623