Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Peter Hume, Chair of the City’s Planning Committee, today unveiled new signs to promote Ottawa’s award-winning status as a cycling and pedestrian-friendly city.

“We are proud of the work we have done to achieve award-winning status as a cycling and pedestrian-friendly city,” said Mayor Watson. “These new signs, posted underneath existing ‘Welcome to Ottawa’ (population) signs, will help inform visitors of our accomplishments as we welcome them to our city.”

In 2013 the City of Ottawa received a silver-level designation as a walk-friendly city by WALK Friendly Ontario, the highest level ever awarded by this organization. Also in 2013, Ottawa became the first city in the province to receive the gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community Award by Share the Road Cycling Coalition.

“The City continues to improve our infrastructure by incorporating comprehensive complete streets principles into the way we design and upgrade roadways and pathways,” said Chair Hume.”We are committed to continually improving mobility and safety for all travelers through best practices in design and engineering.”

More than $28 million has been invested in cycling facilities in this term of Council, which has enabled several significant new cycling facilities and enhancements in all parts of the City, including the O-Train Pathway, rural Pathways, and the Laurier Segregated Bicycle Lanes. Additional projects are being implemented, including completion of the 12-kilometre East-West Bikeway, and cycle tracks on both Churchill Avenue and Main Street.

The total investment into expansion of the cycling network included in the City’s Cycling Plan, approved by Council in November 2013, is estimated at $70 million over 18 years, with another $40 million provided for major cycling pedestrian structures.

“When it comes to mobility and safety, Ottawa ranks high in engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and planning for cycling,” said Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the City’s Transportation Committee. “The City boasts hundreds of kilometres of bike lanes, paved shoulders and multi-use pathways, with new infrastructure being added all the time.”

Today, Ottawa can boast of a growing network of cycling infrastructure and multi-use pathways that covers 700 kilometres around the city, with over 10,000 bike parking spaces, more than 1,500 ring-and-post racks, making it more convenient and comfortable to take all the events and attractions our great City has to offer by foot or by bike.

In addition, City council in 2013 approved the new Ottawa Pedestrian Plan that provides detailed direction on how the City can become more pedestrian-friendly through affordable expansion of the pedestrian network, planning safety awareness and promotion, maintenance and co-operation with other governments.