MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The City of London is breaking ground on three new cycling projects this month that will add 2.6 kilometres of new cycling infrastructure through an $8-million investment.

“London has a goal of creating a more sustainable transportation system and these projects start to build out that spine of a network in the area of the downtown and the Old East Village. They'll create a more equitable transportation system and more vibrant public spaces,” says Doug MacRae, the city's director of roads and transportation.

The three projects - the Dundas Cycle Track, Colborne Cycle Track Extension and Dundas-Thames Valley Parkway (TVP) Connection - are all in the city's core.

Construction began last week on the Dundas Cycle Track, which will be a permanent, separated east-west route on Dundas between Wellington and Adelaide streets, and include separated cycle lanes on William Street from Dundas to Queens Avenue.

“The one common thread between all of these cycling projects is that there will be improved separation between the cycling lane and the lane for motor vehicle drivers” MacRae says.

“The message that we consistently hear is that cyclists need to feel comfortable.”

Paul Dean, an avid cyclist and the owner of Cycles London, says it’s a good start as more bicycle lanes are needed in London.

“With the bike lanes you've got your own area and hopefully the people that drive the cars respect that area, otherwise you're still in the same position, but you're not fighting for the same piece of tarmac as a car.”

Phase 1 of the Dundas-TVP Connection will also break ground in coming weeks, and include separated eastbound cycling on Riverside Drive from Kensington Bridge to Wilson Avenue, and a pedestrian and bicycle signal that will allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross Riverside at Wilson.

Phase 2, scheduled for 2021, will complete the connection between the Forks of the Thames and Dundas Place. The project received an additional $4 million in funding from the provincial and federal governments.