Monday, March 15, 2010

Study - Assessing Support to Remove On-Street Parking for Bike Lanes

The Clean Air Partnership (CAP) is pleased to announce the release of a research report Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business Year 2 Report: A Study of Bloor Street in Toronto's Bloor West Village.

CAP is also pleased to offer a webinar, offered to the first 40 participants free of charge, that will profile the findings of the study, the tools and methodology used and a discussion on how a similar study could be conducted in other communities.

The reallocation of street use from on-street parking to active transportation infrastructure such as widened sidewalks or bike lanes has become a controversial issue in many cities over the past several decades. Opposition to such changes is often based on the assumption that on-street parking is vital to business and that removing on-street parking will decrease customer numbers and therefore commercial activity. However, cities are becoming increasingly interested in providing space for active transportation, citing the health, safety and environmental benefits as primary catalysts.

Click on title to be linked with the report. To register for this webinar please click here.

Canada’s Active Transportation Conference

Vélo Québec Association invites its active transportation partners and community stakeholders from across Quebec and Canada to the country’s first rendezvous, in Montreal, on June 3.

The On the move in the community! conference will take place during the annual Montreal Bike Fest. It's a great opportunity for visitors to discover the city through the world-famous Tour de l’Île de Montréal and Tour la Nuit rides or by mounting a cutting-edge BIXI!

Study Finds On-Road Transportation Sector the Greatest Net Contributor to Atmospheric Warming Now and in Mid-Term

A new study by led by Nadine Unger at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) that analyzes the net climate impacts of emissions from economic sectors rather than by individual chemical species has found that on-road transportatation is and will be the greatest net contributor to atmospheric warming now and in the near term. The open access paper was published online 3 February in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Interesting document, especially Chapter 6: Other Alternative to Driving, and Section 6.4: Walking and Biking. The link is to an English language version of the document.

Brochure - Mississauga Active Transportation

Example of a new municipal brochure promoting Active Transportation.

Video - Vertical Bike Racks

These are being used in Kelowna BC.

Seattle - Moves to 3-bike bus racks

King County Metro has announced plans to equip all of its buses with new bike racks designed to hold three bikes instead of the current racks that only hold two. The new racks are a little different from the current racks so they’ve prepared a short video to help users understand how to properly load and unload their bikes.

Waterloo to get secure, sheltered bike parking

Secure, sheltered bicycle parking is coming to Waterloo, thanks to a project co-funded by the city and the provincial government.

Although the city already provides a number of bicycle parking spots, they’re essentially racks that aren’t protected from the elements, said the city’s director of transportation, Phil Hewitson.

“People don’t want to get their bikes stolen or vandalized,” he said.

Vancouver - Viaduct bike lane opens day after councillor hit

The official opening of a bike lane on the Dunsmuir viaduct Wednesday was overshadowed by news that a city councillor is in hospital after being struck on his bike near 51st and Granville streets.

Fredericton - Bridge closure will highlight importance of city's paths

With the Princess Margaret Bridge closure this summer, the city's community services committee is hoping more of its residents will consider walking and cycling as alternative modes of transportation.

Cycling group has government's ear

[T]he Share the Road Cycling Coalition published When Ontario Bikes, Ontario Benefits -- A Green Paper on Bicycling in Ontario. This is the most concise document to date, providing clear advice and priorities to our provincial government on Ontario cycling.

The green paper is the result of the extensive work by Eleanor McMahon, founder and chairman of the coalition, and exhaustive research by her provincial cycling advocacy group. Share the Road was created to unite cycling organizations from around the province, including municipalities, by focusing on developing public policy similar to the best in other provinces, notably British Columbia and Quebec.

Montreal - Bixi is clogging the city's arteries

"The Bixi service has given a huge boost to cycling in Montreal," Vélo Québec's Suzanne Lareau told The Gazette recently. "People who never thought of cycling for transportation were suddenly up for giving it a try."

Worse still, people have started buying their own bikes, or dusting off the clunkers in the garage, and are coming out in droves.

Charlottetown - Making room for cyclists on Riverside Drive

The Department of Transportation and Infrastruture Renewal recently held an open meeting to display its $5-million overhaul of Riverside Drive. Among other things, the artery will be four lanes and include two roundabouts and a median along the length of it. The province will buy land wide enough to allow for sidewalks, and it will drop the curb where pedestrian crossings are planned, but the capital city will be responsible for putting the sidewalks in. A department spokesperson said cyclists don't typically use roundabouts and no other provisions are being made for cyclists because of land constraints.

Toronto - Anger as cars clog new Simcoe St. bike lane

There's a fresh new bike lane on Simcoe St. Just six months old, it was meant to calm the nerves of cyclists travelling the busy stretch under the GO lines and the Gardiner. Instead, it's a parking lot.

Edmonton - 6 neighbourhoods to pilot lower speed limits

The city will launch a pilot project in May to lower speed limits from 50 km/h to 40 in six Edmonton neighbourhoods.

Charlottetown - No plans for bicycle lanes on Riverside Drive, minister says

The minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal says there are no plans to include bicycle lanes in the Riverside Drive project in Charlottetown. MacKinley said it is far too busy a stretch of highway.

“Sidewalks would be a decision by the city themselves,” the minister said, noting that the City of Charlottetown could apply for funding for a sidewalk through the federal Gas Tax Fund (which pays the entire cost) or through infrastructure dollars (these costs would be shared by all three levels of government). “I’ve never seen too many residents taking a walk there.”

Winnipeg - Fewer stop signs for cyclists eyed

City traffic managers don't want to let cyclists roll through intersections, but are willing to remove some stop signs from busy bike routes.

In a report to city council's protection and community services committee, transportation manager Luis Escobar says Winnipeg should not pursue the "Idaho stop law," a traffic practice that would allow cyclists to coast through stop signs if no motor vehicles, pedestrians or other cyclists are present.

Halifax - Bikers propose new route

The Halifax Cycling Coalition is petitioning Halifax regional council to create a bike lane corridor to connect the city peninsula’s north end to south end.

Montreal - How about body armour?

Traffic experts have been telling politicians for years that you slow traffic not by slapping up speed limit signs and ticketing drivers, but by building physical and visual barriers (narrower streets, speed bumps, narrowed intersections, etc.) that force drivers to slow down. It's not like our government does not understand this.

It's just so much easier and cheaper to get political points by championing a helmet law. I make my kids wear helmets when they ride their bikes. Far more important, I teach my kids how to ride defensively to avoid being hit by a car. This is the responsibility of parents, and we, not politicians or cops, are best placed to do it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ottawa - Cullen attacks bollards plan

The lane area will be "reconstructed as a wider sidewalk" and will be available as a pedestrian space when not needed for access by the embassy or utility vehicles, Moser wrote. Planters, benches and other street furniture could "animate the space," but those plans aren't yet finalized, he wrote.

A new bike lane will also be built along Sussex between George and St. Patrick Streets.

Ontario - Millions sought for Ontario cycling

Ontario needs to invest more bucks in bikes if it's going to reap the benefits of better health and cleaner air, and $20 million is a good place to start, says a Burlington-based cycling advocate.

Lunenburg - Active transportation plan recommended

The Municipality of Lunenburg will make a decision on March 9 whether to spend $50,000 on an active transportation plan.

Montreal should make it easier not to drive

For the first time in 40 years, car use was actually down! While the population of the metropolis grew by five per cent between 2003 and 2008, car use dropped by one per cent across the region, which includes Laval and the South Shore.

Toronto - Bike lanes for Jarvis

For more than 10 years, Rae and others have been vigorously lobbying for the 5-lane thoroughfare to include bike lanes. On Friday, the city announced it would be pressing ahead with controversial plans to do just that, by removing Jarvis’ centre lane in order to make room for north and southbound cyclists.

Vancouver eyes permanent traffic changes

Some of the traffic pattern changes made in downtown Vancouver to accommodate the Olympics would become permanent if one city councillor had his way.

US - Get Paid to Commute by Bike

While many of us are excited at the possible $20 U.S. Federal tax benefit (should they ever materialize at your employer), some communities already offer $40 and more per month in cash for those who commute by bike.

Winnipeg - Bike, traffic ideas spark oohs, ahhs at open house

While some of the proposals were par for the municipal course -- think an asphalt bike path and adjacent concrete sidewalk on Bison Drive from Pembina to Barnes -- others stirred up admiring "oohs" and scandalized "ahhs."

Many of the proposed improvements are virtually unknown in Winnipeg: things such as blue-painted bike lanes, traffic calming circles, and even decorative barricades that serve to force vehicle right turns, which can reduce non-local motor traffic while allowing bikes to drive on through.

Regina - A man with a plan

The downtown plan puts emphasis on good public transit and on making it possible for many people living in or near the downtown to walk or bicycle to work.

Charlottetown - Cycling not part of Riverside Drive expansion

Cycling advocates in Charlottetown, including the Medical Society of P.E.I., are upset accommodation for bicycles is not part of a $5-million expansion of Riverside Drive. The new development includes a median and roundabouts, but no cycle lane.

Kentville: build business, culture and cleaner community

Among infrastructure priorities, the water system scored highest on the priority list, with energy conservation and active transportation close behind. Sewer system, public transportation and environmental research were also on the list of top choices.

Ottawa announces $1.8M in stimulus funding for island

[T]he CBRMs active transportation committee was the lone recipient of funding from the Community Adjustment Fund. The $500,000 allotted to the CBRM through this fund will be used for phase one of the active transportation plan, which will include the Westmount Road walkway and bike route extension, bicycle infrastructure upgrades, and engineering and design costs for the Whitney Pier Community Heritage Trail.

Brochure - Active Transportation Coquitlam

Interesting brochure created by the City of Coquitlam BC to promote Active Transportation.

Build it and they will walk, or bike - How to make our city user-friendly to walkers and bikers

There's a lot motivating this push for a more walkable, bike-able Sudbury. In 2007, the city passed a resolution to become the most pedestrian-friendly city in Ontario by 2015.

Clearly, it has a long way to go. But the sustainable mobility study, paid for by a provincial grant, is one step along that road. A draft of the plan is to be completed by the end of March and presented to council May 19. In the meantime, it will also be circulated amongst its partners, including the Social Planning Council, the Sudbury Regional Hospital, the YMCA and the Sudbury and District Health Unit.

Video - Electric Bicycle Push-Trailer

A fun video about a trailer for a bicycle with an electric motor.

Workshop: Complete Streets Forum

The Complete Streets Forum will take place on April 23, 2010 at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. There will also be pre-conference activities taking place on April 22, 2010 at various locations.

The Complete Streets Forum is being organized by the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT), a project of the Clean Air Partnership, in partnership with Transportation Options and the City of Toronto with the generous support of our sponsors.

Workshop Changing Gears: Increasing Young People Cycling in Nova Scotia

This is an invitation to the workshop Changing Gears: Increasing Young People Cycling in Nova Scotia taking place Saturday, March 27th from 10 am – 3 pm and held at the Dartmouth Sportsplex Nantucket Room. Please RSVP before March 25th to We want groups and organizations with an interest in youth health, safety and the environment to join us to learn from each other, coordinate activities and plan new actions.

To confirm your attendance please RSVP at

Job Posting: Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition Executive Director

The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition is a non-profit society that works to improve conditions for cycling in Metro Vancouver. The VACC believes that increased bicycle use has the potential to significantly reduce traffic congestion, prevent diseases that result from inactive living, reduce pollution and enhance our urban environment.

The VACC works through its various programs to change the circumstances that currently discourage bicycle use; that is, to provide and improve cycling facilities, to educate cyclists in commuter cycling skills, and to encourage visibility and celebration of cycling as a legitimate and embraced mode of transportation.

You will find the VACC out in your community on your commute to work during Bike to Work Week in spring and fall, leading the “Great Rides” group bike events, teaching safe cycling skills at community centres, workplaces, and schools (Streetwise Cycling and Bike to School), and at community events such as Earth Day and the Bike Shorts Film Festival throughout the year. If you take your bike on the SkyTrain or ride in the protected lanes on the Burrard Street Bridge, you can thank the VACC for its advocacy, which helped to make these a reality.

Please visit for more information.

Newsletter: Carfree Times

Issue #57 of Carfree Times. Carfree Times is published quarterly at

Skate long into the night with the Photon Light LED Skateboard

The Photon Light Board is quite possibly the coolest skateboarding oriented product I’ve ever seen. The Photon Light Boards’ claim to fame is the integrated LED lights built into the skateboard’s shell in numerous places

Power To The Pedal

The crowd that gathered Feb. 4 was urging [Portland OR] City Council to approve the city’s Bicycle Master Plan, which envisions the construction of more than $600 million in new bike infrastructure over the next 20 years.

[C]ouncil members responded enthusiastically to the plan—which Mayor Sam Adams accurately called “the most ambitious, the most comprehensive of its kind in the country.”

For the BTA, unanimous council approval, which came after a second hearing Feb. 11, marked the greatest triumph in the organization’s 20-year history and its evolution into a significant political force at City Hall.

US: Bill targets transportation and greenhouse gas reductions

Legislation that will help governments make decisions about how to develop smart, sustainable, and cost-effective transportation systems passed in the Senate this afternoon. {Oregon State] Senate Bill 1059 lays the groundwork for communities to plan for future population and employment growth while reducing greenhouse gases.

“This bill deals with one important piece of the climate puzzle – transportation,” said Senator Alan Bates (D-Ashland), who carried the bill on the floor. “We must design our cities more efficiently, everything from timing our traffic signals to increasing our ability to run errands with fewer or shorter trips in the car. This bill sets the stage for progress.”

Budapest's "new main street" to be completed soon

[T]he whole plan behind the new main street is to make central Budapest more welcoming to both tourists and locals alike, and it will feature more aesthetically pleasing designs. Zoltán Cselovszki, the main architect behind the plans, explained how the new poles designed to keep cars off the sidewalks will resemble "blades of grass growing in a stream" and that the bicycle racks will resemble bicycle wheels.

[Yet another capital city designing itself to be more attractive and people - not car - friendly. -MH]

Bicycle Lanes in South Jakarta

Jakarta Capital City Governor`s invitation to ride bicycle in the daily life has been positively responded by the people. Hundreds of residents in South Jakarta use bicycle as an alternative vehicle to go to work or school. Furthermore, the South Jakarta Municipality plans to make special lanes for bicycle.

"We will provide special lane for bicycle for the sake of the cyclists` safety," said Syahrul Effendi, South Jakarta Mayor, Friday (2/26).

Future EU Emission Rules to Become Driving Force for

The EU expects environmental restrictions on cars and Powered Two-Wheelers (PTW) to be set in such a way that one norm for all vehicles will be applied by the end of this decade. A measure that will greatly incite the development and sale of e-Bikes, e-Scooters and e-Motorcycles.

[Again, nothing similar going on in Canada. -MH]

US: Federal Legislation Introduced to Increase Community Walking, Biking Programs

The Active Community Act of 2010, or ACT, was brought to the House floor yesterday by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to promote active forms of transportation that can improve a sense of community vitality, reduce pollution in the air and create jobs. An average of $400 million annually over five years would be authorized for the program.

[Where is there anything remotely similar in Canada? -MH]