By Jayvon Lake 
BELLEVILLE – The province wants to support safe and active transportation by investing $25 million over the next three years to create a more cycling-friendly future for Ontario.
The Ontario government is investing into more than Ontario’s skills and talents but, its hobbies too. The program kicks off in the Spring of 2015.
New cycling routes will take $15 million of the investment money, while the remaining $10 million will be dedicated to expanding the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program. That program is in charge of creating new bike lanes as well as connecting them.
Tyler Allsopp, owner of Doug’s Bikes  in Belleville, thinks cycling culture will continue to grow in Ontario as long as investments continue to be made. Allsopp’s shop has group biking events for all different type of riders: mountain, BMX and road group rides.
“Cycling is such a great activity to get you into shape. Its very low impact, as well as a low environmental impact. I think anything we can do to promote these types of exercise and transportation is a big step forward.”
These new routes would provide key connections to highway paths in the works. The highway paths will have paved shoulders and barriers to separate the cyclists from vehicles. Cyclists riding alongside the highway can still be dangerous. Cycling on streets can be dangerous especially dealing with distracted drivers.
“We won’t really know until it goes into practice. Having a barricade there is a great idea, because having a bike lane on a busy or high speed roadway like a highway, is still dangerous. We often have people texting and driving now, even when you have a lane they wont see you in it. The barricade is a tangible separation from the road which will make people much more comfortable.”
There have been a few early proposals for these highway routes:
- Highway 33 west of Kingston (Part of waterfront trail)
- Highway 137 structure over 100 Island Parkway (Part of waterfront trail)
- Highway 6 on Manitoulin Island and south of highway 17 at Espanola (Part of the Georgian Bay Cycling Route)
- Highway 17B & Highway 17 between Sault Ste. Marie & Espanola (Part of the Lake Huron North Channel Cycling Route)