Friday, December 18, 2009

Pollution Probe announces support for Federal Government's announcement of Draft Regulation of GHG emissions from new vehicles

News Release, December 8

"Transportation is the source of one quarter of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. The draft regulations announced by Environment Canada mark the first regulatory action taken by the federal government to reduce GHG emissions", says Mr. Oliver.

Pollution Probe has urged the Government in the past to consider the benefits of a vehicle size-based approach to assigning fuel efficiency or GHG emissions targets to industry, consistent with the approach pioneered by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

A comprehensive backgrounder on this topic is presented in Pollution Probe's Primer on Fuel Efficiency and Emissions, launched in partnership with the Canadian Automobile Association on November 26th, 2009. The primer is available at or

Some good news from Edmonton

At the Transportation & Public Works Committee meeting on Nov. 17th, 2009, the Committee approved both an Active Transportation Policy and an accelerated funding strategy for the Sidewalk Strategy and Bicycle Transportation Plan update. Both still need to be approved by full City Council. This is great news as it will provide enhanced capital funding to complete the work of both plans over a ten year time frame.

Scroll down to 5.7 and 5.8 to see the documents.

Best Regards,

Rosanne Prinsen MSc.
Resource Coordinator
Alberta Centre for Active Living

Cargo Bikes: Go Ahead And Bring The Kitchen Sink

npr, December 7
Author: Deena Prichep

Picture a vehicle that can carry around your kids and groceries efficiently, and doesn't burn any fossil fuels. But there's one drawback: You have to pedal it yourself.

Cargo bicycles are specially designed bikes that can haul several hundred pounds. Long popular in Europe, they're starting to make their way into the United States.

Rumble at the Tim's drive-thru

Canadian Business, December 7
Author: Laura Cameron

Facing a tide of municipal anti-drive-thru ordinances, TDL [parent company of Tim Hortons] commissioned a study last year from RWDI consultants, based in Guelph, Ont., comparing total emissions given off by customers' cars that use drive-thrus and those that use parking lots.

The controversial result — that cars using drive-thrus produce lower emissions than those using parking lots — is now part of the company's arsenal when it takes on councils planning drive-thru bans. Such bans are a challenge for every drive-thru-based business, but the stakes are especially high for Tim Hortons — last year, 50% of its $2 billion revenue came in via the drive-thru.

Councillor: City should clear some snowy trails

Chronicle-Herald, December 8
Author: Sherri Borden Colley

"Right now, . . . we don’t normally clear trails and parks during the winter, but there are some in the urban area, in particular, that are strategic transportation routes that residents use by walking or bicycling, that tend to be closed up in the wintertime because we don’t provide any clearing of the walkways," Coun. Jim Smith (Albro Lake-Harbourview) said Monday.

Making walking a priority for our kids and ourselves, December 6
Author: Mike Klassen

Wanting to walk to school rather than drive is not just nostalgia for my own youth, although that's part of what attracts me to the subject. Walking to school in the morning is so integral to what makes communities work, it surprises me that this has slipped so far off our collective radar.

Five steps to a greener Montreal

The Gazette, December 7
Author: Michelle Lalonde

The city of Montreal has added 104 kilometres to its already impressive network of bike paths, routes and lanes over the past two years, bringing the total to just over 500 kilometres. A new east-west bike path through the downtown core, painted lanes with signage, and the completion of numerous missing links in the network have enticed many Montrealers to give cycling a try.

Commute changes work, life perspectives on getting to and fro

Kings County Register, December 10
Author: Wendy Elliott

Harrison Wright has been using his bike to get to work at the agricultural centre in Kentville for a few years now. With trips to his parents' place in Pereau, he estimates he averages close to 200 kilometres a week on his bike, eight months of the year. In winter, he tends to rely on his trusty, old car.

Orléans looks at roundabout solution

Ottawa Citizen, December 11
Author: Amy Kingdon

The Heart of Orléans Business Improvement Area plans to use the bulk of the federal and provincial grant to develop a roundabout at St-Joseph Boulevard and Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard. The hope is to make St-Joseph more walkable and pleasant.

[All it takes is a little economic crisis for businesses to call for more "walkable and pleasant" streets. -MH]

Youth get a voice in Belleville

The Intelligencer, December 12
Author: W. BriceE McVicar

One of the older attendees, 24-year-old Riley Andrews said Belleville's youth need more programs focusing on a popular youth pastime, skateboarding.

"I see all these local towns and cities spending millions of dollars on concrete skateboard parks but none of them feature any skateboard programs," he said. "I'd like to have something where there's training and lessons and maybe even expand that into a skateboard summer camp program."

Bike lanes in store for Ashman, Rodd in Midland, December 9
Author: Tony Lascari

A proposal to make Ashman and Rodd streets two lanes while adding a bicycle lane will move forward for further review by City of Midland staff.

Suggestions from the city's Non Motorized Transportation Committee also include adding a bike lane on Swede Avenue and installing signs for designated routes in the downtown, east and west regions of the city. The total cost of the suggested changes for 2010 would be $128,000.

TriTAG Urges Region of Waterloo to Cut the Budget for Sprawl

Daily Excahnge, December 9

Investigation by the Tri-Cities Transport Action Group (TriTAG) reveals that the planned 2010 budget for the Region of Waterloo is heavily skewed towards road expansion and makes minimal investments in transit, cycling, and pedestrian infrastructure.

Of the Region's proposed $100 million transportation budget, less than $1 million is planned for sidewalks, and out of a total expenditure of $2.2 million for sidewalks and bike lanes, only $300,000 is not part of an existing road project."

[Imagine what would happen if communities spent the same amount on walking and cycling infrastrucutre based on the 7.7% mode share of Active Transportation. -MH]

Comment sought on active transportation network

Gravenhurst Banner, December 9
Author: Allyson Snelling

Representatives from the District of Muskoka’s active transportation committee have been visiting area municipalities seeking input on their proposed active transportation network.

Paris bike rental scheme shifts gears after vandalism

The Independent, November 24

Paris signed a new deal with the firm running its bike rental scheme Monday after thieves and vandals forced the city to replace the entire 20,000-strong fleet within just two years.

[A]dvertising giant JCDecaux, which runs the hugely successful city-wide scheme, was forced to replace 16,000 bicycles after they were returned to rental stations with twisted handlebars, torn baskets and crushed wheels. Some were covered in rust after being fished out of the Seine.

Another 8,000 have disappeared, with some of the easily recognizable grey bicycles spotted on the streets of eastern European cities.

Review criticizes road plan

Packet & Times, December 11
Author: Colin McKim

Orilla ON - "It is our opinion that the introduction of connections will reduce the safety of pedestrians on Amigo Drive, Wood Avenue and Thomson Crescent due to increased vehicle volumes and the lack of pedestrian facilities," writes Alex Flemming with C. F. Crozier and Associates.

Denmark cycles into future, while Toronto `lags behind', December 12
Author: Tess Kalinowski

Toronto cyclists are casting an envious eye on the host city of the international climate change summit.

In Copenhagen, 36 per cent of commuters travel on bikes, half of all trips are made on two wheels and 70 per cent of cyclists pedal through a winter similar to ours.

"As places like Copenhagen move forward, Toronto continues to lag behind," said cycling activist Albert Koehl.

Boulder County releases final plans for defraying bike-car tensions, December 11
Author: Laura Snider

But next spring, when roads are dry and the skies are blue, bikers will likely be back in droves, ready to ride up Boulder County's spectacular canyons.

And when they do, the county hopes to have already implemented a host of recommendations for increasing the safety of the roads for both bike riders and drivers -- and decreasing the tension that's grown between the two.

[As the number of bicycles on the road grows, there will be increasing tension between cyclists and motorists. This is already being addressed near Boulder Colorado, and is good for all AT people to be familiar with. -MH]

Drivers face speed-camera blitz as more road limits are reduced to 20mph

Daily Mail, December 16
Author: Ray Massey

Motorists face a new speed-camera blitz under Government plans to widen the use of 20mph limits. Whole neighbourhoods will be given the limits in a plan intended to reduce casualties among pedestrians and cyclists.

The Government wants to encourage councils to introduce the 20mph schemes into areas where cycle and pedestrian traffic is high, such as around schools, shops and parks.

[If governments are serious about pedestrian safety, speed limits will need to be reduced, as they are increasingly widely in the UK. -MH]

Cycling Stars at Copenhagen Climate Conference

At the start of the Copenhagen Climate Conference ECF president Manfred Neun sent a letter to all the members of European Parliament's delegation attending the conference. In this letter the ECF stated that urban traffic is responsible for 40% of all CO2 emissions.

“Transport is part of the problem. However, cycling is part of the solution. A tripling of cycling (*) in Europe at the expense of individual motorized trips, would save 49.1 million tons of CO2 or 5% of CO2 transport emissions.” (*)

Clearing a Path for Bikes in City Office Buildings

New York Times, December 8
Author: Susan Stellin

Bikes will soon become a more familiar sight around office cubicles in New York City. On Friday, a new bike access law takes effect in the city, stipulating that buildings with freight elevators must allow employees to use those elevators to take their bikes upstairs. Passed in July, the law aims to encourage bicycle commuting by eliminating worries about the security of street parking.

[More secure bike parking will encourage use for commuting in cities. -MH]

Sunday, December 6, 2009

East Germany's little green man makes a name for himself in the West

The Times, December 4
Author: Michael Binyon

For almost 50 years the Ampelmännchen, East Germany’s traffic light symbol, has been telling pedestrians when to cross the road. More human, more chirpy than the green man on Western pedestrian lights, he is East Germany’s most popular and enduring survivor, one of the few symbols of the old communist state to resist the tide of German unification and to make a name for himself in the West.

[Something a little fun, for a change; there is a picture with the full article. -MH]

Time to 'claim the lane' on bike safety

With the momentum of new legislation in Oregon and a new bicycling mayor in Seattle, Washington needs a bold new "vulnerable user" law for cyclists.

Bridging the Terminology Gap in Support of Active Communities

This report provides an overview of the:

• need for land-use planners and public health professionals to work together to
design, support and promote active communities;

• Planning Active Communities across Ontario Committee; and

• development of a joint glossary of terms for land-use planners and public health
professionals based on provincial terms.

[Worthwhile and valuable reading. -MH]

Canadian TDM Summit 2009 - Presentations

Available at the posted link.

Job Posting: Executive Director, Bike to Work BC

You are a highly motivated manager with fund-raising skills and a strong commitment to cycling, and Bike to Work British Columbia wants you as their executive director. BTWBC is the umbrella organization for all the Bike to Work events occurring in British Columbia, and functions as a not for profit society. The Bike to Work program has been funded by the provincial government for 14 years, and now distributes training, funding, and common elements of the Bike to Work program to all participating communities in BC.

You will be working with a group of aggressive fundraisers from the business community to establish stable year-round funding from business and the communities. You will be working with many BC communities to tailor BTW resources to their local needs, and keeping them communicating their programs and ideas.

You will be developing new programs in new communities to get more people commuting by bicycle. You will be comfortable liaising with a diversity of project partners from health, education, environment, municipalities, traffic management, and other stakeholders across the province. You will have experience in public speaking and group facilitation. You will have excellent communication skills, computer literacy, knowledge and experience in many aspects of urban planning, environmental studies, public health, community planning and development.

Tell us how you will take this organization further and submit your resume and references to Richard Backus, President BTWBC, at, by December 15, 2009.

Official Community Plans

Canadian authorities have shifted gears and decided to waive import duties on some of the bikes from Amsterdam that the Dutch government planned to leave in Canada after the 2010 Winter Olympics, an official with the Netherlands consulate in Vancouver said Wednesday.

Kelowna in tough as it tries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, November 30
Author: Adrian Nieoczym

[C]hanges [to Kelowna's Official Community Plans] would commit the City of Kelowna, in partnership with senior levels of government, local residents and businesses, external agencies, non-governmental organizations and utility providers, to to work towards cutting the community’s GHG emissions by 33 per cent by 2020.

Under the OCP amendment, Kelowna would try to achieve this target by creating more mixed-use neighbourhoods where residents can “conveniently and safely travel by bus or by foot, bicycle and other forms of active transportation to get to major community destinations while ensuring the efficient movement of goods and services.”

Cars a hard habit to break: City's active transport efforts are too little for some

[Edmonton AB] Vue Weekly, November 19
Author: David Berry

City Council laid out some ambitious plans for turning drivers into walkers and cyclists in its recent Transportation Master Plan, but the recommendations of the Active Transportation Funding Strategy has some questioning just how serious the city is about breaking Edmonton's car habits.

Currently, active transport—cycling, walking and other self-propelled modes of transportation—accounts for 11 – 12 percent of travel in the city, and City Council has made it a goal to increase those numbers in the coming years. As it stands, the budget for active transport would make those goals rather difficult: active transport infrastructure funding accounts for just one percent of the transportation budget, compared to 73 percent for cars (though those numbers don't include LRT spending).

Council hears about green power

[Saint John NB] Telegraph-Journal, December 2

The town often speaks about its green initiatives and during Tuesday's town council meeting a presentation showed how it could go further.

Michael Haynes, director of Ottawa-based TransActive Solutions, gave a presentation on active transportation, which is defined as any mode of transportation completed by human power.

Group aims to cut number of lone commuters

[Saint John NB] Telegraph-Journal, December 4
Author: Sandra Davis

A former city planner has been making his way around the city promoting alternative ways of commuting to reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicles that travel to and from work daily in Saint John's census metropolitan area.

"I've always been into active and alternative transportation," said Craig Campbell, who was with the city for about three decades.

Cycling infrastructure vital to city's future

Edmonton Journal, November 20

Over the past few weeks, city council has been looking at committing $100 million over 10 years to cycling infrastructure as part of its Active Transportation Funding Strategy.

Tuesday, their commitment wavered, and the transportation and public works committee proposed spending much less on cycling than the original $100 million.

Walking, biking good for you and the planet, November 25
Author: Margaret Munro

Pedestrians and cyclists should be made king of the urban jungle, according to an international study showing the big benefits of ``mass active travel.''

It suggests money should be diverted way from roads to make walking and cycling ``the most direct, convenient, and pleasant options for most urban trips.'' Pedestrians and bikers should also get ``priority'' over cars and trucks at intersections.

The study is one of six reports on the ``health dividend'' of combating climate change published in the medical journal Lancet Wednesday.

Huge Rise in e-Bike Sales Amazes Again

What almost everybody expected due to the economic turmoil and because of the big increases in sales in 2007 and 2008, didn’t happen. Instead of diminishing, the leading market for electric bikes in Europe, the Netherlands, keeps growing this year. And in an amazing pace.

Subdivisions: Perimeter

Collingwood Urban Design Standards, December 3
Author: Robert Voight

The way new subdivisions are connected to the existing fabric of the community is an important, since it can impact connectivity associated with active transportation, create incompatibility issues with neighbouring uses, community sense of place, and aesthetics for example.

[T]his Project will focus on creating URBAN DESIGN STANDARDS that are easily used and understood by various stakeholders, specifically: Town Council, Town Staff, community members, and development applicants.

Best yet to come for Guelph cyclists

Guelph, November 30
Author: Rick Goodfellow

Last week I attended a public information session regarding projects for Stone Road and Gordon Street. It is one of the latest pieces in the puzzle toward making Guelph a bicycle-friendly city. Enhancing cycling in Guelph helps meet the city’s goals of an attractive, well functioning and sustainable city; and a healthy and safe community where life can be lived to the fullest. Amen! Wonderful music to these jaundiced ears.

Cyclists call for on-street bike lanes connected to off-street trails needed

The, November 23
Author: Terry Pender

More on-road bike lanes, more off-road trails and better signs to help cyclists navigate the current patchwork of routes are needed across the city.

That’s what dozens of riders said Saturday during public input sessions at the farmers’ market and the ACTIVA Sportsplex for a new Cycling Master Plan.

Time for Kingstonians to get active

Kingston Whig-Standard, November 22
Authors: Jamie Linton, Carolyn Bonta, Spencer Moore

On Nov. 17, city council endorsed an Active Living Charter for the City of Kingston. This marks a pivotal moment, and opportunity, for our city.

The charter signifies a commitment to promoting "active transportation," which means any form of self-propelled travel (such as walking or cycling), either on its own or in combination with public transit. It also means a commitment to promote recreational walking and cycling, as well as other forms of physical recreation.

Port Hope street closing two hours for ceremony

Northumberland Today, November 28
Author: Joyce Cassin

A ribbon-cutting ceremony has been set for December 4 to officially open the new accessible transportation link on Peter St. at Hope St.

The municipality is working toward a well-connected, safe and functional active transportation network for all modes of transportation, she says. In order to have a new sidewalk, they had to reconfigure the four lanes on Peter St. to only three[.]

Public meetings to be held on county trails plan

The Orangeville Banner, November 19
Author: Adam Martin-Robbins

The first draft of Dufferin’s Active Transportation and Trails (DCATT) Master Plan focuses primarily on non-motorized routes on county-owned lands and roads.

It builds upon work done by Headwater’s Communities In Action Trails Working Group and the existing trails plans in Dufferin’s local municipalities.

Students learn about safety at rail crossings

Fort Frances Times, November 4
Author: Heather Latter

In conjunction with “Safe Crossing Week” (Nov. 1-7), students at J.W. Walker and St. Francis here are learning about how to be safe around trains, tracks, and at railway crossings as Safe Kids Canada and CN team up to get the message out.

“With the ‘Safe Routes’ and active transportation project that’s been going on, and also with the safety initiatives around King’s Highway and Keating Avenue with the OPP, we just thought it was a good opportunity to roll in the railway safety aspects of it all,” noted local CN Police Cst. Pete LeDrew.

Bringing Health Information to the Community (BHIC)

New Research Connects Transportation Options to Physical Activity and Health

Two new resources released by Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, examine the relationship between investments in active transportation, physical activity and obesity rates, and the extent to which regions across the country are making such investments.

•Making the Link from Transportation to Physical Activity and Obesity summarizes the most up-to-date research showing that transportation investments encourage healthful activity

•The Regional Response to Federal Funding for Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects examines how and to what extent regions across the country have used federal transportation funding to improve pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure

Confirmed: New Yorkers Reap Health Benefits From Walking and Biking, December 3
Author: Ben Fried

The NYC Department of Health announced the results of a citywide survey today assessing the health benefits of regular walking and biking. Based on telephone interviews with more than 10,000 New Yorkers, the health department reveals that people who incorporate walking and biking into their daily routine are significantly more likely to report good physical and mental health than those who don't.

The report concludes with recommendations to encourage walking and biking, including steps like building safer infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.

[Report available to download with article. -MH]

New Study Quantifies High Personal Costs of Building CA Cities for Cars, November 19
Author: Matthew Roth

California residents living in sprawling suburban developments could save billions of dollars every year if they lived in denser, urban zones and along transit corridors, according to a study released [November 19] by smart growth and transit advocates TransForm.

Analyzing four metropolitan areas--Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, and Sacramento--Windfall for All found that shifting populations in those regions to denser development along transit corridors would save save $31 billion per year, or $3,850 on average per household.

[Report may be downloaded from link with full article. -MH]

Toll Cycle / Pedestrian Pathway Plan For Harbour Bridge

An innovative proposal is being presented to the [Aukland New Zealand] transport agency for a shared pathway on the city-side clip-on of the Bridge so pedestrians and cyclists can cross the bridge.

The proposed Pathway would be attached under the deck cantilever of the eastern clipon.

[You must view the video at the end of the article. It is terrible, but cute and fun, much more enjoyable than being shrill and angry. - MH]

Bike rental scheme expands despite staggering vandalism rates

The [Paris] vélib project came as a gift not just to the Parisian bourgeois-bohème and the free-riding foreigner, but to another well-represented demographic: those with a penchant for smashing bikes against walls, slashing their tyres, chipping lumps out of their frames and tossing the sorry heaps into the Seine. The operators have spent the past 2½ years puzzling over the problem.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Report - Dangerous By Design

Researchers at the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership in the 1990s developed the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) in order to establish a level playing field for comparing metropolitan areas based on the danger to pedestrians. The PDI corrects for the fact that the cities where more people walk on a daily basis are likely to have a greater number of pedestrian fatalities, by computing the rate of pedestrian deaths relative to the amount of walking residents do on average.

The PDI shows that the most dangerous places to walk are those that fail to make smart infrastructure investments that make roads safer for everyone.

City Streets a Mortal Threat to Pedestrians

A report finds more than 43,000 pedestrians nationwide have died this decade on roads the authors complain don’t provide adequate crosswalks and other safety features.

The report, by Transportation for America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership, says states simply aren’t spending enough to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility. Less than 1.5 percent of total transportation funds are spent on such measures, even though pedestrians comprise 11.8 percent of all traffic deaths.

The authors complain that states aren’t spending enough to make roads safer for people who are on foot, on a bike or in a wheelchair. The report finds wide disparities in the amount each state spends. For example, Providence, Rhode Island, spends $4.01 per person to increase pedestrian and cyclist safety, while Orlando spends 87 cents.

“Too many transportation agencies have focused their investments on serving vehicles that result in unsafe, unhealthy environments for walking and bicycling,” said Anne Canby, president of the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership. “It’s time recipients of federal taxpayers’ money were held accountable for addressing this epidemic of preventable deaths.”

Councillors back $22M active transportation plan

Edmonton Sun, November 18
Author: Frank Landry

The wheels are moving on a plan to make Edmonton a more bicycle-friendly city. A committee of council yesterday endorsed a plan to spend $22 million over the next three years on projects that encourage "active transportation."

That includes things like building more multi-use trails and dedicated bike lanes, as well as installing more bike racks.

The $22 million works out to about 1.5% of the transportation department's capital budget, up from the 1% that was initially earmarked.

Pedestrian link urged west of 14th Street S.W.

Calgary Herald, November 4
Author: Jason Markusoff

The concept map for the West Village features what is becoming a mainstay in urban renewal plans for Calgary: an architecturally striking pedestrian bridge. The ultramodern blueprint suggests a twin-arch Bow River crossing between 14th Street and Crowchild Trail S.W.

And outside the core, there are long-range plans for a pedestrian link as part of Bowness Park's renovation, which would span the Bow to Baker Park.

There's at least one other pedestrian bridge proposed, spanning the Elbow River between Fort Calgary and the Deane House.

Winnipeg unveils $430M capital budget

The City of Winnipeg unveiled its preliminary $430-million capital budget on Monday with funding for several new projects, including upgrades at Assiniboine Park. The document was tabled by the executive policy committee, also known as the mayor's cabinet. It includes:

* $20 million for hiking, biking and other non-vehicle trails, bringing the city's total active transportation investment to $22.2 million in 2010.

* $54.7 million over the next two years for a network of roads in the developing Waverley West neighbourhood.

* $8 million for Assiniboine Park redevelopment.

Burrard Bridge bike lane trial a success so far, survey finds

The Vancouver Sun, November 1
Author: Mary Frances Hill

The Burrard Bridge bicycle lane trial has been a success with cyclists, pedestrians and drivers, according to a survey conducted this fall.

“We’re thrilled with this,” Vancouver city Coun. Heather Deal said of the survey results, adding the issue will be revisited after the Olympics.

“Nobody knew how it would go. The survey shows tremendous success in terms of car numbers, safety and public acceptance, and people have adapted their travel plans accordingly.”

Active-living co-ordinator hired, November 15
Author: Adam Jacobs

Chester's new active-living, active-transportation co-ordinator is Gordon Tate. Mr. Tate will work to implement the recommendations established in the active-living strategy and craft a new plan for active transportation.

Sidewalk snow shovelling to be enforced in Pelham

The Tribune, November 4
Author: Wayne Campbell

"The proposed bylaw is needed as there is a great deal of evidence that sidewalks throughout the town are not cleared following events, leading to greater legal liability against the town in the event of a fall leading to injury," said Kelly Walsh, director of community and infrastructure services.

"The creation of a sidewalk snow-clearing bylaw will lead to safer, more pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods throughout the town and should encourage active transportation in the winter months, when people are typically less active."

Open house will give people chance to decide details of heritage trail

Cape Breton Post, November 17
Author: Nancy King

CBRM planner Rick McCready said the trail would also serve another purpose. He noted there is also a tunnel underneath the railway track that will be linked to the trail and that creates an opportunity for a continuous pathway from Whitney Pier into downtown Sydney, which would be complete once the new Ferry Street bridge is finished.

Creating a pedestrian and cycling link to downtown supports the region’s active transportation strategy, he added.

Driving the Lane: Toronto Prepares for Public Bicycling

The Walrus, November 18
Author: Ema Testa

Toronto’s updated plan, modeled after Montreal’s two-year old BIXI and the 20,000–strong Vélib “shared bicycle” program in Paris, proposes a start-up service area bounded by High Park in the west, Broadview Avenue in the east, Bloor Street in the north and Lake Ontario to the south. The projected system — roughly 300 rental stations with an initial capacity of 1,000 bicycles, to be increased to 10,000 over the next decade.

Longboarding Reaches East Coast

The Cornell Daily Sun, November 18
Author: Juan Forrer

[T]he Cornell Longboarding Club has become officially recognized by the University. These students see longboarding not only as a form of recreation, but also as the best form of transportation on campus. “You can’t really bring your bike into your classroom,” Saslafsky said.

The sight of students cruising down roads, across quads and concrete paths on longboards has become commonplace on Cornell’s campus as longboarding becomes an emerging trend on the East Coast.

Miami's Visionary Zoning Plan

Ardently promoted by Miami Mayor Manny Diaz but drafted in large part by architect Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, a new zoning code, known as Miami 21, seeks to encourage street-level pedestrian activity and reduce automobile dependence.

The intent is to develop neighborhoods that will fit to a comfortable scale, with plenty of shops out front and buildings that conform to fixed height limits with upper-story setbacks from the street. At the same time, the goal is to create corridors with enough density that public transit will be viable.

But the most important idea may be the decision to focus on entire neighborhoods, rather than individual projects.

Portsmouth [UK] – changing the way we share our streets

Yesterday Portsmouth City Council and the Department for Transport reported on the results from the completely different approach taken by Portsmouth when in March 2008 they completed their setting of all residential roads, bar arterial routes, with a speed limit of 20 mph. No bumps or humps, but most importantly a decision not just made by Traffic Officers but the whole community as they sought a way to deliver lower speeds and a better quality of life for their residents. Quite simply, Portsmouth people decided to slow down wherever people live!

City council to increase capacity of bike stations, October 24

Council is to increase the capacity of its Dublinbikes rental stations in the coming weeks because of the huge popularity of the scheme.

More than 16,000 people have subscribed to the scheme since it was introduced just six weeks ago, making it the most popular city bike scheme to date in Europe, according to the council.

“More than 11,500 people have registered for annual passes and around 4,000 for day or three-day tickets, so we’re absolutely chuffed with it,” council communications manager Michael Sands said.

Has Japan designed the world's best bike shed?

The 'bike tree', an automatic storage system for cycles, can hold up to 6,000 bikes - watch video.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Report: Bringing Health to the Planning Table

This report profiles case studies of 13 Canadian communities where collaborative approaches to improve health outcomes have been a key consideration in planning decisions related to the built environment. This focus was chosen so that the successes (and lessons learned) of a variety of different projects could be shared with other communities.

With one case study from each province and territory, it provides a pan-Canadian perspective.Two international examples highlight similar work happening abroad.

The case studies profiled in this report include:

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Provincial Health Services Authority
ALBERTA: Alberta Health Services
SASKATCHEWAN: Yorkton Active Transportation Collaboration
MANITOBA: WHO Age-Friendly Cities Pilot Project
ONTARIO: Peel Public Health
QUÉBEC: On the Move to School!
NEW BRUNSWICK: Fredericton Active Transportation Committee
NOVA SCOTIA: Healthy Housing, Healthy Community Project
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: Charlottetown Active Transportation Initiative
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR: St. Francis School Greenhouse
YUKON: Millennium Trail
NORTHWEST TERRITORIES: Inuvik Community Greenhouse
INTERNATIONAL: Children’s Tracks Program, Norway
INTERNATIONAL: Go for Health! Collaborative, California (USA)

Waiting period is over

Montreal Gazette, November 2

The election is done, but the need to have our voices heard is as important as ever. Here's a list of things Montrealers should demand of our newly elected officials.

Start treating pedestrians with respect instead of contempt. Routinely in this city, sidewalks on both sides of a busy street are blocked, forcing pedestrians to walk in traffic without protection. Any commercial interest, be it a beer delivery truck, a construction crew, or moving van, is allowed to block a sidewalk for as long as it likes. This has to stop. Also, proper snow clearing of sidewalks is not too much to ask. Public awareness programs about "active transportation" are wonderful, but if it is unsafe and unpleasant to walk in this city, we simply won't do it.

A bridge without direction

Winnipeg Free Press, November 2

It’s not often that the city and province both manage to damage a golden opportunity. Their joint bungling of the abandoned CN Rail right of way through central River Heights and over the Assiniboine River, however, is one such example.

When CN tore up the Oakpoint Subdivision about 10 years ago, the city had an opportunity to convert the land into a transportation corridor, either for rapid transit, or for pedestrians and cyclists.

Travelling an active route to education

Guelph Mercury, November 2
Author: Rick Goodfellow

In 1972 about 80 per cent of those children would have left their neighbourhood school under their own power. They would have walked or biked home. We now label these increasingly underutilized means of locomotion as major components of ‘Active Transportation.’ Chances are that today, not two generations later, students about to embrace summer would leave the school in a private motor vehicle. Significantly less than 30 per cent walk or cycle to or from schools today.

City to improve routes

Nelson Star, October 28
Author: Sam Van Schie

Nobody knows the best routes through Nelson like the people who walk and or bike it every day. That’s why the city planners went to the public with an open house to gain input on their active transportation plan on Oct. 27.

Acceptance of skateboarding is growing

Montereay County: The Herald, November 3
Author: Kristin Leal

Skateboarding also is a mode of transportation. At CSU-Monterey Bay, students can hop on their boards and skate from class to class. The campus does not allow tricks or offer a park, so students are opting to grab their long boards, to arrive on time. "I like long-boarding around the school," said CSUMB student Adam Pinterits. "There are so many hills and curves to ride around on."

Joy, pain of bike commute

Chicago Sun Times, November 2

Sometimes the ride is the best part of the day. It provides exercise, and saves money. It also can make me crazy with aggravation from idiot drivers who don't pay attention, and idiot cyclists who think Milwaukee Avenue is the Tour de France.

[Short item from a reported who wants to continue to cycle occasionally all winter. -MH]

Bike Master Plan: Great! Now Where's the $$$?

Here’s how the authors of the new Bicycle Master Plan imagine Portland in 2030: Portlanders make twenty-five percent of trips in the city by bike, riding along 600 new or improved miles of bikeways, many of them comfy bike boulevards. Gateway and the Lloyd District are transformed into “Bicycle Districts” and NE Going and will look like present-day SE Clinton. Portland east of I-205 will have more bike lanes than the entire city currently has.

Unusual Traffic Lights

Some will enjoy this cute, short video:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Transport Futures 2009: Road Pricing & Public Acceptance Workshops

Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009 - 8:30am to 5:30pm (Workshop primarily for government, business, academics, NGOs)

Friday, Nov. 13, 2009 - 1:00pm to 5:30pm (Workshop primarily for community groups, activists, students)

Metropolitan Hotel, Toronto, Ontario

Can changing the way we pay for our roads encourage multi-modal transportation choices, decrease traffic congestion, improve air quality and generate dedicated revenues for renewing aging infrastructure? International research and experience has shown that putting a visual price tag on roads, like we do with other public utilities, can motivate sustainable transport choices while ensuring that road users pay more directly for multi-billion-dollar transportation plans and infrastructure – including transit, cycling and pedestrian facilities. But how do governments charge a user fee for roads when mentioning the words “toll” or “congestion charge” or “tax” raises a multitude of public concerns and opinions?

Don’t miss Transport Futures 2009 where, with the help of European and North American experts, we will delve deeper into public acceptance issues and provide recommendations for and against road pricing in Ontario. Speakers include:

· Gunnar Söderholm, City of Stockholm, Sweden
· Andrew Price, Halcrow Consulting, UK
· Ferry Smith, Royal Dutch (Automobile) Touring Club, NE
· Patrick DeCorla-Souza, Federal Highway Administration, US
· Ken Buckeye, Minnesota Department of Transportation, US
· Robin Lindsey, University of Alberta, Canada
· Imad Nassereddine, 407 ETR, Canada

Questions? Email or call Rose at 905-760-7777 x.101 or 1-866-531-1608.

We look forward to seeing you on November 12th and/or 13th!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Urban sprawl no fun for kids, reports say

Vancouver Sun, October 28
Author: Laura Stone

Kids these days: they rarely walk anywhere. They don't ride bikes, they don't play outside -- not like they used to, anyway. But can we blame them?

Not according to two new studies released by the Vanier Institute of the Family, a charitable Ottawa-based organization.

The studies, released [October 27], chronicle a generation of Canadian youngsters reared primarily in spread-out communities outside the urban centre, where they can expect to be driven anywhere they want to go, even if it's just to a friend's house a few blocks away. The data are based both on literature and empirical research, conducted over the past year, Scott said.

Report is available at: Report

Reclaiming city streets for people

European Commission: Directorate-General for the Environment

One of the key issues affecting the quality of the environment and the quality of life in our towns and cities is road traffic. Heavy motor traffic means poor air quality, unacceptable levels of noise and a weakened sense of neighbourhood and local community. Traffic also gives rise to high costs for the economy through delays caused by congestion.

This new handbook sets out some case studies where road space has been reallocated for other uses. New, attractive and popular public areas can be created on sites that were once blocked by regular traffic jams. If these are properly planned, they need not result in road traffic chaos, contrary to what might be expected.

Alberta Centre for Active Living - Physical Activity Information Round-Up

The Alberta Centre for Active Living regularly receives physical activity information from various sources, including listservs, websites, personal contacts, and e-mails. These resources are useful for people who need evidence-based physical activity information for their work.

This latest bulletin features Active Transportation information.

US - Community Walkable Neighbourhoods Guide

A Resident’s Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities includes information, ideas, success stories, and resources to help neighborhood residents learn about issues that affect walking conditions; find ways to address or prevent these problems; and promote pedestrian safety.

This Guide also contains fact sheets, worksheets, and sample materials that can be distributed or adapted to meet the needs of a community. The guide contains 5 major sections:

1. Chapter 1: How can I identify problems with walking conditions in my neighborhood?
2. Chapter 2: Who can help me make my neighborhood a safer place to walk?
3. Chapter 3: How can the safety of my neighborhood be improved?
4. Chapter 4: I need more information!
5. Resource Materials

[I may have already sent this out previously, but I think no-one will object to being reminded of it. Those new to the blog may bebefit from exploring the archived articles. There are links to many reports and studies on cycling and pedestrian issues. -MH]

Boomer demand spikes sales of two-wheelers designed for older riders

Many older bicyclists aren’t looking for sturdy mountain bikes designed for daredevils or racing styles for Lycra-clad hard bodies. Instead, they’re interests are piqued by the newer, more comfortable models broadly referred to as “lifestyle” bikes.

Lifestyle bikes boast features like padded seats for a soft ride; lower, U-shaped crossbars for trouble-free mounting; low gears for easy pedaling; and a sturdy, upright frame for balance. And some, like Rigg McAdams’ new $1,800 wheels, are power-assisted.

This interest has made such bikes the hottest category of two-wheeled transportation today. From an almost nonexistent market a decade ago, these lifestyle bikes now command a third of the 3.1 million bike sales anticipated in 2009.

Ottawa's cycling issues finally gaining needed speed

Ottawa Citizen, October 21
Author: Kelly Egan

It has taken ages, but cycling suddenly has momentum in Ottawa. The city of Ottawa talks a good game on cycling networks but, in truth, we are leagues behind the best cities in the world. Many people know this and many are not satisfied.

City plans to create seven areas that are vibrant, pedestrian friendly and transit supported

The [Kitchener-Waterloo] Record, October 22
Author: Terry Pender

In an effort to create a vibrant urban neighbourhood city officials have redrawn the land use map for an important stretch of King Street West.

“Over time it is envisioned that the Mixed Use Corridors will intensify with transit supported uses which are well integrated with surrounding neighbourhoods and provide a high quality public realm designed for people,” says a city document on designing buildings for the corridors.

Time to put the brakes on bicycling lanes

The [Saskatoon] Star Phoenix, October 7
Author: Les MacPherson

To better accommodate bicycles in the city is all very progressive, environmentally responsible, good for physical fitness, etc., etc., but I fear we are going too far.

Montrealers have no problem walking the walk

In Canada's second-largest city, jaywalking pedestrians feel that they always have the right of way.

Cyclists seeking safer routes and driver education

Yarmouth County Vangard, October 27
Author: Carla Allen

Biking promoters have a vision they’d like to see become reality. It doesn’t include having bottles thrown at cyclists by motorists or being crowded off the road by traffic – as some who attended a meeting at Meadowfields School described experiencing.

Skateboard Path May Become Permanent

The Daily Nexus (University of California, Santa Barabara), October 26
Author: Nate Schneider

If all goes well, the skateboard path that UCSB added this summer could be a permanent addition to campus.

The first of its kind at the university, the five-foot-wide skate path stretches several hundred feet between the Humanities and Social Sciences Building and Davidson Library. According to a survey conducted by the UCSB Skateboard Committee, a majority of skateboarding accidents now occur within the lane, which bodes well for pedestrians — but perhaps not the skaters.

FACE parents worry about new bike path

Parents with children at a downtown Montreal school near McGill University say they are upset they were not consulted on a new bike path being built in front of the building.

Construction on the new two-way bike path on University Street has jammed traffic in front of FACE School, making it difficult for parents to drop off and pick up their children, said Andrew Edwards, who has three girls at the arts institution.

Silver Birch Trail will not be paved

Wasaga Sun, October 20
Author: Trina Berlo

Council is switching gears on its active transportation strategy that included the paving of neighbourhood trails after a group of residents voiced their opposition.

"I think I can say safely on behalf of all councillors the paving of Silver Birch Trail won't happen," said Mayor Cal Patterson at a council meeting on Oct. 13.

Council chambers was full that night with the same people who attended a public meeting on Oct. 8, the same people who signed a petition that sparked the about-face.

National report praises city's bike lane

The [Charlottetown] Guardian, October 21

A national organization aimed at promoting the health of Canadians has recognized the City of Charlottetown’s new bike lane as an example of healthful urban planning.
Victoria Park’s designated bicycle lane was profiled in a recently released report by the Healthy Living Issue Group of the Pan-Canadian Public Health Network.

Proposed trail on agenda for two public meetings

Cape Breton Post, October 18

Councillors in Glace Bay and Dominion are encouraging residents to attend public meetings this week to discuss the possible conversion of the former Devco Rail Line between Gardiner Road and Brookside Street into a managed public trail.
District 5 Coun. Darren Bruckschwaiger said although plans include for the trail to extend to Louisbourg, in their area it starts at the Gardiner Road and through to Brookside Street, Glace Bay.

After the meeting people in the buffer zone area will receive questionnaires from the CBRM Active Transportation Committee.

New York's transformation sends us a message

Vancouver Sun, October 20
Author: Pete McMartin

The solution was simple, but not simplistic. Broadway was the problem. Sadik-Khan, New York's transportation commissioner, decided to remove Broadway.

Times Square became a pedestrian haven, and all along Broadway, the city established linear esplanades and seating areas in what were once curbside car lanes. The New York public and tourist crowds embraced the changes, Sadik-Khan said, all of which were first discussed with and vetted by the local neighbourhood community boards. Times Square now attracts 356,000 pedestrians a day.

UK - Crap Cycle Lanes

As the title suggest, these pictures show some less than stellar examples of bike lanes in the United Kingdom. The Warrington Cycle Campaign's book of Crap Cycle Lanes is notorious among cyclists.

From amusing and pointless to downright dangerous lanes, the book catalogues 50 of the worst examples of cycle facilities in Britain. You know the sort: lanes with bollards in the middle of them, ones that last two metres, the type that end abruptly and spit you out into the middle of fast-flowing traffic.

Swedish Piano Stairs

Ok, this must be the most innovative idea that I have ever seen to encourage people to take the stairs rather than the escalator. - MH

Beijing’s Sustainable City Center

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) was recently awarded the contract to create a stunning new Central Business District in Beijing. The project will integrate into the existing downtown urban district and will improve transportation infrastructure while introducing energy-efficient buildings green public space.

Focusing on Neighborhood Traffic Safety - Lessons from Europe

Presented by: Greg Raisman, Traffic Safety Specialist, Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Keeping children safe: rethinking how we design our surroundings

Injury is the leading cause of death among children in North America, many of them traffic-related injuries that can be traced back to poor community design decisions, like locating a school on the wrong side of a busy street, says Dr. Andrew Howard in a paper published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Howard set out to look at pedestrian injuries because so much injury investigation in the past has focused on children inside the car, rather than those outside the car.

Injury accounts for about 40 per cent of childhood deaths in industrialized countries. The report says 371,000 boys and 289,000 girls worldwide died of injuries in 2002 — including more than 180,000 killed in traffic accidents, mainly as pedestrians.

As he looked from country to country, Howard noted that new North American communities are still fairly "car-centric," which is quite different from European cities and towns, where planning is around people who walk, public transit users and cyclists.

[An excellent article worth reading through to the end. - MH]

The Top 10 Facts on Bicycling and Walking in the United States

Although these are US statistics, they are helpful because, in most cases, equivalent Canadian numbers do not exist.

Health & Transport Action Plan - Grampian, Scotland

A new subscriber to the Active Transportation-Canada Listserv has provided a link to his community's Health & Transport Action Plan and is eager to share this information with other subscribers.

Mr. Geddes lives and works in the Grampian area of Scotland, where he is the Programme Support Officer for the plan. Should anyone have interest in learning more about Grampian's plans, please contact me (Michael Haynes) and I will provide Mr. Geddes e-mail address.

Newsletter: The Centre for Sustainable Transportation

This edition of the newsletter highlights the past Spring and Summer activities on the Centre, as well as local events in and around Winnipeg.

If you have any questions or want further information about any articles in this newsletter, feel free to contact us by email at or phone at (204) 988-7182.

Could this be the fittest generation?

Globe and Mail, October 7
Author: Hayley Mick

[O]n the eve of their golden years, could this be the most active generation of 50-year-olds Canada has ever seen?

Health experts are anticipating the definitive answer early next year, when Statistics Canada releases fitness data from a project called the Canadian Health Measures Survey, the most comprehensive study ever to look at fitness levels among Canadians of all ages.

Fast lane to safer cycling

Globe and Mail, July 7
Author: Albert Koehl

[An opinion article, but with some interesting suggestions about moving to the next stage. -MH]

Ontario planning law already puts a healthy emphasis on cycling, walking and transit. Both the Toronto region's growth plan and the Provincial Policy Statement, which is currently under review, require cities to consider the safety of cyclists. The growth plan directs cities to ensure that bicycle and pedestrian networks are integrated into transportation planning “to provide safe, comfortable travel for pedestrians and bicyclists.”

Unfortunately, the law has just enough ambiguity to allow a “business as usual” approach. By imposing minimum standards on cities - such as the requirement to install bike lanes on roads with specified cycling levels or when road redevelopments take place - the province will move the municipal debate about bike lanes from “if” to “how.”

Clarifying the Share the Road Project

The Haliburton County Echo, October 3
Author: Sue Shikaze

I’d like to take the opportunity to clarify the goals and intent of the recent Share the Road campaign.

This campaign was initiated as a result of recommendations made in the 2008 Cycling Master Plan for Haliburton County. When the Ontario Ministry of Transportation made funding available through its Transportation Demand Management program, the County of Haliburton, in partnership with the coalition, Communities in Action Committee, Health Unit and all four municipalities, made a successful application for the Share the Road project.

Newsletter: Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation

The Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT) was formed in 2006 to give a unified voice to the many groups working for a better cycling and pedestrian environment in Toronto. The TCAT plan for active transportation emerged out of consultation with environmental, health and transportation groups from across Toronto. The result is a practical yet visionary plan for how Toronto City Council can make active transportation a central part of transportation planning.

The Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT) works to create a better city for cycling and walking.

Newsletter: Biking

BikingToronto is not your typical Toronto cycling advocacy site. Many websites which advocate for more cycling facilites and funding in Toronto do so with an often negative slant. Not so with BikingToronto.

BikingToronto believes that for true change to happen (ie. getting more people on bikes), the positive events and initiatives must be celebrated. It's true that a negative spin could be put on everything that happens in Toronto regarding cycling, but that doesn't help anyone.

Completing Toronto's Streets

The Strand, October 15
Author: Sean MacKay

A city should design its roadways with equal consideration for the safety and needs of all who must use it, not giving any preferential treatment to those traveling in cars.

Here's a novel idea: walking to school

Comox Valley Echo, October 5

Students from École Puntledge Park Elementary will join millions of children in Canada and in many nations around the globe on Wednesday October 7 for International Walk to School Day, or IWALK.

Walking to school better in every way for kids

The, October 8
Author: Albert Koehl

Since Canadian kids are spending more time being driven around, they are spending less time being physically active. More than 50 per cent of kids get to school in motor vehicles, including buses. This helps explain why a quarter of kids are overweight and far more aren't getting the exercise they need.

City’s Swedish study tour set to lift off

Chronicle-Herald, October 8
Author: Michael Lightstone

Five [Halifax Regional Municipality] municipal staffers and a lone regional councillor will be in Sweden on a study tour of sustainability efforts going on in a progressive country with a global reputation for such endeavours. And bicycles are on the visitors’ itinerary.

Is it Safe to Let Your Kids Walk to School?

US News & World Report, October 9
Author: Nancy Shute

So why aren't more kids walking to school? Sadly enough, because it's considered a radical act at the moment. When I was growing up, the majority of children walked to school. In the rest of the world, it's a given. It's only here that we see a block or two walk as too dangerous:

My friend lives in Chappaqua, N.Y., and the children are not allowed off the bus unless a preapproved adult is waiting for them.

Children in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., are not allowed to ride their bikes to school even with parents.

Some places now think that the school bus stop is too far from some homes, and so they're having the bus stop at each house.

Bikes and the bad-for-business rap

As long as cities have been planning for bicycle traffic, business owners have complained that bike lanes, bike parking, and other bike-related facilities hurt their business. The thinking goes like this: Car access equals business success. Do anything to decrease that access — like remove car parking, narrow or remove car lanes for bikeways, or install traffic calming measures like medians or speed bumps — and the result is less business.

However, there are recent academic and real life examples that seem to prove that bike access is good for business.

Scots Government cycle tax idea abandoned, October 7
Author: Richard Peace

The idea of a 'road tax' on cyclists, floated by Scottish Government civil servants last month, appears to have been abandoned almost immediately.

Bike path to link coastline

JoongAng Daily, October 14
Author: Moon Gwang-lip

The 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles) of coastline on the west, south and east of Korea will soon be covered by bike lanes, according to the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Plans are in place to build paths linking all three coastlines in South Korean territory beginning as early as next year, the ministry announced yesterday. A 12-member task force of ministry officials, private bicycle enthusiasts and traveling writers will set off today on a two-month field trip to scout the route of the bike lane, the ministry said.

Dutch move into fast lane with 'bicycle highways'

Bicycle highways are broad cycling paths without intersections which allow cyclists to quickly cover long distances. The ministry plans to double the number of such highways in the Netherlands over the cabinet period.

At present, the Netherlands has five bicycle highways, including two connecting Amsterdam with Utrecht and Breda with Etten-Leur. There are currently plans for a bicycle highway connecting The Hague with Leiden and Arnhem with Nijmegen.

For the Danes, city planning is all about the bike

Globe and Mail, October 13
Author: Gary Mason

When you think of rush hours in major world centres, you imagine cars inching along, going nowhere fast. But the morning and afternoon commute in Copenhagen is something else entirely. It is a spectacle involving tens of thousands of cyclists roaring down dedicated lanes in tight packs, past cars moving at half the speed, if at all.

Dubai building 6,000 bicycle parking spots

Arabian, October 17
Author: Elsa Baxter

Transport officials have announced plans for 6,000 bicycle parking spots across Dubai to encourage people to incorporate this healthier way to travel in their daily routine.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road

Scientific American, October 2009
Author: Linda Baker

Getting people out of cars and onto bicycles, a much more sustainable form of transportation, has long vexed environmentally conscious city planners. Although bike lanes painted on streets and automobile-free “greenways” have increased ridership over the past few years, the share of people relying on bikes for transportation is still less than 2 percent, based on various studies. An emerging body of research suggests that a superior strategy to increase pedal pushing could be had by asking the perennial question: What do women want?

Ontario expands e-bike rules

Ontario will continue to allow electric bikes on its roads after the end of a three-year pilot project, but the province is imposing a few new safety rules.

E-bikes will be allowed on most roads throughout the province, but will not be permitted on 400-series highways, expressways or other areas where bicycles are not allowed. Municipalities will be able to decide where e-bikes may be used on their streets, bike lanes and trails.

Transport Futures Conference, November 12-13

You are cordially invited to Transport Futures 2009, an exciting continuation of the road pricing dialogue initiated at our 2008 Forum. Two interactive workshops will focus on the public's perception of road pricing and how diverse stakeholders can discuss this complex issue in a meaningful way.

You won't want to miss these workshops if you work or have an interest in transportation policy/planning/engineering, goods movement, transit, cycling/walking, energy, climate change, infrastructure, asset management, agriculture, urban planning/development, tourism, engineering, law, health, social justice, taxation, business/trade, finance/economics, education, social marketing, politics and/or sustainability.

TDM Summit 2009 in Toronto, November 15-18

ACT Canada’s Summit 2009 is the premier event for Transportation Demand Management (TDM) professionals and practitioners in Canada, with three jam-packed days of discussion, innovation, networking and resource sharing. With the conference themed "To our Health, Wealth and Community," there will be an overarching focus on both personal and economic health and development. Develop your skills and knowledge in the TDM field, meet other professionals with similar roles and focus, learn and share best practices from across the country, and help shape strategy and direction for Canada's only national non-profit TDM organization.

Residents fight paving of trails

Wasaga Sun, Author: Trina Berlo

Mark Wolfe has circulated a petition against the paving of a trail that runs through the Silver Birch Estates subdivision, claiming the work will ruin the natural beauty of the trail and necessitate the removal of trees.

City seeks your input on Transportation Plan

Revelstoke Times Review, September 28
Author: Aaron Orlando

Do you want more public transit? Bike lanes? Safety improvements at dangerous intersections? More bike racks? More (or less) parking in the downtown area? A new bridge over the Illecillewaet or Columbia? Now is the time to provide your input.

The City of Revelstoke planning department will be putting together a transportation plan in the coming months that will guide transportation policy in the city over the next 20 years, and they want to hear your concerns and ideas.

City sets aside $20 million for new bike paths

The Manitoban, September 21
Author: Sarah Petz

“This is a huge step up for the active transportation program, not only because it boasts 37 different projects. They were 37 of the most important ones, and some of them will affect the University of Manitoba,” said Kevin Nixon, Active Transportation Coodinator for the City of Winnipeg Public Works Department.

Pelham walkability group to produce top 10 list

Welland Tribune, September 23

Bea Clark, chair of the Pelham Active Transportation Committee, said her group next month will put forward list of top 10 problem areas for walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users in Pelham.

Clark made a presentation to council Monday outlining the work of the committee over the past year. It included community outreach and education programs, such as providing information at Pelham Farmers' Market, Pelham Public Library, Canada Day and in neighbourhoods around the town.

Halton municipalities endorse Pedestrian Charter

The Georgetown Independent, September 17

The Halton Hills’ Pedestrian Charter was endorsed by Town Council this past June and aligns with the other municipalities in Halton region. Pedestrian Charters will be posted in a variety of locations throughout Halton Hills and can be found online:

The Charter encourages a walking culture in all parts of town. It speaks to a vision of a walkable community and addresses values related to safety, the environment, landuse planning and quality of life.

Do your share in cycling revolution

The Gazette (Montreal), September 21
Author: Michelle Lalonde

Montreal is experiencing a cycling revolution - a "vélo-rution" if you will - and no revolution is easy. Nobody has any overall numbers yet, but it is clear to anyone who travels Montreal's streets on a regular basis that the number of cyclists in this city has shot up over the past couple of years.

Ontario's largest skateboard park set to open, October 2
Author: Patty Winsa

The 6,500-square-metre facility is designed for street skateboarders, the kind who prefer downtown spaces where they can jump stairs or ride the edge of a bench on the metal underside of their boards.

The idea is to "give it the look and feel of an authentic street stop because street skating is so popular. It's the founding principle of our design," says Bill Gurney of LANDinc Sports, the company that designed the park in concert with Spectrum Skatepark Creations.

[But can they skateboard to the park on city sidewalks? - MH]

S.F. skateboarder vs. SFPD officer

San Fransisco Chronicle, September 30
Authro: Justin Berton

In the past two days, a video of a San Francisco police officer arresting a skateboarder named Zach Stow has gone viral, prompting an online controversy: Did Stow deserve to be handcuffed and arrested, and was the arresting officer out of line when he threatened to break Stow's arm "like a twig" if he resisted?

Read more:

[Another example of the results of attempts of municipalities to block a form of physical activity selected by young people for themselves. Note the officer's recitation of where skateboarding is not permitted. -MH]

Italy's New Bike Buying Incentive Scheme is Super Success

Under its EcoIncentive scheme the Italian government has allocated another 7.6 million euro to spur consumer purchases of bicycles, and just two hours after the start, already 2,000 bicycles were sold with a total government subsidy of 230,000 euro!

[In Canada we subsidize car purchases; in Italy, bicycles. - MH]

Sands Street Gets a Sassy, Center-Median Cycletrack, September 24
Author: Clarence Eckerson, Jr.

Chalk up more bikeway innovation to the folks at the NYC Department of Transportation. Now nearly complete, the Sands Street approach to the Manhattan Bridge is now safer and more enjoyable thanks to a first-of-its-kind in NYC: a center-median, two-way, protected bike path.

[There is an interesting video that accompanies this short article. - MH]

The future of Dubai Metro

Time Out Dubai, September 6

It is planned to have 1,300km of bicycle tracks by 2020, with a ‘major part of the bike network to be in place over the next three years’, says Abdulmohsin Ibrahim Younes, the RTA’s CEO of Strategy and Corporate Governance. Plus, he says the RTA is considering a free public bicycle service in the near future – like in Paris and Barcelona.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Vicious cycle won't last long

Winnipeg Free Press, September 21
Author: Bartley Kives

Two Fridays ago, as part of a federal infrastructure-funding announcement, the city, province and Ottawa agreed to spend $20 million on 37 different active-transportation projects within Winnipeg.

The cash will add 102 kilometres of bike-and-pedestrian routes to an existing 274-kilometre city network comprised of multi-use paths, bike lanes on streets and extra-wide curb lanes called sharrows.

$83.2M for Manitoba wish list

Winnipeg Free Press, September 12
Author: Bartley Kives

Winnipeg cyclists and pedestrians are the biggest winners in Ottawa's rush to dole out federal stimulus funds in Manitoba before the Liberals in Ottawa can defeat the Conservative minority government.

The biggest component was $20 million worth of dedicated bikeways, bike-and-pedestrian paths and bike lanes on streets in 37 different Winnipeg locations.

They say the bikes are out in droves on Broadway...

Winnipeg Free Press, September 10
Author: Lindsey Wiebe

In Spanish, the word is used to describe a bike path, whether it's a permanent route or a street where gas guzzlers are temporarily turfed in favour of people-powered transportation.

By that definition, Winnipeg already hosts a few small ciclovias during the scant summer months. But this Sunday the term gets a capital C, and the city gets a bike path stretching from Assiniboine Park to The Forks, not to mention a slew of activities on the Broadway-centred route.

Few options for victim of bicycle hit-'n'-run

The [Montreal] Gazette, August 23
Author: Max Herrold

In a city where cyclists and pedestrians are crossing paths more and more, Chabot was shocked to discover she couldn’t even ask police to look for the cyclist as a hit-and-run offender as they would had a motorist hit her.

That’s because while those helming cars, motorcycles mopeds, boats and planes are covered in the federal Criminal Code section dealing with hit-and-runs, cyclists are not.

Walnuts and walking: Substitutes for Prozac?, September 7
Author: Suzanne Leavitt

Walking fits into the better brain chemistry picture because it also increases serotonin, leaving you with a relaxed and content mood. Exercise in general helps regulate serotonin, but keep in mind that too much of a good thing can be bad. Over exercising can deplete adrenaline, causing stress on the thyroid gland.

Safe routes, crossing guard among budget requests

Fort Frances Times, September 16
Author: Duane Hicks

Fort Frances council has been asked to make traffic safety and active transportation, including the hiring a crossing guard for the intersection of Keating Avenue and King’s Highway, a high priority in its 2010 budget.

Saskatchewan kids need to get moving to avoid health problems

[Regina] Leader-Post, September 15
Author: Pamela Cowan

To get kids moving, Saskatchewan in motion suggests the formula of 30, 30, 30. The formula means every child should get 30 minutes of daily physical activity at school, 30 minutes in the community and 30 minutes at home. Humbert is concerned that parents feel they have to be excel at a sport or pay a lot of money to participate.

“Many, many children just want to hang out with their parents, they want to go for walks and be an active family and it doesn’t have to take a lot of money, but it takes a focus and an attitude change to fit it into those very busy schedules,” she said.

Council passes transportation plan for 'walkable' city

Edmonton Journal, September 16
Author: Gordon Kent

City council has approved a transportation master plan that over the next 30 years aims to shift more people out of their cars and onto public transit, bicycles or their feet.

"We're no longer looking at just balancing (vehicle) needs, but how we can look into the future...and change the way we move around Edmonton so we can become that compact, efficient city that's outlined in the city vision," said Rhonda Toohey, general supervisor of strategic transportation planning.

'Car-free' condo: 42 storeys, no parking, September 16
Author: Donovan Vincent

A controversial 42-storey condo building that will be built without permanent parking spots cleared a key hurdle yesterday.

The Toronto-East York community council overruled city staff skeptical about the dearth of parking to allow a plan that provides for only nine car-share rental spots, plus 315 spaces for bicycles.

Bicycle TV Documentary

Pedal Power, formerly known as Bike Culture, a documentary about the bicycle revolution on city streets, is to be aired on Thursday, September 24 on the CBC (main channel).

The CBC series is called "Doc Zone". Here's the details: Thursday September 24, 2009 at 8 pm on CBC-TV.

The progam will repeat on Friday September 25, 2009 at 10 pm ET/PT on CBC Newsworld.

Capital Bike & Walk Newsletter

Vancouver Island's Active Transportation Newsletter, September 2009.

Car vs. cycle: Road war shifts to higher gear, September 3
Author: Nicole Baute

Cycling has become a highly politicized mode of transportation in recent years, growing alongside increased public awareness of greenhouse gas emissions and health issues and accompanying a push for cycling infrastructure from city hall.

But sharing the street is fraught with debate, road rage and sometimes tragedy.

Burrard bridge sees more bikes but slower traffic

Bike traffic is rising on the Burrard Bridge as riders take advantage of the new bike lanes installed this summer, but southbound vehicles are facing delays of up to six minutes each morning.

What Would Get Americans Biking to Work?

Slate, August 17
Author: Tom Vanderbilt

A number of American cities are now waking up to the fact that providing bicycle parking makes sense. Philadelphia, for example, recently amended its zoning requirements to mandate that certain new developments provide bicycle parking; Pittsburgh's planning department is weighing requiring one bicycle parking space for every 20,000 square feet of development* (admittedly modest compared with the not-uncommon car equation of one parking space per 250 square feet); even the car-centric enclave of Orange County, Calif., is getting in on the act, with Santa Ana's City Council unanimously passing a bill requiring proportional bicycle parking when car parking is provided. In Chicago, Los Angeles, and other cities, pilot projects are investigating turning car-parking meters—once semireliable bike-parking spots, now rendered obsolete by "smart meter" payment systems—into bike parking infrastructure.

[This article is relevent to Canadian cities as well. -MH]

Burgerville officially allows 'cycle-thrus,' hints at dedicated bike lanes

Oregon, August 14
Author: Joseph Rose

Two days after apologizing to a bicycling Portland woman who was refused service at a drive-thru, Burgerville today announced that it will allow customers on bikes to order and pick up food at all to-go lanes currently used by cars.

The Vancouver-based quick-food chain also said it is considering opening dedicated bike lanes at its 39 drive-thrus in the region.

Drivers 'should always be blamed for cycle crashes'

The Mail, September 21
Author: James Chapman

Cycling England, an agency funded by the Transport Department, wants the civil law to be changed so drivers or their insurers would automatically be liable for compensation claims.

The proposal by Cycling England is modelled on regulations in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany, which are heavily skewed in favour of cyclists.
Even in cases where a crash results from illegal or dangerous manoeuvres by the cyclist, the motorist is usually blamed.

Read more:

Huge Interest for Meeting on e-Bike Type Approval

This year’s Eurobike will see the launch of lots of e-Bikes with over 250 Watt motors. This raises questions on the legal framework for these vehicles. These questions are to be answered at an open-to-everybody meeting during Eurobike for which the interest is huge.

Carfree Times, Issue 55, September 2009

Carfree Times is published quarterly at - the web site that goes with the book, Carfree Cities, which proposes a delightful solution to the vexing problem of urban automobiles.

'With bell ringing to the shop" : biggest bicycle campaign in Belgium

The aim of this campaign is to convince the broad public to do their daily shoppings by bicycle (in stead of the car) and to choose for a local merchant in their neighbourhood. In this way every cycling client helps to get more oxygen in the community, safer roads and flourishing small businesses.

London trial to allow cyclists to pedal the 'wrong' way on one-way streets

The Guardian, September 17
Author: Peter Walker

Kensington & Chelsea's pilot contra-flow cycling scheme should reduce journey times and make it safer for cyclists — without breaking the law. The pilot contra-flow cycling system will help to reduce journey times for cyclists while allowing them to travel safely and legally on the most convenient routes. If this pilot is successful then councils across the country could be offered the opportunity to use similar measures on their roads.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Report: Better Cycling in Ottawa

Ever wonder how to get started in your community to improve the Active Transportation environment?

On May 30, 2009, one Ottawa Member of Parliament hosted the Ottawa Cycling Summit. Members of the community came together to discuss their ideas for improving cycling in the nation's capital.

The result of their consultations is found in a brief written report, which may be helpful to communities as a model of how and what to do to begin the process.

Putting a price on walkability, August 22
Author: David Futrelle

How much is walkability worth? An intriguing new study suggests that people are willing to pay considerable premiums for houses in neighborhoods that are highly walkable — that is, where you can actually get to nearby stores, schools, and parks without having to hop in the car.

In 13 of the 15 areas studied, homes in highly walkable neighborhoods sold on average for $4000 to $34,000 more than homes in neighborhoods of average walkability. The pattern held in locations as diverse as Chicago, Tucson, and Jacksonville, Florida.

[Similar reseach needs to be conducted in Canada. -MH]

Walkable neighborhoods have higher land values, August 24
Author: David Herron

A recent report published by CEOs for Cities finds, using Walk Score data and techniques, that walkable cities have higher land values than unwalkable cities. The study claims it illustrates "the value that homeowners attach to locations that enable them to easily access a variety of urban destinations by walking and other means."

The intrinsic advantage of city living is the variety of "consumption choices and experiences" easily available. A walkable neighborhood may also appear friendlier and safer, encouraging more people to live in that area.

Huge Interest for Meeting on e-Bike Type Approval

This year’s Eurobike will see the launch of lots of e-Bikes with over 250 Watt motors. This raises questions on the legal framework for these vehicles. These questions are to be answered at an open-to-everybody meeting during Eurobike for which the interest is huge.

[Again, a warning for a future issue on Canadian roads and trails. -MH]

Tax break plan to help people get healthy, September 2
Author: Staff Writers

People could be given tax breaks to walk to work, junk food could be banned from the workplace and cigarettes and alcohol would be dearer under a Government plan to get the nation healthy.

The recommendations were outlined in the Preventative Health Task Force's long-awaited report, released [September 1] after being handed to the Government at the end of June.

Report URL:

[There is much more in the report than just tax incentives. The stated goal is for Australia to become "the healthiest country by 2020". -MH]

Car-free day coming Sept. 22

The [Montreal] Gazette, September 1
Author: Editorial Staff

Pedestrians will take over a section of downtown Montreal that’s usually the domain of cars on Tuesday, Sept. 22. Known as En ville sans ma voiture, it’s the city’s seventh annual car-free day.

The event is part of an effort to encourage Montrealers to leave their cars at home and rely on public transit or active transportation such as walking or cycling.

Councillors pave way for mixed-use trail

Winnipeg Free Press, August 22
Author: Matt Preprost

Construction is underway on the first phase of a seven-kilometre mixed-use trail that will stretch from Sturgeon Creek all the way to Polo Park Shopping Centre.The trail is the brainchild of Couns. Scott Fielding (St. James-Brooklands) and Grant Nordman (St. Charles). They say the path will offer their constituents an alternate east-west route through their wards, away from traffic-heavy Portage Avenue.

Halifax Regional Municipality Budget Summary

Bedford Beacon, August 26
Author: Bedford Beacon Editor

-HRM will continue to make improvements to transit.
-There will be a focus on active transportation initiatives.
-Traffic management

For more information on the HRM 2009-2010 Budget, please visit

McGill to make lower campus virtually car-free by end of 2010

The McGill Tribune, September 2
Author: James Gilman

According to the plan, all parking on lower campus will be eliminated, and vehicle access will be gradually reduced, with only service and delivery vehicles allowed access through the Milton Gate, while all vehicular access through the Roddick Gate will be cut off.

This initiative coincides with an August 24 City of Montreal announcement that a new bike path will be built along University Street in order to link up the Parc-Milton and de Maisonneuve paths. Cyclists have long complained that there is no safe link between the two, and many travel the wrong way down the one-way University street in order to meet up with the de Maisonneuve path, or cut through the McGill campus to reach Sherbrooke Street.

Bike plan funding too low, councillor says

Proposed funding for the city's sidewalk and bike plan now before city council means it will take years for Edmonton streets to become safer and easier for bike commuters to use, an Edmonton city councillor said Thursday.

"The plan that's been proposed here as I understand it, will chip away at the problem over decades," said Coun. Don Iverson, an avid cyclist. "I think if we were a little bolder upfront that we could achieve more and see the kind of shifts towards people walking and cycling that the transportation master plan in its draft form calls for," he said.

The Politics of Skateboarding

Weekend, August 6
Author: Leah Wilcox

Ryan Smith, owner of Rise Skateboard Shop in Bloomington has seen his skating world undergo rapid changes, going from a subversive underground culture typically affiliated with “rough kids” to a mainstream cash cow.

Smith said that he’s seen skateboarding increase in popularity with the Bloomington college set as of late, citing transportation as the main reason he thinks IU students are buying skateboards. He said he’s seen an increase in sales of longboards, a type of board made for cruising as opposed to tricks, in the past year.

NCC open to twinning paths

Ottawa Citizen, August 14
Author: Kelly Egan

The National Capital Commission is open to twinning some of its recreational pathways to handle the capital's thriving cycling community, says chief executive Marie Lemay

Car-free Sundays and pedestrian-only streets?

Kingston Whig-Standard, September 3
Authoer: Emily Davies

Imagine this: car-free Sundays on Princess Street; pedestrian-only streets downtown; rest stations with washrooms and drinking fountains every 10 km. These are just some of the findings in a report released by a group composed of members that include representatives from the City of Kingston, KFL&A Public Health and Queen's University.

Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation, which has lobbied for bike lanes, held a series of community workshops on "active transportation," last month.

BTAC Awards Grants to Four Projects that Reach Cyclist from Coast-to-Coast and 15 Different Languages

The Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC) has announced the recipients of $17,000 in grants. Awarded twice a year and available to cycling focused community groups, BTAC's Grant Program will support projects that put more people on bikes.

An important selection criterion is whether the project will make measurable improvements to the overall cycling landscape in Canada.

Sidewalks are for pedestrians: police

Whyte Avenue beat officers have a message for Edmonton's cyclists, inline skaters and skateboarders: If you roll on the sidewalks, you'd better be ready to pay up.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Call For Applications: Sustainable Transportation Projects

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Green Municipal Fund (GMF) offers below-market loans, in combination with grants, for sustainable transportation projects.

Any Canadian municipal government, corporation wholly owned by a municipal government, or a municipal partner may apply for funding under this call for applications.What projects are eligible?Projects that encourage modal integration and the development of comprehensive transportation networks and projects that aim to improve utilitarian transportation options (rather than primarily recreational options) are eligible under this call for applications.

Eligible applicants can request up to $4 million in loans and $400,000 in grants for each project.For municipal governments, GMF offers interest rates 1.5 per cent lower than the Government of Canada bond rate for the equivalent term.

Applications are considered as they are received. Each application is evaluated on its own merits. Not all proposals will be funded.Applications will be evaluated and considered for approval within four to five months from the date they are received.This call for applications will remain open until at least March 31, 2010.

Contact Name: Monique Delinelle, Application Coordinator Contact Phone:613-907-6357Contact

The Economic Benefits of Bicycle Infrastructure Investments

League of American Bicyclists: Darren Flusche, Policy Analyst, June 2009

This article highlights the impact the bicycle industry and bicycle tourism can have on
state and local economies, describes the need for bicycle facilities, discusses the cost
effectiveness of investments, points out the benefits of bike facilities for business
districts and neighborhoods, and identifies the cost savings associated with a mode shift
from car to bicycle. The evidence demonstrates that investments in bicycle
infrastructure make good economic sense as a cost effective way to enhance shopping
districts and communities, generate tourism and support business.

[Worth examing, and worthing replicating in Canada. - MH]

October 2009 is International Walk to School Month!

Registration now open! Join hundreds of Manitoba schools and thousands of kids in over 42 countries in celebration of walking to school this October!

Registration is free – sign up online at and you will receive a confirmation e-mail and registration package filled with great ideas of how to plan day, week or month long events!

Great prizes to be won!

For more information, please contact the Active and Safe Routes to School Program
in Manitobaat (204) 925-3773 or

[Walk to School Month is held across Canada. Contact the coordinating agency in your province/territory for more information. - MH]

Cycling going mainstream in Vancouver

Vancouver Sun, August 13
Author: Douglas Todd

Although many people still associate cyclists with rude rebels pedalling on the edges of society, some of Canada's most established non-profits, hospitals, governments and universities are working to highlight the benefits of cycling over driving.

BIXI, Montreal's Public Bike System, receives International Design Award

The Public Bike System Company has received a Bronze International Design Excellence Award (IDEA), transportation category, for the design of the BIXI bike.

The IDEA program has been honouring excellence in the design of products in categories such as transportation, ecodesign, entertainment, household goods, and research since 1980. For the Public Bike System Company and Michel Dallaire, the internationally renowned industrial designer who created the components of the BIXI bike, this was the second such honour. In December 2008, the BIXI prototype captured the Interieurs Ferdie eco-design award in the product design/sustainable development category.

KTM Takes Next Step in e-Bikes

The e-MTB uses the well-regarded BionX system from Canada, which consists of a motor, battery and command console. The system boasts high torque (32 Nm) and average power output of 250 kW with peaks up to 600 kW possible. This means the 20 kg mountain bike can be accelerated up to 25 km/h and maintain that speed with relative ease.

Vancouver's bike shorts in a knot for nothing

Globe and Mail, August 13
Author: Rod Mickleburgh

What is it with Vancouver? Mere days after the local media and citizenry worked themselves into a ludicrous lather over the closing of a single lane on the Burrard Bridge, oops, they did it again.
This time, hysteria levels were raised to a fever pitch about the Critical Mass bike ride destined to bring civilization as we know it to an end last Friday, with several thousand cyclists refusing to stop at red lights and being purposefully vague about where they were going. The horror, the horror.

It Could Be Worse—You Could Be Biking in Detroit

Chicago Reader, August 6
Author: Julia Thiel

The law passed yesterday in Colorado making it illegal to throw things at cyclists inspired [a] gem of a talk radio segment on the Detroit morning show Deminski & Doyle [link to talk show in article].

Deminski and Doyle also find the idea of throwing things at cyclists hilarious when they're not fantasizing about trying it: "How many people have seen a bicyclist and you just want to lob something at their head?" The host then follows up by clarifying that he's not advocating it. Of course he's not. Nor is he actually advocating violence against cyclists when he says "Oh god, you just want to go Grand Theft Auto on them. But of course you can't."

Cities for Mobility Magazine

"Cities for Mobility" is a global network on all questions regarding urban mobility. The network is coordinated by the City of Stuttgart and promotes transnational cooperation between local governments, transportation companies, businesses, science and the civil society, with the aim of supporting the development of sustainable and efficient transport systems in the member cities.
Our mission is to link cities and other stakeholders globally which hold a shared understanding of the necessity of placing urban mobility systems on a social, economic and ecologically sustainable basis.
The main goal of the network is to provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge and best practices among its members as well as to facilitate the initiation and development of innovative joint projects. Today, around 500 members from more than 70 countries all over the world participate in "Cities for Mobility", many of them former members of the URB-AL network.

[It is worth noting that Calgary is the only Canadian city that is a member of CFM. - MH]

Boston Tries to Shed Longtime Reputation as Cyclists’ Minefield

New York Times, August 8
Author: Katie Zezima

Boston, long known as a minefield for bicycle riders, is feverishly working to shed that reputation by creating bike lanes, installing bike racks, restoring bike paths and urging residents to switch from horsepower to pedal power. Plans to link the city’s existing bike paths and create a bike-share program are also in the works. One already exists for city employees.

[Does it not seem sometimes as if most Canadian cities are suddenly falling behind the US? - MH]

Tijuana Bicyclists Ride To Make Streets Safe

Every Wednesday, hundreds of bicyclists, some decked out in custom bike clothes and others in just jeans and T-shirts, gather in front of the Tijuana City Hall.

I've spent a lot of time in Mexico, and this is not like any other event I've ever seen. Not only does it start exactly on time, the organizers are sticklers for safety and follow every rule of the road. They have monitors all along the route. They stop at every red light, and everyone has to wear a helmet. [We seldom hear of events in Mexico. - MH]

Beautiful Chinese Pedestrian Bridge

Treehugger, August 10
Author: Jacob Gordon

Recently completed in the Qingpu district of Shanghai, this elegant pedestrian bridge is the work of CA-GROUP, an international architecture and urban planning collaborative triangulated between China, Spain, and Japan. [Considering the controversy over the construction of a pedestiran bridge in Calgary, what might they say to a design like this? - MH]

Bicycle Superhighways in Copenhagen

The City of Copenhagen is currently planning to expand the existing, extensive network of bike lanes to extend farther out into the suburbs. A network of 13 high-class routes - 'bicycle superhighways' if you will - dedicated to bicycle commuters and aimed at encouraging more to cycle to work.

The new commuter routes are expected to cost roughly 250 million kroner ($47 million). A net of routes of similar length, isolated and away from the streets would cost between 1 and 1.5 billion kroner. ($200-280 million).

[Copenhagen is a city if approximately 1,2 million people. Is there any city in Canada, or comparable size or larger, prepared to spend $47 million on its bicycle infrastructure? -MH]

Make city more cycle-friendly: group

St. Catherine Standard, August 15
Author: Matthew Van Dongen

Making the Garden City more bike-and pedestrian-friendly is the goal of a new report issued by Walk and Bike for Life. The recommendations flowing from that session are presented in the Trails for Active Transportation: St. Catharines report now available at pdf.

Pedestrian plan of attack

Fort McMurray Today, August 14
Author: Roland Cilliers

Planners were out along Franklin Avenue yesterday looking for ways to make the downtown street more pedestrian-friendly. Wendy Koo and William Czaban of the planning and development department with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo conducted a walking fieldwork assessment of the lower townsite redevelopment area, an area most people know as downtown Fort McMurray.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Website: Haliburton Share the Road

Website: Haliburton Share the Road - advocating for and promoting cycling in the Haliburton Highlands

The County is also installing share the road signs throughout the county. This project has been made possible through a grant from the the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Transportation Demand Management Fund.

[Contributed by Sue Shikaze, Health Promoter, HKPR District Health Unit. -MH]

Morrissy Bridge group pressing on

Times & Transcript, July 31
Author: Kris McDavid

Members of a Miramichi group aiming to salvage a condemned 95-year-old bridge as the centrepiece of a municipal trail system say they’re hopeful the lengthy process will hasten in the coming weeks.

Mersereau said he is targeting the third week of August for the group to have a recommendation in place for which company it will request to help develop the trails plan. The coalition has argued that Miramichi’s geographic setting is perfectly positioned for a worldclass trail network that would promote healthy, active living among city residents and attract tourists to the area.

Downtown Saskatoon to get painted bike lanes

The City of Saskatoon is putting paint to pavement ... in an effort to make the downtown more bicycle friendly.

Workers will be painting white symbols on all downtown streets depicting bicycles with two arrows above indicating that certain lanes downtown are meant just for cyclists.

"We're going to try to educate motorists that ... everywhere we want to ride in Saskatoon is going to be a bike-friendly place to ride," said Jamison Gillert, co-ordinator of the city project.

Drawings of pedestrian Peace Bridge released

A tubular, covered bridge for pedestrians and cyclists will span Calgary's Bow River, according to newly released architectural drawings.

The Peace Bridge's design by award-winning Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava was posted on the City of Calgary's website Tuesday.

The footbridge for pedestrians and bicycles will be west of Prince's Island Park and connect Eau Claire to Sunnyside. It will be just over six metres wide, covered for year-round use and lit at night.

[Pictures accompany this article, which also contains a link to a Website for the bridge, which is highly controversial in Calgary. -MH]

Fitness: Bits and bites for Bixi newbies

The Gazette, July 27
Author: Jill Barker

[T]here are some complexities within the Bixi system that get discovered only upon use. But even with its few hiccups it’s a fabulous initiative that should be implemented in cities across the country. So in the hopes of encouraging not only more Montrealers , but more Canadians to opt for this environmentally and fitness friendly form of transportation, here are six tips for Bixi virgins.

First Ontario Bike Summit

The Guelph Mercury, July 27
Author: Rick Goodfellow

On Sept. 21 and 22 in Waterloo, [the Share the Road Cycling Coalition] will host its first Ontario Bike Summit on building “a bicycle friendly Ontario.” The summit will feature high-profile speakers such as Andy Clarke, chief executive of the League of American Bicyclists based in Washington, D.C. He will share the stage with inspiring Canadian and American presenters who recognize the urgent need to reshape the urban landscape of North America and the pivotal role the bicycle should play. More information on the conference can be found at

‘Rumours’, misinformation on pedestrian plan cited

The Interlake Spectator, July 25
Author: Jim Mosher

Winnipeg Beach, MB: Council assailed the press and combative critics as it addressed the rumours and misinformation surrounding its plan to close a parking lane to traffic.

Coun. Pam Jackson said she polled Main St. businesses before council decided to move forward with a trial, closing the west parking lane of Main St., and marking it off with a portable curb.

“Unfortunately the press was not here during the times we discussed this,” said Jackson. “At the last committee of the whole meeting we certainly had a full discussion about the sidewalk issue. Subsequent to that, I met with all the businesspeople on the front street about a pilot project [to close the parking lane]. The response from businesses was so positive, [it became a matter of] why not July and August.”

The idea was to see what an increase in pedestrian traffic do.

More than one way to sustainability

The Daily Gleaner, July 25
Author: Taylor Gray

In fact, a different approach towards sustainable lifestyles is developing right here in Fredericton - an approach built not on regulation and enforcement but rather on a voluntary internalization of more holistic values in individual lifestyles. The Fredericton community progresses towards greater sustainability everyday as individuals make conscious decisions to find a more harmonious balance between the natural and the lived environments.

Such commitment can be witnessed in the nearly overflowing community recycling depots, the increasing use of public and active transportation, the prominence of reusable bags, the growing presence of alternative energy technologies throughout the city, and the declining presence of unnecessary practices such as daytime lawn-watering. And all this in the absence of regulations and enforcement.

Bike lane experiment begins

Richmond Review, July 30
Author: Matthew Hoekstra

Richmond [BC] isn't used to being compared to Europe. But Lulu Island now has something in common with cities a world away: raised bike lanes.

On No. 3 Road, between Cambie Road and Sea Island Way, lies the region's first raised, dedicated bike lane adjacent to vehicle traffic lanes.

Million Euro Subsidy For Cycling In EU

A European consortium involving among others the European Two-Wheeler Retailers Association (ETRA) and the European Cyclist Federation (ECF) were awarded a € 1.4 million subsidy for a European project aimed at increasing the modal share of cycling in five European cities.

Bike escalator being considered Vancouver, July 24
Author: Derek Moscato

The City of North Vancouver is exploring the possibility of building a bike escalator that would help cyclists more easily ascend the steep hills of the densely populated Lonsdale Avenue corridor.

The healthy, but risky, choice

The Kingston Whig-Standard, July 22
Author: Peter Janiszewski

Recently, the Canadian Medical Association released a policy statement recommending that "all sectors (government, business and the public) work together, as a matter of priority, to create a culture in their communities that supports and encourages active transportation."

When it comes down to it, how does one reconcile the potential personal, health and environmental benefits of active transportation with the risk of serious injury or even death?

Most people, especially those not accustomed to the extreme cycling necessary to navigate the severely damaged roads, unyielding motorists and jaywalking pedestrians common to Kingston, will opt for the relative safety of their car for transportation from point A to point B.

Pathway to be built on Calgary's east edge

Parks Foundation Calgary hopes to start building the first phase of the East Calgary Greenway this summer with a 10-kilometre leg of open spaces, pathways and wetlands between 17th Avenue S.E. and Airport Trail N.E.

The $6 million project, announced on [July 8] at Elliston Park, is the foundation's largest-ever undertaking since it was created in 1985 and aims to be the beginning of a 120-kilometre band of pathways that roughly follow Calgary's ring road.