Cycling the lake erie coastal stewardship trail dec 2011
The Zen of Cycling theLake Erie Coastal Stewardship Trail September 11-17, 2011 Volunteer Observations on behalf of Carolinian Canada CoalitionThe Event:Lake Erie Cycling Route – Leaders Mobile WorkshopEnd-to-End Pilot Ride September 12-17, 2011Presented by the Waterfront Regeneration Trust inassociation with the Carolinian Canada Coalitionand the Province of OntarioDoug Vallery, End-to-End Tour Cyclist Dec 3, 2011
Quick ClaimsObservations made and opinions expressed are those of theauthor only; this presentation is from “the layman’s point-of-view”The author does not represent any of the organizations orindividuals who organized, sponsored or participated in the MobileWorkshopThe author would like to thank the Waterfront Trust as theprimary workshop host – the six-day workshop and supportedbicycle tour was ambitious, well-executed and enjoyable.The author would also like to thank the Carolinian CanadaCoalition for sharing it’s ambitious Coastal Stewardship plan, anddesignating the author as it’s end-to-end observer,complementing the participation of it’s Directors and staff at eachsegment of the workshop.The content of this presentation is entirely personal; theparticipation of the author was “personal” time taken as vacation;other than “hosted workshop events” the author paid for all otherexpenses (travel; accommodations; meals). This was not part of theGRAVY TRAIN!
Personal PerspectiveThe author’s personal “lenses”:• A recent Tour Cycling participant and advocate (this was the author’s second multi-day cycle tour)• A People’s Ethnographer – professionally, the author co- founded a market research company that looks at “experience” through the citizen / consumer eye: In this case, the author was asking “how does the uninitiated participant look at the Lake Erie Stewardship and Cycling Trails experience”?• A passion for (and quarter-century career in) “environmental sciences” provides the author with a trained perspective on ecological features• A professional interest in the Great Lakes and shoreline issues; the author has sat on working committees and contributed to International Joint Commission studies on water quality and quantity, including shoreline, littoral zone and watershed components• A personal “historical” connection to southwestern Ontario bioregion – ancestors helped to adversely impact the Carolinian Forest ecology (since the 1820’s) at family settlements in Essex, Kent, Elgin and Oxford counties
Personal Impacts – Historic Carolinian HabitatDestruction by my “Settler” Ancestors FAMILY SETTLEMENT HISTORY: Clear the Land; Heat with Wood; Fuel Steamships & Industry with Wood Baldoon-Selkirk - 1840s [Three families] Talbot: Norfolk-Oxford-Elgin - 1880s [Four families] Robinson: Central Lake Ontario - 1820’s [Two families]
TRAILS SummaryThe Lake Erie Coastal Stewardship Trail is an ambitious effort by byCarolinian Canada Coalition to link various ecological features, signaturesites and messaging along the abundant and sensitive Lake Erie Coast Coastfrom Windsor to Fort ErieThe proposed Lake Erie (Waterfront) Cycling Route Corridor, the subject ofthis mobile workshop provides an excellent continuous route linking linkingmunicipalities and “overlay” features from Windsor-Detroit to Niagara- overlay” Windsor- Niagara-BuffaloEighteen preliminary Maps of the Lake Erie Cycling Route have been beenprepared by the Waterfront Trust indicating such “ecological” features as ecological”beaches, parks, conservation areas, lookouts, marshes, natural areasareasSix preliminary Maps of the Lake Erie Coastal Stewardship Trail have beenprepared for each of the riparian county-regional municipalities along the county-Lake Erie shoreline includinghttp://www.carolinian.org/ConservationPrograms_CZP_Virtual.htmThe linking of the Cycling and Ecology Trails is appropriate andcomplementary: significant benefits can be realized across a number of numberevaluative overlays (transportation-active transportation; health-active (transportation- health-communities; tourism/ecotourism; economic development; planning;natural heritage-ecology; cultural heritage) heritage-Many stakeholders share in the integrated planning, development,marketing and operation of physical assets and infrastructure across the acrossnumerous jurisdictions.
“Part of the Lake Erie Coastal Stewardship Trail”The Waterfront Trust’s initiative to create a marked cycling routealong the Erie shoreline and to encourage connected multi-usetrails and cycling infrastructure is complementary to, and a part ofthe CCC Coastal Stewardship Trail enterprise.
Bicycling Lake Erie Shores – The ZEN Cycling allows the rider a unique experience – it is both personally meditative and actively social. Cycling provides the opportunity for a opportunity sensual touch of the visual wealth and respiration of an ecological zone. ecological Cycling is at a ideal pace that allows for rest, reflection and contemplation of the smallest as well as more prominent natural and cultural heritage heritage features. Cycling is an intimate and responsible way to mobilize into ecological ecological regions with a minimal environmental “footprint” footprint” This Lake Erie Bike tour covered approximately 100 km per day over sixover days; with scheduled mandatory workshop sessions at the beginning of beginning the day and at lunch hour, with daily debriefs on cyclability and “key and features” of each segment of the proposed route features” If an Ecological Cycling Tour was to be contemplated where “signature sites” and other “significant natural & cultural sites” were visit stops, the sites” sites” pace of cycling would likely be halved to a rate of approximately 50 km approximately per day (a 12-day Lake Erie Tour) 12- The concept of “Nodes” of ecological features is appropriate to target Nodes” shorter-term cycling adventures (day-trips and weekend excursions) shorter- (day- Additional exposure of ecology/natural resource “touch points” through points” active transportation including Cycle Tourism could be beneficial to the beneficial mandate of Carolinian Canada Coalition, in bringing users closer to “signature sites”, significant ecological features and “teachable moments” sites” moments” (interpretive / educational resources).
Mobile Workshop OverviewThe mobile workshop was held along the proposed 600 km route of a LakeErie Cycling Trail from Windsor to Fort ErieThe workshop was hosted by the Waterfront Trust (and sponsors)Riparian regional municipal partners included: Essex; Chatham-Kent; Chatham-Elgin; Norfolk; Haldimand; NiagaraA number of local municipalities and conservation authorities also alsoparticipated enthusiasticallyProject partners included: • CIBC • Carolinian Canada Coalition • Transportation Options (Bike Train and Welcome Cyclists) • Share the Road Cycling CoalitionWorkshops included representation and presentations from: • Municipalities on current and planned Trails, associated programs & programs infrastructure • VéloQuébec Association [end-to-end participation] loQué [end-to- • Michigan Trails & Greenway Alliance • Conservation Organizations including Carolinian Canada Coalition • Ontario Tourism: Regional Tourism Organization 1 • International Cycle Touring Adventures • Ontario Parks
Evaluative “Overlays”The following is a list of mapping “overlays” from which to evaluate “Regional Ecology” overlays” Ecology” and “Cycling-Recreation” Trails [in no specific order of value or priority] Cycling-Recreation” Natural Heritage: Ecology, Natural resources, environment Tourism & Ecotourism Agritourism and Local Food / Culinary Tourism Economic Development Parks & Recreation Public Health – Active Communities Transportation – Active Transportation Options Planning Cultural Heritage and Historical Resources Regional and Community Connection (inter- (inter- jurisdictional) Markets and Marketing (integration and messaging) Cycling, Cycle Tourism and Bicycling “industry”
Carolinian Canada PerspectiveThere are many Carolinian Canada and partner ecology “touchpoints” along The Lake Erie Cycling Trail Route: • “signature sights” with interpretive signage sights” • identified Carolinian features • habitat • restoration sites • unassessed Carolinian features awaiting ground-truthing, ground- documentation and mappingAccess and Interpretive opportunities abound“Trail” and point-to-point (nodal) transportation (especiallycycling) provides an outstanding opportunity to “connect dots”and provide a broader “Big Picture” of Carolinian ecologic sites,outreach opportunities and issuesAwareness and access could be facilitated through a consolidatedsignage and mapping approach that is easily used, understoodand recognized by the uninitiated participant (as well as theknowledgeable membership of stakeholder groups)
Route ObservationsThe Lake Erie Coast has an incredible wealth ofnatural heritage and ecological featuresLake Erie Cycling Route is generally accessibleand a relatively easy cycling tour venue from thepoint of view of sightlines, proximity to thelakefront, and minimal topographical barriersThe Lake Erie Coastal Stewardship Trail isgenerally within easy reach of 8 millionCanadians (2 million in SW Ont; 6 million inNiagara to Oshawa corridor) and 20 millionAmericansThe Lake Erie Trail from Detroit-Windsor to Fort-Erie Buffalo is a logical connector for the UpperTiers of the proposed US Bicycle Route System(routes 10;20;30;36;40)http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/nbrn/USBRSCorridorMap.pdf
Tour Arrival – September 11Bike Train experience from Toronto to Windsor was generally positive positiveThis is part of the experience of “freedom of movement” – the inexpensive one-way movement” one-fare (Toronto-Windsor) was $54 plus $20 for the bike (plus tax = $85); coach seating (Toronto- seatingwas relatively comfortable with ability to work on laptop computer in-seat computer in-Bike Train schedule in this corridor is not favourable (arriving in Windsor at 10 pm isnot ideal)There was no directional cycling signage at Windsor station; no cabs with bike racksThe VIA conductor was rushed and harried; security for offloaded bicycles wasquestionable; my bicycle was resting against a railing unattended unattendedThe author cycled ten blocks to hotel after exiting the chaos of the taxi lot at thestation (It was a quiet and refreshing ride through old neighbourhoods and the neighbourhoodsriverfront area) – a great deal of construction along Riverside Drive.Hotel was friendly enough to let me sleep with my bike in room although moving althoughbicycle through lobby and elevator was awkwardOpportunities: • Develop an operational process to remove bicycles from baggage car in presence of owner or car under more secure conditions • Improve signage for bicycle exit • Improve signage for bicycle receiving process for inbound bikes • Provide bicycle racks for cyclists meeting passengers • Encourage bicycle-friendly taxi cabs bicycle- • Ensure that rail stations and rail carriers (VIA) are WelcomeCyclist – friendly throughout their operations • Ensure that every stop along the route is serviced by the BikeTrain
Day 1 September 12 WorkshopMarlaine Koehler, Executive Director, WaterfrontRegeneration Trust:Lake Erie Cycling Route - Project overview and mobileworkshop outcomesAlan Halberstadt, Councillor, City of Windsor (Invited)Josette Eugeni, Manager, Transportation Planning, City ofWindsorJohn Scott, Councillor, Town of EssexJane Mustac, Manager, Transportation Planning, EssexCountyTodd Scott, Detroit Greenways Coordinator, Michigan Trails& Greenways AllianceDan Dufour, Carolinian Canada Coalition
Windsor Waterfront Start Sept 12A group of cyclists who participated in the Lake Erie cycling route pilot ride which took offfrom downtown Windsor, Ont. Monday Sept. 12, 2011, pose for a photo before taking off.
CCC en bicyclette Dan Dufour; Caroline Biribauer
September 12 – Summer 26°John Scott, a councillor with the town of Essex participated in the Lake Erie cycling route pilot ride which tookoff from downtown Windsor, Ont. Monday Sept. 12, 2011. – Windsor Star
Day 1 - Windsor to Leamington Fort Malden, Amherstberg – Carolinian Forest Feature (and washroom) White Pelican sighting at Glen Eden http://sally1029.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/pelicans-in-ohio-not-in-a-zoo/ http://sally1029.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/pelicans-in-ohio-not-in- Tulip Tree and Lake Erie Vista– John Park Homestead CA – Lake Erie Vista Kingsville – Chrysler Greenway - Arboretum Leamington – Tomato Harvest
Day 2 September 13 WorkshopJean-Francois Pronovost, VéloQuébec Association:Profile of Québec cyclists and theEconomic Benefits of Cycle TourismDan Dufour, Carolinian CanadaCoalitionTom Beaton, Municipality ofChatham-Kent
Day 2 Leamington to Erieau - Point Pelee National Park – Carolinian Features Hillman Marsh Lake Erie Overlook – Bluff Ridge with Goldenrod Smith & Wilson Winery Stop Erieau – Monarch’s Swarming; toad-kill on road; Monarch’ toad- abrupt weather change from summer to fall - “drinking village with a fishing problem” –“Erieau to Rondeau Park problem” Bike-Ferry Concept” Bike-
Day 3 September 14 WorkshopJustin Lafontaine, Projects Director,Transportation Options:Cycle Tourism Growth in Ontario, BikeTrain and Welcome Cyclists NetworkPeter Delanty, retired Mayor of CobourgBenefits of the Waterfront Trail; Role ofMunicipal Partnership in its SuccessMark Custers, Assistant ParkSuperintendent for Bronte Creek, OntarioParksLori Waldbrook, Senior MarketingSpecialist, Ontario Parks
Day 3 - Erieau to Port Stanley Erieau Marsh Greenview Aviaries Park & Zoo (private) On-Farm Marketing Southwold Earthworks National Historic Site & Carolinian Features Port Stanley Beach – Dunes Revegetation
Day 4 September 15 WorkshopEleanor McMahon, Founder and CEO,Share the Road Cycling Coalition:Ontarios Transportation Policy and BicycleFriendly CommunitiesLori Da Silva, Chair Regional TourismOrganization 1Kathryn Russell, Elgin CountyJean Vedova, Owner, Kettle Creek Inn:International Cycle Touring Adventuresand ExperiencesSarah Hodgkiss, Carolinian CanadaCoalition
Day 4 - Port Stanley to Port Dover Hawk Cliff & Ravines Backus Woods Long Point – Turkey Point Winery & Ecotourism Normandale Iron Works – “stoves to facilitate the burning of the Carolinian Forest – 1800’s” 1800’
Day 5 September 16 WorkshopMarlaine Koehler, Executive Director, WaterfrontRegeneration Trust:Lake Erie Cycling Route - Project overview and mobileworkshop outcomesBronwen Buck, Carolinian Canada CoalitionJean-Francois Pronovost, Velo Quebec Association:Essential elements of a successful long distance cyclingrouteEleanor McMahon, Founder and CEO, Share the RoadCycling Coalition:Ontarios Transportation Policy and Bicycle FriendlyCommunitiesChris Baird & Mark Boerkamp, Norfolk CountyJames Goodram, Haldimand CountyPhil Bergen, Niagara Region
Day 5 - Port Dover to Dunnville Eco-Industrial Park – Nanticoke Cycle-Through Selkirk Provincial Park Byng Island CA Lower Grand Marsh (via kayak) Mudcat – “local icon, hockey team and ecologic feature” feature”
Day 6 September 17 Workshop• Sandy Clipsham, Carolinian Canada Coalition Welcome Remarks, Mayor Vance Badawey, City of Port Colborne Go around discussion on ride: One positive comment, one needs improvement Moderated by Vicki Barron, Waterfront Regeneration Trust End-to-end group reflections on 5 days of cycling the Lake Erie Cycling Route Marlaine Koehler, Executive Director, Waterfront Regeneration Trust: Lake Erie Cycling Route – Mobile Workshop Wrap Up
Day 6 - Dunnville to Fort Erie Niagara Long Beach Restoration Wainfleet Morgan’s Point CA Heritage Trail Marsh Overlooks Second Growth Carolinian Tree Remnants at Fort Erie Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (reminder of positive impact on Lake Erie shores)
ZEN: Cycling, Ecology & Ecotourism ConnectionsCycling, CycleTourism and Ecotourism are complementary activities which support the sustainable, inclusive,experiential and interpretive focus of the active transportation, ecotourism and conservation movements. Cyclingis a form of sustainable, responsible travel (along with hiking-running-walking / canoe-kayaking-rowing-sailing /group transit) that respects the conservation of resources and the quiet, non-invasive experience of ecologicenvironments and natural heritage. - Doug ValleryThe author’s photo journal of the Lake Erie Bicycle Trail Workshop is available at:https://picasaweb.google.com/113675351760523726131/LakeErieCyclingRouteLeadersMobileWorkshop?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMm0tuCGprGJOw&feat=directlink Definition of Ecotourism (International Ecotourism Society): “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves environment the well-being of local people” well- people” Excerpt from the Quebec Declaration on Ecotourism 2002 http://www.gdrc.org/uem/eco-tour/quebec-declaration.pdf http://www.gdrc.org/uem/eco-tour/quebec- Ecotourism includes an additional focus on : contributions to both environmental and cultural conservation inclusive of local communities in all aspects of development, planning, etc. planning, involves an experiential and interpretive component is developed specifically for small group sizes and individuals Minimum Impact, Maximum Experience [moto: Ontario Ecotourism Society] http://www.toes.ca/?page_id=83 moto: http://www.toes.ca/?page_id=83
Workshop Summation – Highlights & ConclusionsThe Lake Erie Coastal Stewardship Trail concept is an ambitiousprogram to draw together the rich natural heritage resources ofthe Lake Erie shoreline and to provide a focus for ecologicalconservation, restoration & educationThe development of a regional lakeshore-oriented Bicycle Routeas a connector for existing or planned municipal cycling and Trailsystems is highly desirable; Bicycle access and infrastructurepromotion in this region is highly desirable and a complementary“responsible” transportation modeEcological and Conservation designation and signage could beimproved, to direct cyclists and other users to “signature sites”features, vistas and interpretive / educational opportunitiesMapping resources amongst stakeholders could be developedcollaboratively to yield the best possible directional and featureinformation for multiple types of users.Cycle Tourism and Ecotourism are high-growth opportunities forstakeholders to seize and aggressively advanceThere are numerous “”business opportunities” that are foreseenas part of the economic development potential:
Workshop Summary (continued) Business OpportunitiesThe List of new and existing business opportunities to support Cycle Tourism is significant. Many of these businesses are “micro” orsmall businesses that are local and sustainable. Cycle Tourism in southwestern Ontario can extend the “summer season” by fivemonths, thereby providing increased demand and utilization of existing tourism facilities and infrastructure. This is the start of a longlist of economic development opportunities: Examples: Tour development linked to ecological sites and active transportation transportation Event management & hosting for regional cycling events Technology – rapid asphalting for improved trail and cycling paths and paved shoulders on roadways Signage consulting, design, material and printing, installation and maintenance for tourism and ecology “overlays” overlays” Ecological and tourism journalism; media development (magazines; documentaries; travelogues) Marketing Communications and Ecological Interpretive Messaging Consultation and Consultation Mapping technology – improvements to include and enhance spatial “overlays” and overlays” multi-stakeholder inputs multi- Bicycle manufacturing and support equipment Bicycle retail and service shops Multi-use Trail construction and maintenance Multi- Media development: High DefinitionTravelogues of Shoreline, Routes and Sites Routes Media development: Games and Exercise Videos including “virtual reality” of Lake reality” Erie Shoreline Route and ecological / tourism features Small business services for active transportation – examples: • Pedestrian and Cycle ferry from Erieau to Rondeau Park • Pedestrian and Cycle ferry from Long Point to Turkey Point • Ecotourism guides, outfitters associated with specific features (e.g. Rondeau Marsh; Lower Grand Wetlands etc.) • “cycle-tour support services” including destination transport of luggage and purchases of cycle- services” cyclists; roadside assistance
Workshop Summary (continued)Business Opportunities (continued)Examples of Bicycle Industry and Cycle Tourism Business Opportunities: Opportunities: VISTA program development – supported stops with access to lake vistas and “feature” views feature” Cyclist-Friendly Rest Stops - (e.g. Welcome Cyclist)– businesses supporting Cyclist- Cyclist)– infrastructure, operation and maintenance of destination shoreline / Trail access shoreline points approximately every 10-20 kilometres including portable washrooms with 10- hand sanitizer; local tourism information; ecological interpretation; running water at interpretation; site / cooling spray-showers; air pumps and small hardware spray- Pop-up Cyclist Overnight Parks (tenting, cooking and toilets/showers) Pop- toilets/showers) Alternative Meal Offers (e.g. Farmstead meals) Portable Toilet industry supplying rest-stops rest- Nursery Horticulture and Landscape suppliers centred on private landscape regeneration and supply of regeneration vegetation to ecological and restoration sites Landscape and Feature Designers and Contractors – “Designing memorable spaces”spaces” Off-road activity and entertainment: first aid; massage; yoga; bar and club venues; Off- and shopping Accommodations and Food Service Secure bicycle racking and storage Inbound service transportation from “nodes” (e.g. train stations) nodes”
Workshop Summary (continued) Adjoining Best-Practice Models Detroit (USA) & VeloQuebec (Canada) Our Neighbours have demonstrated significant progress & success:VeloQuebec is a successful model for bicycle route development andcycle-tourism - this not-for-profit is a membership-based organizationcycle- not-for- membership-touching a quarter-million Quebecers annually with an uncomplicated, quarter-consistent message, clean branding and marketing. VQ also acts aslobbyist, consultant, media group (magazines), tour operator and travelagency in conjunction with a highly motivated public Provincial partner(MTQ) http://www.velo.qc.ca/en/HomeVeloQuebec’s associated Route Verte is rated as the best cycling trailVeloQuebec’network in the world by National GeographicMontreal is ranked #8 in the world for Bike-Friendliness “Montreal is North Bike-America’s premiere bicycle city … Read more:America’http://www.montrealgazette.com/travel/Bike+friendly+Montreal+tops+North+Amerihttp://www.montrealgazette.com/travel/Bike+friendly+Montreal+tops+North+America/5432884/story.html#ixzz1a0vDu0W6Quebec could be considered a “mature” cycling market (with room for additional mature”growth) - with well over 50% actively cycling at least once-a-week; and a large once-percentage of non-cyclers interested in taking up the activity non-Detroit is ranked in the top ten of World Bicycling Cities, and is a Cities,leading urban jurisdiction in the US, employing non-motorized non-transportation as a driver for re-development, public health, re-neighbourhood regeneration and community connectionhttp://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/docs/planning/planning/nonmotor/Nonmotorized_Urban_Transportation_Master_Plan.pdfhttp://www.detroitmi.gov/Portals/0/docs/planning/planning/nonmotor/Nonmotorized_Urban_Transportation_Master_Plan.pdf
Workshop Summary (continued) Facilitating Technologies are also essential for rapid infrastructure deployment within this sector thisExamples: The accelerated paving of key regional roadway shoulders would go a long way to creating a comprehensive cycling network and stronger regional connections: Rapid Shoulder Paving (Michigan): • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLCSo764I OQ Cold Weather Asphalt Paving (Hwy 417 Ottawa) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4w3Ukz4 61M&feature=related
Workshop Summary (continued) Economics of CyclingOVERALL ECONOMIC PROFILEExcerpt from The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure InvestmentsLeague of American Bicyclists; Darren Flusche, Policy Analyst, June 2009 Flusche, The US national bicycling industry contributes an estimated $133 billion a year to the economy. It supports nearly 1.1 million jobs and generates $17.7 billion in federal, state, and local taxes. Another $46.9 billion is spent on meals, transportation, lodging, gifts and entertainment during lodging, bike trips and tours.Assumed Ontario “Numbers” based on the US Study Numbers” Assuming a 1:28 ratio (population proportion between the US and Ontario) and a similar penetration of cycling, the following is an extrapolated Ontario industry profile: • Provincial cycling industry is contributing $ 5 billion a year to the Canadian economy to • An additional $ 1.675 billion is spent on meals, transportation, lodging, gifts and entertainment during bike trips and tours • It supports 40,000 jobs and generates $632 million in taxation revenues revenuesHEALTH COST SAVINGS HEALTH CARE OUTCOMES are characterized by the improved health of the general cycling populace; cycling is a preventative health activity reducing direct public health demands and direct expenditures “…biking represents a triple win. It reduces local air pollution, does not produce greenhouse gases “…biking and keeps people fit.” – University of Wisconsin Research Paper fit.” http://www.sage.wisc.edu/people/patz/UWmedpubhealth_article.pdf http://www.sage.wisc.edu/people/patz/UWmedpubhealth_article.pdf • Based on World Health Organization estimates of reduced mortality savings, active cycling in mortality Quebec generates $50 million annually in Health Benefits • If Ontario shared a similar penetration of active cycling as Quebec, the Ontario Annual Health Quebec, Benefit would be extrapolated to $87 million
Workshop Summary (continued) Economics of CyclingEXPLOSIVE GROWTHThe last decade has seen significant increase in bicycle users across a number of acrosstransport and recreation interests: Commuting; short domestic tripping Day trips – Pleasure cycling – Family Activity Sport (group & competitive) Health & Exercise Touring (multi-day trips and events) (multi- Social – Local Club Activity; Regional Events Personal – “getaway” and quiet enjoyment; exploration and discovery in an getaway” intimate spatial framework Infrastructure Development in association with dedicated and multi-usemulti- Trails • Bicycle Commuting has grown by up to 77% in the US in the last decade in 38 decade Bicycle-Friendly Communities (American Community Survey, League of American Bicyclists) Bicycle -TOUR CYCLING BENEFITS • Single-Day and Multi-Day Tourism Dollars spent (Economic Development Single- Multi- Benefits) are significant – averaging up to $150 per day per cyclist • Research has shown that a Tour Cyclist spends more in a tourism region than a motoring tourist (tour cyclists carry less and are more reliant on purchasing necessities along the route, and at a slower pace) • Providing Tourism services to support Cycle Tourism can extend the “summer the tourist season” by up to five months in SW Ontario, to include operations from season” mid-April, thru May and June, and from Labour Day thru mid November. mid-
Workshop Summary (cont’d) Economics of CyclingTRANSPORTATION OFFSET BENEFITS – With safer corridors, manymore Ontarians would commute and recreate by bicycle. This would result wouldin motorized traffic-transport reductions and reduced demand for major traffic-capital programs for transit & transportation infrastructure; ActiveTransportation is a viable alternativePERSONAL COST BENEFITS – freedom and flexibility - mobility andaccessibility; Cycling is a least cost mode of transportation in terms ofpersonal investment, public infrastructure, maintenance and parking parkingoptions; Cycling can also save precious time that would otherwise be otherwiseinvested in motor vehicle maintenance or the slower pace of walking; walking;transportations savings are invested elsewhereAMENITY BENEFIT – Development of associated trail amenities andbiking infrastructure (providing improved access and perceived amenity) amenity)increases Property Values, Community Connection and Neighbourhood NeighbourhoodDistinction
Workshop Summary (continued) Tour Cycling as a BusinessThe “Bike Ontario Tours” Survey Tours”CHARACTERISTICS OF BICYCLE TOURISTS in ONTARIO(Exclusive Data Based On Bike ON Tours Customer Survey) Tour Cyclists are primarily age 30 to 55; in our research it was found that 44% are age 30 to 45, 33% are age 46 55; are to 55, 6% are age 56 to 65 and 17% are under age 30. Tour Cyclists hold professional jobs most with annual incomes of over $60 000; in our research it was found 000; that 47% had annual incomes of $60 000. to $80 000.,18% had annual incomes of over $80 000.,12% had annual annual incomes of $40 000. to $60 000. and 23% had incomes under $40 000. 000. Tour Cyclists enjoy eating out, canoeing, camping, hiking, theatre, shopping, museums/historic sites, water theatre, sports/swimming/beaches; our research found these to be the most popular interests in declining order of sports/swimming/beaches; declining frequency while other interests mentioned include sight seeing, golfing, skiing and walking skiingWHAT ATTRACTS Cycle Tourists bicycle friendly streets and paths - wide enough for bicycles and other users access to scenic roads, natural areas, waterfront, cultural and historic attractions good restaurants accommodation with a hearty breakfast either provided or nearby bicycle repair shops and other interesting stores adequate and secure bicycle parking theatre, music and arts festivals route maps and effective advertising"Reprinted courtesy of Bike ON Tours- Ontario Canada- Route Guides For Bicycle Touring- Consulting- Tours- Canada- Touring- Consulting- http://www.bikeontours.on.ca/tourism.htm"--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TourCyclists can spend over $150 daily while on a supported ride, for food lodging and incidentals--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The favourable climate of Southwestern Ontario extends the Cycling Season potentially from April through November potentially
Thoughts Marketing & BrandingNatural Heritage, ecology and naturalist organizations should come together to comecreate a unified marketing / branding approach to ecological / natural heritage site naturaldevelopment, direction signage and interpretive experience.Along the Lake Erie Coastal Stewardship Trail, there are a number of differing numbersignage treatments depending on the sponsor and themeA new signage approach to identify bicycle and multi-use trail routes and features multi-(universal identifiers; prominent directional arrows and distance markings; followed distanceby additional detail “below the line”) would be a . line”A new signage approach to identify ecology features and conservation measures is conservationdesirableAn integrated approach is needed to develop a user-friendly mapping system with user-opportunities for informational “overlays” overlays”The Waterfront Trust has done outstanding work in motivating and building forwaterfront reconnection and trails in Ontario - as more trails are established on otherGreat Lakes Waterfronts, attention should be paid to ensuring that all trails receive thatequal branding support and a consistent signage treatment that is simple and isinformativeSignage for cyclists needs to be highly recognizable from a distance and at a glance; distancesimple symbols, directional arrows and bold distance numbers should be employed as shouldthe first level of recognition; additional layers of detail can be added in subordinatelocations)A standard, cross-jurisdictional ecological signage framework is suggested (next cross-slide) [this is a preliminary concept requiring additional consultation & research] consultation
Thoughts Ecological Signage FrameworkThere is a wide array of inconsistent directional and interpretive signage that is experienced along theLake Erie Coast. What is required in directional signage for cyclists and other responsible travellers isvisibility & simple recognition followed up with more detail and “interpretation” at the destination.Below is a “top-of-mind” framework for a consistent approach to identification and “direction” to sites.This is the start of a conversation that requires much more thought: Ecological Signage Framework Category Sub-Descriptor Component Direction/ Function - Accessibility Amenity Name Behavioural Distance (arrow / (actual name metres-kms) or description) Habitat Old Growth Wildlife Trail - Multi Use Vehicle Parking Silence Migratory Feature Restoration Wildlife - Endangered Trail - Hiking Only Bicycle Parking No Movement off-Trail Nesting Area Endangered Vegetation Trail - Cycling Only Ramp to Waterway No Removal of Bark- Vegentation Conservation Area - Multi Feature Natural Regeneration Vegetation - Beach Shoreline Dock Stay on Trail / Path Endangered Park - Multi Feature Reforestation Geologic Feature Vista-Viewing Area Rest Area Stop for Reptiles on Road Wetland Reserve Topographic Feature Water Access Tables / Benches Stop for Road Animals Physical Feature Industrial Feature Interpretive / Educational Tent Camping Impacting Ecology Settlement Feature Vehicle - Parkway Vehicle Camping Impacting Ecology Showers Water Misting Additional Footnote Information: - Sponsor(s) - QR Codes for reference to more detailed information, as well as for multi-language capability - References - Research Resources - Geographical Coordinates
Thoughts The CYCLING ECOSYSTEM in ONTARIOIs Consensus and Effective, Comprehensive Action Possible amongst all these “interests”?
ThoughtsPolitical Impressions from the citizen’’s perspective citizenThere has been little “senior government” movement forwardsince “The Ontario Bike Plan February 2008” (42 months), despitethe Environmental Commissioner of Ontario’s suggestion inThe Active Transportation – Active Communities Movement isgrass-roots and led by municipalities – there is a strong interest indeveloping cycling and active living programs and infrastructurebased on healthy community needs, sustainable planning andeconomic opportunityOrganizations such as the Waterfront Trust, TransportationOptions and Share the Road Coalition have created strong valueand lead by example within a political vacuum at senior levelsClassic interjurisdictional “who does what” argument is stallingeffective actionFunding sources and formula are complicated and not integratedOrganization on the cyclist-user-membership side is fragmented inOntario and Canada and uncoordinated – senior governments usethe excuse that the message is not “representative” – there is noperceived interest group with a single voice
ThoughtsNational & Ontario Bicycle PolicyTop down leadership is required for funding and model-program development responding to an effective,representative citizen lobby groupOntario Cyclists need to organize into a cohesivemembership group in order to gain a higher level ofvisibilityActive Transportation Policy should be a priority before orconcurrent with public investment in more expensive capitaltransportation projectsActive Transportation and Active Communities movement isa multi-jurisdictional grass routes movement keying onhealth and community connectionImmediate investment and funding for local-municipalcycling and trail infrastructure including connections toregional bicycle route “connectors” should be a top priorityIntegration of an ecological overlay into trail networkdevelopment is an “added value” for user enjoyment andeducation
ThoughtsSenior Government Policy Frameworkfrom a Layman’s Point-of-View Senior governments need to step up and show leadership for an accelerated Cycling and Active Transportation program, accelerated possibly involving the following: Aggressive support for Active Transportation at the municipal level, including funding and operational frameworks to streamline level, implementation (at cost-benefit ratios far exceeding any other type of transportation investment) cost- investment) Regulations that require all new roadway construction to follow “complete road” design specifications (including bikeability and road” walkability) walkability) Key Provincial regional routes designated and immediately upgraded to include restriping and/or paved shoulders specifically to facilitate upgraded local and regional safe cycling and active transportation – Example Routes: • Highway 2 – Windsor to Quebec and including a Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail Infill • Former Highway 3 (Talbot Trail) from Fort Erie to Windsor – Lake Erie Waterfront Trail Infill • Highways 40/7/21/26 – forming a Lake St. Clair-Lake Huron Blue Water Trail Clair- • Highway 6 – forming a South-Central Ontario Cycling Trail from Port Dover to Tobermory South- • Highway 17 – Quebec Border to Manitoba Border west of Kenora • Highway 11 – Lake Ontario to Manitoba Border west of Rainy River • Highway 12/69 – Collingwood to Sudbury forming a Georgian Bay Trail • Highway 15 – Rideau Route – Kingston to Ottawa • Highway 33 – Trenton to Kingston (Loyalist Route) • Highway 28/41 – Port Hope to Pembroke – East-Central Ontario Route East- Requirement that regional tourism authorities include significant support and media purchasing to encourage active transportation, significant transportation, ecotourism and sustainability as a primary focus Development of comprehensive planning, marketing and signage for this regional network which provides a framework on which municipalities will connect local trail systems to create an integrated network (regions; connectors; loops) integrated Process streamlining; red tape reduction: - Environmental Assessment process will be streamlined - establish a class EA that is applied only where there is significant disruption beyond existing road beds Encouragement for new “enabling technologies” such as rapid-restriping and/or asphalt equipment designed to specifically add technologies” rapid- shoulders Encouragement for new local and regional manufacturing, cycling support and service industries Development of a highly visible branding and signage program that is internationally attractive and includes QR codes for multi- that multi- language information and direction Facilitation, access and amenity placement at provincial locations (parks; other facilities) locations Inclusion of Bicycle Tourism as a major thrust within provincial tourism planning programs Development of a comprehensive Cycling Education program that could include a licensing or certification component (revenue stream) could stream) similar to the Boating License scheme Federal involvement justified on the “JOB CREATION” rationale CREATION”
Thoughts Research OpportunitiesCycling and ecology linkages from the citizen-user point-of-view and an evaluation of the citizen- point- of-relationships, priorities and perceptions of natural resource conservation, alternative transportation conservation,planning, tourism and economic developmentCharacterization/profiling/segmentation of the Ontario cyclistCharacterization/profiling/segmentation of the Ontario Ecotourist and Cycle-tourist Cycle-Identification of pain and pleasure points for Ontario cyclistsIdentification of barriers and entry-opportunities for current non-users entry- non-Identification of additional public-private partnerships to grow the sector public -Identification and analysis of emotional and rational drivers of cycling behaviour, and relationships behaviour,to ecology, natural heritage and touringInsights into the relationships between cycling, tourism and trail amenities trailRapid evaluation of primary provincial bicycle corridors for upgrading to “complete road” standards upgrading road”for safe regional cyclingRapid evaluation of current and planned municipal cycling and multi-use trail infrastructure, with multi-the intent of identifying, regional/provincial connection opportunities and a “big picture” funding opportunities picture”numberGraphical and Information Signage prototyping and usability studies / consumer response studiesIdentification of economic opportunities within the Cycling and Cycle-Tourism sectors Cycle-Evaluation of CycleTourism and EcoTourism within the broader provincial/national/internationalcontextOpportunities to attract out-of-province and international tourism to Ontario based on augmented out- of-Ecotourism facility and CycleTourism infrastructureCost-benefit analysis of investment in Cycling Infrastructure vs other types of TransportationCost-Infrastructure investmentLinkages between “virtual tourism” (documentary video productions; travelogue; media coverage tourism”and geo-games) and visitation and tourist dollar expenditures “in reality”. geo- reality”
Personal Conclusions The Lake Erie Cycling Route is a “natural” tour cycling venue and provides a framework upon which the Lake Erie Coastal Stewardship Trail and other multi-use Trails can connect Integrating ecological and natural heritage sites, features and directional and interpretive signage adds significant value to a provincial cycling network, augmenting benefits across many sector “overlays” Cycling infrastructure development is an inexpensive “low-hanging fruit” that deserves immediate public and private investment Current 10-year planning horizons should be compressed to a four-year action plan to accelerate substantial social and economic benefits For the Author’s Tour Photo Log, copy & paste this link: https://picasaweb.google.com/113675351760523726131/LakeEri eCyclingRouteLeadersMobileWorkshop?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1 sRgCMm0tuCGprGJOw&feat=directlinkDoug Vallery firstname.lastname@example.org December 2011Please get in touch for discussion and comments.