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.

Bixi a des ailes

Montréal ajoutera dès la mi-août 2000 vélos à son parc de Bixi et une centaine de nouveaux points d'ancrage, a annoncé André Lavallée, responsable du plan de transport de la Ville.

Ainsi, les Bixi auront aussi leur place à des endroits comme le Parc Olympique, le Marché Atwater, l'Université de Montréal, le Technopôle Angus et le Jardin botanique.

Bike Among the Ruins

The New York Times, July 4
Author: Toby Barlow

While bike enthusiasts in most urban areas continue to have to fight for their place on the streets, Detroit has the potential to become a new bicycle utopia. It’s a town just waiting to be taken. With well less than half its peak population, and free of anything resembling a hill, the city and its miles and miles of streets lie open and empty, beckoning.