To the Expositor:
I am pleased and thankful to our provincial Liberal government and FedNor for its vision in promoting cycling tourism and the grants we recently received for the Georgian Bay Cycling Route, a regional project connecting Ontario east to west and south to north for active living.
I am very happy to let you know that Ministry of Transportation Minister Glen Murray has informed us that our local lobby efforts for paved shoulders on Highway 551 have been granted. I wish to thank you all for your many letters of support and the MICA board for their hard work and efforts. Highway 551 will receive a minimum of one metre-wide paved shoulders when it gets resurfacing work done in 2015 between M’Chigeeng and Mindemoya. This will make it possible for many to cycle to and from the four schools safely along this 11.8 km stretch. It will create active living space for our many cycling visitors and locals alike.
A road with paved shoulders also has 41 percent fewer car accident, it lasts an average of five years longer and needs less maintenance. Our Ontario government has been very busy creating the first cycling strategy in 20 years and is finalizing it this summer. Manitoulin received paved shoulders after MICA’s lobby efforts in 2010 from our now Premier Kathleen Wynne. Manitoulin has seen a wonderful increase in cycling tourism and I wish to thank the people for driving with care and understanding. Not all streets have paved shoulders yet and sometimes a little waiting behind a slow moving cyclist or agricultural vehicle is experienced. Our patience and courtesy has been much appreciated by many of our cycling visitors. They have expressed gratefulness and are happy to be here and spend their holiday on an Island that moves a little slower than the rest of the world, they feel welcome and will take their good experiences with them to tell other cycling friends all over the world.
I had cycling guests from Belgium, Holland, USA, Switzerland, Austria, Australia and all over Canada. Please let our cycling visitors know about our website where they can find all sorts of useful information and encourage them to fill out our survey at www.manitoulincycling.comRolling along, Maja Mielonen, chair Manintoulin Island Cycling Advocates Mindemoya