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County expands share the road message on popular cycling routes

SIMCOE, AUGUST 26, 2013 – It’s the high season for cycling in Norfolk County and phase three of the Share the Road signage installation program is complete.

“Our roads crew has just installed another 23 yellow caution signs along popular cycling routes in the county,” says Bill Cridland, Manager of Norfolk County’s Roads Division. “Using input from community members and cycling advocates, we work with the Health Unit to identify where to go next with our signs,” adds Cridland.

This year’s expansion has signs along the Antique Tour Cycling Route in the Waterford area; Park Road, West Street and Decou Road in Simcoe; on the Cockshutt Road south of St. John’s Road; and Port Ryerse Road. The Turkey Point Road has four new signs as well as newly paved shoulders from the Provincial Park south into Turkey Point. And the highly travelled Long Point Causeway and Erie Avenue have new signs as well.

“When establishing best locations for signs, we look at popular areas to ride where there is also a high convergence of bicycle and vehicle traffic,” says Michele Crowley, Health Promoter with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit.

“The Long Point Causeway is a highly travelled road during prime cycling season and we know that cyclists are using the causeway to get from Long Point into Port Rowan. Our hope is that drivers will be forewarned to watch out for cyclists and give them at least one metre of space when overtaking them. That’s the main principle of this program,” adds Crowley.

The Share the Road message isn’t just for drivers, though. According to the Highway Traffic Act, a bicycle on the road is the same as a motorized vehicle. Cyclists are required by law to follow the exact same rules that drivers do. Ride in the same direction of traffic. Signal all turns and stops. Proceed through intersections the same as you would if you were driving a car.

Cycling and cycle tourism is only beginning to grow in Norfolk County and other parts of Ontario. Most recently, the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure week-long bike tour passed through Norfolk County along the lakeshore. “Over 200 riders have visited our community on bicycle in one week alone,” says Chris Baird, General Manager of Planning and Economic Development. “County initiatives like paved shoulders and Share the Road signs create an environment that will encourage these visitors to return to our communities. It’s a great tourist draw,” adds Baird.
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The Health Unit offers free Share the Road bumper magnets for drivers to help spread this important road safety message. To order magnets visit www.hnhu.org/sharetheroad.

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Media Contact:
Michele Crowley
Health Promoter
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Ext. 3239 at either 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623
[email protected]