Monday, November 30, 2015
People living in B.C.'s largest city take more than 100,000 trips by bike each day, making up more than four per cent of journeys by all forms of transportation, according to the report from the Pembina Institute. Of the country's five largest cities, only Toronto came close, with 96,000 daily trips. Read more.
Comprehensive but poorly connected is how Pembina Institute summarizes the bulk of Calgary’s bicycling infrastructure in a recent study. There have been improvements, Pembina says, but there is a ways to go, and Coun. Druh Farrell echoed that statement offering her perspective. Read more.
he Region of York is looking for your input on the future of transportation. Recommendations from residents and businesses are needed to address transportation requirements and opportunities. The plan establishes the vision for services, system performance, forecasts future travel demand, and defines projects and strategies to help road, transit and active transportation needs. Read more.
District staff is recommending a proposal that would levy a $100 parcel tax in 2016 following by a series of tax increases over three years beginning in 2017, to raise the $30 million dollars necessary to deal with its 200 kilometres of roads, many of which are aging and in need of repair. The parcel tax would collect around $500,000 for the first year of the Transportation for Tomorrow Plan. Read more.
In a study published in the journal BMJ Open, researchers from Georgetown University found that the road is a riskier place for wheelchair users than other pedestrians. Read more.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
The city says the ice measurements on all lakes in the capital city have reached the recommended 15-centimetre thickness for safe walking. Read more.
Billionaire philanthropist Manoj Bhargava unveiled a bicycle that produces electricity when pedalled and the product, named Free Electric, aims to help solve problem of electricity shortage in the country, particularly rural areas. Read more.
Jacquelyn Hayward Gulati, a Toronto-based cyclist commuter, is considering whether to cycle through the coming winter. It is “only” -5C, she says, but temperatures can plummet to -25C and snow ploughs clear the roads for months. Read more.
Vancouver had the highest rate of cyclists among the cities, with 4.4 per cent of commuters using bikes to get to work, compared to only 2.9 per cent for Montreal, 2.5 per cent in Ottawa, 2.2 per cent in Toronto, and 1.3 per cent in Calgary. Despite having the highest modal share of cyclists, Vancouver had the second-least amount of bicycle infrastructure, such as bike paths and multi-use trails. Read more.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
A pedestrian bridge crossing the Rideau River at Strathcona Park will open in early December, area councillors announced via Twitter. Read more.
Online grocery company Spud.ca has taken natural to a new level by launching a carbon-free delivery service. “We think we can put in smaller stores and service the customer in a unique way and that’s what we want to do,” says Spud.ca CEO Peter van Stolk. Read more.
A map of skateparks shows plenty of holes in coverage. Skateboarders in North York and south Scarborough have limited parks available to them. Ditto for those in Etobicoke, where there are two parks in the south end and one at the northern end, but none in the central section. Read more.
The City of Saskatoon wants to hear from residents on their first Active Transportation Plan. The plan will provide a 30 year roadmap on how to offer more options for people using their bikes, walking or other forms of active transportation. Read more.
A new Danish study shows that cyclists and pedestrians contribute to roughly 50 % of the revenue in retailing in the large cities’ centers and roughly 25 % in the small and medium-sized cities. The bicycle is the preferred means of transportation in city centers, and cyclists visit more shops per trip than car drivers. Read more.
Torontonians make 96,000 bike trips a day and the numbers are growing. So is the city’s momentum when it comes to building cycling infrastructure, says the Pembina Institute, a national environmental think tank. Read more.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
The city has unveiled the design for two new pedestrian bridges that will traverse a pair of rail tracks in the west end, connecting Stanley Park with the Fort York historic grounds and the nearby waterfront. Read more.
The issue here is not about cyclists or cycling at all: it is about transport, health, pollution and the economy. The government’s own figures show that physical inactivity costs Britain £47bn a year – nearly £1bn a week – and has been described by NHS England CEO Simon Stevens as a “slow motion car crash” for the service. Air pollution in our cities was responsible for more than 29,000 deaths in the UK last year. Businesses lose £1.5bn to congestion in the capital. The poorest in our society don’t have access to cars and many struggle to afford public transport.
Cycling alone cannot solve all of these problems, but it can make a significant contribution in a way that offers outstanding value for money. Read more.
Cycling alone cannot solve all of these problems, but it can make a significant contribution in a way that offers outstanding value for money. Read more.
Every major city has a street that is absolutely hellish, and in San Francisco it’s Market Street. It bisects downtown, and with all the buses and taxis and Ubers and automobiles, it’s a chaotic and occasionally horrifying three-mile stretch that is best, and worst, traveled by bicycle. Read more.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Toronto will be able to build bike lanes in less time for less money thanks to new provincial rules, says the city's manager of cycling infrastructure and programs. Toronto will no longer do provincial environmental assessments (EA) to build on-street bike lanes. The assessments have been blamed for holding up projects such as the Richmond-Adelaide cycle track. Read more.
We’ve known for years that cycling, for all its health benefits, has a dark side: Bikers inhale more black carbon than pedestrians do. Some studies have suggested that cyclists can reduce their exposure to air pollution by taking alternative routes. But a recent study of commuting in Fort Collins complicates that recommendation. Read more.
Cities can learn a lot from Copenhagen’s multimodal ways. But how about this inspiring piece of infrastructure from the Danish city: Instead of simply adding a frilly statue to mark its harbor’s entrance, this bridge incorporates housing and provides a stunning vista for tourists and residents alike. Read more.
The number of bikes in our cities is increasing, and with that increase we're also seeing some major changes in the way cities are designed. Engineers are giving bikes their own bridges, tunnels, overpasses, even escalators!, making biking feel like it's an essential, permanent part of the city. Read more.
In a city where it’s estimated there are more bikes (881,000) than people (811,000), and where cycling is believed to account for 40 percent of all traffic, infrastructure challenges are bound to arise. Read more.
According to the 2015 Citizen Satisfaction Survey, released Monday by the City of Calgary, more than half of survey respondents listed matters of transportation infrastructure (36%) or public transit (21%) as their top choice for most important issue facing the city. Read more.
Monday, November 23, 2015
Statistics Canada data and other surveys have found that the majority of people travel downtown by walking, cycling or taking transit. In fact, Victoria has one of the highest shares of “sustainable transportation modes” of any city in North America. Read more.
In “Cycling Delivers on the Global Goals,” the ECF & WCA demonstrate how a sizeable shift towards bicycling could play – and in many cases is already playing – an enormous role in achieving the Global Goals. The Global Goals are a set of 17 goals ratified by the leaders of 193 countries during September 2015’s UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York. They work towards meeting three objectives: end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change. Read more.
I also think it's important the city has followed through on providing an area dedicated to the sport. We put so much money into our soccer fields, football fields and baseball diamonds, this is simply another sport we should also be supporting. There's hundreds of youth in the city who spend hours a day practicing tricks on their scooters, bikes, rollerblades and skateboards. They are just as worthy of having a place to perfect their sport as anyone else. Plus, providing opportunities for youth to participate in skateboarding, and other types of sports, is a fantastic way to curb the boredom that can lead to trouble. It also keeps kids active, gives them a place to socialize with people sharing their interest in skateboarding and, best of all, gets them outdoors. Read more.
Amid a growing number of people in the health and fitness industry who say that brisk walking, not lifting heavy iron, is the best way to lose weight, Harvest Stack spoke with Saskatchewan Weekend host Eric Anderson. Read more.
In recent weeks, Finland has been receiving an increased number of asylum-seekers who arrive by Bicycle across Russia using the legal loophole, while crossing the border on foot is prohibited.
A new report on the future of downtown Yonge St. calls for a host of changes to Toronto's central thoroughfare in an effort to make it more pedestrian friendly. It's not the first time such steps have been recommended, but the picture painted by the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area's Yonge Love study (PFF) seems to indicate support for such initiatives from a variety of stakeholders. Read more.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Abraham says the ever-growing community of people who ride bikes—and more broadly, of New Yorkers who want the streets to be safe for all users—no longer will be satisfied with a minimalist approach to bike infrastructure. Read more.
The people have spoken and they want a more walkable Yonge Street, according to an organization representing businesses on the world's longest thoroughfare. After the city announced a revitalization initiative along Yonge Street last year, the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Association (DYBIA) launched Yonge Love, an "unconventional, creative approach to community consultation." Read more.
Two long time friends teamed up and created a Croatian dream. After years of preaching cycling to coworkers, friends and families, Tomislav Zobec and Hrvoje Šepić quit their day jobs and approached the unknown. Read more.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson was out riding the new segregated cycle superhighway on Vauxhall Bridge when he encountered a commuter going the other way. Clearly not a fan of the Tory MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, the rider can be seen raising his middle finger as Johnson happily waves back. Read more.
Montreal will create an office dedicated to preferential projects for buses and bikes, the city announced Wednesday. “Our administration is committed to make Montreal a metropolis of active and public transportation,” said Aref Salem, head of transport on the city’s executive committee. Read more.
A Manitoba politician is pushing for a new law that would require motorists to stay at least one metre away from cyclists whenever they pass them. Read more.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
In response to Peter Shawn Taylor's column, his main point that a "tiny minority of activist cyclists" have been allowed "to wield power over local politicians far out of proportion to their actual numbers or importance," is absolutely a fact. Read more.
Choppers, Stumpjumpers, fold-away helmets and a flatpack DIY bike kit ... as the Design Museum’s new exhibition Cycle Revolution hits the tarmac, here are 12 innovations that reinvented the wheel. Read more.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Monday, November 16, 2015
Regional councillors supported the Halton Region Active Transportation Master Plan (ATMP) in principle at their Thursday meeting (Nov. 12). The plan provides Halton with a strategy for on-road and off-road active transportation infrastructure initiatives to promote non-motorized travel throughout its communities from now until 2031. Read more.
Kingston's transit ridership has increased almost 70 per cent since 2002. Bus ridership is increasing at a much faster pace than population growth and express route expansions point to growth well into the future. Despite this trend, and transit's additional social service functions, the Kingston Transportation Master Plan (KTMP) reduces transit's target from 11 per cent of peak period traffic to nine per cent. Read more.
Warfare on the roads isn't always waged between cyclists and motorists but between cyclists and their helmets. Katherine Francis, a cyclist who hasn't worn a helmet for 40 years, was arrested and strip-searched while six months pregnant in 1996 for not paying her fines. Read more.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
The city of Madrid is poised to enact some of the toughest anti-pollution laws in the world. When air quality drops beneath a new threshold, Spain’s capital will banish half the city’s cars from inner Madrid and introduce strict speed limits on the beltway. In an unusual spirit of municipal largesse, it will also make public transit entirely free to use for the day. Read more.
In the Twin Cities, shared transportation is headed off-road: The National Park Service is planning a combination canoe- and bike-share pilot, scheduled to launch next year. The project will open a short stretch of the Mississippi River to increased recreational use with canoe/bike stations at appropriate launch points (probably three of them). Read more.
San Francisco just elevated the cause of bicycling safety … by about 2 inches. The city’s Municipal Transportation Agency has debuted its first-ever raised bike path, providing one long (or two short) blocks of protection in the heart of downtown. Read more.
About 30 to 40 per cent of cyclists bike year-round, according to Tom Babin, the Calgary author who wrote Frostbike: The Joy, Pain and Numbness of Winter Cycling, and some say that percentage grows every year. Read more.
Friday, November 13, 2015
It's a combination that Vancouver Police say is dangerous this time of year for pedestrians and cyclists: early darkness and rain. Read more.
If you're looking to slim that waistline and lower your blood pressure, then riding the train or bus to work could be the answer – it may even be healthier than getting on your bike. Read more.
Data from a new study, published Thursday by University of California (UCD), Davis, indicates that an increase in transportation cycling could save cities $25 trillion and reduce transportation-related CO2 emissions 10 percent by 2050. The report was commissioned by the UCI, the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), and the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA). Read more.
Victoria is pumped to spend $7.75 million of its $9 million in gas tax reserves to create “the best small cycling city in the world,” says Mayor Lisa Helps. Council is unanimously behind spending the federal money on the design and construction of protected bike lanes on eight major routes by November 2018, she said. “We’re aiming to create a completely connected network.” Read more.
En novembre 2014, lors de la signature du pacte fiscal municipal, le Conseil du Trésor du Québec annonçait l'abolition du budget de 2,8M$ pour l'entretien de la Route verte, le lien cyclable qui relie 400 municipalités québécoises. Read more.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
A combination of psychological and design factors make large passenger vehicles such as SUVs much more of a threat to pedestrians and cyclists than standard passenger cars, a fact that deserves attention as a larger class of vehicle comes to dominate our roads. Read more.
The "pinch points" are areas which funnel cyclists and vehicles together, and are outlined in the report tabled Monday by the Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict (OCED). Read more.
More than half of the collisions between cars and pedestrians in Halifax this year have happened in crosswalks. The 82 incidents, which represent 54 per cent of all collisions, is a decrease from the 113 (61 per cent) in 2014. Those figures, along with others, are contained in a report released by regional police Tuesday. Read more.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
The number of pedestrians killed on Edmonton streets has risen for the second year in a row. Twelve people have died while crossing city streets so far this year. Last year, 10 people were killed in vehicle-pedestrian accidents, up from nine deaths in 2013. Read more.
Verdun mayor admits he made up story about skateboarder ending up in hospital to teach councillor lesson
Saying he wanted to teach a skateboarding city councillor “a lesson,” the mayor of Verdun, Quebec has admitted he made up a story about a 14-year-old boy ending up in hospital after getting injured at an under-construction skateboard park. Read more.
There’s a troubling tendency for public officials in charge of U.S. transit systems not to actually step foot on the buses and trains they oversee. The result is a totally unsurprising failure to anticipate basic problems: if you’re used to parking right beside your destination, for instance, you can’t appreciate the importance of a good sidewalk network leading to a transit stop or station. Read more.
David Shepherd doesn’t let a three-piece suit keep him from cycling wherever he needs to go in his busy new job as MLA for Edmonton Centre. In fact, the 42-year-old politician makes a point of dressing well whether he’s cycling to the legislature or meeting constituents at a community centre. Read more.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Clogged with traffic, crippled by poor infrastructure – the capital is notoriously hard to navigate on foot. Enter Peatónito, the activist fighting for safer streets. Read more.
So, what is the state of our policies for physical activity? The 2008 National Physical Activity Plan encouraged Safe Routes to Schools programs at national, state, county, and local levels. And yet, the National Research Council reported in 2013 that wellness policies include language promoting Safe Routes to School in fewer than 10% of school districts nationwide. Read more.
Ottawa is a great cycling city but there are gaps along pathways that force cyclists to ride on sidewalks, cut through commercial properties and weave through traffic, a new report suggests. Read more.
In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, building safe, separated bike infrastructure has become one of the lighter, quicker, and cheaper strategies utilized by cities to attract high-tech businesses, talent, and retail activity into their centres. Led by visionary Mayors, predictable players like New York, Chicago and Vancouver – alongside less likely ones such as Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Memphis – have assembled ‘minimum grids’ of protected bike lanes – piece by piece – over the past 10 years. Read more.
A proposal to require cyclists to be licensed failed at Vancouver’s City Council meeting this week, but councillors agreed to have city staff look into “best practices” for educating cyclists and drivers about staying safe on the roads. Read more.
A new study by the London School of Economics found that people are "more likely to have a lower weight if they regularly engage in high impact walking compared to doing another vigorous activity like going to the gym." Read more.
On the morning of Nov. 5, Kelowna mayor Colin Basran didn't start his day in meetings with staff or council. Instead, he strapped on his helmet, got on his bicycle, and cycled a route to UBC Okanagan — which, because of a court battle that has made it illegal for cyclists to access a private road, involves riding a busy highway overpass. Read more.
Glebe residents have put the kibosh on a city proposal to make Craig Street a one way road at an awkward intersection with Fifth Avenue. The city has been considering various traffic calming measures at the intersection, where Craig and Percy streets hit Fifth Avenue, as part of its Glebe Neighbourhood Cycling Plan. The city started its Glebe cycling study in 2014 to improve the neighbourhood’s bike lanes and cycling plans. Read more.
Proper planning can have "a tremendous impact on pedestrian safety," according to a U.S. based transportation engineer. Richard Retting spoke to On the Coast after an 18-year-old woman and her 20-year-old boyfriend stepped into an intersection in Vancouver and were struck by a car on the evening of Nov. 4. Read more.
B.C.’s public auto insurer blames ‘careless’ cyclist for his own death in crash with alleged drunk driver
On May 31, Chafe, a former Canadian national team cyclist, was struck and killed by a car on a mountain road near Whistler along with fellow cyclist Kelly Blunden. Samuel Alec, a serial drunk driver with multiple convictions on his record, was allegedly impaired when he crossed the centre line, mowing down the two men. Read more.
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Friday, November 6, 2015
Much debate in Toronto and elsewhere focuses on cities creating urban transport solutions -- how to move large numbers of people around over short periods of high-peak need. City arteries, whether roads, trains, or subways, form the basis of this, essentially as the architecture by which most of us move from one place to another. But the prevalence of pedestrian accidents highlights the collateral damage when walking is not considered as part of the urban transport conversation. Read more.
Trails play an important role in the region’s economy, but they need a little extra help, says John Challis, president of Muskoka Trails Council, who approached District of Muskoka councillors on Oct. 19 to ask for support of a new Muskoka Trail Rangers program. Read more.
A recreation survey in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality shows the number one priority for citizens is walking. Consultant Jim Scott of Trace Planning and Design said people in the community have made it clear that having good indoor and outdoor walking facilities within 10-minutes of their homes is the top priority. Read more.
An unusually high number of accidents involving pedestrians on the streets of Toronto on Wednesday had local police urging drivers to take extra precaution when travelling on slick, wet roads. And a day later, a cyclist has been struck and killed amid a dark and rainy morning drive in Brampton. Read more.
McKeen and councillors Michael Walters, Ben Henderson and Andrew Knack put the removal of painted bike lanes behind them and a room full of cyclists in front of them at a “state of the bike” forum hosted by the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society. Read more.
Toronto Police & Transportation Services most recent collision statistics for car-bike collisions date from September 2013. There were 1,042 accidents in the first nine months of that year, compared to 1,475 for all of 2012. Put another way: in 2012, every six hours a biker, somewhere in Toronto, got hit by a car. And the police numbers only reflect the collisions that actually get reported. Read more.
Nobody was expecting the GOP-controlled House of Representatives to put together a transportation bill that did much for streets and transit in American cities. And they were right — there’s nothing to get excited about in the bill. But neither is it the total disaster for walking, biking, and transit it could have been. Read more.
Outdoor enthusiasts in Edmonton have a new path to fitness — and it starts with your smartphone. Video.
Sudbury police say they'll be paying extra attention to pedestrian safety after a string of incidents on the roads left two people injured in the past few days. Read more.
A major Canadian study has found no link between cycle helmet legislation and head injuries, and has recommended governments focus on providing bike infrastructure to protect cyclists instead. Read more.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
With his vision for a healthier, more active Chatham-Kent, John Sigurjonsson never backed down. Through this persistence and positivity, he was also instrumental in creating a more engaged community. Sigurjonsson, of Chatham, died on Oct. 23 at the age of 79. Read more.
The brother of a woman whose 2011 death on Queen Street was memorialized with a ghost bike would like to see a new permanent memorial in Ottawa to celebrate the spirit of cycling while commemorating those who’ve lost their lives on bikes. Read more.
Remember seeing this floating bicycle toll road along the Thames last year? Thought it was consigned to the 'seemed like a good idea at the time' pile? Well, you were wrong. Someone still thinks it's a good idea and, yes, they're crowd funding it. Read more.
Kingston's new transportation master plan is on a rocky road to city hall. The document sets down the city's 20-year targets for $740 million worth of spending on roads, public transit and active transportation, but some councillors and members of the public say it falls short of expectations. Read more.
Discussions around making Niagara-on-the-Lake a walkable community will continue at the second planned workshop of the Town’s active transportation committee. Read more.
You could call them mini-Macdonalds — sections of the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge's pedestrian and bike lanes that are being repurposed for walking trails in the city. Read more.
Don't pave city trails. That was one of the predominant messages being delivered at the Guelph Farmers' Market Saturday at a booth set up by the city to gather public input into changes to the trail and sidewalk systems in the Royal City. Read more.
Heather Magusin might be that cyclist Edmonton motorists love to hate, but at least they notice her. The Grant MacEwan student is independently studying cycling in the city by changing her bike behaviors to test driver responses and collect feedback. Read more.
City residents all over the world have long dreamed of a way to nudge rubbernecking tourists and other slow pokes to the side of the sidewalk. Liverpool in England has made that wish come true—at least for a short while. Retailer Argos has installed “Fast Track” pedestrian lanes near a shopping complex for a trial, er, run. Read more.
A sedentary person who increased his or her steps from 1,000 to 10,000 a day, seven days a week, was found to have a 46% lower mortality risk. If increased to 3,000 a day five days a week, the person had a 12% lower risk. Read more.
If you open the pages of many newspapers, head online at their digital offerings or tune into the six-o-clock news you'd get the impression that it was open season on cyclists and that riding a bike was the most dangerous thing you can do on wheels. Read more.
Vancouver city council has rejected a suggestion to study the idea of licensing bicycles. Instead, councillors unanimously approved Wednesday (November 4) an alternative motion asking staff to report on best practices regarding the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, including enforcement measures and education. Read more.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
At least two of the four local townships oppose a regional draft bylaw that would allow side-by-side cycling throughout Waterloo Region. The rolling hills, faster speeds and barely-there shoulders on rural roads just can't accommodate cyclists side-by-side, said Township of Wellesley Mayor Joe Nowak. Read more.
Safer bicycle and pedestrian crossing over Highway 401 still years away at Franklin Boulevard in Cambridge
"With adjacent work taking place to widen Highway 401 from Highway 8 to Hespeler Road, the earliest we expect to begin construction on the Franklin Boulevard bridge is 2019," Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Liane Fisher wrote in an email Monday. Read more.
Monday, November 2, 2015
It is long past time that Canada's congested cities began putting a price on some of their most precious real estate, says a new report from Canada's Ecofiscal Commission. "We've got a very scarce commodity called road space during peak times, and it's unpriced," Chris Ragan, the McGill University economics professor who heads the private ecofiscal think tank. Read more.