Cycling: A key opportunity to advance Burlington’s Climate Action plan

What comes to mind when you think about cycling? Is it a leisure activity? Le Tour de France? A sport that requires odd looking shorts and gives you an awkward tan line in the summer? What about an activity that can really help us mitigate the causes of Climate Change?

As we continue to push forward for cities, regions and nations to take Climate Action and become environmentally sustainable, the demand for products and systems that support a reduction in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions increases. For example, in Burlington alone, around 44% of all GHG emitted in 2020 came from the transportation sector; this means that in order to be a carbon neutral city by 2050, we need a transportation system that encourages the transition to modal splits and electric mobility solutions.

Cities that promote and grow a well-connected cycling network, can make a significant difference on how fast they reduce GHG emissions and facilitate the transition for people to use more active transportation in a comfortable and safe space. 

The City of Burlington has launched an Integrated Mobility Plan that focuses on more sustainable transportation modes, which includes a short, medium and long term cycling plan (among other plans). The cycling plan looks to improve walking and cycling conditions for its residents, promote healthier lifestyles and a healthier city overall. Other objectives of the plan include expanding the current cycling network and creating a “minimum grid of on-road protected facilities”, to identify barriers that discourage citizens from using cycling as a more permanent alternative for transportation, and the incorporation of facilities that are safe and comfortable to use, inclusive to all skill-level riders, and more.

By getting more people to use cycling, public transit and walking as their primary ways of transportation, the dependency on fossil fuels, demand for motor vehicles, exploitation of natural resources and GHG emissions can decrease significantly. And if this is not only done in Burlington, but in all cities, the positive outcome will be greater!

If you want to see how the city plans to create a network of almost 130km of cycling facilities, and how this positive change can improve our community, you can check out the plan here. To discover more about how you can live, work and play more sustainably, be sure to check out BurlingtonGreen’s Live Green and Make the Switch web resources and our many popular programs!

Existing cycling network in Burlington, ON.