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:

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,

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, 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 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.