Wednesday, January 28, 2009

AT Grants - BC: Built Environment & Active Transportation Initiative

Built Environment & Active Transportation Initiative (BEAT) - Community Planning Grants Support Communities with Re-thinking their Traditionally Designed Neighbourhoods to Improve Connectivity for Walking and Cycling.

Phase 2 of the program’s Community Planning Grants are now open to assist local governments with developing or amending existing plans for active transportation. Please read the Program Guide for eligibility and deadlines. Expressions of Interest due January 30, 2009. Click to download the Program Guide from our website.

When improvements in active transportation are made, communities win with lower infrastructure costs, increases in tourism and local retail sales, higher property values and the ability to attract employees and businesses to the community.

The BEAT is a joint initiative of the BC Recreation & Parks Association and the Union of BC Municipalities. Funding is provided by the BC Healthy Living Alliance, with support from ActNow BC.

For more information: Andrea Keen

Communications Coordinator
Physical Activity Strategy (PAS)
BC Recreation & Parks Association
Ph: 604.629.0965 x. 254
Fax: 604.629.2651

Website - walkON

Green Communities Canada, Walk and Bike for Life and walkON are launching Ontario Communities walkON, a program that will, over the next three years, help make 24 Ontario cities and towns more walkable.

Article - Toronto: City faces slip-and-fall lawsuits

The Star, January 26
Author: Sandro Contenta

[Is] it preferable to risk the safety of your citizens than pay the costs of doing your due diligence?" says Preyra, who specializes in personal injury claims.

He believes the question is important given city hall's policy of not plowing 2,000 kilometres of sidewalks in central Toronto – a swath that runs from just north of St. Clair Ave. down to Lake Ontario, and from Jane St. east to Victoria Park Ave.

Provincial law requires municipalities to maintain all sidewalks. They can pass bylaws like Toronto's requiring homeowners to clean snow from adjacent sidewalks. But courts have ruled that if someone slips and falls, municipalities are liable.

Article - Dutch Bicycle Production Increases

The Dutch bicycle market has high expectations for the coming season. One of the leading manufacturers, Batavus is reporting a stepped up production.

Document - Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Action Plan

New in January from the province of Nova Scotia, Active Transportation is mentioned (page 20) as a strategy to reduce greenhouse gases from transportation.

Article - For cyclists, a bright solution

The Star, January 25
Author: Leslie Scrivener

How to cope with the trials and dangers of night cycling? The LightLane. A laser mounted on the rear of the bike projects sharp, bright lines behind the cyclist, creating a virtual and movable bike lane.

Job Posting - Peel ON

The Region of Peel ON is advertising for an Active Transportation Coordinator.

Newsletter - Victoria: Bike Walk News Vancouver Island

The link will take you to Vancouver Island's Active Transportation Newsletter.

Bicycle User Survey - US: Idaho

The Transportation Department of the State of Idaho is conducting a simple online survey about bicycle usage in their state. Do you know the answers to their questions for your community?

Document - BC Cycling Budget Submission

The Case for Accelerated Investment in Cycling in Challenging Economic Times: Submission to the Finance and Government Services Committee of the British Columbia Cycling Coalition, October 2008.

Have you petitioned your provincial and/or municipal government yet for a share of infrastructure spending in the upcoming fiscal year? You might find some ideas here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Article - Announcing Ontario Communities walkON!

Canada NewsWire (press release), January 6

Green Communities Canada, Walk and Bike for Life and walkON are launching Ontario Communities walkON, a program that will, over the next three years, help make 24 Ontario cities and towns more walkable. A walkable community allows people to choose to walk to local destinations, rather than take the car.

Article - US: Trail Campaign

Athletic Business, January
Author: Nicholas Brown

Local government officials, especially those with vested interests in issues related to transportation and recreation, understand the many and related benefits of trail systems for bicycling and walking. So says Kevin Mills, vice president of policy at the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, adding that the challenge is getting the decision-makers at higher echelons of government to understand those benefits.

Article - Tim's lineups spark halt to new St. John's drive-thrus

CBC, January 6

The city council in St. John's has ordered a moratorium on new drive-thru applications, amid concerns that long lineups at some coffee shops are posing persistent traffic and safety hazards.

Article - Winter biking challenges the hearty cyclist

Wheeling Countryside, December 25
Author: Josh Singer

Bicyclists who brave the elements for winter riding appreciate the opportunity to remain active and outdoors at a time when others are hibernating.

Article - Winnipeg prepares to make river skating trail even longer

CBC, December 12

The City of Winnipeg is preparing to clear the snow on the Assiniboine River for a natural ice skating trail expected to once again break world records.

There are two paths on the river: an ice path, which is cleared and groomed for skating, and a footpath. The footpath is also open to skiers, snowshoers and cyclists.

Article - Skater[boarder]s shovel out Marina Park site for winter use

The Chronicle Journal, Thunder Bay, December 29
Author: Peter Burkowski

Ritchie Chapman and a half dozen of his friends just couldn‘t wait to try out Marina Park‘s new BMX and skateboard plaza. Chapman, 29, has been skateboarding since he was nine years old. He and other skaters spent nearly two days shovelling and clearing the snow off the skate park to get it ready for use. “It‘s just something that we do,” said fellow skateboarder Darren Vaillant, 29.

Website -

Freewheelin is a unique bike sharing program that incorporates the ideals of health, environmental conservation and community. The embodiment of sustainability, Freewheelin allows you to track your bicycle usage so you know how your health and the environment benefits from your ride. What was your carbon offset? How many calories did you burn?

Website - Bike Route Toaster

Bike Route Toaster is a bike route mapping and analysis program that has
apparently been around for almost two years, but I ran across it just today.

You can specify start and finish points - the program will then create the
route with waypoints and provide elevation and other information.

Looks to be very useful for intercity routes, having tried a couple. Not
sure how well it works for in-town travel, but certainly worth a try.

There are certainly other such programs on the internet (
comes to mind). Maybe a matter of trying a couple of them and seeing which
one works best for you.

Article - 50 Ways to Improve Your Life: Ride Your Bike to Work

US News and World Report, December 18
Author: Marc Silver

You can save money on gas and get some extra exercise.

Article - US Survey: People think biking is dangerous, December 16
Author: Pamela LeBlanc

Almost 70 percent of people think bicycling is “very dangerous” or “somewhat dangerous,” according to a new study by the University of Texas.

No wonder I see so few people commuting when I ride my bike to work once a week.