BAC gets Bicycle Friendly Community status for Cobourg

By Cecilia Nasmith

Though they didn't hit it out of the ballpark the first time they tried, Cobourg's Bicycle Action Committee succeeded the second time at securing bronze certification in having the town named a Bicycle Friendly Community.

Committee representatives Bruce Bellaire, Rick Nonnekes and Winston Emery appeared at council's committee-of-the-whole meeting this week to share the news – and to point out that only 42 Ontario communities have that distinction (30 bronze, nine silver and three gold).

“Cobourg is a perfect town for bicycling,” Bellaire remarked.

“It's small enough in size to get around easily, and it's flat.”

The Share The Road Cycling Coalition, which confers the awards, also offered valuable feedback for improving their bicycle-friendly status, which committee members also wanted to share – measures Bellaire assured councillors their volunteers would be glad to pitch in on.

One concerns a key gap despite a growing cycling network, he said. Over the next four years, they would like to see the town budget address the completion of the off-road trail along Elgin Street and, over the following three years, complete the network (including Kerr Street).

The coalition commended the group's Cycling Transitions work on educating young people in bicycle safety, and they would like to see the group partner with the town in expanding this outreach to include adults.

“We have the volunteers who can deliver the courses,” Bellaire said.

“What we lack is promotion and advertising.”

They also hope to work with the town's active-transportation co-ordinator to plan five special events this year, one a month from May through September, to promote cycling in Cobourg.

Mayor John Henderson commended the delegation on bringing council a good-news story.