The City of Cambridge promotes and encourages forms of active transportation in the community, such as cycling and walking.

Learn about cycling in Cambridge.

Active Transportation for Kids & Youth

Walk & Cycle to School

Start your mornings off right. Walking and cycling to school can set the tone for your entire day. Physical activity can
bring a host of social, economic and environmental benefits for children, families and the broader community such as:

  • Provide opportunities for children and youth to be physically active on a regular basis
  • Increase academic focus
  • Graduated independence
  • Increase energy levels
  • Reduce anxiety and stress
  • Reduce motor vehicle traffic and air pollution around school sites
  • Provide social opportunities

The ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth have introduced Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth, recommending several hours of a variety of structured and unstructured light physical activities for children aged 5-17 years. Walking and cycling to school is an optimum way to break up sedentary time and build hours in such activities each week.

Cycling Safety

Sidewalk Cycling: To give children a chance to develop the skills necessary for riding on the road, bicycles with a wheel diameter of 50cm or less can ride on the sidewalk (being courteous of pedestrian and aware of cars backing out of driveways) but must be walked through crosswalks.

Lights: From 30 minutes before sunset to 30 minutes after sunrise, you must have a front white light and a red rear light or reflector. You also need to be bright when it's dark due to rain, fog or snow.

Helmets: By law, every cyclist under age 18 must wear an approved helmet. Riders under 16 years old: a parent or guardian must make sure their child wears a helmet.

For more cycling safety, check out the MTO Young Cyclist's Guide.

Cycling Into the Future
Cycling Into The Future is a program to encourage safe cycling for kids. The bike training course is for Grade 5 students and consists of modules covering: Rules & Safety, Tire Repair, Bike Tune-Ups, Rodeo Riding, and Road Riding. Ask if your school participates in Cycling Into the Future.
School Travel Plan

School Travel Planning is a comprehensive process that results in an action plan allowing school communities to research and provide feedback about the barriers to active school travel. School Travel Planning brings together school boards, public health officials, parents, educators, children and elected representatives, to increase the number of children using different modes of active transportation and school travel activities.

The benefits of a School Travel Plan include:

  • Improved health and safety for students
  • Reduced traffic congestion around school sites
  • Reduced pollution and improved air quality
  • Reduced bussing costs 
  • Opportunities to save money on gas

Contact us if you're interested in School Travel Planning in your local school community.

Pedestrian Crossovers

As of January 1, 2016, drivers, including cyclists, must stop and yield the whole roadway at: 

  • Pedestrian crossovers 
  • School crossings where there is a crossing guard displaying a school crossing stop sign

Drivers and cyclists who do not yield may be fined $150 to $500 and face three demerit points. Crossovers are identified by specific signs, road markings and lights.

The new law does not apply to pedestrian crosswalks at intersections with stop signs or traffic signals, unless a school crossing guard is present. Drivers, including cyclists, must obey all stop signs and traffic signals. Part of Making Ontario's Roads Safer Act, this new law also provides municipal road authorities with the ability to install new types of pedestrian crossovers on low speed, low volume roads in addition to the existing crossovers. It is up to both drivers and pedestrians to keep everyone safe on our roads.

Check out the Region of Waterloo's What you need to know about new pedestrian crossovers.

 Safety tips for pedestrians
 
  • Make eye contact with the drivers
  • Make sure the driver or cyclist sees you before you cross
  • Once you are satisfied it is safe to cross, begin to cross
  • Continue to watch drivers as you cross
 Safety tips for drivers
 
  • Expect pedestrians
  • Slow down when you approach these signs and markings
  • If you see a pedestrian about to cross or already crossing, bring your vehicle to a complete stop
  • You must remain stopped for the entire duration they are on the road

What does a pedestrian crosswalk look like?

The new law applies to the scenario's below:

Image of students crossing with a crossing guard at a crossover

  • Crossing guard is present
  • Crossing guard is displaying a school crossing stop sign
  • Vehicles must remain stopped until pedestrians are off the road

 Image of people crossing at a level 2 pedestrian crossover

  • Specific Level 2 pedestrian signs are present
  • Road markings are present
  • Vehicles must remain stopped until pedestrians are off the road

Illustration of pedestrian crossing at a level 2 pedestrian crossover at a roundabout

  • Pedestrians have the right-of-way whenever you see this sign
  • Crosswalks at roundabouts are seperated by a median island. Drivers therefore must wait until pedestrians have completely crossed all lanes in your direction