- Cities that develop a strong cycling strategy see escalating ridership and economic, social and environmental benefits. In detail, what does Regina need and what are you ready to support to develop a municipal cycling strategy?
I would agree that a complete athletics or sports strategy developed by Cities adds to the benefits stated in your question. If we look at the type and level of migration coming to our Cities and specifically to Regina we are seeing other sports putting a demand on our playing fields like cricket and soccer to name a few. I can’t comment on what Regina’s needs regarding cycling until I have all of the facts and metrics. However, Regina has a vast park and trail system that goes through the City that is the envy of many Cities. A cycling strategy has to encompass safety and timing. Cycling is a short season so a strategy for outdoor use during the best weather is imperative.
- The federal government has already committed to developing a 10-year infrastructure investment plan that will include significant new funding in green infrastructure to create sustainable and livable communities. Knowing the link between infrastructure and ridership, what would do to hasten the construction of local networks of protected bicycle infrastructure?
The City has current networks within the City however the City could have these discussion with the Developers of new subdivisions etc. It’s a ‘pay as you play’ system, in other words clubs, teams and sports associations pay to use sports facilities, upgrades and to sustain it over the long term. I would ask who would pay for the bicycle infrastructure and the sustainability of it over the long term? We can’t always expect that Government will always pay for these things and there must be some type of shared costs. I would welcome a discussion how this would look like. For example the new football field at Douglas Park is funded by Private money, fundraising, the Regina Minor Football association and some City funds. These are the type of relationships we have to look at in the future.
- Where did you last ride a bicycle, and what do you love most about it?
Growing up I had a 1 speed red bike and grew up on a hill, a very, very steep hill. It provided a fitness advantage to me because I had to ride up that hill, many times walked my bike up that hill (especially after soccer practice), but the training at a young age made me stronger and gave me an advantage over other kids. I rode my bike everywhere and eventually got a 10 speed when I was 13. I was able to play competitive soccer and played Football at the University of Western Ontario because of my speed and core strength which I attribute to riding my bike at an early age (for about 10 years) and building the appropriate muscles.
I have a mountain bike and usually take it out once per year, but I don’t have the time anymore and envy those that still have the time to ride.