New Roads Lakeride 2021

Smart Commute Central York and the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce are happy to be supporting the New Roads Lakeride this year. Details below graphic…

Many of you may be aware of this event, but this year it’s especially important given that it supports Southlake’s Mental Health Foundation and will be one of the biggest yet. Seventeen patients experiencing a mental health crisis visit the Newmarket hospital each day. Southlake’s Regional Mental Health Program sees more than 20,000 adult outpatient and 11,000 child and adolescent visits every year!

As awareness for mental illness increases, so too does the need for support. With only 84 adult mental health inpatient beds in all of York Region, serving more than 1.2 million people, the need for mental health services is rapidly increasing. 

Three ways to participate:

  • Virtual ride with Olympian Georgia Simmerling on September 4
  • Annual in-person ride with 20, 45, 80, and 125km routes with World Cup Gold Medalist Ed Veal on September 19
  • Ride your Way – all of September

There will also be a new online auction running from September 4 to the 19th! 

To learn more about the NewRoads LakeRide or to register to attend the event visit

The Future of Civic Politics and Transportation

            At some point in the future, municipal governments will simply have to confront the difficult reality that they can no longer obey voters’ wishes to expand roadways and intersections to allow more automobile traffic to flow. When no more land is available for this, the jig is up! Municipal and regional governments must start to restrict or limit automobile use on their major roadways. Until now, it has been a gluttonous feast of more, more, more, with elected officials, planners and engineers falling all over themselves assuming it is their ‘public duty’ to make the passage of automobiles on publicly-funded roadways easier, faster, more convenient and to make this their priority.

As it is now, our roads are choked with poison-belching vehicles which often transport only one person. At some point this carcinogenic, corpulence-inducing crescendo has got to stop. Just when isn’t certain. And it may have to be born out of some cataclysmic event. Perhaps gasoline will become so rare that it will sell for $18/L. Perhaps car manufacturers will be so busy building electric vehicles that replacement parts for internal combustion engines, forget about entire cars, will become so scarce their owners will simply leave their vehicles in the driveway and sell them for scrap. Or possibly, government debt will climb so high that one way of funding this collective is to license all residential vehicles (not work-related) at ten times the current rate. Next insurance companies will follow suit, jacking up rates for non-essential, family-use vehicles. These fees will become so expensive, drivers will choose to leave their cars at home rather than licence and insure them. Of course, then, government will say, “You can use the public transit. That’s why we provided it for you.” It’s hard to predict. But the happy time for owners of powerful internal combustion cars and domestically-operated pickup trucks will, in fact, eventually have to stop.

So, when this cataclysmic event occurs, we will be on our bicycles, or taking a bus, or walking, looking over the vast expanses of empty space in roadways and deserted parking lots that used to be crammed with automobiles and contemplate the absolute waste of time and money all this vehicular infrastructure cost our communities. The air will be purer, the neighbourhoods quieter, we’ll be healthier, children will be more welcomed to play on their streets and the life expectancy of our community will rise.  Then we’ll think, “Why couldn’t we have done this sooner?”

Steve Harper, Cycle Newmarket

Bike Month Group Ride

Join Cycle Newmarket for a group ride around town on July 28, 2021! (NEW NEW DATE)
***The group ride will be dependent on public health guidance for the event date. Please check this page a week before for any potential changes to the event format.***
Participants will also need a helmet, mask, and bike in safe working condition to join the ride.   

6:30 pm – Meet at Riverwalk Commons Bandshell. We will have a pump, so arrive earlier if you need air for your tires.
6:40 pm – Ride starts
8:00 pm – Ride ends at Riverwalk Commons
Each group will be accompanied by a ride leader and cycle at a pace that is comfortable for everyone. The ~15. 5 km route will mainly follow bike lanes and residential roads and will take about an hour to ride.

Route: or…

Get the Ride With GPS app wherever you get apps.
Questions? Email or message @CycleNewmarket on social media. 

ATIP Interim Report

Active Transportation Implementation Plan – Interim Report to Council

Distribution Date: October 16, 2020

The purpose of this report is to outline the progress and successes of the on-road Active Transportation Network, and provide some cost estimation for the 2021 budget, and future budgets. The report will outline the progress to date and the future plans. Also, the report will note some of the issues encountered and mitigation measures used to address these issues.

Get the full report here:

Here are some excerpts:

  • To date, the roadway bike lanes planned for 2019 and 2020 are largely completed.
  • ATIP planned routes for 2021 through 2023 are outlined, emphasizing connectivity provided in each case.
  • Lorne Avenue, Clearmeadow Boulevard and William Roe Boulevard on-road bike routes are planned for construction in 2021.
    • The Lorne Avenue bike lanes (Davis Drive to Eagle Street) are planned to be implemented in conjunction with a road reconstruction project.
    • The Clearmeadow Boulevard and William Roe Boulevard routes provide a long eastwest network link.
    • Both routes provide excellent connections and the design of these routes will have to consider impacts at the schools and on-street parking.
  • 2022 ATIP routes are planned to be implemented primarily on Ward 1 roads – Stonehaven Avenue, Kingsmere Avenue, Nellie Little Crescent, and Fernbank Road.
  • 2023 ATIP routes are planned to be implemented primarily on Ward 3 roads – Huron Heights Drive, Waratah Avenue, Leslie Valley Drive, and Ringwell Drive.
  • The proposed Mulock Multi-Use Path (MUP) is outlined. A Request For Proposals has been tendered for a Feasibility Study.
  • There is a section on Lesson Learned:
    • On-Street parking
    • Communication
    • Costs
    • The numbers – increased cycle use when cycle routes are in place; and the reduction in average vehicle speed.

London Rd Cycle Lanes & ATIP

Cycle Newmarket had a ride and photo-op on the new cycle lanes on London Road, Nov 8, 2020. These lanes are an important cycling connection between Yonge Street and Main Street, and to the Tom Taylor Trail north of the Tannery.

Cycle Newmarket on the new London Road cycle lane, Nov 8, 2020

These new lanes are a part of Newmarket’s ongoing Active Transportation Implementation Plan. The Plan’s recent Interim Report is available from the Town website here (pdf).

Cycle Newmarket member Stephen Harper wrote the following to Newmarket’s Transportation managers Mark Kryzanowski and Peter Noehammer.

Cycle Newmarket was delighted to see the Interim Report of ATIP published October 16, 2020. Our group is impressed with the tenacity of both you and Council in maintaining the focus on active transportation as a viable option for the citizens of Newmarket.

We are particularly delighted with the ‘Lessons Learned’ section on on-street parking. It is terrific to see that there is a continued interest in educating residents who have become accustomed to leaving their cars on the street, that there is a greater need for vulnerable road users to travel safely in the community.

In addition, the plans for future construction of Bike Lanes on Lorne Ave., Clearmeadow & William Roe Blvds. (2021), Stonehaven, Kingsmere, Nellie Little, and Fernbank Roads (2022), and Waratah Ave., Huron Heights, Leslie Valley and Ringwell Drives (2023) show that Newmarket is definitely becoming more sensitive to the needs of cyclists in and around the town.

We do have concerns, however. While we are aware that the following is a matter involving the Regional government. we note that there appears to be an insistence on the use of  MUPs on Mulock Drive. We would prefer separate one-directional bike lanes on both sides of the street. Safety is our primary concern. When cyclists need to access the opposite side of the street from the MUP, they must do so by negotiating with motor vehicles which are often travelling at high rates of speed.

Davis Drive is also a purview of the Region. However, we notice that many of the feeder bike lanes noted in your report empty onto Davis, where there is no provision at all (except for sharrows located east of Alexander Drive only) for safe cycling infrastructure.

On the whole, though, this is a very encouraging document. Thank you for updating us on these upcoming projects.

We plan to request leave to make a deputation to council on it in the near future.

Pandemic & Shared-use Trails

The COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the fact that shared-use trails do not work for cyclists. There are things the Town and region can do temporarily to improve physical safety for cyclists and pedestrians until permanent infrastructure is in place.

The following expresses the general opinion of Cycle Newmarket, partially in response to Kathryn O’Reilly’s letter to the editor in the Era Banner: “Cyclists Must Respect Other Trail Users”, April 23, 2020, and is based on anecdotal observations of some of our members.

In this time of COVID-19 pandemic, being able to get out on Newmarket’s Trail system, particularly the Tom Taylor Trail, has been an important part of personal well-being for many citizens. For pedestrians, joggers and cyclists, the trails are safe places to be outside while maintaining physical separation. The trails are wider than sidewalks so, if one has to step, run or ride off the trail, it’s onto grass, not onto a road with cars, trucks and buses.

Unfortunately, there have been confrontations on the trails, between pedestrians and cyclists, many caused by cyclists failing to maintain the required 2m separation between themselves and the pedestrians.

Cycle Newmarket believes that these conflicts really highlight the fact that the shared-use trails do not work for cyclists, now or ever. They are too narrow in many places, sometimes as little as 3m wide, and many sections have edges that are in poor repair. We also believe that Newmarket and the Region must greatly expand on the great start they have made with street cycling infrastructure.

There are ways to act now, as the pandemic continues, to provide temporary relief and increased safety to both pedestrians and cyclists. Some examples:

  • Brampton and other places have created temporary cycle lanes on roads that have greatly reduced traffic loads. This could be done now on Davis, Prospect, Mulock and others that could provide true, direct connectivity.
  • Many places have restricted vehicle access on some streets to expand the safe zone for pedestrians and cyclists alike. Nobody should have to step out into a traffic lane to maintain physical distance from someone else. This may not be applicable in many areas of Newmarket, where so much is residential, but closing Main Street South should be possible, as it seems mostly to be used as a bypass for cars.
  • On-street parking could be removed on Regional roads.
  • Speed limits could be dropped to 30 km/h in residential areas, and lowered to 40 km/h everywhere else.

There are many reasons for the Town to beef up its cycle track infrastructure, beyond the safety of the cycling public. Cycling helps us meet our climate emergency commitments, improves community health outcomes, and strengthens local businesses. These considerations have taken on added urgency with the COVID-19 pandemic and the required physical distancing.

Update from May 2: Apparently the Town has been hearing the same complaints, and has developed these signs:

A very positive approach, and cyclists have been seen coming to a stop to let others finish crossing.

Cycle Newmarket ~ Ride all Summer long!