Although it has taken longer than expected, Grey County is finally moving ahead with the implementation of its master plan for cycling and trails.
Savanna Myers, the county’s director of economic development, tourism and culture, provided county council with an update on the master plan at its meeting on Sept. 28.
Although the master plan was endorsed by county council in 2020, little work has been done on its implementation as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world and local area.
“We’d like to be able to start something. It’s been three years and we haven’t done anything,” said Myers.
County staff have spent the past 18 months consulting with the county’s insurance company and with the nine lower-tier member municipalities on the master plan. Myers reported that the insurer provided the go-ahead to move forward with the plan from a liability standpoint. She also noted that some lower-tier municipalities are interested in implementation, while others are not.
Myers said the initial focus will be on developing cycling routes on county and local municipal roads (in municipalities willing to participate), installing cycling-related signs and marketing cycling routes through the county’s social media, website and printed brochures.
On the routes, county staff developed a GIS map of proposed routes that were approved in the 2020 master plan. All nine local municipalities reviewed the routes, but only those interested in participating will be included in the mapping.
On the signage, the county plans green “route” signs and yellow “share the road” signs.
Myers acknowledged that liability was a big concern and they discussed that issue with the county’s insurance company.
“Our insurers indicated that knowing cyclists are already on the road, the signage is understood to educate and raise awareness of all road users’ joint responsibility to share the road,” she said in her report.
Over the past two years, Grey County has become known as a prime destination for cycling enthusiasts.
“Cycling is a big deal in Grey County,” said Myers.
At the conclusion of the presentation, county council endorsed the report.