Friday, December 5, 2008

Resource - BC Built Environment Summit Proceedings

The Built Environment Summit held October 14th 2008 in Kelowna, titled Active Transportation Planning for your Community, drew more than 60 participants from around British Columbia. It brought together community leaders and decision makers to create strategies to support active living through land-use and transportation planning and share strategies for rural and semi-urban communities to create better planned, connected and walkable communities.

This was the first Summit in a series of four hosted by BC Recreation & Parks Association (BCRPA) and UBCM through their BEAT initiative that will be held around the province over the next two years. Please follow the links to read the Summit Proceedings or watch video footage of our speakers.

Article - Open house for wheeling walking and cycling in Golden

Golden Star, November 3

Recently, I conducted an Active Transportation Workshop in Golden BC. Golden is located in the Rocky Mountains on the Trans Canada Highway between Lake Louise and Revelstoke. The linked newspaper article outlines what is being done in Golden.

One of the interesting aspects of this community is that it has formed a Facebook group to keep those interested updated. It already has more than 70 members in a community that barely exceeds 4,000. You can show your support by joiing the group, or sending them a message: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=28827987295&ref=mf.

Article - Now is the time to reshape our cities

Globe and Mail, November 27
Author: Jack Diamond

Just as Detroit was warned about fuel-inefficient automobiles, so was Toronto alerted to unsustainable sprawl in 1996 by the Golden report.

It has been clear for some time that fuel-inefficient sprawl is an obsolete, unsustainable form of development. As difficult as it is for General Motors to restructure its business, with so-called legacy issues imbedded in the way it does business (gas guzzlers, too many dealerships, union contracts and so on), so it is difficult to restructure the shape of our cities. But it is not impossible, and like GM, we have no option. The sooner we acknowledge the problem, the better our prospects for a sustainable future.

Job Opportunity - Regional Municipality of York ON

The Regional Municipality of York: Senior Active Transportation Specialist

Job Type: Full Time
Location: Newmarket ON
Job Category: Engineering
Industry: Government
Year(s) of Experience: 5
Number Of Positions: 1

Reporting to the Manager, Transportation Planning, is responsible for maintaining, updating and implementing the Region’s Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan (PCMP) and co-ordinating all of the Region’s activities to promote active transportation; developing and implementing outreach programming; coordinating construction of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and facilities; monitoring capital budgets; administering technical and public advisory committees; working in partnership with stakeholders such as York Region Police, school boards, York Region Transit, local municipalities, York Region public health and adjacent municipalities to implement pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and facilities and to address common issues.

Please forward your resume and covering letter quoting competition #W8289 by 4:30 p.m. on December 9, 2008.

Job Opportunity - Smart Commute North Toronto

Two job openings are available for applications until January 2, 2009: Program Coordinator and Marketing Manager.

Article - Winnipeg dramatically increases spending on AT

Winnipeg Sun, December 3
Author: Rob Nay (Title: Better links to North End sought)

A citizens' group is calling on the city to provide better links between the North End and the rest of Winnipeg for pedestrians and cyclists.

After hearing from multiple delegations, the committee voted to recommend increasing funding from $1.75 to $6 million for active transportation.

Upcoming Event - Kelowna BC: Building SustainAble Communities conference

The Fresh Outlook Foundation is hosting its third annual Building SustainAble Communities conference February 24th to 26th, 2009 at Kelowna's Delta Grand Okanagan Resort. More than 100 speakers from the public, private, non-profit and academic sectors are scheduled.

Foundation's Webpage: www.freshoutlookfoundation.org

Interesting Website - Team Wonderbike

An initiative of the New Belgium Brweing Company in Colorado, Team Wonderbike is "a human-powered, carbon-free campaign to greatly increase the use of mankind's greatest invention... the bicycle."

Any person is invited to make a pledge to commit to commute by bicycle whenever they can. Currently, more than 15,000 people have joined Team Wonderbike. New Belgium Brewing employs approximately 300.

Links - Cargo Bikes

Recently I have received several questions about cargo bikes. In response, here are some Web links:

Bicycle Revolutions: www.bikerev.com
Bikes at Work: www.bikesatwork.com
Yuba Affordable Mobility: www.yubaride.com
Work Cycles: www.workcycles.com
Velorbis: www.velorbis.com
Christiania Bikes: www.christianiabikes.com
Burley: www.burley.com

How to get a cargo bike in Canada: www.cargobike.ca

Video - David Suzuki cycles in Copenhagen

This 40m+ CBC "Nature of Things" documentary chronicles a David Suzuki trip across Europe, and includes a visit to Copehagen (20m43s to 24m30). On this visit, he and his daughter bike across the city.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Haliburton County Cycling Master Plan

The Haliburton County Cycling Master Plan (July 2008) is available for you to download and view. Those interested about cycling plans in rural communities should find this particularly interesting.

Toronto Bike Summit 2008: Proceedings

This April 2008 summit featured excellent presentations from Toronto, elsewhere in Ontario, and other Canadian provinces. Copies of a number of these presentations are available.

Article - Kelowna BC: Summit looks to beat transit issues

Kelowna Capital News, October 14
Author: Jennifer Smith

A joint venture of BC Recreation and Parks Association and the Union of BC Municipalities, BEAT is pushing communities to spend on active transportation in order to cut health care costs, reducing green house gas emissions and stimulate the economy. Keynote speaker Michael Haynes spent the morning pointing out signs that communities are not keeping pace with the problem.

Article - Cambridge/ Coldbrook trail: officially open for use, closed to ATVs

The Kings County Register, November 12
Author: Nancy Kelly

A six-kilometre stretch of trail from East Cambridge to Kentville is the province’s first joint Active Transportation/ Active Living and Designated Snowmobile Trail.

The new trail, built on the former DAR railway bed, runs between the Sharpe Brook Bridge and the Kentville town line. After consulting with communities, local service groups, schools and adjacent landowners, CRPS was granted a letter of authority to develop and manage the section of trail as an active transportation route, to be shared with the Annapolis Valley Lake and Ridge Runners Snowmobile Club, by the Department of Natural Resources in February, 2008. The trail is off limits to all-terrain vehicle users.

Article - The latest skirmish in the bike wars

Toronto Star, October 25
Author: Iain Marlow

The city's bike network plan, which aims to have 1,000 kilometres of bike paths built by 2012, including 495 kilometres of bike lanes on city streets, had included bike lines on both sides of this stretch of Annette.

But opposition from locals led city council to scrap the bike-lane scheme and adopt a compromise proposed by Saundercook, which is to paint "sharrows" – which indicate motorists should share the road with cyclists. They would be temporary, and officials would eventually study whether bicycle traffic flow on Annette warranted bike lanes.

Article - Skateboarding in Class? Here, It’s Called Gym

New York Times, November 1
Author: Justin Porter

Among local skateboarders, the spot on 12th Street between First Avenue and Avenue A where wooden ramps and metal-topped ledges are set up most afternoons is known as 12A. For the 9th and 10th graders of East Side Community High School, it is gym class.

What started in February as an after-school program run by a volunteer has turned into what school officials believe is New York City’s only skateboarding class for credit.

Video - New York: Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan

In this Streetfilms interview, The Open Planning Project's Executive Director Mark Gorton talks with Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan about how her agency is redefining public space in New York City.

As the two take a walking tour of recently revamped streetscapes designed to encourage car-free movement and foster social activity, including Broadway Boulevard, Gansevoort Plaza, Meat Market Plaza and the Ninth Avenue cycle track, Sadik-Khan explains how she sees the city grid evolving from "utilitarian corridors" into civic amenities.

Article - Councillor fears '500-kilometre discussion' over 700 metres of bicycle lanes

Globe and Mail, October 29
Author: John Barber

What should have been the routine approval of new bicycle lanes along six blocks of one wide, largely residential street has become a messy standoff threatening to cause long hours of hot debate when council meets today.

"I hope we don't have a 500-kilometre discussion for 700 metres of bike lanes," said Councillor Adrian Heaps, chair of the city cycling committee and champion of a new fast-track process meant to paint hundreds of kilometres of long-planned but backlogged routes. "It's just not worth it."

Article - B.C. knee brace, Montreal bike system among Time's top inventions

Montreal's high-tech public bike system and a Canadian-made knee brace that harnesses enough energy from a person's stride to power electronic devices are two of Time magazine's top 50 inventions of 2008.

Montreal's public bike system, dubbed Bixi, was No. 19 on the list. The bikes are designed entirely in Quebec and made of 100 per cent recyclable aluminum. The $15-million system is run by Stationnement de Montreal, the company that manages the city's on-street vehicle parking.

The first 40 bikes to use the system rolled out in September, with the city planning to have 2,400 Bixis by next spring.

Article - A Canadian in Amsterdam discovers the downside of a cyclist's paradise

Toronto Star, October 25
Author: Wanda Praamsma

From a planner's point of view, says Weesep, cyclists are intrinsic to Dutch cities' functionality. "If cyclists were taken off the road, it would grind the system to a halt." Half of Amsterdam residents aged 12 and up cycle every day, and the bicycle is the choice vehicle for 37 per cent of trips made in the city, compared with 22 per cent for public transit and 41 per cent for cars. There are about 600,000 bicycles in the city, owned by its 750,000 citizens, and most of the 400-plus kilometres of bike lanes are separated from vehicular roads.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Study - US: The Case for Increased Federal Investment in Bicycling and Walking

This important document produced by the US Rails to Trails Conservancy is an excellent overview of the importance of Active Transportation.

It is potentially a valuable and helpful resource.

Article - Town reviews active transportation plan

Wasaga Sun, September 23
Author: Trina Berlo

A new Active Transportation Plan commissioned by Wasaga Beach's active transportation committee recommends the town improve sidewalks, create bike lanes and build pedestrian bridges over the Nottawasaga River in order to get people out and about while leaving their cars at home.

Wasaga Beach is one of only a few small communities that have completed such a comprehensive plan.

To download plan: http://www.wasagabeach.com/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=615

Article - Ste. Anne bike path links north, south parts of town

Montreal Gazette, October 30

Phase One of Ste. Anne de Bellevue's bike path - a 1.5-kilometre circuit allowing cyclists to bike safely from Boulevard des Anciens Combattants to Chemin des Pins through McGill University and private lands - was inaugurated this week.

"Montreal is investing to create one of the largest bike path networks in North America. The development of Chemin Ste. Marie is part of our strategy to encourage travelling by bike and other active transportation methods, while reducing our dependence on cars," said André Lavallée, the city of Montreal's executive committee member in charge of urban planning and transit.

Resource - Training Course: Non-Motorized Transport

Everyone interested in promoting walking and cycling should obtain a copy of this manual.

It was produced by the Government of Germany, is written in English, and is full of information about infrastructure around the world and processes for promotion and citizen involvement in planning and developing biking/walking projects.

The link will take you directly to the download: 6 Mb.

Article- US: Bailout Bill has Hidden Tax Break for Cyclists

Some of the hidden pork in the Bailout Bill have been written about for their silliness, ... However there is one particular one that TreeHuggers should love: Sec. 211. Transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters.

it allows for a "qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement" for "reasonable expenses incurred by the employee during such calendar year for the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage, if such bicycle is regularly used for travel between the employee’s residence and place of employment"- your bike expenses, up to 20 bucks a month, can be covered by your boss as a benefit tax free.

Article - Skateboard park: investment in youth

Saint John Telegraph Journal, October 27
Author: Jane Barry

This Halloween it's no trick - Saint John's new skateboard park will become a reality and reveal its closely guarded new name. It's a day many skeptics thought might never come.

It will give countless enthusiasts a place to call their own. And what a place it is. Even to the completely uninitiated, it is an impressive, intricately contoured structure of concrete, granite, metal and stone, cleverly designed to emulate local landmarks and architecture and constructed by real-life skateboarders who are also skilled craftsmen and tradespeople.

The Fundy Skatepark Association is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the construction of a world-class skateboarding facility. Its vision is to be the best skatepark in eastern Canada, inject new energy into uptown Saint John and embrace one of the world's fastest-growing athletic phenomena.

Article - Qatar to build 30-km air-conditioned bike path

For people in Qatar cycling is not at all the obvious thing to do. This needs to be changed as the 30 kilometre cycle path - now designed - is to be completed within a year after the signing of the contract. An attendant problem is the fact that Qatars climate is intensely hot and humid. The project group therefore came up with the idea of cooling the entire cycle path using cold ground water.

Article - Bike lanes work, PSU professor says

Portland Tribune, October 16
Author: Jim Redden

A year after strapping Global Positioning System recorders on hundreds of local bicyclists, Dill thinks she has enough data to demonstrate that “bike infrastructure” such as bike lanes, bike routes, and so on really do encourage people to get out of their cars and steer bikes away from busy thoroughfares that aren’t designed to accommodate them.

Article - Legal Issues Slowing Down US Bike Rental Programs

USA Today, October 2
Author: Alan Gomez

From New York to San Francisco, cities across the country intent on getting greener through bicycle programs are finding a difficult road ahead of them.

Early enthusiasm to reduce traffic congestion and pollution through bike programs is being tempered by questions over funding and who's held liable if someone is injured on a government-owned bicycle, and even "anti-bike activists."

Video - Trucks and Bicycles

This You Tube video shows the safety concerns of mixing large trucks and cyclists on narrow city streets. Solutions are offered as well.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Article - $50B transit plan would improve GO, TTC

Toronto Star, September 2
Author: Tess Kalinowski

A $50 billion plan to build new rail, busways, streetcars and cycling amenities will double the number of Toronto-area transit trips in 25 years. There are about 100 projects in the plan. The key aspects include:

An integrated cycling and walking network with more than 7,000 kilometres of dedicated cycling lanes funded at $500 million.

A network of connected mobility hubs that will be more than simply train stations. The bigger versions will be destinations in of themselves and they will all provide a way to connect various modes of transportation from heavy rail to biking.

Upcoming Event - Vancouver: Guidelines for Child and Youth Friendly Land Use and Transportation Planning

BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition - Guidelines for Child and Youth Friendly Land Use and Transportation Planning for British Columbia

When: Wednesday, October 8: 10am – 11:30am (Timezone: Pacific Time - Vancouver)
Where: BC Teachers Federation - 550 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver

No Fee

For more information: Sharon Urton, surton@telus.net

Article - Kelowna cycling cash

Kelowna News, September 22
Author: Kelly Hayes

Cyclists in Kelowna will benefit from over $2.4 million in Bike BC funding toward a new cycling trail and improved cycling lanes, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Kevin Falcon announced Monday.

Video accompanies text.

Interesting Website - Worldometers: Bicycle Statistics

Annual world bicycle production is currently estimated to be at 108,799,200 units.

Article - Obesity and high oil prices are good news for the world’s biggest bikemaker

Economist.com, September 18
Author: Economist Print

For makers of human-powered, two-wheeled vehicles, by contrast, business is booming. Giant Manufacturing, the world’s largest bicycle-maker, sold a record 460,000 units last month and is heading for its best year ever. Such is the demand for bikes that shortages were reported in New York earlier this year. In Taiwan, Giant’s home market, supply is tighter still: for many models, buyers put down deposits months before their bikes come off the assembly line.

Upcoming Event - Toronto: Ontario's Inaugural Road Pricing Forum

Date: Thursday, November 13, 2008
Location: Hart House at the University of Toronto

Traffic congestion. Lost time. Crumbling roads. Increasing emissions. Few transportation choices. Most Canadians agree that there is an urgent need to bring predictability and ease of mobility to the country's transportation network -- especially near large urban centres. Can road pricing play a role in improving mobility, air quality and the state of the nation's transportation infrastructure? Or is it just a cash grab?

To answer these questions, the non-partisan Transportation Futures Forum will showcase how several countries have dealt with road pricing issues related to policy development, public acceptance, technology, governance and investment. They include:

· London ’s Congestion Charging Scheme
· France ’s Variable Tolling System
· Germany ’s Satellite-based Toll Collection System for Heavy Trucks
· Oregon ’s VMT-Based Road Charging Pilot Project
· Holland ’s “Different Payment for Mobility” Plan

A round table of local experts will be on hand to assess which of these road pricing approaches might be best for the Ontario context and when the time might be right for implementation -- if ever. And your participation with over 150 decision makers, transportation practitioners, land use planners, business leaders, academic researchers and NGO representatives will make this event truly interactive and educational!

Register today for Ontario’s first ever Road Pricing Forum and take advantage of our Early Bird Rates! See www.rccao.com/events for more information. We look forward to seeing you on November 13th!

Presented by: Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario in conjunction with Healthy Transport Consulting.

Sponsored by: Local 183 Toronto, ReNew Canada Magazine, Halcrow Consulting, Ontario Professional Planners Institute.

Article - Belleville: Kiwanis Skateboard Park is 'friggin' sick'

The Intelligencer, September 30
Author: Editorial

City councillors and community volunteers gathered Saturday to officially open a park they say will help young people stay active and feel like an important part of the community.

Gary Foster, a member of the local Kiwanis club, said the park will "help disenfranchised youth to become franchised. It was important to integrate these people into the community."

Kevin Kay, co-chairman of the Can't W8-2-SK8 committee, said the skateboard park will be mostly used by males ages eight to 25.

Article - A small step for commuters, a giant leap for saving the planet

Naromine News, October 3
Authoer: Paul Bibby

Sydney, Australia: "Despite everything that has been said and written about climate change, we are actually becoming more car dependent - particularly for trips under two kilometres," the founder of Planet Ark and avid walker Jon Deek said.

Article - Montreal: Carefree on a car-free day

The Gazette, September 23
Author: Anne Sutherland

"Did you notice the difference in the body language when people enter the (car-free) zone? Everyone just slows down," [Claude William] Genest said. "A day like this is not just about cars and transportation, it's about urbanism and the design of our cities. The question is: 'How do we retrofit our cities to make them piazzas all the time?' "

Article - It's traffic as usual on Toronto's no-car day

Public transit ferried some extra passengers, but highways in the Greater Toronto Area seemed as busy as usual Monday as the city proclaimed its eighth annual Car Free Day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Car Free Day News - London UK

Evening Standard, September 22
Author: Benedict Moore-Bridger

London was given a vision of a car-free city when much of the centre was shut to traffic for Britain's biggest mass cycle ride, London Freewheel.

Organisers estimated that more than 50,000 took part - a turnout described by triple Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy as "overwhelming".

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the event was a 'fantastic opportunity" as he and Hoy cycled in St James's Park.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Upcoming Event - In town, without my car! 2008 - On September 22, Let's All Choose Public Transit or Active Transportation

On September 22, 2008, citizens [of Montreal] are invited to leave their vehicles at home and take part in the sixth edition of In town, without my car! day.

Because of the event, car traffic will be prohibited from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. within the perimeter bordered by McGill College and Saint-Urbain streets (open) and René-Lévesque and de Maisonneuve boulevards (open). For the first time this year, the Place des Arts block (Sainte-Catherine Street between Jeanne-Mance and Saint-Urbain streets) will be closed from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. to extend the duration of the event and hold certain activities there.

This is the largest perimeter closed to all car traffic in a downtown area in any of the over 1,300 cities and towns worldwide that organize car-free days.

Article - Canadians still reluctant to walk the talk

The Windsor Star, September 12
Author: Dr. Loleen Berdahl

[I]t is fair to say that Canada's potential for active transportation has yet to be fully realized. [W]hile the spirit is willing, the feet may be weak: Statistics Canada reports that less than 10% of Canadians walked or cycled to work in 2006.

Case Study - AT in Haliburton County

Readers might be interested in this case study on the Haliburton County [Ontario]initiatives. This was awarded the "Best Short Case Study" award from the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals at the recent Pro Walk Pro bike conference [August 2008, Seattle].

Article - Realtors peddle real estate to bike-happy clients

With gas prices high, bicycles flying out of stores and a buyers' market for houses, a handful of real estate agents around the country are touting the two-wheeled appeal of their listings.

Some even show houses exclusively by bike, wheeling through the neighborhood with potential buyers to show off bike lanes and bike-focused businesses and repair shops.

Article - At this centre, it's power to the pedestrians

According to the stereotype, shopping centre developers set out to cram as much retail floor space as possible onto the available land - then use the rest for acres of parking lot.

Not Mark Kindrachuk. [His] plan for Sportsworld involves smaller, more fragmented parking lots and smaller stores to create the impression of a more natural streetscape. This, combined with walkways and a large central green space, a pond and waterfall, is intended to make the suburban shopping centre more pedestrian-friendly.

Article - Bike lanes were a bit of a wash

Winnipeg Free Press, September 12
Author: Bartley Kives

A $100,000 plan to make Winnipeg roads safer for cyclists has literally washed off city streets, forcing officials to search for a more durable brand of paint.

Article - $25M approved for pedestrian bridges

Calgary Herald, September 9
Author: Kim Guttormson

The city [Calgary] will spend $25 million to design two pedestrian bridges spanning the Bow River and build one west of Prince's Island. In a narrow vote pitting the bottom line against iconic infrastructure, council approved the money.

Article - Victoria eyes 67 kilometres of new sidewalk

Times Colonist, August 30
Author: Carolyn Heiman

The [Victoria BC] pedestrian master plan -- a document that will guide pedestrian-related projects and policies over the next 20 years -- calls for more than 67 kilometres of new sidewalks to be built on roads that don't have any.

Article - BC: Province spending $31 million to improve cycling networks

Vancouver Sun, September 16

Premier Gordon Campbell pledged $31 million Tuesday toward building bicycle routes around the province. The announcement brings total spending on bicycling infrastructure by the province to $114 million over seven years.

Article - Group advocating bike trails to address council

Saint John Telegraph Journal, September 11
Author: Jeff Ducharme

With the price of gas on the rise and environmental concerns on people's minds, the proposal by a group of residents for a network of bike trails in the city may be at the right time and the right place. Known as Active Transportation Saint John, the group will make a presentation at Monday's common council meeting.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

TransActive Solutions - Fall Schedule

I will be conducting a number of Active Transportation community workshops and other presentations this fall. Following is the list of confirmed dates. If you would like any information on an activity taking place near you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sept. 18-21: Regina SK
Sept. 24: CHNET-Works! Webinar
Sept. 26-27: Okotoks AB
Sept. 29: Halifax NS
Sept. 30-Oct. 1: Truro NS
Oct. 14: Kelowna BC
Oct. 16-18: Golden BC
Oct. 23-25: Jasper AB
Nov. 5-6: Halifax NS

As a result of this travel, there likely will be some delays in new Active Transportation-Canada blog postings, but I will try to ensure that something is sent every two weeks.

Have an Active fall!

Michael Haynes

Canadian Medical Association promotes AT

At their recent general annual convention in August, the Canadian Medical Association adopted the following resolutions:

1.. The Canadian Medical Association and provincial/territorial medical associations call on the federal government to work with the provinces and territories to adopt a national environmental health strategy. DM 5-17

2.. The Canadian Medical Association and provincial/territorial medical associations urge all levels of government to promote active transportation by:

a) incorporating active transportation principles into community planning and infrastructure renewal; and

b) developing and implementing public education and awareness programs that explain the link between health, active transportation and the environment. DM 5-15

3.. The Canadian Medical Association urges governments to adopt national standards for ambient air quality that are at least as stringent as the leading international standard. DM 5-18

4.. The Canadian Medical Association urges the federal government to support research to understand the relationship between early childhood exposure to air pollution and long-term health effects that may occur as a result of this exposure. DM 5-16

5.. The Canadian Medical Association encourages all physicians to lead by example by using, facilitating and advocating for the use of active transportation.

***********************

In related news, together with the BC Medical Association and the BC College of Family Physicians, Walk BC (co-led by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon and the BC Recreation and Parks Association) has created the Physician Engagement Program to facilitate and increase physical activity in inactive adults aged 35-54.

Physician Engagement provides BC physicians with resources for their patients about the benefits of physical activity, how to get started with a walking program, and local information on programs and opportunities.

For more information please check out www.walkbc.ca.

Article - Expansion of bike paths keeps city moving forward

In a case of "build it and they will come," cyclists have been crowding onto Montreal's first year-round bicycle path, along de Maisonneuve Blvd., since it was opened last November. Last month alone, more than 25,000 cyclists a week used the $3.5 million path, which crosses downtown on an east-west axis. That's an average of 3,600 cyclists a day.

Encouraged by this success, Mayor Gérald Tremblay promised on the weekend that Montreal will spend another $10 million to build an additional 100 km of bike lanes on the island by the spring.

Article - Torontonians 'scramble' at Yonge and Dundas

One of Toronto's busiest intersections is now a test track for a new way of crossing the street. Vehicle traffic stops with red lights in all four directions, followed by a pedestrian free-for-all, where people cross the intersection in any direction they choose: left, right, diagonally.

Article - Manitoba man commutes by bicycle: 180 km per day

"My office mates think I'm a little bit crazy. But in many ways, part of the reason I do this is to encourage other people to cycle," Mike Caslor said. "The vast majority of the people I work with don't live 90 kilometres from work. They live nine kilometres from work so they have no excuse: Get on the bike and bike to work."

Website - fuelconsumption.ca: The Prairie Toyota Dealers

This Website includes tips on how to enhance your fuel efficiency. Tip #10 is especially interesting: "Drive less. Walking and biking more is the most effective way to conserve fuel and reduce emissions. If you think about it, many of the trips you make in your car are probably within easy biking distance. So leave the car at home and feel good about saving money, fighting pollution and getting some good exercise."

Article - Driving less? Pay less for your auto insurance

Mercury News, August 28
Author: Pete Carey

California motorists who drive less could save more than gas money under a new green insurance option announced Wednesday by Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.
By the fall of next year, motorists will be able to choose insurance plans with premiums based partly on the number of miles they drive each year. A recent Brookings Institution study predicted that could yield an 8 percent drop in miles driven by light-duty vehicles in California, and cut rates an average of more than $250 a vehicle.

Article - Fewer kids died after Ont. adopted bike helmet law

Fewer young people in Ontario died of bike-related injuries after the introduction of a law requiring their use, Canadian researchers have found. "These findings provide support for extending the law to include adults," the researchers concluded.

Article - Cycling advocate calls for improved bike lanes in Vancouver

“Vancouver has many good pedestrian facilities, but it really has very mediocre cycling facilities,” Penalosa agrees. “I think Vancouver should at least try to have a grid of separate bikeways that are physically separate from the pedestrians and the cars — the three of them really go at different speeds. When people are going at different speeds, they need separate facilities or else we’re going to have accidents.”

Article - For Bicyclists, a Widening Patchwork World

The number of cyclists has doubled in a decade in cities as disparate as Berlin and Bogota. Global bicycle production has increased for six consecutive years, according to a report by the Earth Policy Institute. Yet when it comes to using a bike for everyday transportation, the boom appears to have bypassed many countries.

While Northern Europe and Japan have figured out how to make bicycle commuting a safe, cheap alternative to driving, the United States, Canada, Australia and Britain have not.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Project - Methodologies for Identifying and Ranking Sustainable Transport Practices in Urban Regions

From Barry Wellar, PhD, MCIP, Principal, Wellar Consulting Inc.

I am working on a project for Transport Canada titled: "Methodologies for Identifying and Ranking Sustainable Transport Practices in Urban Regions". Transport Canada and I believe that the project should be of interest to a number of members of the AT community, and that AT could make a very important contribution to the outreach part of the project.

A Project Synopsis has been prepared as an element of the outreach part of the project, and it has been posted at:
http://www.wellar.ca/wellarconsulting/TCProjectSynopsis.pdf.

It would be very much appreciated if you could post and otherwise circulate the Synopsis, or the link to the Synopsis, as part of the effort to inform community groups, advocacy groups, and other public interest groups about the project.

For more information: wellarb@uottawa.ca.

Minden Active Transportation plan

Minden Hills is a township in, and the county seat of Haliburton County, Ontario, Canada. It is an amalgamation of the geographical townships of Snowdon, Lutterworth, Anson, Hindon and Minden. It is usually referred to as Minden, after its largest community. Minden Hills had a permanent population of 5,556 people in the 2006 Census.

It approved an Active Transportation plan in the summer of 2008.

Cape Breton Regional Municipality AT Plan Approved

On June 17, 2008, the CBRM Council gave approval in principle to the Municipality's Active Transportation Plan. Follow the link to view the presentation made at the Council meeting and the AT plan (maps only posted as of Aug. 26).

Article - If we build it, will they come?

Fredericton Daily Gleaner, July 19

Over 20 years, the plan proposes to take Fredericton from its existing 80 kilometres of trails to 126 kilometres of interconnected walkways, 30 kilometres of reserved bicycle lanes and signed bicycle lanes which are shared with parked cars in residential areas.

But if you want people to ditch cars, you have to start teaching them young that road etiquette, respect for cyclists and a desire to walk are all good things, the consultants point out.

Article - Cycling expert says city needs more bike facilities

Vancouver has done good work to encourage cycling, says Jack Becker, a member of the city's bicycle advisory committee, director with the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition and president of the B.C. Cycling Coalition. But compared to European cities, we have a long way to go.

Article - Longboarders race through Edmonton's river valley

The boards, about twice the size of traditional skateboards, are increasingly popular among young commuters and racers alike. Mike Sanders, one of the organizers, who also owns a shop that sells longboards, figures there are about 10,000 in use in the Edmonton region, although only a few people use them regularly.

Article - New York: No Traffic on a Saturday? Well, No Cars, Anyway

On a path that extended from the Brooklyn Bridge north to Park Avenue and the Upper East Side, thousands of people filled the streets, taking part in activities like street-side tai chi or salsa dancing. Others simply enjoyed the chance to stroll in normally car-clogged streets. In a city where walkers, cyclists and motorists must share limited space, having a major thoroughfare through Manhattan free of cars created a giddy sort of excitement.

Article - Hey, that's my bike!

Across Canada, 44,013 bikes were reported stolen in 2007, according to Statistics Canada, which tracks police reports. But police and bicycling advocates say that doesn't even come close to the real figures, because many victims don't report the crime.

Where bicycles are being stolen, and what you can do to keep yours safe.

Article - Success Velib Tempered by Costs of Breakdowns

Since the introduction of the bike rental system last year in the French capital the Vélib’s have made 26 million trips. In their fight against traffic congestion and air-pollution the Paris city council and outdoor advertiser JCDecaux created a successful rental system that is regarded as the showcase to get more people biking.

The down site of Vélib’s success is the huge cost as a result of vandalism and spare parts. In the first half year JCDecaux already spent € 20.6 million to keep the bikes on the road.

Report - Cycling: Getting Australia Moving

In August 2007, the Cycling Promotion Fund was commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing to develop a report on bicycle participation by Australian adults. The Cycling Promotion Fund was specifically asked to investigate the contribution cycling can make to the health of adult Australians, what barriers exist to increasing participation and what can be done to overcome these hurdles.

The Cycling Promotion Fund engaged four notable academics/practitioners from the fields of health, transport and economics to address these questions.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

City of Ottawa Bicycle Plan Passes Council

The Ottawa Cycling Plan (OCP) is a long-term (20-year) strategy that consists of two phases. The first, is a ten-year implementation plan that includes network infrastructure, program initiatives and associated costs. The ten-year plan is intended to complement the City’s Capital Works Plan, Transportation Master Plan and Official Plan.

On July 17, Ottawa City Council accepted an accelerated version of the plan for the next five years that will result in a $25 million investment in bike lanes, paths, and other infrastructure support.

Article - Bike group calls on MPI to improve cyclists' road skills

Cycling advocates [in Winnipeg] worry an increase in the number of riders on the road could translate into a higher toll of deaths and injuries among cyclists.

An average of 180 cyclists are injured and two are killed on Manitoba roads every year, according to MPI. The corporation paid out $8.2 million in injury claims for cyclists hit by vehicles in 2006, a fourfold increase since 2002.

Article - A greener way to park it

The [Montreal] Gazette, July 29
Author: Michelle Lalonde

[T]here are not enough parking spots for our cyclists," said Marc Snyder, an aide to Plateau Mont Royal borough mayor Helen Fotopulos. By the end of the summer, Snyder said, the borough plans to turn about 30 regular parking spaces into bicycle parking facilities for about 300 bikes. The borough plans to double the number of bike parking spots to 3,000 over the next three years.

Article - Drivers begin parking their cars

Globe and Mail, July 23
Authors: Heather Scoffield and Dakshana Bascramurty and Virginia Galt

Soaring gasoline prices have finally prompted Canadian drivers to curtail their travelling and scale back spending in other areas to cover off their fuel bills.

Study - US: Walkable Neighborhoods Keep the Pounds Off

They found that neighborhood type did seem to be correlated to body weight. For example, a man of average size -- 6 feet tall weighing 200 pounds -- weighed 10 pounds less if he lived in an older, more walkable neighborhood. A woman of average size -- 5'5" tall weighing 149 pounds -- was six pounds lighter if she lived in a similar area versus a newer, less pedestrian-friendly locale.

Article - Development Construction on the city's long-awaited skateboard park is expected to begin by the end of the month

[Saint John NB] Telegraph Journal, July 21
Author: Natalia Manzocco

"This happens to be one of the fastest-growing sports in North America," said Mayor Ivan Court, who's been vocal about his support for the park since the beginning. "I was an educator for 33 years, and it's very important that kids have places to show off what they can do, regardless of what sport it is."

"We're sheltered, because it's underneath the bridge. It's central, it's right uptown. We've got Harbour Passage [multi-use trail] right there, so kids can skate all the way out from the west side to get to this park," said Vincent.

Article - Bikes on a roll in suburbs

Chicago Sun Times, July 28
Author: Editorial

In the land of the cul-de-sac and the three-car garage, a two-wheeled revolution has begun. Suburbanites are riding their bicycles not just for recreation, but for transportation. And suburbs are responding with more bike racks, trails and designated bike lanes.

Article - As gas prices go up, auto deaths decline, U.S. study predicts

Associated Press, July 11

Gas is now averaging around $1.40 per litre in Canada, and one of the professors says he expects to see a drop of about 1,000 deaths a month.

Article - Crunching Some Numbers on Paris Bike-Sharing Program

The Paris bike-sharing program, Vélib, has received a tremendous amount of attention since it was introduced in 2007. Now, on its one year anniversary, it is time to look at some of the numbers about costs, use, and environmental benefits.

Article - PST break on bikes coming: Ghiz

The City of Charlottetown passed a resolution earlier this month urging the provincial government to act on the campaign promise and drop the 10 per cent tax. PEI Premier Ghiz strongly hinted Islanders could see this tax lifted in next spring's budget.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Toronto - Metrolinx Green paper on Active Transportation invites public input

Metrolinx is extending the consultation period for their White Papers and Green Papers until Friday, September 5, 2008. A Draft Regional Transportation Plan and Investment Strategy will go forward to the Metrolinx Board at the end of September. Shortly thereafter, these documents will be posted on this site for your input throughout early Fall.

Accordia residential masterplan shortlisted for Stirling Prize

Accordia residential masterplan is being considered as the new standard for high density housing by RIBA who have chosen the design as one of six finalists for the Stirling Prize.

The masterplan is designed predominantly for pedestrian and cycle use with mews streets, landscaped pedestrian streets and cycle parking integrated into the design, made possible with the placement of the site which has easy access to the town centre.

Video - Safe Routes to School. Kloosterveen, Assen, Netherlands

This short - less than 2 minutes - video will show you a community designed so that people walk and bicycling their children to school. Contrast this image to what you might see at a typical Canadian school, and its endless lines of cars and buses.

Website - Copenhagenize

You absolutely must check out this Website/Blog. Copenhagenize.com is a portal that will connect you to everything possible about bicycling and the City of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Check out their July 22 entry; David Suzuki bikes Copenhagen. Coming soon to a television near you!

Article - Rien de trop beau pour les vélos!

Le Métropolitain, June 18

Le Musée royal de l’Ontario (ROM) s’embellit encore. En plus d’inaugurer un nouveau toit vert d’une superficie de 10 000 pieds carrés situé sur la partie sud de la Promenade des philosophes, il y a des nouveaux supports pour vélos bordant Queen’s Park, le long de l’aile de la famille Weston.

Article - Cyclists and skateboarders ride to be green

[here], July 17
Author: Naomi Osbourne

"I think the real issue is that it shouldn't be acceptable to make something illegal based on what it "could" do. Drivers "could" be reckless and yet it's not illegal to drive a vehicle" said Michaud. She believes the solution to the problem is for the city to lay down behavioural guidelines. They need to establish with skateboarders that they need to obey the traffic laws, use hand signals, and leave the tricks and jumps off the road.

"As long as skateboarders are obeying the rules of the road then they should be allowed to travel on it just like vehicles and bikes are," said Michaud.

Article - Will we stick to our newfound frugality?

Seattle Times, July 21
Author: Anne D'Innocenzio

Adrienne Radtke plans to keep riding her bike to work even if gas prices drop. Steve Pizzini got rid of his Cadillac Escalade in favor of a 16-year-old Acura and doesn't expect to have another gas-guzzler.

But will it last?

Website - La Route Verte

Thinking of bike routes in your area? Then you should be familiar with La Route Verte. This vast bicycle route—the most extensive in North America—includes all types of bikeways: bike paths, designated shared roadways and paved shoulders. Marked throughout its length, the route will encompass a total of 4,300 km when completed.

Article - A New Fashion Catches On in Paris: Cheap Bicycle Rentals

New York Times, July 13
Author: Steve Erlanger

A year after the introduction of the sturdy gray bicycles known as Vélib’s, they are being used all over Paris. The bikes are cheap to rent because they are subsidized by advertising, and other major cities, including American ones, are exploring similar projects.

Article - NY's Broadway becoming the Great Bike Way

newsday.com, July 11
Author: Vera Dobnik

New York City plans to turn a swath of Broadway in midtown Manhattan into a bike lane and public esplanade _ leaving two fewer lanes for vehicles on the busy thoroughfare.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Interesting Website - Assen Transport Infrastructure / Cycling Study Tour 2008

This group offers cycling holiday/study tours in the Netherlands. Here is a quote from their Webpage:

"In 2008 we are running a series of Study Tours for politicians, transport planners, transport campaigners, cycling co-ordinaters, and anyone interested in infrastructure for green transport. The tours will be in the English language and will take place in Assen in The Netherlands (Holland), a location which boasts some of the best cycling infrastructure in the world."

Can you imagine anything like this being offered in Canada?

Conference - Recreation Nova Scotia (RNS)

The RNS annual conference will feature five main activity streams. One of these deals with Active Transportation:

Building Great Communities: Land use planning for an active population: Lets talk about innovation and solutions, the value of green space and parks, active transportation, successful designs, and the history and trends in land use for recreation purposes.

Recreation Nova Scotia Conference
November 5-8, 2008
Westin Nova Scotian, Halifax
http://www.recreationns.ns.ca/conference

Article - Brantford ON: Residents are encouraged to join the city's growing 'walkolution'

Brantford Exposition, July 8
Author: Colleen Toms

"It really is about building community. The more connections people have with the community, the more they feel connected to it. If people could walk to and from work, walk on their lunch hours, or walk to the store instead of driving, it becomes a habit. It's almost like they don't know that they are being physically active."

Ongoing efforts to include more walkable spaces whenever building occurs will help to change the very fabric of the community and get people moving, said Amodeo.

"Now when we look at plans for building we consider multi-routes such as transit, bicycles and walking. You have got to give people a safe place to walk and make it more attractive so that they want to walk there."

Report - CIBC World Markets: Heading for the Exit Lane

Author: Jeff Rubin

"As gasoline prices climb inexorably, American driving habits are going to have to undergo a massive change ..."

“Over the next four years, we are likely to witness the greatest mass exodus of vehicles off America’s highways in history. By 2012, there should be some 10 million fewer vehicles on American roadways than there are today ...”

News Release - Canadian Community Health Survey 2007

Statistics Canada today [June 18, 2008] releases extensive new data on more than 20 health indicators from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), a comprehensive survey of more than 65,000 Canadians conducted between January and December 2007.

Data for all indicators are available at the national and provincial and territorial level, as well as for 118 health regions across Canada.

The CCHS collects a wide range of information about the health status of Canadians, factors determining their health status and their use of health care services.

This article focuses on three indicators: access to a regular medical doctor, smoking rates, and overweight and obesity. It also presents new information about where individuals who did not have a regular doctor sought health care services.

Skateboard Article - Sharing the streets

Montreal Gazette, June 19
Author: Julia Kilpatrick

Skateboard commuters like Naylor risk more than a broken board when they choose to ride on the street. Bylaws prohibit skateboarding on Montreal's roads and sidewalks. Fines for ignoring the rules range from $30 to $300.

"The regulations exist for the safety of skateboarders," Commander Daniel Touchette, of the Montreal police traffic division said. "If they are on the street and they fall, there's no saying where they might go."

Article - Bike Shares Stalled Across the Country

US News & World Report, July 2
Author: Maura Judkis

Bad news for the bikeless: Hourly bike rental systems are being delayed in three U.S. cities - Chicago, Portland, and Washington - because of various concerns.

Newsletter - Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation

The Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT) was formed in 2006 to give a unified voice to the many groups working for a better cycling and pedestrian environment in Toronto.

They publish a weekly newsletter, usually consisting of 4-6 articles of local activities and newsworthy items. It is available online: http://www.torontocat.ca/main/newsletter.

Article - Prepare for revolution

Globe and Mail, June 30
Author: Editorial

Oil could reach $200 a barrel by 2010, putting the cost of operating an automobile beyond the reach of many lower-income families. Each upward tick in oil prices signals the slow death of a postwar North American way of life, built around car ownership and suburban sprawl.

New Resource - A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities

The Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety has released a new guide, A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities, to help residents, parents, community groups, and others make their communities better environments for walking.

To view a PDF or order a hard copy of the Resident’s Guide, please visit http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/ped_bike/ped_bike_order.htm.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

TransActive Solutions Overseas


In April 2008, 250 Canadians were personally trained by Al Gore to deliver a presentation similar to the one he presents in the documentary, but specifically tailored towards Canadians and Canadian issues.

I was one of those of those trained, and now make presentations on behalf of the Climate Project - Canada. The Climate Project-Canada is a non-profit organization and registered Canadian charity dedicated to educating the public about climate change through presentations by trained volunteers.

By far the most interesting session I have conducted so far was on June 9, when I presented to UNDP staff in Baku, Azerbaijan. I was in that country attending a UNESCO conference, and took the opportunity to make a Climate Change presentation while I was there.

Climate Change - Canada volunteers may be found in every province. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation, there is a link on their Website to do so.

Resource - Denmark: Bicycle Parking Manual

Cycling as a means of transport is on the increase in towns and cities, and further growth in the number of cyclists is expected in the coming years. At the same time, a lot is being done at many levels to get more people on their bicycles. However, not much thought is going into the question of where all these bicycles should be parked when not in use.

This manual, published in Denmark in 2008, addresses every aspect of bicycle parking issues.

News Release - MOST Program Recipients

The Government of Canada will invest in 16 projects across the country that support environmentally friendly transportation, which will receive a total of over $1 million under the Moving On Sustainable Transportation (MOST) program.

The full list of projects is available through this link.

Article - Push on pedaling: Committee urges council to speed cycling network plans

Ottawa Citizen.com, June 18
Author: Patrick Dare

Ottawa should go ahead with its new cycling plan in five years, rather than 10, city council's transportation committee said Wednesday. The city's $24.6-million plan for cycling includes about $8 million for more bicycle lanes, $9 million for paved shoulders and $6 million for multi-use pathways.

Mr. Doucet welcomed improvements to cycling in Ottawa but said the city is falling behind others, such as Montreal, where many millions of dollars are being spent on cycling facilities. "Other cities seem to be able to do things and not just plan," said Mr. Doucet.

Article - Is America's suburban dream collapsing into a nightmare?

CNN.com/technology, June 16
Author: Lara Farrar

"The American dream is absolutely changing," [Christopher Leinberger, an urban planning professor at the University of Michigan] told CNN.

This change can be witnessed in places like Atlanta, Georgia, Detroit, Michigan, and Dallas, Texas, said Leinberger, where once rundown downtowns are being revitalized by well-educated, young professionals who have no desire to live in a detached single family home typical of a suburbia where life is often centered around long commutes and cars.

Instead, they are looking for what Leinberger calls "walkable urbanism" -- both small communities and big cities characterized by efficient mass transit systems and high density developments enabling residents to walk virtually everywhere for everything -- from home to work to restaurants to movie theaters.

Article - Traffic taking a toll on psychic health, experts say

Los Angeles Times, June 8
Author: Chistopher Gifford

In several studies on commuter stress, UC Irvine psychologists Raymond Novaco and Daniel Stokols made a surprising finding. Though they hypothesized that long commutes would be more stressful for hard-charging, Type A personalities than for mellow Type Bs, it turned out that the opposite was true. The reasons: The hard-chargers exercised more control over their lives. They had picked homes they liked and jobs that absorbed them. In traffic, they thought about work. The mellow drivers, on the other hand, thought about being trapped in traffic.

Article - Car-Free Vancouver Day brings out 125,000 revellers

Vancouver Sun, June 15
Author: Denise Ryan

After weeks of rain, more than 125,000 Vancouverites followed the sun on Sunday and took over city streets at four festivals celebrating Car-Free Vancouver Day.

The event that started four years ago on Commercial Drive expanded this year to include three other venues - Denman Street in the West End, Main Street from 12th to 16th, and Kitsilano, where people on 21 blocks closed the streets and threw parties of their own, each capturing the flavour of their neighbourhood.

Article - Fredericton NB: Bike lanes long overdue

Daily Gleaner, June 20

The City of Fredericton wants to help motorists and cyclists co-exist once new bike lanes appear on city streets next month. An information campaign is being launched to make drivers and bikers aware of the changes that will see bike lanes start showing up on several streets in two weeks.

The bike lanes are a first part of a trails and bikeways network called for by the city's trails and bikeways master plan that proposes ways to foster the use of active transportation. Active transportation is defined as any form of human-powered transportation. Bike lane lines and signs will be installed July 2-11.

Article - Bristol named first cycling city

Bristol has become England's first "cycling city" in a £100m government scheme aimed at encouraging cycling. The city intends to double the number of cyclists over the next three years with a series of innovations.

Among the city's innovative proposals are the creation of the UK's first on-street bike rental network and setting up a scheme to repair bikes and provide them free of charge to people in deprived communities.

Article - TV viewing, computer use linked to obesity

Canadian adults who spend hours a day watching television or sitting in front of a computer are more likely to be obese, according to a new Statistics Canada study.

The odds of obesity among men and women who reported watching television 21 or more hours a week were almost twice those for study subjects watching an average of five or fewer hours a week.

Friday, June 6, 2008

News Release - Regional Tolls: Socially Responsible User Fees Earmarked for the Funding of Public Transit

CNW Group, June 5

During a speech today to members of the Association québécoise du transport et des routes (AQTR), André Lavallée, Montréal Executive Committee member responsible for Urban Planning and Public Transit, launched the discussion on funding for public transit by proposing a new approach. It would consist of establishing a regional toll collection system, the revenues of which would be shared among the municipalities to finance their own contributions to the development and to operate local and regional public transit and active transportation projects.

Montréal's bold and ambitious Transportation Plan seeks to make active transportation and public transit the preferred means of personal travel and a crucial tool in the city's development. Public consultation sessions that were held in the fall of 2007 revealed the existence of a strong consensus for deploying our full resources to carry out its various measures.

For further information: François Goneau, Relations avec les médias, (514) 868-5859; Source: Darren Becker, Office of the Mayor and the Executive Committee, (514) 872-6412.

Article - Cycling to Downtown Hamilton just got easier

Exchange Morning Post, June 6

As part of an ongoing commitment to promote sustainable transportation options in Hamilton, the Public Works Department, together with Metrolinx, officially opened Hamilton's first secure bicycle parking facility today.

The 12-foot by 20-foot lot located on the first floor of the York Boulevard parkade downtown can accommodate over 40 bicycles and provides a safe and convenient facility for cycling commuters to store their bikes.

Article - Thunder Bay Active Transportation Plan Consultations

NetNewsledger, May 29
Author: none listed

Following nine months of groundwork, the Active Transportation Advisory Committee is hosting the first phase of an Active Transportation Plan for the City to the public for input. Two public Open Houses will showcase the recommended commuter cycling routes and maps, and gather feedback and information on where people in Thunder Bay like to walk, bike, and wheel. The Open Houses will take place on Tuesday, June 3 at the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre, 700 River St., and on Thursday, June 5 at the Westfort Community Centre, 397 Empire Ave., from 5-8pm.

Residents are encouraged to attend one of the Open House events, view the proposed routes and maps and share your ideas about active transportation with members of the Committee.

Article - Gas price changes commute: survey

driving.ca, May 30
Derek Abma, Canwest News Service

Rising fuel prices are increasingly becoming a factor in how people get to their place of employment and arrange other aspects of their work life, according to a report recently released.

A poll of U. S. workers by staffing firm Robert Half International showed 44% of respondents have changed their commuting habits or work arrangements to ease the financial burden of higher gasoline costs. That was up from 34% when a similar survey was taken two years ago.

Article - Skateboarding As Transportation

SK8Antogonish is the Webpage of the Antigonish (NS) Skateboarding Association, and has links to a wide range of resources for skateboarders.

They have republished an article recently produced by Resource Conservation Manitoba.

Article - Can-do commuting

driving.ca
Author: Jill Barker

Need a little less bulk around the belly and a little more bulk in your wallet? Consider ditching the car and cutting your commuting costs by walking or biking to work.

Before all you suburbanites throw out the idea as preposterous, you don't need to travel the whole way to work on foot or by bike to reap the benefits of eco-commuting. Even transforming part of your commute to self-powered transportation can improve both the environment and your waistline.

Article - UK: Cyclists allowed wrong way up one-way streets

Telegraph.co.uk, June 4
Author: Andy Bloxham

Cyclists are to be allowed to ride the wrong way up one-way streets - but motorists will face prosecution if a collision occurs. The pilot scheme is to be trialled in London after a recent boom in the popularity of cycling.

“Cycle contraflows” already exist in some parts of the country but they are relatively rare as they require extensive changes to the road markings.

Event - Car-Free Vancouver Day

As urban congestion increases and air quality declines, smart cities around the world are beginning to move away from car-dependency. Because we know that that less cars means more community, and more community means less cars. And less cars means a healthier and happier city.

Car-Free Vancouver Day features four simultaneous Car-Free Community Festivals, each with its own unique flavour and style. This massive event is 100% volunteer produced and organized. It's YOUR party. So get involved! Let's reclaim our city by dancing in the streets.

On Sunday June 15th (Fathers Day), come out and experience the fun of a car-free future with hundreds of thousands of your neighbours on the first-ever Car-Free Vancouver Day.

Active Transportation Vacation

Greetings:

I am the Project Manager for the Celebration of Trails, and I also have a new company that creates unique experience packages including ones that include hiking and cycling. For example, “Peddle Yours Arts” is a tour of art studios on a bicycle. More details are available on the web site www.yoursoutdoors.ca.

It is still under development but should be completed soon. Please pass it along to anyone you feel might be interested in an "Active Transportation Vacation".

Barrie Martin
1344 Barry line
R.R. #1
Haliburton , ON K0M 1S0
705-754-3436 (telephone/fax)
705-457-7557(cell)

Request from the Toronto Urban Renewal Network

Greetings,

The Toronto Urban Renewal Network (TURN) is working for safer cycling, pedestrian and transit infrastructure at The South Kingsway and Queensway Interchange (SKQI), a car-oriented area located in the southwest corner of Ward 13. Assuming you are interested in this project, we are taking the liberty of providing you with a very brief synopsis of what has been happening over the last several months and to ask for your help.

The City of Toronto has allocated almost $1 million to address safety and access concerns in the 1950s expressway style interchange so that it could be urbanized and shared by everyone: car drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, transit users and bladers. Unfortunately, Councillor and Pedestrian Committee Co-Chair Bill Saundercook decided to kill the City’s original “Link Road” plan in July 2007. At this time, the Toronto Urban Renewal Network (TURN) was established and, with the support of The Toronto Pedestrian Committee and the Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee, we have been able to reopen the file.

After many months, the City is now ready to present a very watered-down version of the original design. The report outlining this plan will go to Etobicoke York Community Council (EYCC) for interim approval on July 7th and subsequently to City Council for final approval. TURN has been told that the new design only incorporates “minor modifications” leaving the intersection as a hostile and dangerous environment for cyclists and pedestrians alike. We find this to be unacceptable. There will not be another chance to make interchange changes for a long, long time. With $1 million in the bank, we must capitalize on the opportunity we have now to improve this intersection for the transportation needs of the 21st century.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

** You are cordially invited to take part in the “Ride the South Kingsway Cloverleaf” bike month event on May 27th to raise awareness of the safety issues at this intersection. More info can be found at www.TOrenewal.ca
** Attend the important EYCC meeting at the Etobicoke Civic Centre on July 7th. The more citizens we have at this community council session the more we can influence the process. Let us know if you can be there and we’ll send you the agenda as soon as it is made public. Alternatively, you can call/email Glenda Jagai, Committee Clerk, at 416-394-2516 or etcc@toronto.ca to have the agenda sent to you.
** Make a deputation (stand up and speak) at the meeting. Again, the more people who speak to the issue the more likely the councillors will listen. You must call Glenda Jagai if you would like to make a deputation. If required, TURN can help you with “talking points” – there are many!
** Whether you can attend the June 10th meeting or not, consider writing/emailing your comments to your councilor, EYCC members and the Mayor. See below for a sample letter you can use. Feel free to add anything you feel is pertinent. The list of councillors and city staff who should be "copied" are also provided.
** Get in touch with us and volunteer. We need your help -- and so do future generations of Torontonians!!!

Thank you for considering the opportunity to help out in any way you can. Please email us with any questions, suggestions or concerns.

Regards, Toronto Urban Renewal Network (TURN)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

AT-Canada: Skateboard Edition

With youth activity levels declining and obesity rates increasing, considerable effort is being undertaken to improve the physical fitness of Canada's young people. Yet youth have identified one form of physical activity that they enjoy: skateboarding.

Society's response? Usually outright bans on use or restrictions that seriously impede skateboards value either as play or Active Transportation. In most Canadian communities skateboards are not permitted, usually by municipal ordinance, on sidewalks, on streets, at schools, on buses, in the downtown, in businesses - almost anywhere where young people might actually want to use them or carry them between uses. Even when special reserves are created - skateboard parks - these are often located on the edges of communities and unconnected by routes that skateboarders may use to access them.

A recent event in Fredericton NB, where a 25-year old businessman who uses a skateboard to commute to work went to jail rather than pay a fine for illegally using (i.e. on a city street) his skateboard for transportation, indicates the possible need for authorities to rethink their regulations regarding this mode of transportation and play of the younger members of society. It also suggests, to me, the vlaue of identifying Active Transportation, rather than walking or biking, as the principal term of reference for non-motorized transport.

Following are a number of recent articles about skateboarding around the world. The first few profile the event in Fredericton and some of the reaction it has generated.

Article & Video - Skater opts for jail over paying fine

The Toronto Star, May 15
Author: Justin Piercey

A 25-year-old Fredericton man is behind bars [May 15] after surrendering to police. His crime? Skateboarding on the streets.

Click on story title for link to full story.

Article - Skateboarding still a crime: cops to skater

CBC News, May 21

A skateboarder jailed last week for refusing to pay a fine for skateboarding on a Fredericton street has received another ticket - for more skateboarding.

Link: www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2008/05/21/nb-skateboarder.html?ref=rss&loomia_si=t0:a16:g2:r5:c0.133366

Article - Green travel runs into roadblock

Amherst Daily News, May 19
Author: Editorial

An oddity in the news reported this week by The Canadian Press tells of skateboarder Lee Breen, a young man in Fredericton who rides his board rather than drive a car. The trouble is his mode of getting around is in contravention of Bylaw S-9, which prohibits the use of skateboards along with sleds and toboggans on the streets.

This isn’t a kid out for kicks. The 25-year-old owner-operator of an eco-friendly lawn care company says he is championing the environment with this absolutely green form of travel. After all, cyclists are able to use the streets.

He’s also safety-conscious about it, wearing safety gear and using hand traffic signals.

Link: http://www.amherstdaily.com/index.cfm?sid=135187&sc=61

Article - Middle-school students back Breen

We think it is wrong that Lee Breen was arrested for skateboarding. Skateboarding is the same thing as biking except on a board with four wheels. Both help the environment and are traffic-friendly when ridden with care.

Link: http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/299935

Article - Using Your Head Can Help Prevent Potentially Life Altering Summer Related Sports Injuries

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the most recent statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) indicate that there were an estimated 319,000 sports-related head injuries treated in US hospital emergency rooms in 2006, an increase of 10,000 injuries from the year before.

The following are the top 10 sports and recreation-related activities contributing to head injuries in 2006:

-- Cycling: 65,319
-- Football: 34,638
-- Powered Recreational Vehicles (ATVs, Dune Buggies, Go-Carts, Mini bikes, Off- road): 28,585
-- Basketball: 25,788
-- Baseball and Softball: 23,125
-- Water Sports (Diving, Scuba Diving, Surfing, Swimming, Water Polo, Water Skiing): 16,060
-- Skateboards/Scooters: 15,978
-- Soccer: 15,208
-- Fitness/Exercise (including at health clubs): 11,895
-- Horseback Riding: 9,260

Link: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/108230.php

Video - US: go skateboarding day: cop vs skaters

Police and youth show how well anti-skateboarding laws are sometimes observed and enforced. Ironically, these events took place on National Skateboarding Day in 2007.

Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFUpa0OwlyU

Article - Australia: Life’s just full of fun

The Advertiser, May 21

Barbara Pelczynska is almost 80 years old, but yesterday she showed that neither culture nor age act as a barrier to physical activity. Ms Pelczynska decided to give skateboarding a try.

Link: http://bendigo.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news/news-features/lifes-just-full-of-fun/773697.aspx

Article - US: Downtown skateboarding under review

MaineToday.com, May 13
Author: Kelly Bouchard

Councilor David Marshall, committee chairman, said the proposal to ban skateboarding in the Old Port and Arts District came from representatives of Portland's Downtown District. The ban would apply to the city's pedestrian activities district.

Marshall said a group of skateboarders has circulated a petition to protect their right to use skateboards as a mode of transportation.

Link: http://news.mainetoday.com/updates/027000.html

Article - UK: Skateboarding is not a crime

Guernsey Globe, May 16
Author: Emily Burden

Skateboarding is fast becoming one of the most popular sports in the island. With the success of another LibJam proudly showcasing the local talent, it’s time people start realising that skateboarding is a sport and not a mindless act of vandalism.

Link: www.thisisguernsey.com/2008/05/15/skateboarding-is-not-a-crime

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Upcoming Active Transportation Workshops

A number of Active Transportation Workshops are being held in Nova Scotia over the next two weeks (facilitated by myself). Most of these are open to the public:

May 9 - Lunenburg, Community AT Workshop, 0900-1600
May 12 - Yarmouth, Community AT Workshop, 0900-1600
May 12 - Shelburne, AT Public Presentation, 1900-2100
May 13 - Kentville, AT Public Presentation, 1900-2100
May 14 - Kentville, Community AT workshop, 0900-1600
May 15 - Kentville, AT Presenter's Training Workshop, 0900-1700

For information on the sessions in Lunenburg, Shelburne, and Yarmouth, contact: Peter McCracken, Physical Activity Capacity Coordinator, South Shore Active Communities, 902.543.0647, mccracpj@gov.ns.ca

To attend the sessions in Kentville, contact Tracy Roberts, Nova Scotia Health Promotion and Protection, 902.679.4390, roberttm@gov.ns.ca

Presentation - AT and Climate Change

On May 2, CHNET-Works! presented, on its regular Friday "Fireside Chat" Webinar, a presentation entitled "Active Transportation and Climate Change". This can be downloaded from their Website.

Fireside Chats are free pan-Canadian discussion forums for professionals in community health. Participants join in by both telephone and internet conferences.
The toll free telephone conference allows participants to hear the presentation and to join in the discussions. An internet conference software allows participants see the PowerPoint Presentation from the Advisor on Tap's desktop.

Link: www.chnet-works.ca/images/stories/chnetworks/firesidechat/may_2_08.pdf

Call for Papers - Association of Commuter Transportation - Canada

ACT Canada is pleased to announce our Call for Papers for the Canadian TDM Summit being held in Halifax, Nova Scotia from November 19 to 22, 2008. Abstracts are due by May 30, 2008 and should be submitted electronically through the link available at www.ACTCanada.com.

The goal of the TDM Summit 2008 is to continue to build collaboration through the five pillars of sustainable transportation - transportation, health, economy, land use and the environment. Desired outcomes of the TDM Summit include:

· Increased capacity for the delivery and promotion of sustainable transportation options
· Best practice knowledge exchange
· Increased multi-disciplinary collaboration
· Increased awareness of the impacts of transportation on health, the economy and environment
· Showcase of successful GHG emission reduction strategies

Article - Bicycle-Sharing Program to Be First of Kind in U.S.

New York Times, April 27
Author: Bernie Becker

A new public-private venture called SmartBike DC will make 120 bicycles available at 10 spots in central locations in Washington. The automated program, which district officials say is the first of its kind in the nation, will operate in a similar fashion to car-sharing programs like Zipcar.

Link: www.nytimes.com/2008/04/27/us/27bikes.html?ex=1210046400&en=2404f9d1e9ab467c&ei=5070&emc=eta1

Conference - NS: Green Mobility Forum

May 21-22, 2008, Acadia University, Fountain Commons Great Hall, Wolfville NS.

This two-day forum, sponsored by the Ecology Action Centre and Transport 2000 Atlantic, offers interactive panel discussions, dynamic speakers, and hands-on workshops.

For more information: forum@ecologyaction.ca.

Article - Biking is a healthy and safe option for seniors

Ottawa Citizen, April 15
Author: Tom Trottier, Ottawa Citizens for Safe Cycling

Do you really need a car to do all your errands, especially after you are retired?

Link: www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/letters/story.html?id=4faa8dcb-dbd2-49d3-ab8d-983055621f7b

Article - Tips For Biking With Child On Board

eontarionow.com, May 5
Author: admin

Leading Toronto City Program Safety Planner Offers Helpful Hints.

Link: www.eontarionow.com/national/2008/05/05/tips-for-biking-with-child-on-board/

Article - UK: Kids banned from biking to school

BBC Newsround, May 6
Author: unattributed

This week is Bike to School Week, and studies have found half of school-age children want to be able to hop on their bike. But only one out of five pupils in the UK are allowed to, because lots of parents won't let their kids cycle because of safety fears.

Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_7380000/newsid_7384900/7384950.stm

Website - Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center

Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (BEST), based in Vancouver, has created walkinginfo.org, a Website containing a list of resources and programs designed to promote Active Transportation.

Link: http://www.walkinginfo.org/

Humour - Department for Transport apologises over usable cycle lane

If you have been curious over how bicycle lanes are designed, selected, or maintained, you are not alone! As this short humourous article from the United Kingdom suggests, inadequate bicycle infrastructure may be a world-wide concern.

Link: http://newsbiscuit.com/article/department-for-transport-apologises-over-usable-cycle-lane-235

Monday, April 14, 2008

International Bicycle Fund - 40+ Benefits (Advantages) of Bike Commuting

The International Bicycle Fund is an independent, non-profit organization. Its primary purpose is to promote bicycle transportation. Most IBF projects and activities fall into one of four categories: planning and engineering, safety education, economic development assistance and promoting international understanding. IBF's objective is to create a sustainable, people-friendly environment by creating opportunities of the highest practicable quality for bicycle transportation.

Link: www.ibike.org/encouragement/benefits.htm

Toronto - Metrolinx: Green Paper # 3 - Active Transportation

Active Transportation at the Heart of our Transportation System

As part of its Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), Metrolinx is committed to developing an active transportation component that will result in a fundamental shift in the way walking and cycling are viewed by the public and accommodated within our transportation system.

This Green Paper presents the benefits, challenges, and opportunities for greatly increasing the role of active transportation in meeting daily needs, and as part of a solution to current and future urban transportation challenges.

Link: http://metrolinx-consult.limehouse.com/portal/reviewgreenpaper3?pointId=96790

Les aménagements cyclables et le stationnement pour vélo

Vélo Québec présente la programmation 2008 des formations techniques Les aménagements cyclables et Le stationnement pour vélos. Avec une expertise de plus de trente ans et l’apport de nombreux experts, Vélo Québec partage les informations essentielles à une planification réussie et à des aménagements qui fonctionnent.

Les aménagements cyclables: Référence en aménagement de voies cyclables, cette formation permet au participant de bien comprendre les grandes étapes d'élaboration d'un projet d'aménagement des voies cyclables, d'acquérir les connaissances de base sur la stratégie de planification, la conception, le choix du bon aménagement et la sécurité. Le cours d'une journée inclut un volet théorique et une visite sur le terrain.

Cette formation s'adresse à toutes les personnes impliquées dans le développement des voies cyclables : professionnels des transports et de la voirie, de l'aménagement, des parcs et des loisirs, politiciens, membres d’organisations cyclistes, etc.

Dates et lieux : Jeudi 22 mai à Montréal £ü Jeudi 5 juin à Québec £ü Jeudi 25 septembre à Montréal

Pour plus de renseignements: www.velo.qc.ca/velo_quebec/amenagements.php?page=formation

Book Review - Transport Revolutions

CBC

In Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight Without Oil, Gilbert and co-author Anthony Perl, an urban studies professor at Simon Fraser University, make a persuasive argument that global oil depletion is more imminent, and for that reason more important, than climate change.

Gilbert and Perl see expensive oil turning life in the developed world cold, dark and bitter. They write that in a worst-case scenario, "car-dependent suburban residents … will have to abandon their homes or live at a subsistence level on what they can produce from their land."

Link: www.cbc.ca/news/background/oil/peak-oil.html

Article - Rising gas prices drove spending on transportation in 2007: StatsCan

For every $100 spent by Canadians at the retail level last year, $31 — almost a third — went to pay for their vehicles, parts and fuel, according to a new report. Proportionally, Canadians spend $21 out every $100 on motor vehicles, parts and services, and another $10 on automotive fuels, oils and additives.

Link: www.cbc.ca/money/story/2008/04/09/retailreport.html

Article - The Vancouver Model

Author: Trevor Brody

This link takes you to an 8-page evaluation of "The Vancouver Model" that was published in "The New Urbanism" magazine.

Link: http://repositories.cdlib.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2152&context=ced/places

Article - Embrace Greener Commuting

Enteprenuer.com, April 11
Author: Rich Minzer

High gas prices and the ongoing concern for the environment have prompted an increasing number of environmentally sensitive businesses to focus attention outside of the workplace and on those carpool lanes, bike lanes and even sidewalks.

Many businesses are now encouraging and rewarding employees who use alternate forms of transportation to get to and from work. For some companies, it means paying the daily fares and footing the bill for mass transit for their employees. Other companies are rewarding carpoolers with prizes such as gift cards to local businesses.

Link: www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24066930/

Article - The Art of Walking

The Dominion, March 25
Author: Sue Johnson

As rapid transit and urban infrastructure around the world increasingly displace moderate or long-distance walking, the subject is becoming more relevant to artists and other cultural thinkers.

Link:www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/1787

Article - Abu Dhabi unveils zero-waste city

Financial Post, January 22
Author: Araminta Wordsworth

Pedestrians will never be more than 200 metres away from a public transport option, including a light railway that will move people to and from Masdar to Abu Dhabi, while "personalized rapid transport pods" running on tracks will be used inside the city.

Link: www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=253829

Article - The man who built Vancouver has a grand plan for Abu Dhabi

The Province, April 13
Author: David George-Cosh, Canwest News Service

Larry Beasley's name kept popping up to the Emirati staffers, who were hearing about "the Vancouver Model," a world-renowned planning concept that tightly packs in high-density buildings while discouraging car traffic as much as possible.

"I found out that they wanted me to develop a plan for [Abu Dhabi], that they wanted it to be one of the best cities in the world"

Link: www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=27f21b9d-49d4-44ac-a468-eb03cb0598e3&k=54710

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Notice - Open House for AT Plan

On April 17, an important public meeting will be held in Wasaga Beach, Ontario.

This meeting will solicit public input for an upcoming bicycle and pedestrian plan.

For more information, contact: John McMullen, Meridian Planning Consultants Inc., john@meridianplan.ca.

Article - Isreal: Cabinet earmarks NIS 100 million for cross-country bike routes, camp sites

isreal.jpost.com, March 31
Author: Ehud Zion Waldoks

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has launched two programs to encourage Israel's citizens to get out and enjoy nature. During a special cabinet session held inside a cave at the Beit Shearim national park in the lower Galilee on Sunday morning, Olmert announced one plan to crisscross the country from North to South with bike trails and another program to upgrade dozens of camping sites.

Link: www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1206632374595&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Article - Region's bicycle-friendly initiative could cost Township more than $1 million

newsdurhamregion.com, April 1
Author: Jeff Hayward

Richard Vandezande, manager of development services for Uxbridge, sent a report to council recently regarding a draft Regional Cycling Plan Study outlining "an important initiative to improve the capacity for cycling in the Region of Durham." The bike paths within Uxbridge proposed in the study involve on and off-road links, including paved shoulder routes. "This initiative supports the healthy communities' initiative by developing cycling as an alternate form of transportation by facilitating integration and ease of movement for non-motorized modes of transportation and linking these routes with important Regional features such as communities, attractions and destinations."

Link: http://newsdurhamregion.com/news/durham/article/96207

Article - Funding boost will speed creation of Markham cycling trail

yorkregion.com news, April 1
Author: Caroline Grech

Markham has received a much needed injection of provincial funding to build a cycling path.
The town received $4.5 million from the Ontario Infrastructure Investment grant, allowing it to speed up construction of the 18.5-kilometre circular cycling and walking trail.

Link: www.georginaadvocate.com/News/Markham/article/72355

Article - UK: Vote Cycling on May 1st

The New Statesman, March 31
Author: Tom Bogdanowicz

The London mayoral and assembly polls give voters a chance to influence policy in the UK capital. The question for voters is which candidate will genuinely make a London a more liveable city and a city that truly welcomes cycle users. All the leading candidates told the LCC’s magazine London Cyclist that they are pro-cycling. And indeed they need to be behind cycling, because without a 400% increase in cycling from 2000 to 2025, the anticipated increase in population of one million will mean that London’s transport system will grind to a halt. Under Ken Livingstone cycling has soared by more than 83% in the capital, while it’s barely changed in the rest of the UK, but there is still along way to go to the 400% target.

Link: www.newstatesman.com/200803310004

Article - Planning board wants residences in industrial center

The Patriot Ledger (Boston), April 1
Author: Fred Hanson

The chance to live close enough to your job to be able to walk to work is the idea behind a proposed zoning change.

The planning board held a public hearing Monday night on a proposal that would allow residential development in the Great Pond Commerce Center, the former industrial park on Pacella Park Drive.

Link: www.patriotledger.com/news/x907423285

Website - The Walking Englishman

This Website has little to do with utilitarian walking, but you might find his walking trip time calculator to be interesting and helpful for beginners.

Link: www.walkingenglishman.com/walktime.aspx

Article - Would you bike more if you had a separated lane?

This video from StreetFilms takes a good even-handed look at what could be done in NYC, but the debate seems to be going on all over the country.

Link: www.greendaily.com/2008/03/26/would-you-bike-more-if-you-had-a-separated-lane/

Video: The Stupidest Bike Lane

The name says it all!

Link: www.slatev.com/player.html?id=1475273846

Article - Bike, transit use rising along with gas prices

Vancouver Sun, March 28
Author: Gordon Hamilton

A majority of British Columbians say rising gasoline prices are causing financial hardship in their households, according to an Angus Reid Strategies survey released Thursday. British Columbians lead Canada in turning to bicycles, public transit or selling their cars as an alternative to paying more on gas.

Link: www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=72c2bf3b-c535-43c5-8df4-e5bc9abe8ebb&k=29310

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Event - Barrie ON: Active Transportation public information event

The City of Barrie has partnered with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to organize an Active Transportation Workshop on April 17, 2008.

The public can learn more about Active Transportation and how they can get involved in getting their community to park the car at the Walking, Biking and Wheeling in Your Community open house. The April 3 event is being held in the multipurpose room in Victoria Village 146 Toronto St., between 4 and 7 p.m.

Registration and information about the April 17 workshop and the April 3 public forum can be found at the website.

Link: http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Topics/Active%20Living/COB_Introduction.asp

Open Houses - City of Toronto Walking Strategy

The City of Toronto is hosting public open houses to present the highlights of the Toronto Walking Strategy - a plan to make Toronto a great walkable city.

The open houses will take place as follows:
  • Tuesday, March 25 - 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Scarborough Civic Centre Rotunda, 150 Borough Dr. Scarborough Town Centre L.R.T. station
  • Thursday, April 3 - 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge St., beside North York Civic CentreNorth York Centre subway station
  • Monday, April 7 - 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.Sherway Gardens Mall, 25 The West Mall, Community Booth, Sears Court#15 Evans or #123 Shorncliffe bus

To learn more about walking in Toronto, visit the City's website at http://www.toronto.ca/walking , call 416-392-0193 or e-mail pedplan@toronto.ca .

Upcoming Event - Bike Summit 2008

Join leading thinkers, practitioners and decision-makers who are on the fast track to creating bikeable communities. Bike Summit 2008 will be held on Friday April 25th in Toronto.

For more information: http://torontocat.ca/main/bikesummit2008

Petitions - Toronto Active Transportation

A couple of worthwhile petitions which I hope you'll consider signing (if you haven't already done so).

Submitted by Marty Collier, Healthy Transport Consulting :

News Release - Major Canadian health groups launch new campaign on environmental health

The Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Lung Association and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada [on March 6] announced a new joint effort to increase public attention and political action on environmental health hazards.

The coalition calls on government to:

  • Fund public awareness and incentive programs to encourage consumer and industry action to reduce air pollution and mitigate air quality hazards, e.g. programs for increased conservation awareness, energy-saving retrofits on multi-unit residential buildings, and radon mitigation.
  • Increase dedicated federal investments in public transit in urban centres across the country.
  • Allocation of at least 7% of federal transportation infrastructure funds to active transportation infrastructure; e.g. bike paths, walking trails and sidewalks.

Link: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/March2008/06/c9151.html

Contest: Design a New Bike Rack for NYC

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), in partnership with the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the support of Google Inc. and Transportation Alternatives, is pleased to announce an international design competition for new bicycle parking for the City of New York.

The purpose of the competition is to develop functional, well-designed sidewalk racks and to generate new concepts for bicycle parking inside commercial and residential buildings. These two initiatives, in addition to NYCDOT’s commitment to increasing the number of miles of bicycle facilities, providing the City’s first sheltered bike parking stations and creating more bicycle parking at transit stations, will raise the profile of bicycling as a convenient mode of transportation in New York.

The City intends to use the winning sidewalk rack as its new standard for bicycle parking. The design for the in-building rack will first be installed by Google in its New York City headquarters.
Open to all. Submissions due April 30.

Link: http://nycityracks.wordpress.com/

Article - Caltrans Offers $52M For School Pedestrian Safety

CBC Broadcasting, March 18

The California Department of Transportation announced a $52 million allotment Tuesday to help California students safely pound the pavement to and from school.

Link: http://cbs5.com/local/Caltrans.pedestrian.safety.2.680247.html

Article - Bike boxes take shape at Portland intersections

KATU.com, March 18
Author: Brian Barker

The first of 15 "bike boxes" appeared at the corner of Southeast 7th Avenue and Southeast Hawthorne Street in Portland on Monday. City crews blocked off a lane of traffic at the intersection and installed green panels and broad white stripes on the street. Lettering tells motorists to "wait here" behind the green section that is reserved for cyclists.

Link: http://www.katu.com/news/16780736.html

Article - This street was made for walkin'

The Gazette (Montreal ), March 19

St. Paul St. in Old Montreal was never intended as a pedestrian mall; it's wide enough for two horses to pass each other, or perhaps even two light carriages. But if ever a street was not ideal for SUVs, St. Paul is the one. Not only is it narrow, but it's a pleasure to stroll, with interesting architecture, stylish shops, and that little frisson you get from knowing that people were walking this street hundreds of years ago.

Now there is not one but two schemes to pedestrianize the street for the summer months: one from Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay, the other from Ville Marie borough Mayor Benoît Labonté. In the arcane fashion of politicians, they're turning the issue into yet another battleground in their fight over the next Montreal mayoral election.

Link: http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=f766c794-ec2d-40a5-bfda-82828cf2c384

Article - Planning for safety: Seminars target cyclists, walkers

Greenwich Time, March 19
Author: Chris Gosier

With an eye toward making it safer for walkers and bicyclists on Connecticut's roads, state officials will host seminars over the next few months to show city planners how to redesign intersections and sidewalks to better accommodate non-drivers.

The sessions will teach city planners about design standards and engineering tools for setting up bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly streets and new municipal features such as multiuse paths.

http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/local/scn-gt-cycling0318mar19,0,1190134.story

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Updates Deferred This Week

I am in Newfoundland this week conducting presentations. The Active Transportation - Canada blog will be updated on my return, on Thursday.

If you have any notice that you would like to share with the more than 400 from across Canada and beyond who receive Active Transportation - Canada, please e-mail it to me.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Book Review - Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

In his best-selling book, Louv argues that the lifestyle of today's children is sorely lacking one integral ingredient: nature. As a result, children are suffering from an array of health issues including everything from childhood obesity to psychological disorders such as depression and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/exercise_fitness/nature-therapy.html

Article - Walk Away From Depression

icWales.co.uk, March 14
Author: Unattributed

How exciting it would be if a pharmaceutical company invented a new “wonder drug”, which could cut heart disease deaths by a third, could reduce osteoporosis, cut rates of obesity, diabetes, halve the rates of colon cancer, reduce cholesterol and cut by two thirds the risk of strokes among the highest-risk middle-aged men. In short, a drug that could cut the risk of premature death by 20% to 30% in the UK. Surely we would all be excited.

He went on to say that such a thing already exists – it’s called walking.

Link: http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/health-news/2008/03/17/walk-away-from-depression-91466-20632458/

Article - Walking the talk to a low-carbon city

Business Day, March 14
Author: John Stanley

The options Eddington puts forward need to present some stark choices between traditional road building (that has been accompanied by rapid growth in transport emissions), and a large public transport investment that could transform Melbourne into a low-carbon-transport city.

These six targets illustrate the magnitude and comprehensiveness of changes that we must achieve by 2020. Any shortcoming in one area requires a larger reduction from others, but all are achievable given the necessary will.

The good news is that achieving the above targets will also reduce traffic congestion, reduce overall transport costs, reduce obesity rates, reduce the need for new road infrastructure, and provide all Melburnians with viable, high-quality public transport in a world of increasing oil prices. It will help to future-proof our city.

Link: http://business.theage.com.au/walking-the-talk-to-a-lowcarbon-city/20080313-1z9u.html

Article - UK: Government seeks UK's first 'cycling city'

The government today launched a £47m quest to establish a British "cycling city" that would get more people on to two wheels, and cut congestion and pollution.

Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/feb/21/travelandtransport.cycling

ACT Canada News Update

The Canadian TDM Summit, held in Calgary in November 2007 was a resounding success. Thank you to sponsors, speakers, moderators and delegates for being part of this inaugural event. A very special thank you is extended to the City of Calgary for their support and incredible volunteer team.

Presentations and photos are posted at www.ACTCanada.com.

Article - Importing a Decongestant for Midtown Streets

New York Times, March 16
Author: Ken Belson

M[ayor] Bloomberg’s plan to unclog Midtown Manhattan streets and raise money for mass transit would make New York the first city in the United States to introduce congestion pricing. The mayor took cues from London, Stockholm and other foreign cities now trying this solution.
For the most part, those pricing systems have worked as promised, cutting traffic, generating billions of dollars in fees and making drivers consider alternatives to using their cars.

Encouraged by the results, London plans to introduce new charges based on a vehicle’s carbon emissions; Singapore is going a step further, using the toll and traffic data it collects to predict vehicle flow patterns with technology developed at I.B.M.’s research center here.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/16/automobiles/16CONGEST.html?ref=automobiles

Article - Town to consider ‘trails’ in official plan review

Fort Frances Times, March 12
Author: Duane Hicks

While a trail system is not going to become a reality overnight, the town will consider a recently-completed active transportation plan when it conducts a review of its official plan later this year.
The Trail Network Steering Committee has recommended the active transportation plan be included in the town’s review of its official plan this year, and also that an action committee be formed to start implementing some of the suggestions and recommendations made in the report.

Link: www.fftimes.com/local-news

Article - Trail raises the likelihood of roaming Valley on foot

timesleader.com, March 13
Editorial

Almost daily consumers are bombarded with messages to eat less, plan better diets and exercise. Invariably these messages will suggest where to buy food, what brands to choose and how a particular health club can tailor a plan to meet individual needs.

But seldom are Luzerne Countians told where they can exercise – and simultaneously enjoy a slice of nature near their homes. This spring the Anthracite Scenic Trails Association, the the Back Mountain Trail overseer, will begin work on a two-mile northern expansion. Planners envision that the trail eventually will be extended to Misericordia University, which will transform the entire length into an eight-mile hike.

Funding for the pending expansion is a $480,000 federal grant administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

http://www.timesleader.com/opinion/20080313_Our_opinion1_ART.html