The Windsor Law Centre for Cities has released a new report: Windsor’s Cycling History, authored by professor and former dean of law, Christopher Waters.
As the author suggests, despite its “Motor City” label, Windsor has been and remains a cycling city. In his report, Dr. Waters recounts a century and a half of cycling history in Windsor.
“From the bicycle craze of the 1890s to the bicycle boom of the 1970s, to its resurgence during the pandemic, Windsor’s engagement with cycling has been significant and unbroken,” Waters writes. “A string of cycling plans in the city — going back to the 1970s — have been unambitiously implemented. Despite this, some advances have been made in improving infrastructure for active transportation and, through it all, Windsor’s utilitarian and recreational cycling scenes have been remarkably resilient.”
The report argues that even if the city has never fully realized the potential of its flat topography, mild winters, good bones of its urban core, and proximity to natural and built heritage, Windsorites have taken to biking.
As the environmental, health, equity and city-building benefits of cycling come into sharp focus in the 21st century, it is an opportune time to highlight Windsor’s cycling, and cycling policy, past and present.
Waters is a formercChair of the Windsor Bicycling Committee and daily rides what he terms a “beaten-up” commuter bike. He researches on international law and cycling law. He is the author of the second edition of Every Cyclist’s Guide to Canadian Law, forthcoming from Irwin Press.