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

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 - 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.