Sunday, August 31, 2014
The Active Communities Pledge is an initiative of Share the Road Cycling Coalition to encourage voters and candidates to be champions for cycling and active transportation in the upcoming October 27th Municipal election. - See more at www.activecommunitiespledge.ca.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
But there’s another smog fighting tool hitting the streets now, too: The humble, and once common bicycle. Now, according to the Atlantic, bikes are making a comeback, in part because of ubiquitous bikeshare programs. In fact, of the top 30 cities worldwide with more than 5,000 bikes in their systems, 24 of them are in China. Read more.
A record number of 195,000 bike trips were made across the Burrard Bridge in July 2014, an increase from 161,000 trips in July 2013, according to numbers collected by automatic bike counters – black electrical cords across the pavement. Since it was built five years ago, the separated bike lane on the bridge has been cycled across more than five million times. Read more.
Northern Ireland is aiming to replicate the cycling infrastructure and policies of over European countries in the next 25 years. The Northern Irish are being encouraged to take part in a consultation that will develop a cycling culture in the country.
Friday, August 29, 2014
I am asking that it be better understood by those who build and rebuild our communities, so that we can stop making stupid decisions that placate angry citizens while only hurting them in the long run. There is a simple answer to congestion—and it’s the only answer—which is to bring the costs of driving on crowded streets closer in line with its value. Read more.
The phrase “white privilege” is one that rubs a lot of white people the wrong way. It can trigger something in them that shuts down conversation or at least makes them very defensive. And one experience I have had firsthand, which has helped me to understand privilege and listen to privilege talk without feeling defensive, is riding my bike. Read more.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
A new study shows that when it comes to a child's brain development, time in the classroom may be less important than time on the playground. Read more.
To our knowledge, this is the first integrated simulation model of future specific bicycling policies. Our projections provide practical evidence that may be used by health and transport policy makers to optimize the benefits of transport bicycling while minimizing negative consequences in a cost-effective manner. Read more.
Stressing on the need to promote cycling as an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said he would approach the Surface Transport and Urban Development Ministries for the development of cycle tracks along roads to transform cycling into a “huge movement in the country”. Read more.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Of all the adventures my lucky children had this summer — swimming in two oceans, hanging out on their bearded uncle’s commercial salmon fishing boat, endless Popsicles — the biggest one, they told me, was just 495 feet away in their own D.C. neighborhood. They got to walk to the corner store on Capitol Hill by themselves. Clutch your pearls, America. The boys are 7 and 10. Apparently, I could be arrested for this. Read more.
If "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" were written today, bike-share stations would play the role of the porridge. A station that's too full is a bad thing, because that means riders can't return a bike there. A station that's too empty is also a bad thing, because that means potential riders can't rent from there. To keep members happy, you need to get the number of bikes at a station just right. Read more.
The number of Americans giving up car ownership in favor of a fleeter-of-foot lifestyle has been rising since before the recession. So given how common it is to feel emotionally attached to cars—even among people like me, who are selling off their vehicles for highfalutin urban-y reasons—perhaps there's a need for a new kind of coping strategy for car-shedders to adopt. Read more.
Separate the bikes from the cars with connected, dedicated bike lanes and paths. There are a lot more bike commuters than there used to be and that means fewer cars on the road. Read more.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Emmys 2014 nominee Tom Smuts writer of the series Mad Men rides his bike to the show at Staples Center in Downtown LA. The writer, who is nominated for Outstanding Drama Series with the rest of the producers of Mad Men's seventh season, led a 15-person bike ride to the awards ceremony. The Television Academy has granted permission for six riders to cycle up to the carpet, a group that will include Smuts' wife, Homeland executive producer and two-time Emmy winner Meredith Stiehm. Read more.
A petition in Wolfville, N.S., is asking town council to make cyclists stop using the sidewalk, but the bike lanes are so full of potholes some cyclists say they don't feel safe on the road. Read more.
Monday, August 25, 2014
You might imagine that the length of your commute is the main thing that affects how pleasant or nightmarish it is. But a pair of recent studies show that the mode of transportation you take is also really important — both in terms of how happy (or unhappy) you are with your commute, and your overall chance of obesity. Read more.
With the bike-sharing boom still in its first decade, Asia is already outpacing European towns that started the phenomenon. The Chinese cities of Hangzhou and Wuhan are the global leaders; India's megacities are struggling to take off; the United States is playing catch-up; Africa hasn't started. Read more.
Sunday, August 24, 2014
While cycling has never lost its appeal as a form of transport in many countries, in others - such as the UK - it is enjoying a revival. In a special series, BBC News asked people around the globe to tell them what life on two wheels is like in their part of the world. Read more.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Research published in Diabetologia medical journal shows that the average adult spends 50% to 70% of his time sitting. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh say that taking a walk in the park--or any green space you can find in your area--can lessen your brain fatigue and frustration. Read more.
A recent increase in cycling injuries in Western Australia has resulted in the typical calls for “more helmets” as if it was the solution to cycling safety. Read more.
Once completed, it will be a 320,000-square-foot park and pump track that’s some 75 feet underground built inside a 4 million-square-foot limestone quarry directly underneath the city of Louisville, Kentucky. That’s equivalent to about 100 acres of land. Read more.
The City of Toronto is currently undergoing its five year review of its Official Plan and has prepared draft amendments that includes a new policy to incorporate a Complete Streets approach when streets are constructed, reconstructed or otherwise improved, and for full consideration of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure to be integrated into the design of all streets, neighbourhoods, major destinations, transit facilities and mobility hubs throughout the City. The full submission can be found here.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Winnipeg drivers will be slowing down in school zones staring this fall or face hefty fines. A 30 kilometre-an-hour school zone speed limit will take effect Sept. 1 around 171 schools. Read more.
Cyclists heading to Ribfest in Thunder Bay this weekend will have a secure area to store their bikes, now that EcoSuperior is launching its new bike valet service at the event. Read more.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
The city is testing out a new reserved bike-bus-taxi lane on a stretch of Viau Street for a year to see if it can untangle some of Montreal’s biggest traffic snarls. STM chairman Philippe Schnobb said the city intentionally chose a wide artery for its pilot project, settling on a 1.7-kilometre stretch of Viau Street between Rosemont Boulevard and Pierre-de-Coubertin Avenue. Read more.
A group of researchers at McGill University in Montreal recently tried to establish a clear hierarchy among the main six work-trip modes: driving, riding (bus and metro and commuter rail), walking, and cycling. Read more.
Every city that's ever considered removing auto parking to make room for a protected bike lane has been, understandably, nervous. North America's best city for biking wasn't immune. But when it was planning its signature downtown bike project in 2005, Montreal got past those concerns with a very simple tactic. Read more.
The American bike-lane design revolution keeps rolling. Seven years ago, protected bike lanes were one of two things in the United States: a relic of the pre-Watergate 70s or one of those crazy things they do in Northern Europe and Southern China (or maybe in Quebec — close enough). Read more.
People who walk, bike or take public transportation to work tend to be thinner than those who ride in their own cars, according to a new study from the UK. The new findings - including that taking public transportation was just as beneficial as the other “active commuting” modes - point to significant health benefits across society if more people left their cars at home, researchers say. Read more.
Cycle routes in the Netherlands are constantly being updated. Wanting to keep things tidy and in a good order is a Dutch trait and you see that reflected in the streets. The Dutch language has different terms for small repairs and everyday maintenance (‘klein onderhoud’ or ‘small maintenance’) and major maintenance works such as a complete resurfacing which is called ‘groot onderhoud’ or ‘large maintenance’. Read more.
Investing in a network of fully separated bike lanes could save cities huge sums in the long-term. But too little investment in wimpy infrastructure could actually decrease enthusiasm for cycling. Read more.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Driving, by its very nature these days, is a continuous erosive compromising of the law. Can’t get drivers to do 30 km/h down a residential street? Hobble it with speed bumps. People can’t abide the slowpoke 100 km/h highway speed limit anymore? Jack it up to 120 km/h. Read more.
A study published at the end of July in International Journal of Health Geographics suggests that changes in the built environment can increase how far a person will walk to get somewhere. Read more.
Too often planners and urbanists narrowly define walkability as the ability to walk to places where they like to spend money, and we should think more broadly about what walkable means for all types of folks, but in most cases more walking is better than less walking. Read more.
In a walkable community, it’s possible to walk safely and easily to places that are important in our daily lives, such as the grocery store, schools, workplaces and community services or facilities. You do not always have to rely on your vehicle to get around. Instead of driving everywhere, you can use active transportation, which means using your own energy to get where you need to go. Read more.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Tilikum Crossing is the nation's first multi-modal bridge that will be off-limits to private automobiles. It will carry MAX light rail trains (the impetus for construction) as well as Portland's streetcar line and city buses, and of course pedestrian and bike lanes on both sides—but no cars. Read more.
West Broadway is getting a barricaded cycling lane – the first of its kind in Winnipeg. Construction is underway on Sherbrook Street from Wolseley Avenue to Broadway, where workers are installing concrete boulevards to create a “parking protected” bike lane. Read more.
Monday, August 18, 2014
In many European urban centres, the full potential for cycling has not yet been realized. The simple reason is that towns and cities still primarily accommodate car users and neglect cyclists. “Re-allocating road space” is therefore a demand often heard from cycling advocacy groups, including ECF, without specifying to what extent this should be done. A study from Berlin took a closer look at this issue and came to some interesting conclusions. Read more.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Administrators have installed new pedestrian-crossing signs along the downtown walking mall that will be immediately recognizable to any fan of the British comedy troupe Monty Python. The signs, now up where the mall intersects Metcalfe and O’Connor streets, show the silhouette of a man walking in an absurdly exaggerated manner, just as John Cleese did in the classic Monty Python skit The Ministry of Silly Walks. Read more.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
To fight its stubborn pollution problem, China is asking its citizens to walk or bike instead of driving, to use less air conditioning, and limit the use of outdoor barbecues—and to turn in neighbors who waste electricity or pollute the environment. Read more.
No question, preventing cyclists from riding on the sidewalk improves pedestrian well-being. But there's an unintended consequence: even as such laws and initiatives protect of walkers, they may in turn endanger riders—and to a greater degree. Yes, some cyclists may ride on the sidewalk to annoy the universe. Many more no doubt do so because they find sharing the road with cars to be exceedingly dangerous. Read more.
The company working to revamp the capital region's biggest bike share service says it won't be able to launch in August as planned. CycleHop, a Miami-based company running bike share services in five southern U.S. cities, said Friday in a news release that transferring and expanding the former BIXI program from the National Capital Commission is taking more time than they expected. Read more.
Friday, August 15, 2014
Despite relatively high levels of biking, Minnesota has somehow neglected to install even a single on-street protected bike lane — though Minneapolis has approved a plan to build 30 miles of them by 2020. Weiss, Rockwell, and the advocates they work with use pop-up installations to help local leaders and residents see how the infrastructure will look. Read more.
The concept is called induced demand, which is economist-speak for when increasing the supply of something (like roads) makes people want that thing even more. Though some traffic engineers made note of this phenomenon at least as early as the 1960s, it is only in recent years that social scientists have collected enough data to show how this happens pretty much every time we build new roads. Read more.
Copenhagen is aiming for even more bike commuters, and keeps building new infrastructure to make cycling as easy as possible. The latest: An elevated roadway that speeds cyclists over an area that's usually crowded with pedestrians. Read more.
Arup, a multidisciplinary engineering and consulting firm with a reputation for delivering innovative and sustainable designs, announced today its participation in the city's first Open Streets Toronto (OpenStreetsTO) program. As part of a volunteer community working group, Arup evaluated traffic impacts and provided traffic diversion plans for the two four-hour events. OpenStreetsTO will take place on August 17th and 31st from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon along Bloor and Yonge Streets. Read more.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
In the current Journal of Transport and Health, Garrick and Marshall report that cities with more compact street networks—specifically, increased intersection density—have lower levels of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The more intersections, the healthier the humans. Read more.
Many cities have made pedestrian safety a priority, but their efforts rarely focus on poorer areas, which have approximately double the fatality rates of wealthier communities. Read more.
We don't have to dream of a country where protected bike lanes and other quality bike infrastructure have dramatically improved life for people in poverty. We can visit it. It's called Denmark, and it's arguably the most egalitarian country in the world. Data published online for the first time suggests that bicycle transportation has been part of that triumph. Not the biggest part, but a very real one. Read more.
Barry Dalrymple isn’t one bit pleased that a plan aimed at getting more Halifax residents walking and cycling doesn’t include the Fall River area. The five-year Active Transportation plan came to HRM’s Transportation Committee on July 22. It passed by a vote of 5-1, with Dalrymple the lone opposition to the plan. The vision is to create more bicycle lanes, trails, and sidewalks in the Halifax area. Read more.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
New research suggests bike share schemes lead to a dramatic and rapid fall in injuries for all cyclists, not just bike share riders. Is it due to the “safety in numbers” effect or something else? Read more.
Many in the cycling community have joined others from around the world in paying tribute to comedian Robin Williams, who has died in an apparent suicide at the age of 63. Read more
A morning commute turned ugly for 90 pedestrians who were nabbed for jaywalking downtown. Four police officers wrote fines for two hours Tuesday morning and became so overwhelmed by the growing jaywalking crowd that they couldn’t nab all the offenders. Read more.
The problem with cities of more recent vintage is that they were conceived with the automobile in mind. Wide, car-friendly streets and the presence of so-called "big box" retailers, such as Costco and Wal-Mart, not to mention fast-food restaurants, have contributed to ailments that include diabetes and obesity, the authors of the study conclude. Read more.
The Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) releases today its 10th video from the It`s Your Move series, featuring Rob MacIsaac, President and CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences. See video.
A proposed elevated bicycle “freeway” in Melbourne’s CBD would separate cyclists from traffic, but it’s not necessary and the implicit philosophy could undermine the legitimacy of cycling. Read more.
Monday, August 11, 2014
Does the larger avenue take you past monuments or buses? Does the smaller road mean lovely gardens or garbage and rats? It’s impossible to tell. To a trio of software engineers, this was a problem to be solved. Read more.
The City of Kitchener will soon be publishing the full results of a survey it conducted on the state of cycling. Over 1,000 people took part and offered their opinions on what they like and don't like about riding a bike on city streets. Read more.
Sunday, August 10, 2014
By now you may have heard of “the Danish letter” penned by a couple of visitors from Denmark who were disgusted with Canada’s car culture. Far less has been made of a yet-to-be-authenticated letter from Doug and Doreen White of Miles City, Mont. They too paid a recent visit to Eastern Canada, but were left with a very different impression. They addressed their letter directly to Stephen Harper. Read more.
Following more than two years of research and development, the Danish art collective N55 has presented its modular cargo cycles: the two-wheeled XYZ Cargo Bike (90 kg loading capacity) and the three-wheeled XYZ Cargo Trike (150 kg loading capacity). The assembled versions sell online for about half the price of similar cargo cycles on the market. Because their design is open and modular, the XYZ Cargo Cycles are even cheaper to build yourself, and easy to customize. Read more.
Meanwhile, Implementation Committee for Kuala Lumpur Car-Free Morning chairman Datuk Naim Mohamad believes that cycling is also a great way to help cultivate and enhance a unifying factor among Malaysians. He hoped the “KL Car-Free Morning” helped to instill the cycling culture and healthy lifestyle among all ages, which would help to create a healthier society, as a whole. Read more.
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Vancouver also realized that not all parts of the city were as family-friendly as others. It instructed developers to choose sites within half a mile of elementary schools, daycare centers, and grocery stores, and within a quarter mile of transit stops. Safe walking routes—ideally separated from high-traffic arterials—were also important. Read more.
Last year, Ottawa became the province’s first city to receive a gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community Award from the Share the Road Cycling Coalition. The city was also given a silver-level designation as a walk-friendly city by WALK Friendly Ontario. Read more.
A 19-year-old woman died Thursday of her injuries following an afternoon rush-hour collision at one of London’s busiest intersections. Police hadn’t identified the woman, but concrete truck owner Lafarge Canada expressed its sympathy in a late-night statement. A massive cement truck, idling nearby. Read more.
Friday, August 8, 2014
As the county joins the ranks of "super-aged" nations, its new Green Man Plus program is using tech to give older pedestrians extra time to cross busy streets. Read more.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
More than half the participants who chose to complete a survey on the state of cycling in Kitchener say the biggest barrier to cycling is their preferred route does not have satisfactory infrastructure. Read more.
Toronto’s new Richmond-Adelaide separated bikes lanes aren’t separated enough, Cycle Toronto charged Wednesday. The cycling advocacy group is hoping the city will install barriers to help physically separate cyclists from car traffic along the newly installed Richmond, Adelaide and Simcoe Sts. bike lanes. Read more.
In this episode, Mayor Rob Burton is joined by cycling proponents David Harris (Oakville Cycling Club), Christine Hardy (Joshua Creek Residents’ Association) and Jim Ivey (Cycle Oakville) for a discussion about making Oakville more cyclist-friendly. Watch video.
CWATS stands for County Wide Active Transportation System which, when completed, will connect people to active transportation facilities and places of interest around the towns of Essex County and will promote a more active lifestyle. Please have a look at the Summer 2014 CWATS Newsletter which provides more information on CWATS, quick tips for using CWATS and outlines the current routes, paths and trails. Read more.
Mayoral candidate Brian Bowman wants to create a new tri-level government partnership to help co-ordinate long-term transportation planning. The Winnipeg lawyer promised today to pool existing and new sources of road, transit and active-transportation funding in an effort to co-ordinate future construction. Read more.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
The Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT), a project of Clean Air Partnership, is pleased to announce that registration is now open for our seventh annual Complete Streets Forum, taking place on October 6th, 2014 at Daniels Spectrum in downtown Toronto. Read more.
Servus Heritage Festival proves effective example of efficient transit/bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure, says Edmonton councillor
If there's one thing about the Servus Heritage Festival that sticks out to Edmonton city councillor Andrew Knack, it's the ability for thousands of people to attend a festival without the use of a car. Read more.
The owner of a bike shop in Windsor says bike thefts are becoming an epidemic in the city. Ron Drouillard is the co-owner of the City Cyclery in Walkerville, and wants something done about the issue. Read more.
Juliet Burgess from Calgary doesn't have a driver's licence. She lives downtown and walks to work nearby. Burgess says many of her friends also decided driving a vehicle doesn't fit with their finances or lifestyle. She says she avoid jobs that make driving mandatory. Read more.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
To get to Seoul Gumsan Elementary School in South Korea, students have to cross a heavily trafficked road with a blind curve. Between 2009 and 2010, 89 children were injured and one killed in 86 traffic crashes near the school. Read more.
A pair of European tourists say they’re coming back from a five-week tour of Canada, including Ottawa, with a disappointing impression. Now, Holly Chabowski, 30, from England, and her girlfriend Nanna Sorensen, 23, from Denmark are calling out Canadians for our car culture, our obesity and what they describe as the general lack of “fulfilment” in our communities. Read more. Read more.
Cycling holidays continue to gain popularity in Europe, with many different ways of going about them. Whether you take your own bike, or use a rental, there may come a time when you need to transport it. While transporting your bike is not always easy, it can be done! We’ve put together a few key points to get you started. Read more.
Monday, August 4, 2014
The lure of free office parking is so great that it not only neutralizes the other benefits, it actually entices some commuters into their cars and out of the alternative mode they might otherwise prefer. So what looks at first like a balanced policy in fact ends up favoring drivers—and that means more traffic for the whole city. Read more.
Bicycles are and have been part of the African-American experience for decades. In 2006-2010, Census figures show that 221,670 Americans of color, probably about a quarter of them Black, got to work mostly by bicycle. Bike use by African-Americans doubled from 2001 to 2009, five times faster than the growth of biking among white Americans. Even so, African-Americans as a group bike less than one might expect. Read more.
This presentation will focus on the concepts and frameworks underlying the Active Neighbourhoods Canada Project and take participants through the use of tactical urbanism interventions as a means to promote, educate and engage communities in the transformation of local streets. Read more.
Sunday, August 3, 2014
Huron County has definitely made progress. Between 2009 and 2011, Canada Walks worked in 24 communities across Ontario and held walkON events in more than 50 regional Ontario communities. The organization worked with Goderich to redesign the community with a walkability focus after the 2011 tornado. In 2012, Blyth and Exeter completed a Master Streetscape Plan that incorporated many walkable features. Notably, the Municipality of South Huron signed the International Charter for Walking in 2012. Read more.
Friday, August 1, 2014
If you’re worried about your waistline, put down your keys and step away — or better yet, walk, run or cycle away — from your car, says Gavin McCormack, an assistant professor at the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine. In a literature review published in Preventive Medicine this month, McCormack examines the effect driving has on motorists’ weight. The conclusion: the more time drivers spend behind the wheel, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese. Read more.
New Walking and Cycling Routes and Increased Physical Activity: One- and 2-Year Findings From the UK iConnect Study
Better cycling routes and more bicycle racks are among the cycling amenities that need to be implemented in Port Alberni, according to city councillors. The Active Transportation Plan, presented to council by City Engineer Guy Cicon, emphasized residents’ desire for better cycling and pedestrian amenities. Read more.