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Webinar and guide provide tips for cycling for all abilities, including seniors, children, people with disabilities and experienced cyclists

Press release – Below are links to a webinar and guide book dealing with cycling for all abilities provided by the Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee. The information addresses a wide range of cyclists, from highly experienced confident cyclists, children, adults, people with disabilities, seniors etc. Various riding conditions are discussed such as riding with high speed to low speed vehicle traffic.

 Webinar – NACTO Designing Streets for All Ages and Abilities Cycling

Guide – NATCO – Designing for All Ages and Abilities: Contextual Guidance for High-Comfort Bicycle Facilities

As the guide and webinar discuss, studies show that if people feel safe cycling more people will use their bikes.

The guide identifies different types of cyclists and some of their cycling needs. Here are a few quick comments about some issues that cyclists with disabilities and seniors might have and some things that can improve their cycling experiences.

People with Disabilities and Seniors – some general characteristics to consider. See guide and webinar
• Growing number of older cyclists.
• Need for safe riding networks
• Lower vision acuity as we age
• Hearing loss as we age
• Ride at slower speeds
• Some people with disabilities use adaptive bikes – e.g. wide adult tricycles, etc.

The issues listed above point to the importance of the following design considerations for bike paths and bike routes…
• Feeling safe and the need for off road bike paths and protected bike lanes. See page 4 of the Guide
• Well marked bike paths – marked with high colour contrast paint and/or markings. Important for riders with lower vision.
• Well-lit paths for those riding at night.
• Safe paths for cyclists with hearing loss – Its very frightening to ride among traffic if riders can’t hear cars coming up behind.
• Safe paths for cyclists who ride at slower speeds. Enough space for faster cyclists to safely pass slower cyclists.
• Avoid placing physical barriers along bike routes such as gates, cow gates, posts, etc. Avoid narrow pathways and openings that could prevent adaptive bikes from easily passing through.
• Ensure all planters, posts, cow gates, etc. are well marked/painted in a high colour contrast.
• Provide clear, well marked maps along bike routes
• Ensure bike paths are well marked with clear signage using large print and good colour contrast.
• Ensure safe turning lanes for cyclists.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

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