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Essex Named Bike Friendly Community

Posted on Thursday April 04, 2019

The Town of Essex is the first municipality in Essex County to be named a Bike Friendly Community. Representatives from the Town received the award at the Share the Road Cycling Coalition’s annual Ontario Bike Summit in Toronto on Monday.

The Town was one of three communities to receive bronze designation at the summit.

“Each one of our new 2019 Bicycle Friendly Communities has applied to the program in the past and received an Honourable Mention,” said Jamie Stuckless, Executive Director of Share the Road. “Those communities took the feedback provided by our expert panel of judges, took action on key areas and have now joined the ranks of BFCs in Ontario. Their success is illustrative of the value of the program, even for communities that aren’t quite ready for an award yet. The process of applying and the feedback received can help any community, regardless of size or context, develop a stronger culture of cycling.”

The program provides incentives, hands-on assistance and award-recognition for communities that actively support bicycling. Municipalities are judged in five categories often referred to as the Five “E’s” of being bicycle friendly: Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement and Evaluation & Planning. A community must demonstrate achievements in each of the five categories in order to be considered for an award. The Award categories are: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond.

Share the Road noted the Town’s successes with their ongoing partnership with the County Wide Active Transportation Strategy as well as significant investments in cycle-friendly infrastructure and recreation programming.

“This award demonstrates what is possible when we work together towards a common goal of providing active transportation opportunities in the community,” said Chris Nepszy, Chief Administrative Officer. “Since day one, Council has supported infrastructure investments and recognized the potential of cycling tourism. This award also recognizes the hard work of our planning and recreation staff, who dedicated time and effort towards making the case for the bronze designation.”