Monday, July 20, 2009

Arrest made, van seized after hit-and-run injures five cyclists

Ottawa Citizen, July 20
Authors: Glen McGregor and David Guy

Ottawa police have made an arrest and recovered a vehicle they say left the scene of an accident that injured bicyclists — including two listed in critical condition — in Kanata just before 8 a.m. Sunday.

New ACT Canada Newsletter

ACT Canada is pleased to present [its] newsletter as a free service to the transportation demand management (TDM) community in Canada. We aim to provide timely and meaningful news to TDM practitioners and other transportation-related professionals across the country working to promote suite sustainable modes of transportation - by transit, in carpools, by bike, on foot, or through telework.

Commuting by Bike or Foot Provides Heart Help for Men in Study, July 13
Author: Nicole Ostrow

Men who walk or bike to work are less likely to be obese and more likely to have healthier blood pressure and insulin levels, research showed.

Men whose commute involved such exercise were half as likely to be obese as those who drove or took public transportation, said Penny Gordon-Larsen, lead author of the study in today’s Archives of Internal Medicine. Cardiovascular benefits found for women in the study weren’t statistically significant, she said.

“Even if you adjust for other forms of physical activity, walking or biking to work really does add an additional benefit,” said Gordon-Larsen, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in a telephone interview today. “It really shows that working physical activity in, even if you can’t get to a gym, could have beneficial health outcomes for people.”

Carless in Calgary

CBC Arts and Entertainment Producer Allan Boss has owned a car since he was 16. Since then he's rarely been without one. Now, he's giving up four wheels for two feet. Allan is going Carless in Calgary.

What do you think? Is he crazy? Could you give up your car? Are you Carless in Calgary too? Allan wants to hear about your carless experiences. Leave a comment and tell him all about it.

Dufferin County Active Transportation and Trails (DCATT) Master Plan

Orangeville Citizen, July 12

Dufferin is launching a study to develop a Dufferin County Active Transportation and Trails (DCATT) Master Plan.

The new plan will support and strengthen the trails/active transportation plans of local municipalities and outline a comprehensive network of onroad and off-road trails and active transportation corridors to connect Dufferin's urban and rural communities and promote active transportation.

Chaos! Mayhem! The End of The World As We Know It! Would That Be Such A Bad Thing?

The Vancouver Sun, July 12
Author: Pete McMartin

This, too: Almost every car contains only a driver. Car commuters (of which I am often one) may prefer not to see it in such terms, but the power and sense of entitlement a car confers is a political act, especially in an age of global warming, where every car trip is an incremental crime against nature.

This is the commuter’s secret thrill — the speed and ease and selfishness of a car — because necessity very often has little to do with it.

Calgary - No plans to unveil new pedestrian bridge

660 News, July 12
Authors: Tanya Fletcher, Kelly Turner and Alicia Hope-Ross

Famed Architect Santiago Calatrava is designing the $25-million Bow River pedestrian bridge and some are wondering why his work is not garnering any dramatic unveilings.

The city planning commission is going to meet in the basement of old city hall and the famous architect won't even be there to explain his downtown creation, according to The Calgary Herald.

The pedestrian's guide to Toronto 9originally National Post), November 10
Author: David McGinn

On a scale of walkability, City Hall rates a 95 out of 100. That's 10 points higher than the CN Tower and 50 points higher than Exhibition Place. Nathan Phillips Square, however, is two points below the Eaton Centre when it comes to walkability.

These numbers are thanks to, a new Web site that its creators hope will fire up a bit of friendly competition among different neighbourhood residents and help make the issue of walking a little less, well, pedestrian.

Clark County commission broaches idea of tax on bikes, July 16

"We license our dogs,” [Clark County Commissioner Steve] Stuart went on the say. “You license your car. Why wouldn't you license your bikes?"

The political debate is not new. The Oregon legislature put the brakes last spring on House Bill 3008 introduced by by Rep. Wayne Krieger, R-Gold Beach, to put a $54 fee on bikes. That bill was opposed by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

[You know this has to arrive eventually. Should we oppose it, or accept it in return for an equitable share of the transportation budget? Would enjoy hearing your views, and I am sure others would as well. Leave a comment. - MH]

Eco Mobile à Laval launches "Try a Bike" - En Route to Active Transportation

News Release: July 7

Laval residents will now be able to give a bike a try and combine their public transit travelling with one of the "Try a Bike" bicycles. These bikes are being loaned within the activities of Eco Mobile à Laval, suggesting to Laval residents yet another means of alternate transportation.

Victoria Walks

Thought [your blog members] may be interested in this:

If you are interested in walking for transport and making neighbourhoods better for walking: Have a look at the new Victoria Walks website from Victoria Walks— a new Australian walking-for-transport health promotion body.

The website has an extensive array of resources and tools to assist people to work together to make their neighbourhoods better for walking.

Your neighborhood is at your feet: step out and explore. You never know who you might meet in walk-friendly streets!


Dr Ben Rossiter
Executive Officer
Victoria Walks Inc.
C/o VicHealth Offices
15-31 Pelham Street, Carlton 3053
Phone: +61 3 9667 1339
Mob: 0425 805 578
Fax: +61 3 9667 1375

[Thanks to blog member Ben Rossiter for this contribution. - MH]

Walking Promotion in NZ

On Friday 24th July 2009, Living Streets Aotearoa will host The Golden Foot Awards. These inaugural national walking awards celebrate and acknowledge organisations that are helping people use their feet more often.

Project representatives and key officials are gathering in Wellington on Friday evening to discover who the winners are. The awards, funded through New Zealand Transport Agency, are being hosted by Living Streets and will be presented by NZTA board member Alick Shaw.

The awards were open to all groups and organisations across the country and nominations included a wide variety of projects. Some were large infrastructure improvements such as the Twin Streams Walk and Cycleway project which has integrated sustainable stormwater management with footpath and cycleway creation in Waitakere. Other projects ranged from a 'walking tree' to encourage children to walk to school, to a new style pedestrian crossing in Lower Hutt.

[Thanks to blog member David Forster in Australia for this contribution. - MH]

Dar plans for bicycle lanes to ease congestion

Business Daily, July 15
Author: Mohamed Issa

Dar-es-Salaam has started a large- scale project to promote the use of bicycles to ease access to the central business district. Under the project, the streets of the fastest growing Dar- es -Salaam City of nearly four million residents are to be reconstructed to allow for bicycle users to have exclusive lanes to ride without fear or subjugation to cars even in the down town area.

[African cities now move ahead of Canadian ones in their planning and committment to cycling. -MH]

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.

There are many traffic management techniques and approaches and any
given city will probably need to develop a package of measures to manage
traffic effectively. 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.

Netherlands: e-Bikes Market Share Surging

In case The Netherlands is setting the trend for the whole of Europe (and who is denying that?) then the bike sector is in for a treat as in The Netherlands e-Bikes now count for 26% of all the money dealers make from selling new bicycles.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Edmonton: Local Motion - Eco-Friendly Transportation

What is the Local Motion Pilot Project?

It's a unique collaboration between the City and one neighbourhood to transform that neighbourhood into a more EcoMobile community. Parkallen has been chosen to be the host neighbourhood and will be involved in the design of the project, which may include:

•Special events
•Workshops or “Learn To…” programs
•Public Transit incentives
•Community Bikes or a Bike Loan program
•Temporary physical changes, e.g. adding bike lanes
•The pilot neighbourhood will be featured during the 2009 ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability World Congress to be held in Edmonton June 14-18, 2009.

Website - 20's Plenty For Us

20's Plenty For Us was formed in order to campaign for the implementation of 20 mph as the default speed limit on residential roads in the UK.

City adds 2,000 new Bixi bikes

CBC News, July 3

The City of Montreal announced Friday it’s expanding the Bixi bike-rental program several months earlier than expected.

By the end of the summer, the city plans to have 100 new bike stations and about 2,000 new communal bikes available to people in five new neighbourhoods, including Park Extension, Mercier/Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, and parts of Côte-des-Neiges/Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

This will bring the total number of Bixi bikes to 5,000, spread out over 400 stations across the city.

Newsletter - Bike Walk News Vancouver Island July 2009

Learn the latest AT news from Victoria city Councillor and long-time cycling advocate John Luton.

Let's learn to travel together

Winnipeg Free Press, July 7
Author: Marlo Campbell

Judging from the hue and cry that arises whenever anything they do makes the news, it would appear some Winnipeggers continue to harbour a deep resentment towards cyclists.

This attitude makes no sense, of course; cycling is an activity that should be encouraged for all sorts of exceedingly obvious reasons -- it's environmentally sustainable, it gets people physically active, it helps alleviate traffic congestion, etc., etc.

Yet animosity clearly exists. Irrational though it may be (at times confoundingly so), it exists. Bring up the topic of cycling in any public forum and I guarantee you'll encounter it.

How Portland Bureau Of Transportation plans for bike corrals

PBOT installed the first bike corral in September of 2004 (in front of Fresh Pot on N. Shaver at Mississippi). They went two years before installing another one while they worked on funding, policy, and design issues. With all that worked out, since last fall PBOT has put in 15 corrals throughout the city, with the two most recent ones just completed yesterday.

Each time [there is] a new installation, many people wonder how a specific spot was chosen over another. [S]everal business owners have [expressed] frustrated at the time it takes to get one and/or by not even being considered for one at all.

Mayor considers pedestrian-cyclist crossing parallel to Burrard Bridge

Vancouver Sun, July 2
Author: David Karp

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said Thursday he is mulling over plans to build a $45-million pedestrian-and-cyclist bridge across the entrance to False Creek.

The suspension bridge would connect Vanier Park with Sunset Beach and run parallel to the Burrard Bridge.

Conference - 2nd Safe Routes to School National Conference

The 2nd Safe Routes to School National Conference is being co-presented by the National Center for Safe Routes to School and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Join the Bicycle Transportation Alliance at the conference on August 19-21, 2009 at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower in Portland, Oregon.

Book Review: Bike Messenger

The New York Times Book Review, May 28
Reviewer: David Byrne

“Pedaling Revolution” is not about mountain biking the Moab sandstone formations in Utah or the network of bucolic paths that link some of the rural Massachusetts colleges; it’s not about racing, Lance Armstrong or what kind of spandex to buy. Nor is it about the various forms of extreme biking that have arisen lately: bike jousting on specially made high-horse bikes, BMX tricks or the arcane world of fixed-gear bikes, or fixies. For decades, Americans have too often seen cycling as a kind of macho extreme sport, which has actually done a lot to damage the cause of winning acceptance for biking as a legitimate form of transportation.

As Mapes points out, when more women begin riding, that will signal a big change in attitude, which will prompt further changes in the direction of safety and elegance. I can ride till my legs are sore and it won’t make riding any cooler, but when attractive women are seen sitting upright going about their city business on bikes day and night, the crowds will surely follow. A recent article in a British newspaper showed the pop singer Duffy on a pink bike. The model Agyness Deyn claims never to be without hers, and Courteney Cox reportedly presented Jennifer Aniston with a Chanel bike last year. Tabloid fodder does not a revolution make, but it’s a start.

Owen Sound needs more pedestrians and less car traffic

The Sun Times, June 29
Author: Christy Hempel

In Randolf Hester's Design for Ecological Democracy he writes that we need to learn to walk, rather than "slouching toward obesity at car speed". We know of the environmental damage that cars are doing, and health issues are interconnected.

Fewer cars and more walking would reduce risks from everything from asthma and heart disease to insomnia and depression. It is estimated that by 2010 type 2 diabetes will cost the Canadian health care system $15.6 billion per year. "Exercising moderately for 30 minutes a day and losing 5-7% of your body weight is enough to reduce the risk by 58%", according to the Canadian Diabetes Association. Everyone has learned by now that clogged highways at rush hour are making our planet and our bodies sick, yet everyday the traffic reports indicate that people don't give up on commuting. Driving is a hard habit to break.

Government of Canada Celebrates Grand Opening of New Central Valley Greenway

Press Release, June 27

Mr. Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and the Member of Parliament for North Vancouver, along with Mr. Harry Bloy, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Burnaby-Lougheed and Mr. Tom Prendergast, Chief Executive Officer, TransLink. today attended the official opening of the Central Valley Greenway, a new regional walking and cycling route that connects Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster.

Bicycle-Only Subway Cars Planned

The Korea Times, June 28
Author: Park Si-soo

Cyclists will be able to use the subway with their bicycles from as early as October.

Seoul City has been seeking to designate two subway cars at the front and rear as exclusive carriages for bicycles.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Sunday that it has been working on the introduction of bicycle-only cars with Seoul Metro, the operator of subway lines Nos. 1 to 4, and Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation, which operates lines Nos. 5 to 8.

Bike-trail betrayal alleged

Winnipeg Free Press, June 24
Author: Bartley Kives

The city and province have reneged on a long-held promise to build a commuter-cycling route alongside the southwest rapid transit corridor, a senior official with The Forks claims in a letter to Mayor Sam Katz and Premier Gary Doer.

He argues the concerns of cyclists and pedestrians have been ignored as part of a project that was supposed to benefit active transportation. "This is being designed by transit guys, so they want to move buses," he said in an interview on Tuesday. "They're not interested in building bike lanes."

Amsterdam: More Trips by Bike than by Car

The bicycle is the means of transport used most often in Amsterdam. Between 2005 and 2007 people in the city used their bikes on average 0.87 times a day, compared to 0.84 for their cars. This is the first time that bicycle use exceeds car use.

The number of trips by car, compared to 1990, has fallen in all districts (-14%), whereas the number of trips by bicycle has only risen within the ring road (+36%). The bike is used most often in the town centre (41% versus an average of 28%) and the car least often (10% versus an average of 28%).

Dieppe takes lead on bike lanes

Moncton Times & Transcript, June 22
Author: James Foster

While some New Brunswick cities grapple with how to integrate bicycle lanes into existing roadways, Dieppe is moving ahead with almost 13 kilometres (eight miles) of bike lanes this summer that will provide key links between existing trails, eliminating dead ends and creating loops.

The issue of bicycle lanes in New Brunswick has been an exercise in the law of unintended consequences. Few people oppose them -- until they lose their on-street parking spot to a bike lane, or lanes for motor vehicle traffic are narrowed or even eliminated to accommodate cyclists.

St. Laurent's new look

The Gazette [Montreal], June 18
Author: Max Herrold

It is a vision of a future St. Laurent that blends car pools, narrower and pedestrian-only streets, better public transit and an irrepressible, car- and truck-dependent business sector.

Could such a place truly exist?

St. Laurent borough Mayor Alan DeSousa thinks so, and now he has an ambitious blueprint to make it happen - although much depends on other levels of government and it could take 10 years to accomplish.

Fliers call for drivers to blockade Sunrise Century cyclists

Boulder County Daily Camera, June 16
Author: Heath Urie

Tensions between drivers and bicyclists in rural Boulder County have reached a new level, with fliers circulating in mountain neighborhoods asking drivers to blockade next month’s Sunrise Century ride.

The fliers — which started appearing in mountain communities last week, a few days after a Boulder driver was ticketed on suspicion of endangering a cyclist on Lee Hill Road — ask residents along the route of the 100-mile annual cycling event to block the return leg of the ride.

[Tension between cyclists and motorists has risen to a new level in Colorado. - MH]

W.H.O. Examines Traffic as Health Hazard

New York Times, June 15
Author: Sarah Arnquist

A vast majority of the world’s countries — 85 percent — lack adequate laws to address the growing problem of traffic deaths and injuries, according to the World Health Organization’s first global report on road safety, released Monday.

The 287-page report is based on data from a 2008 survey of 178 countries, representing 98 percent of the world’s population. It builds on a 2004 report that estimated that 1.27 million people die and that 20 million to 50 million were injured annually in traffic accidents.

Among the new findings: pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycle riders make up almost half of the deaths.

Iqaluit bridge for pedestrians only, environment minister says

CBC News, June 12

A proposed bridge across the Sylvia Grinnell River near Iqaluit will be for pedestrians only, Nunavut Environment Minister Daniel Shewchuk says.

Shewchuk's announcement, made in the territorial legislature on Thursday, ends a long dispute over whether the bridge should accommodate all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles as well as pedestrians.

[Not often that we get to hear AT news from Nunavut. - MH]

Scenes from the Tour la Nuit

Blog: Steve Faguy

Some great pictures of Montreal's fantastic "Tour de Nuit" bicycle ride held in June each year.

[Worth a look. - MH]

City’s pedestrian plan boosts sidewalk spending

Ottawa Citizen, June 18
Author: Patirck Dare

The City of Ottawa talks a good game about being a place where the pedestrian is king, but its performance barely registers on the budget books.

Councillors have been told that the city’s budget for new sidewalks has all but disappeared, totalling $180,000 this year. That will build two new sidewalks in the city when the list of needed sidewalks contains 300 projects worth $50 million. Sidewalks in new neighbourhoods are not included in the list because they are covered by development charges and built along with new streets.

Object of desire or necessary evil?

Globe and Mail, June 13
Author: Margaret Wente

Just south of the Globe building in Toronto is a thicket of shiny new glass towers reaching toward the sky. These are the dwellings of the Condo People - hip young multiracial 20- and 30-somethings who labour in our city's knowledge industries. They have all the stuff you can fit into an 800-square-foot condo - iPods, iPhones, flat-screen TVs, and (for couples) fluffy little condo-sized dogs.

What they do not have is cars.

They don't need them. They can walk to work, or take the subway. If they need a car, they can walk up the street and rent one for 11 bucks an hour. Not only is a car not a necessity for them. It's an expensive nuisance.

[I never thought that I would find myself agreeing with this particular writer! - MH]

Mayor wants better cycle plan

Moncton Times & Transcript, June 5
Author: Greg Weston

Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc remains committed to his campaign promise to make his city a more bike-friendly place and is urging city planners to make it happen faster.

"I want to accelerate it. My view has been that we've had these plans for 10 or 15 years and, although it's been moving along, it's far too slow," he said yesterday of the creation of a network of interconnected bike lanes and trails. Moncton's 2002 active transportation plan called for extensive cycling, walking, in-line skating and transit options throughout the city, but fewer than half of the highlighted bike routes have since been realized. Improving that situation was one of LeBlanc's main goals when he took office a year ago.

Most kids earn failing grade on exercise, report finds, Staff Reporter

Most Canadian kids are earning a failing grade on a new report card assessing their levels of daily exercise.

The report card gave Canadian kids a "D" for Active Transportation, meaning most are not choosing to bike or walk to get to school.

Parents should encourage their children to walk or bike to school each day, since nearly two-thirds of Canadian families live within a reasonable distance to walk or bike to school, Active Healthy Kids Canada urges.

Cycling to the Summit

Torontoist, June 3
Author: Hamutal Dotan

Ever wonder what distinguishes a good bicycle rack from a bad one? Or what the optimal buffer is between a bike lane and a parked car? If so, then last week's Bike Summit was the place for you, as active transportation activists, transportation planners, urban infrastructure experts, and assorted cycling gurus came together to consider these and other such questions. Organized by the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT), the second annual conference was a day-long extravaganza devoted to everything on two wheels.

What do you think about scooter style e-bikes?

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario(MTO) is in the final stage of its three-year pilot project to evaluate the use of power-assisted bicycles (also known as bikes or e-bikes) on roads and highways where conventional bicycles are allowed. On April 23, 2009 the definition of "bicycle" in the HTA was amended to include e-bikes.

MTO has invited TCAT, the Toronto Cyclists Union and other cycling groups to provide input on the equipment and operating requirements that should be included in the e-bike regulations. All TCAT News readers are encouraged to complete the Toronto Cyclists Union survey to give your thoughts on the issue. It takes less than two minutes to complete.

Vision council doubles spending on cycling

Blog: Vancouver Councillor Geoff Meggs

Council unanimously approved my motion to double spending on cycling infrastructure this year to $3.4 million by reallocating funds earmarked for car-oriented street improvements.

Other improvements for cycling were also approved.

Longboards, a new trend in skateboarding, are designed for comfortable long-distance riding

St. Petersburg Times, June 27
Author: Bob Putnam

[Longboards], which start at $159, are not for flipping on half-pipes or grinding on rails. Instead, they are designed for comfortable long-distance riding because the board is more flexible and the bigger wheels are made of softer plastic, allowing them to go over rough surfaces that could cause bone-crunching falls. Those characteristics are also why weaving back and forth propels the board faster and longer than it would on regular skateboards, and why there's little need for riders to use their feet to push.

Longboards are part of a new trend in skateboarding, especially among riders such as Bernardini, a 38-year-old attorney who is well outside the youth culture that defines the sport.

Skateboarders go wild

Metro Vancouver, June 22
Author: Kristen Thompson

Around 2,500 people skateboarded en masse through the streets of Vancouver yesterday for International Go Skateboarding Day and to raise money for LeeSide skate park.

Arrests follow swarm of skateboarders

Edmonton Sun, June 22
Author: Katie Schneider

Several skateboarders were arrested after more than 100 swarmed through downtown Calgary yesterday, many weaving in one large mass through traffic