Outdoor cycling (bicycling) is a low-impact form of exercise that improves cardiovascular fitness, muscle tone, range of motion and flexibility. It is an activity that may be beneficial to one’s physical, emotional, and mental health and well-being. The benefits to one’s social and emotional health and wellness may be derived from the social networking associated with being a member of a cycling community.
The purpose of this project is to provide recommendations to improve the current and future state of cycling in the Sandy Hill Community Centre’s catchment areas of Old Ottawa East and Sandy Hill, two communities in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. A preliminary needs assessment was conducted, and recommendations were generated from the information gathered.In order to begin the needs assessment we required much information, such as the opinions and attitudes of community members regarding cycling.
Through the extensive research of other current programs and groups offered both in Ottawa and other cities such as Montreal,Quebec, Canada and Portland, Oregon, United States we have found that the best cities provide a wide-range of cycling utilities for its citizens to accommodate different lifestyles.From the general knowledge that we gained from the research of other cities we designed a survey to identify the specific needs of Ottawa, and more specifically our target population of Sandy Hill and Old Ottawa East catchments areas.
Information was then synthesized into a list of recommendations, as well as solutions to current problems. The recommendations generated from the data gathered from the needs assessment include the development of various community programs, such as a cycling resource centre, cycling buddy system, cycling groups, safe-cycling education, and a bike share initiative.The data gathered from the needs assessment also indicated a priority need for the regular maintenance of roads and bicycle lanes.