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.


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 , call 416-392-0193 or e-mail .

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:

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.


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.


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.


Article - Bike boxes take shape at Portland intersections, 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.


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.


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.,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).


Article - Walk Away From Depression, 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.


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.


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.


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

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.


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.


Article - Trail raises the likelihood of roaming Valley on foot, March 13

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.

Article - Cottonwood bike trail receives $87,575 state grant

Independent, March 13
Author: Deb Gau

They say third time’s the charm, but having been through the application process twice before, Cottonwood city officials didn’t have their hopes up too high for a Safe Routes To School grant this year.

The news just arrived that Cottonwood had been awarded $87,575 to build a walking and biking trail along Barstad Road in Cottonwood. The trail would connect Lakeview School with C.W. Reishus Park on the east shore of Cottonwood Lake, making pedestrian travel along the road safer and more attractive.

The Safe Routes to School grant program is run by the Minnesota Department of Transportation to promote walking and biking to school. Grant money is awarded annually to communities for both infrastructure projects like construction of walking trails or bike lanes and non-infrastructure projects like safety programs. In 2008, MnDOT awarded a total of more than $2 million to projects around the state, a MnDOT news release said.


Article - Trail grants to make walking in SE Michigan easier

Metromode, March 13

The Michigan Department of Transportation gave more than $2 million in grants to communities in southeast Michigan to help improve trails and pathways for pedestrians and bicyclists. The money is part of $5.7 million in MDOT and federal grants that were awarded toward projects dedicated for non-motorized traffic, such as trails, streetscape improvements and bike lanes.
"These investments will enhance recreation and transportation opportunities in Michigan communities and downtowns - helping make our state a great place to live and work for all of us," says Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm.


Monday, March 10, 2008

New Case Studies - Urban Transportation Showcase Program

Transport Canada's Urban Transportation Showcase Program has recently posted two additional case studies on their Website:
  1. Translink Public Consultation
  2. Ebay's Transportation Demand Management Program

Link to Case Study Library:

Report - Cycling in the Netherlands

This is a great overview of the state of bicycling in the Netherlands, where bicycle use is higher than any other European country.


Website - Crashstat

Crashstat is a map that shows the location of bicycle and pedestrian injuries and fatalities in New York City.


News Release - Arrival of the 1 World 2 Wheels bicycle advocacy program in Canada

Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC)’s Executive Director, Janet O’Connell announced that, “Trek Bicycle Corporation has extended its 1 World 2 Wheels program into Canada. Shared by BTAC and the Canadian division of the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) the funding will be used for bike related advocacy efforts in Canada. It is earmarked to play major role in BTAC’s advocacy, outreach and public education work, which is an exact match with Trek’s expectations.


Article - Building the world's cleanest city

Fortune Magazine
Author: Marc Gunther

Halfway around the world, a zero-carbon, zero-waste, automobile-free city known as Masdar is rising from a 2.3-square mile plot of desert in Abu Dhabi.

Article -

Article - Bicycle Production Remains Strong Worldwide

Earth Policy Institute
Author: Elizabeth Mygatt

In 2003, global production of bicycles hit 105 million—two-and-a-half times the record 42 million cars produced. During the 1950s and 1960s, bicycle and automobile production were nearly equal. In the decades following, however, bike output soared, reaching 91 million in 1990, when car production totaled 36 million. Since then, with the exception of 1997 and 1998 (when output dropped to 90 million and then 87 million), about 100 million bikes have been produced each year.

Article -

Article - Ottawa's finest cracking down on jaywalkers

While the U.S. capital is perennially ranked among America's leading murder cities, the centre of Canadian political life is overrun with jaywalkers. Officers were out in force on the Sparks Street pedestrian mall at lunch hour Thursday ticketing illegal street-crossers to the tune of $75 a pop.

Article -

Article - Vancouver police cracking down on jaywalkers

(November 3, 2007)

Vancouver police are being especially vigilant this month in targeting jaywalkers because November is one of the most dangerous periods for pedestrian injury and death.

Pedestrians are competing with a wide range of distractions for drivers. "IPods and cellphones and even televisions in the front seat of vehicles … none of these things are improving safety out there," said Sgt. Ralph Pauw of Vancouver Police Department's traffic section.

Article -

Article - Bike-sharing program coming to Washington D.C.

The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, March 9
Author: Jeff Kosseff

[T]he United States does not yet have any government-run bike sharing programs. That will change in Washington this spring, when the municipal government partners with Clear Channel Communications to provide a 120-bike fleet throughout the city.

And Blumenauer, D-Ore., has gotten involved by launching a modest pilot program that will provide up to 30 bicycles around the Capitol Hill complex for employees of the House of Representatives to check out.

Blumenauer sees the concept catching on nationwide. As Congress begins discussing the next surface transportation funding bill, with hundreds of billions of dollars for roads and other transportation, he'd like to discuss using a small portion to fund other pilot programs for bike sharing.


Article - Taipei bicycle rental system to start by year end

Taipei Times, March 8
Author: Mo Yan-chih

The Taipei City Government will provide 500 bicycles for rent near MRT stations by the end of this year to encourage residents to take better advantage of public transportation, Taipei City's Transportation Department said yesterday.

In a test run of the city's "public bicycle rental system," a total of 500 bicycles will be arranged at 10 rental stops near the Taipei City Hall and Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall MRT stations, said Chen Rong-ming (陳榮明), a division chief at the department.


Monday, March 3, 2008

Report - US: Interim Report to the U.S. Congress on the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has released a report that explores the progress and initial results of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) and the four pilot communities' participation in the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program (NTPP) from its inception through May 2007.

These four communities were each provided with substantial funding to "to construct ... a network of nonmotorized transportation infrastructure facilities, including sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and pedestrian and bicycle trails, that connect directly with transit stations, schools, residences, businesses, recreation areas, and other community activity centers."

Link :

Article- [London]'s two-wheel transformation

London is likely to become one of the most cycle-friendly places in the world, with a series of two-wheeler superhighways cutting a swath through traffic and congestion. Plans for the super-cycleways were unveiled in February as part of an initiative to stimulate a 400% increase in the number of people pedalling round the capital by 2025.

Full Story:

Video - BC: commuter cycling skills course

The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition has just made a short promo video for their commuter cycling skills course.

It's viewable at: or through their Website at

Articles - By John Pucher, Rutgers University

ITwo new cycling articles in press from JohnPucher, Rutgers University. They will be appearing in the coming months:

"Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany," Transport Reviews, Vol. 28, No. 4, July 2008, forthcoming.

"At the Frontiers of Cycling: Policy Innovations in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany," World Transport Policy and Practice, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2007, forthcoming.


Course - CFLRI third annual Physical Activity for Public Health Practitioners

Physical Activity for Public Health Practitioners - Banff, 2008

The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI) is pleased to invite you to attend its third annual Physical Activity for Public Health Practitioners course, a professional development opportunity which specifically targets increasing effectiveness in building a healthy active community. This year it will be held at the Banff Park Lodge in Banff, Alberta, September 29 to October 2, 2008. This intensive, four-day, academic-style program, brings together theory, best practice, and communications.

For more info please visit

Case Studies - Urban Transportation Showcase Program

The Urban Transportation Showcase Program's Information Network has recently released the following four new case studies that highlight transportation strategies and policies that allow for more sustainable methods of travel:

HOV Lanes in Canada: This issue paper summarizes the successes and challenges of HOV facility development in Canada and their utility as transportation demand management tools.

Amenities and Programs that Encourage Active Transportation in All Seasons: This issue paper provides information on general measures that can be taken to encourage all season active transportation, and also looks at a selection of successful initiatives.

Tax Mechanisms to Promote Sustainable Transportation: This paper examines tax mechanisms that can be used by municipalities to help promote and fund sustainable transportation initiatives.

Telework in Canada: This case study provides an overview of telework issues, initiatives and resources of interest to Canadians.

Report - EU: Towards a new culture for urban mobility

"Towards a new culture for urban mobility” is the title of the European Commission's new Green Paper on urban transport. It was adopted on 25 September 2007 and opens a debate on the key issues of urban mobility: free-flowing and greener towns and cities, smarter urban mobility and an urban transport which is accessible, safe and secure for all European citizens.

With this Green Paper the Commission wants to set a new European agenda for urban mobility, while respecting the responsibilities of local, regional and national authorities in this field. The Commission intends to facilitate the search for solutions by, for example, sharing best practices and optimising financial means


Video - Cycling in Bucharest, Bolzano and Bromley

Broadcast originally on Euronews in December 2007, this video examines what three European cities - and not your usual culprits of Copenhagen or Amsterdam - are doing to make themselves more bicycle friendly.


Magazine - MOMENTUM

The latest issue, #31, of MOMENTUM magazine, the "magazine for self-propelled people", published in Vancouver BC, is now available online by free pdf download.


Website - The Practical Pedal

The Practical Pedal is a free quarterly magazine, a website, and a collection of blogs for anyone who thinks bikes make great transportation. It is published from Bozeman, Montana.