Building Bike Culture in Markham
In 2019-2020 TCAT worked with the City of Markham, the York Region District School Board, the Markham Cycling and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and CultureLink Settlement & Community Services, on a project funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada called Markham Cycles: Incubating Cycling Hubs in Suburban Canadian Communities.
Markham Cycles goals:
- Address social barriers to cycling in Markham
- Build institutional capacity among local agencies and individuals to support cycling
- Support action towards reducing transport-related greenhouse gas emissions in Markham
- Support related benefits, such as community building, physical activity and affordable transportation
Markham Cycles engaged residents in climate change action by increasing opportunities for cycling in Markham. Over a quarter of trips in Markham are 5km long or less, however less than 2% of trips are cycled. Markham Cycles seeks to tap into this potential through its community bike hub, launched in July 2019 at the Milliken Mills Community Centre and Library. The Markham Cycles hub offers access to bicycles and tools, cycling workshops and repair clinics, cycling mentorship, and community rides. Bicycles can be borrowed for a week through a partnership with the Markham Public Library. Through a partnership with Milliken Mills High School (right next door!), workshops were also offered tailored to youth.
- In its first three months of programming, the community bike hub helped 900 participants through bicycle loan and repair programs, workshops, and community rides.
- Over 80% of workshop and ride participants reported learning a new skill or route
- 61% of visitors to the hub said they met a new person who bikes
- 90% of returning participants said that Markham Cycles had helped them bike more.