Thursday, December 29, 2011

Don't feel safe walking at night? Exercise more

Feel afraid walking in your neighbourhood at night? Well, somewhat ironically, exercising will apparently make you feel safer. New Australian Bureau of Statistics research shows those who participate in sport and recreational activities have significantly greater levels of trust in the community and are far more likely to feel safe walking the streets after dark.

Study: Health benefits outweigh costs of ciclovia events

Ciclovias, the global term for what we call Sunday Parkways here in Portland, are nothing short of a revolution. Started in Latin America in the 1960s and made widely known by Bogota, Colombia, the events have spread like wildfire across North America in the last decade.

But with city budgets being very tight these days, programs like Sunday Parkways aren't likely to survive the axe. Now, a new study, Do Health Benefits Outweigh the Costs of Mass Recreational Programs? An Economic Analysis of Four Ciclovía Programs, published in the Journal of Urban Health will help make the case that they're worth the investment.

Owen Sound - Teen tracker study illustrates ‘unhealthy reliance on cars’

Sixteen local teens were tracked by GPS devices for a public health study of where they go and how they get there. The week-long study's results reflected provincial findings that fewer students walk to school, which is part of an unhealthy reliance on cars, its authors said.

Toronto - King-Spadina towers set precedent for new applications

Pedestrian bridge will be critical link in Grand River Trail

Kitchener ON: A critical link in the Walter Bean Grand River Trail — the pedestrian bridge near the Doon Valley Golf Course — should be open and ready to use by next April.

Three schools in Centre Wellington getting kids active

Just as our communities at large have recognized the need to include active transportation in any future planning, so has the school community. As with any initiative, chances of a long-term change in behaviour is best assured when introduced at an early age.

Trent Hills supports master cycling plan for the county

Council endorsed the proposal Dec. 20 after hearing from a presentation by County project engineer Christine Harvey, who helped create the plan. One of its objectives is to make Northumberland "a unique cycling destination" by establishing "on- and off-road paths" that link the seven municipalities as well as connect the county to neighbouring counties, she said

Free-wheelin' town offers a model of bike-friendliness

Making Sarnia a better place for cyclists can be done cheaply, easily and effectively, says an official from one of North America's top bicycle-friendly cities. Robb Davis, a member of the Davis, California's bicycle advisory commission, said improving Sarnia's cycling infrastructure isn't as difficult as it seems.

Charge admission fees to pay for new skateboard parks, alderman urges

The Calgary Association of Skateboard Enthusiasts has offered to fundraise to help pay for dozens of new skate parks, and aldermen seem fine with the $11-million construction price tag, spread over a decade. Still, Ald. Shane Keating said Wednesday the city should contemplate charging fees to use some of the more sizable facilities when they come on line.

Is Calgary ready for bike sharing?

Bike sharing is, unsurprisingly, lauded by cycling advocates. But this week in Calgary, the very idea of setting up short-term bike rentals throughout the core has received harsh criticism courtesy the Calgary Sun. In his column yesterday, Sun columnist Michael Platt argues the cost of implementing and maintaining the bike share program and the impact of more bike lanes on downtown roads will result in "chaos."

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has its first-ever physical activity strategy

Carey said approximately 61 per cent of CBRM residents aren’t physically active enough to gain any benefit from physical exercise. That’s above both the provincial and national averages, she said.

India - Cyclists, walkers a neglected lot

Every day, about 37% people walk to their destinations and 18% use cycles in Pune city. But ironically this 55% of population on foot/cycle needs to follow rules of the road designed for the remaining 45% of people that uses vehicles. Their problems are compounded by the fact that our wily politicians consider footpaths and cycles tracks as problems and not as a solution to city's traffic mess.

Active Safe Routes to School Newsletter - Fall/Winter 2011

Sample Article: Momentum around School Travel Planning (STP) is growing, and we recently completed development of our STP Facilitator Training Program. The STP Facilitator is the person who brings all community stakeholders together and guides the STP process.

Study - Walking doesn't build muscle

Women who walk at least 10,000 steps a day have no greater muscle strength and perform no better on tests of balance and agility than women who walk fewer than 7500 steps, according to a new study.

Toronto mulls plan to expand world's longest underground shopping complex

More than a century after Toronto’s first underground pedestrian walkways were built, the city is finishing off a master plan that calls for the PATH system – the world’s longest underground shopping complex – to extend south toward the waterfront.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Toronto - 2012 Complete Streets Forum

The 2012 Complete Streets Forum will be the fifth annual active transportation conference hosted by TCAT. The Complete Streets Forum represents a holistic approach to active transportation policy and planning with a focus on cycling and walking while maintaining the interests of other road users.

The themes and program for the upcoming conference have incorporated feedback from 2010 attendees and is focusing on providing direct experience with implementing Complete Streets, including policy, tools, and examples. The conference will provide numerous opportunities to learn from, consult with, and network with professionals with Complete Streets experience across North America.

European Parliament Agrees that E-Bike Safety Depends on Speed, Not Power

It’s not finalized yet, but there may be a breakthrough in the European discussion on the technical rules for electric bicycles. It could mean among other things that pedelecs with assistance up to 25 km/h will be excluded from the type-approval for mopeds and motorcycles irrespective of their power output. As a result, they would be classified as bicycles, whereas today above 250 W they are considered mopeds.

The politics of cycling

Cyclists. They’re nothing but a bunch of Green-voting, latte-sipping, inner-city trendoids with an over-developed sense of entitlement. That’s what you’d think if you believed much of the media coverage given to cycling in the past few years. From shock jocks to tabloid TV shows to newspaper columnists, there's always someone ready to have a go at cyclists. Especially media organisations that favour the conservative side of politics.

[Published in a Sydney AU newspaper; the perspectives do not look that different, do they? -MH]

Waterloo - Students present visions for area near Kitchener transit hub

Urban-planning students at the University of Waterloo unveiled seven different plans Wednesday for transforming an area now dominated by surface parking lots into an attractive, walkable, mixed-use district.

Bixi to roll into Longueuil

Montreal's innovative Bixi bike-rental program will extend to the city's South Shore next year. The rental company confirms that it plans to set up stands in Longueuil, as long as the South Shore city's council approves the program. The proposed expansion would reportedly include six stations and seventy bikes, at the cost of $1-million over seven years.

Carfree Times - Issue #64

An interesting online newsletter that has been in existence for 15 years. It contains many links to relevant videos.

Victoria - Increased patrols, new signage, clearing brush among hike-and-bike trail safety improvements under way

Craig recommended new signage to include mile markers along the trail close enough to be seen from one to the other, signs indicating road intersections, signs recommending use of cell phones on the trail, and signs encouraging the buddy system.

"I've been on this trail a lot the last couple of months, and at times I didn't know exactly where I was," Craig said. "We encourage people to exercise at times when there are other people using the trail. Those types of environments dissuade people from committing crimes."

Cities move independently to put safety barriers on trucks

This winter in Westmount, the wealthy enclave within Montreal, one-third of the contracted snow-removal trucks will be outfitted with safety rails in an effort to prevent pedestrians and cyclists from tumbling beneath and getting crushed under their wheels when struck.

Active Voice: Electric Bikes as a New Active Transportation Modality to Promote Health

These new e-bikes are gaining popular acceptance and even avid cyclists turn to them for comfort and practical considerations. They may encourage otherwise inactive persons to start exercising, while also gaining time on their commutes and helping the environment.

Charlottetown - Walkers, cyclists want safety in capital area, consultants told

People in the greater Charlottetown area want to feel safer whether they're out walking or riding a bike. That's what international active transportation experts are going to tell councils in Charlottetown, Stratford and Cornwall as well as the provincial government.

Calgary - Pathway communities attract bike commuters

Margeaux Myers says there are a number of reasons she rides her bike to work downtown every day. It's fun, it's inexpensive and it keeps her in shape. And for her, it's easy. Two blocks from her Parkdale house is the Bow River path that takes her straight downtown in minutes. Sure beats the daily traffic battles, she says.

Ottawa - Transportation committee approves bridge over Rideau

Plans for a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge across the Rideau River received easy approval from city council's transportation committee Wednesday, indicating a big change in councillors' attitude toward such projects over the past few years.

New York - Number of Bicyclists Keeps Climbing, City Says

On Thursday [Dec. 8], the city said that the number of regular city bicycle riders increased by 8 percent this year, extending a decade-long trend that has nearly quadrupled the number of regular cyclists since 2001, according to the city’s Department of Transportation.

UK - Campaign For Better Transport: how to reduce the need to travel

The National Planning Policy Framework will sideline smart growth in favour of out-of-town sprawl - rolling back decades of town centred development. Now campaigners have launched a toolkit to reduce travel demand within local transport plans: Campaigners' guide to reducing the need to travel

London: One of the world's best cities for walking

London even wants you to walk. was established by several governmental agencies with a purpose of getting people off the often-crowded trains and buses and onto the streets. Its website ( outlines seven walks. Some cut through the heart of the city; one takes participants along the banks of the Thames; another circles the city. At 78 miles, it clearly isn't meant to be done at once, but in stages, which, after all, is the best way to see London.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Video - Chicago's First Segregated Bike Lane

Have a look at this four-minute video, which shows the lane and includes some background from community leaders, staff, and users.

[I particularly enjoy one alderman, speaking near the end of the video, who says that his district will get the next bike lane because "[he] wants to make sure [his] ward receives its fair share" -MH]

Demographic changes spark challenges to keep teens engaged

One of those interests that has burgeoned throughout the city is skateboarding and it is one pastime that the Edgemont Community Association, for one, has zeroed in on. "At our next board meeting, a group is coming from Skateboard Calgary to talk about what we can do in our community to support the skateboarders,'' explained Scobie. "As annoying as they can be from time to time, they wouldn't be destroying our benches if maybe we put up a bar for them.''

[Skateboarding is only one element in this article which discusses the need for youth engagement in activities. A related article is found at: City urged to get on board with skateboards -MH]

Drive Less, Live Longer

[A] recent study by a Canadian research team has determined that driving decreases life expectancy. According to the study, every hour you spend behind the wheel in North America leads to a 20-minute loss of life expectancy due to the risks of a fatal car crash. Further, the study concluded that by slowing down just two miles per hour, the average driver would increase their life expectancy by three hours per year.

Coquitlam - Take a hike, take a bike in future?

Walking, cycling and public transit are emphasized in an update to Coquitlam’s strategic transportation plan, a document that seeks to increase alternate modes of commuter travel in the municipality. Currently, 82% of trips in the city are made by automobile, a number engineering staff said they hope will drop to 70% by the end of the plan’s 20-year horizon.

Should bikes be banned from major arterials or at least rapid-bus streets?

And all she had to do was go one block over to 10th Avenue, where she could have been on far quieter and safer street that is so dominated by cyclists that cars now avoid it. But no, there she was, causing cars to swerve around her on a busy arterial. The question: Should she be banned? Or simply encouraged to move to a proper bike route?

[From Oregon US, and a story that generated many, but the usual, comments. Of interest is this related story from Denmark: Want to be like Copenhagen? -MH]

Calgary - Winter Maintenance Gets Green Light

Although it is only minutes from its home base it took over two years to travel those few blocks. This street sweeper was not far from its Transportation Department yard when it was spotted cleaning the winter debris off the celebrated 26th Ave SW on-street bike route November 21, 2011.

Penang wants to become a bicycle state

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng told reporters today that his administration wanted to turn Penang into a "bicycle state'. As part of the bicycle state programme, the state government has also mandated that new housing projects be equipped with bicycle lanes. According to Lim, the regulations on the bicycles lanes became law recently. Under the regulations, developers must set aside land for the bicycle lanes.

Calgary - Council dips into reserves for budget: Snow plowing, bike paths and transit benefit

Council added crowdpleasing measures into the city budget that should improve commutes for bus users, cyclists, and residents used to plows rarely clearing their streets.

Winnipeg - Helping more drivers park it

The city's [Winnipeg] long-awaited downtown parking strategy, released Thursday, outlines a broad plan to get rid of reserved parking stalls and parking subsidies that help eat up some of the 39,283 available stalls downtown. The plan recommends Winnipeg enact new policies to free up spots on the street, get rid of some surface parking lots, and encourage people to carpool or use transit or active transportation to get downtown.

Planning expert praises Collingwood

Renowned active transportation expert Dan Burden had kind things to say about Collingwood on Monday. He praised the town's Urban Design Manual, calling it "one of the best I've seen in all of North America.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Transport Minister attacks pedestrians

"Why shouldn't pedestrians have to pay road tax and insurance like everyone else? Have you seen the state of the pavements in many of our cities? Well, who do you think caused that? In a fair 'Big Society' like ours we all have to take responsibility for the cost of the transport infrastructure of this country. It is time that pedestrians paid there way and stopped freeloading of honest taxpayers; after all we are all in this together".

David Cameron endorsed Bright Centurion's findings this evening," Many pedestrians have little or no respect for the Highway Code. They see it as a right to wander the streets for free, some of them even carrying heavy shopping bags; or push child's' buggies.

[This is a delicious spoof from the UK - definitely worth five minutes to peruse. -MH]

Cities look to become age-friendly

As the population ages, city planners in many communities across Canada are teaming up with health researchers to listen to concerns like Howe's, and to understand more about how the physical and social environment affects health, social connectedness and mobility.

Ottawa - Battle lines forming as Bronson makeover looms

The reconstruction of Bronson Avenue downtown is to begin in the spring, but already battle lines have formed over the project's direction. The avenue should be made friendlier to pedestrians, but city plans would instead have the road continue to "blight" a neighbourhood, a community association president says.

California - Highway Design Manual

The California Highway Design Manual includes Chapter 1000 dedicated to the design of pedestrian and bike facilities.

Active transportation corridor will link Burnside, Bedford

“About five years ago (HRM) regional council passed an Active Transportation Plan for the municipality, and one of the future connections involved connecting Lower Sackville and Bedford with Burnside and Dartmouth,” explained David MacIsaac, HRM’s Transportation Demand Management Program Supervisor.

Walking group makes strides in diabetes management

The purpose of this group is to provide an outlet that promotes wellness through fitness and social activities. PhACS provides an opportunity for people who may have diabetes and/or anxiety and mental health issues to get out and exercise as well as provide social interaction and transferable life skills.

Toronto - Waterfront plan has good flow

In addition to the LEED- gold certification — a Waterfront Toronto requirement — River City’s Phase 2 will have a hybrid car and bike share program, garage pre-wiring for electric cars, heat-recovery ventilators and water-efficient fixtures. With all energy in the West Donlands generated by a district energy system, River City has made provision that upgrades for future sustainable energy will be easy.

Calgary - Developer tees up plans for Shawnee Park

PROJECT: Shawnee Park. The proposed community will be made up of 1,400 housing units across almost 53 hectares of land that formerly housed the Shaw-Nee Slopes Golf Course. A transit-oriented development, the eastern portion of Shawnee Park will have a village retail area along with multi-family housing. As much as 45 per cent the land will be accessible open space, with single-family detached homes spotted among the existing mature trees.

Video - Sharing time: Tracking the ‘sharrow’ on city streets

A "sharrow" -- the word is an amalgamation of "arrow" and "share the road" -- is a larger-than-life thermoplastic symbol of a bicycle topped by two chevrons pointing the way forward. More technically known as "shared lane markings," they're intended to remind two-wheeled and four-wheeled road users alike to share with each other, and also to encourage people on bikes to take the lane when it's too narrow to ride side-by-side with car traffic. Sharrows have been increasing in popularity nationwide, and got a boost in 2009 when they were officially entered into the federal transportation engineering canon.

8 astonishing benefits of walking

Walking just 40 minutes a day could seriously benefit your health; check out these amazing perks to taking a simple stroll around the neighborhood.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Putting Canada on Track: A Blueprint for a National Transit Framework

Canada’s large cities, however, suffer from a lack of public transit infrastructure when compared to their international peers. The reason is threefold. First, Canadian municipalities do not have the revenues to expand and maintain their transit systems. Second, there has historically been insufficient financial support from other levels of government, particularly from the federal government. And finally, progress is hampered by poor governance and intergovernmental coordination.

Full Article.

New Research Finds that Homeowners and City Planners Should 'Hit the Trail' When Considering Property Values

Using a research model they developed, Parent and vom Hofe found that from a real estate perspective, trails can have significant, positive spillover effects on property values when these properties are located within reasonable distances to the trails.

Full Article.

Local Economic Implications of Urban Bicycle Networks

Transportation is vital in keeping economies going. When the UK’s coalition government came to power in 2010, there was concern over whether London’s expensive Crossrail project – a speedy underground network connecting outer London to the city centre – would continue to be developed. Now it’s being heralded as an opportunity for economic growth. If train networks can boost the economy of a city, could bicycle networks boost the economies of the communities they pass through?

Full Article.

Toronto - Can higher taxes cure gridlock?

A bigger gas tax is one of more than a dozen solutions being proposed for the Toronto region by groups such as the Toronto Board of Trade and the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance in support of Metrolinx’s Big Move. Acting on that provincial agency’s plan for transit improvements is the only way many civic leaders believe the Toronto area can escape crushing gridlock that could double trip times by 2031. Metrolinx has been given until 2013 to devise an investment strategy for financing nearly $40 billion in transportation improvements.

Full Article.

Montreal - Green plan gains traction with N.D.G. mayor

The Green, Active and Healthy Neighbourhood Plan for Southeastern Notre Dame de Grâce was unveiled Thursday by the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre as part of the city's "green neighbourhood" program.

Under that program, the centre was asked to choose four neighbourhoods (eastern Mercier, Park Extension, eastern Plateau Mont Royal, and southeastern N.D.G.) to study and then recommend measures and infrastructure designed to calm traffic, improve safety and encourage active transportation, such as walking, cycling and public transit.

Full Article.

Montreal - Head of BIXI bike-rental service steps down

The head of the BIXI bike-rental service has announced his plans to step down. Roger Plamondon announced his decision at a company board meeting on Thursday.

Full Article.

[Boston] skateboarders defiant in face of crackdown

Skateboarders outraged over a lack of quality skateparks pledged to continue grinding on steps, fountains and other concrete and granite spots across the city, despite efforts by police and Mayor Thomas M. Menino to bar skaters from damaging public property.

Full Article.

Smith Falls - Safety concerns draw attention to Old Slys pedestrian path

The issue of pedestrian safety on Old Slys Road is as straight forward as the sidewalk councillor Dawn Quinn and Queen Street resident Ron Stronski want to see installed between the Old Slys Road bridges.
Full Article

Kemptville - Skateboard park now complete

Local youth who want to get some skateboarding in before the snow flies are in luck. Riverside Park's new skateboard park is ready for action. During Monday evening's council meeting, director of parks, recreation and culture, Darren Patmore announced to council that construction of the park is now complete. "It's officially finished," he remarked. "We are planning to have a grand opening in the spring once we get cosmetic touches done, including putting sod down."
Full Article

Sault Ste. Marie - City taking serious look at trails

Approximately 40 people attended a workshop put on by the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning and Development Commission to get some early ideas on a vision statement for non-motorized transportation in Sault Ste. Marie. Plans for various sidewalks, bike lanes and bike trails have been on the books for decades, but the City of Sault Ste. Marie has recently decided to put more resources in to the project, starting with passing in 2010 a Complete Streets resolution.

Full Article.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Velo-city Global Call for Presentations

Velo-city Global is the world's premier international cycling planning conference. The four day event offers delegates from around the world a chance to share best practices for creating and sustaining cycling-friendly cities, where bicycles are valued as part of daily transport and recreation.

The deadline date to submit your Call for Presentations is approaching: November 15, 2011

Suburban Vancouver office market driven by rapid transit: report

According to the report, which addressed both suburban municipalities and the city of Vancouver’s outlying area, the direct vacancy rate for buildings within 0.5 kilometres of a rapid transit station is 4.8 per cent compared to 12.3 per cent for the rest of the market, while the average asking rents are approximately eight per cent higher.

Tokyo police to strictly apply traffic rules against cyclists to reduce accidents

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has decided to urge cyclists to ride in the left lanes of roads and will strictly crack down on people who do not obey traffic rules and ride on sidewalks, in a desperate effort to combat an increasing number of accidents involving bicycles and pedestrians.

Economic Health Benefits Of Bikes For Commuting

A study published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives shows that swapping your car for short trips and replacing them with mass transit and active transport provides major health benefits. The study will be presented to the American Public Health Association in Washington, D.C. $3.8 billion per year are saved in avoided mortality and reduced health care costs for obesity and heart disease by replacing half of the short journeys with bicycle trips during the warmest six months of the year.

Charlottetown - Bike, walk lane meetings analyze public's needs

The consultant working to link the greater Charlottetown area with pedestrian and bike lanes met with young people and educators Wednesday night in Stratford, P.E.I. to discuss their needs.

Coquitlam fills gaps in bike route

Coquitlam transportation staff are putting together plans to fill several gaps in the city’s crosstown bicycle route, a 17-km trail that connects new neighbourhoods in the northeast with the southwest area and Lougheed SkyTrain Station.

Rival councillors united on Fort York bridge plan

Rival city councillors have struck peace over Toronto’s most famous site of war. Six months after an public works meeting ended in acrimony and accusations that suburban councillors loyal to Mayor Rob Ford had spiked plans for a bridge in a downtown ward out of spite, the two sides settled on a cheaper new design on Thursday.

Google Maps decision to charge will hit cyclists

A decision by Google to start charging sites that use its Google Maps application is likely to hit cyclists hard. Many free map services used by cyclists such as Bike Route Toaster use the Google Maps application to allow cyclists to plot their courses and download them to their bike computers.

Google announced this week that from January 1st they will start charging sites considered "heavy users" of Google Maps an annual fee to use the service. Heavy users are those with more than 25,000 uses of Google Maps per year, which will bring in many of the most popular cycling sites.

New York - Bike Lanes: Killing Business, Confusing Drivers, Motivating City Council

Another man on the street opined, "The way it is right now, the economy is not too good. So we don't have too many business [sic], and they don't stop like they did before because before we used to have more parking available."

Thunder Bay - Out of the car, onto your feet

In a community where “you can be anywhere in 20 minutes,” there is, ironically, a strong tendency to get there in an automobile. Streams of cars and light trucks criss-cross the city, most with a single occupant, going to and from work, school, appointments or shopping. Instead, City Hall wants to encourage more people to consider healthier options. The main impediment may not be to convince people to think about bikes, trails and buses. It may simply be breaking a mindset with co-ordination.

Winnipeg - City unveils transportation master plan

The City of Winnipeg’s new transportation master plan (TMP) tries to plan for methods of transportation other than just driving, which is something students want to see.

The TMP also focuses on active transportation. The plan states that in order to improve cycling in the city, there will be year-round maintenance of at least a core cycling network and education to ensure safe interaction between cyclists and motorists.

Waterloo - Cyclists want drivers to share the road

Ban drivers from making right turns on red lights. Prohibit drivers from parking in bicycle lanes. Install signs giving locations and directions along off-road trails. Automatically lay charges against drivers for hitting a cyclist or pedestrian.

Calgary - Momentum on cycling strategy

Calgarians may have reason to believe they can finally satisfy their two-wheeled fantasies. After years of pressure from cyclists to address the city’s lame biking infrastructure, city administration is acting on recommendations to create a bike-friendly transportation system.

Postmen's bikes banned over health and safety fears

Postmen on bikes will become a thing of the past as pedal-powered rounds are axed due to "health and safety" concerns. Royal Mail's move to ban bikes, used for deliveries for decades, will be phased in across Croydon within the next 18 months

Bike Sharing a Fad?

I was recently asked if bike sharing is a fad. The fact that bike sharing programs are expanding at a very quick pace throughout North America seemed to worry my friend.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sackville NB - Skateboarding on town’s streets, sidewalks once again topic of concern

Skateboarders riding up and down the streets of Sackville - it's become an increasingly common sight in the community and one that is causing residents to worry not only about their own safety but that of the youths who are riding them.

Winnipeg - Roads forward mapped out

The City of Winnipeg would like to spend approximately $5 billion over the next 20 years to complete four rapid-transit lines, build a ring road inside the Perimeter and make it easier to move goods in and out of the CentrePort trade hub.

All that's missing is the source of cash for dozens of projects identified as priorities in the city's new Transportation Master Plan, a blueprint for the new roads, transit lines and bike-and-pedestrian projects planners believe Winnipeg will need over next two decades to accommodate the city's growth.

Victoria - CRD moves nearer to regional trail strategy

Urban planners have an ambitious strategy to increase walking and cycling along 900 kilometres of roadways throughout Greater Victoria, but the costsharing plan comes with a hefty price tag of about $275 million.

Commuting to work is ‘bad for your health’ (unless you cycle or go by foot...)

Workers who commute by car, bus or train to the office are more likely to suffer from stress and exhaustion, according to a study. Scientists assessed 12,000 employees aged between 18 and 65. They found that those who travelled to work by car or public transport reported higher levels of stress and tiredness compared to active commuters who travelled by foot or bicycle.

BC - Report highlights alternative transportation options for Northwest

The four case studies includes active transportation (cycling, walking, etc) in Whistler, a ride sharing program in the Kootenays, public transit systems in Wisconsin, electric vehicles in use in Terrace, and potential for enhanced passenger rail service between Edmonton and Prince Rupert.

Haliburton - Taking a step towards resolving transportation woes

Measuring more than 4,500 square kilometres and located more than two hours from Toronto with thousands of lakes, and rivers, often surrounded by stands upon stands of forest, Haliburton County is a virtual outdoor paradise, but is conversely a transportation nightmare for the many people without a vehicle.

Ottawa - Holmes plans ‘sidewalk summit’ on pedestrian issues

At the [November 8] meeting we will discuss the disconnect between what is promised in official planning documents (such as the Ottawa Pedestrian Plan) and what is spent in City budgets. We will also break out into groups to share our experiences and concerns about walking in Ottawa, to develop a priority list of pedestrian problems that need to be solved, and plan ways to make that happen.

New Bike Trail Inaugurated in Jerusalem Metropolitan Park

At the ceremony, KKL-JNF's Gidi Bashan spoke about the bike trail and described plans for the future. "Today, we will be dedicating the first five kilometers of a bike path that will eventually be 42 kilometers long and encircle all of Jerusalem.

District of North Vancouver tables grand transport redesign

District of North Vancouver councillors got their first peek at a new transportation plan covering everything from walking trails to highways Oct. 24. The new, wide-ranging plan encompasses all the district's goals for pedestrian, cyclist and vehicle movement and updates the community's road classification. It also includes several bigticket items.

Toronto - Lawrence-Allen Revitalization Plan on display at open house

The 20-year redevelopment plan calls for replacing the 1,208 city-owned housing units and adding 4,400 new market-value ones. The project will bring an estimated 16,000 new residents to the area bounded by Hwy. 401, Bathurst Street, Lawrence Avenue and Dufferin Street.

Plans for the mixed-income neighbourhood include trail networks, parks and open space, a community centre and, perhaps most importantly, a connection to other neighbourhoods, which is currently lacking due to the Allen Expressway corridor.

Velo-city Global 2012 - Call for Presentations

Velo-city Global is the world's premier international cycling planning conference. The four day event offers delegates from around the world a chance to share best practices for creating and sustaining cycling-friendly cities, where bicycles are valued as part of daily transport and recreation.

We are seeking proposals from political leaders, government officials and staff, researchers, professionals, advocates and business people from around the world that address Velo-city Global 2012’s conference and program themes. In addition to those covering the themes, we encourage a wide diversity of perspectives by inviting proposals from all fields relating to cycling. In particular, presentations introducing innovative research, concepts and solutions, including those that go beyond the themes from a broad range of backgrounds, disciplines, cycling cultures and organizations are most welcome. 

ParticipACTION Newsletter - November 2011

Sample item: ParticipACTION launched its very own YouTube Channel in October, and we encourage you to visit, take a look around and listen in on what we, and the entire country, are doing to help inspire and support Canadians to move more. Share these videos with friends, family, coworkers, and your network. Post comments and videos of your very own, or even subscribe to the Channel and get updates on the latest video releases.

Winnipeg in need of more safe and accesible bike routes

With a growing push towards sustainability, both the University of Manitoba and the city of Winnipeg are looking at ways to offers cyclists more safe and accessible bike routes.

Montreal - Bike lane closing violates city's own plan

The city of Westmount will contravene its own sustainable development plan if it closes its portion of the de Maisonneuve Blvd. bike path during the winter, a watchdog group says.

‘Cycling Is the New Golf’

“Cycling Is the New Golf. Middle-aged men and women have decided that they are better off spending three or four hours on their bike than hitting a little white ball around a fairway.” This comment is made by Humphrey Cobbold, chief executive of Isis Equity Partners; owner of Wiggle. He considers to float the UK based online bike retailer as cycling increases in popularity.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chatham-Kent - Official plan to boost active lifestyles

Council approved an official plan amendment report on Monday, which will provide guidance to the municipality on issues such as land use and resources. The amendment ties together several master plans conducted over the years, including transportation, parks and recreation, and trails.

Giant Bicycles strikes back at stupid GM ad

GM's ad about how embarrassing it is to ride a bike? Dumb. Giant Bicycles' parody response? Classy! Also pretty amusing

Victoria - City asked to allow 49 parking spaces instead of the required 230

In a move being supported by city staff, Gold's Gym has applied to the city for a variance to reduce required parking spaces to 49 from 230. The 41,000-square-foot building at 2269 Douglas St. has 30 underground parking spaces and no bicycle parking. Gold's plans to increase the number of parking spaces to 49 and add 54 bicycle parking spaces.

Calgary - Bike lanes added to northwest commuter route

New bikes lanes have been painted onto 10th Street in northwest Calgary. In some sections, four lanes have been reduced to three to make way for cyclists.

Plans to overhaul UK road signs announced

The plans also included allowing councils to use innovative measures such as pedestrian crossing "countdown" timers without needing Government approval. Other changes include measures to improve cycle journeys by allowing journey times as well as distances to be added to signs on cycle routes.
Announcing the plans, transport minister Norman Baker said: "This is the most far-reaching review of traffic signs in 40 years.

Student coasts toward policy change

Nicholas Franda, freshman criminal justice major, has started the process to have Texas Wesleyan policies changed concerning skateboards and rollerblades on campus. Currently, according to the student handbook, the use of skateboards or rollerblades on campus is prohibited.

The resolution Mendez proposed calls for students to be allowed to skateboard and rollerblade on campus to get to class, but still prohibits the use of skateboards and rollerblades inside residence halls.

Sustainable Mobility Summit 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia

The Sustainable Mobility Summit 2011 in Vancouver will provide an opportunity for international
delegates to network and share best practices on sustainable mobility as a key to human and ecosystem
health, economic growth, transportation efficiency and quality of life in our communities.

Critics question pedestrian access to MUHC superhospital

Montrealers who live near the Glen Yards are demanding the MUHC amend its plan for access to the superhospital. "For people walking, taking their bike or taking the bus there's no acces the full length of St. Jacques. There's no access until you hit the new Decarie Blvd.," said Derek Robertson.

CBRM waiting for province’s share of active transportation program

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has had to curb its spending on active transportation projects this year because the province hasn’t come through with its one-third share of program costs.

Transport Futures “Mobility Pricing Stakeholder Forum” in Toronto on November 22nd

Healthy Transport Consulting and our partners are proud to announce that the Transport Futures “Mobility Pricing Stakeholder Forum” – our sixth since 2008 -- will take place in Toronto on November 22nd. The Forum will build on the success of our previous educational events by focussing on gas taxes, parking fees and road pricing, especially as these measures relate to public acceptance.

As detailed in our exciting agenda, the packed day of learning and interactive discussion will commence with keynote presentations by a top transport economist and a mobility pricing psychologist. With their assistance, a panel of diverse stakeholders will then spend the rest of the day responding to cutting-edge case studies and providing delegates with their viewpoints on five main barriers to mobility pricing implementation: technology, equity, investment, governance and leadership.

A Different Spin on the Dangers of Urban Cycling

Two recent studies appear to expose cyclists as a potent urban menace. Bicycle riders pose a danger to themselves and to pedestrians, according to the studies.

Strategies for Health-Oriented Transportation Projects and Policies

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

Many Americans view walking and bicycling within their communities as unsafe due to heavy traffic and a scarcity of sidewalks, crosswalks, and bicycle facilities. Improving these elements could encourage active transportation such as children biking to school or employees walking to work. Safe and convenient opportunities for physically active travel also expand access to transportation networks for people without cars, while also spurring investment in infrastructure to increase the comfort of the on-road experience to improve the appeal of active modes to all people.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Walking For 20 Minutes A Day Could Save 10,000 Lives A Year

A regular stroll or brisk walk in the park could rapidly slash the death rate of heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases, according to new research by The World Cancer Research Fund.

The study, supported by The Department for Transport's National Travel Survey (United Kingdom), reveals that the number of people choosing to walk instead of driving or taking public transport is at the lowest level since 1988.

More people should use active ways as a means of transportation

Most people in Cape Breton drive to work or school each day. But there are a growing number of people who use active and fun ways of getting around. I ride my bike or walk most days. Some people are more creative in their choice of active transportation. I spoke with Katie Boutilier about the fun and exciting methods that she and her partner, Thomas Allen, use to get to work each day.

Ontario coroner to probe cycling deaths

Ontario's chief coroner will investigate an increase in cycling deaths across Ontario during a five-year period, it was announced Monday. The investigation was initiated because of a concern surrounding cycling safety. The coroner estimates between 15 and 20 cyclists die on Ontario roads every year from accidental collisions.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Have your say with active transportation survey

The Have Your Say online survey, available until Oct. 20 at, is collecting information about barriers to walking, biking and other forms of human-powered travel in Lambton. Survey participants have a chance to win a gift card to a local sporting goods store.

Bike-helmet law challenge an uphill climb

Cyclist Ron van der Eerden has been called a moron and idiot after challenging B.C.’s mandatory helmet law in court. The fuss started last week when he entered a Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge against the province’s 15-year-old mandatory helmet law.

City Plans a Pedestrian-Friendly Jakarta

Long-suffering pedestrians and bicyclists may soon enjoy car-free days on key thoroughfares and see sidewalks cleared of illegal food vendors, if the latest plan to make Jakarta more user-friendly goes ahead, the capital’s chief city planner said on Sunday.

Looking for a fitness buddy? Get a dog

Experts say studies show dog owners walk more, walk faster, and are more likely to enjoy an active lifestyle because of their companion animal.

Fort Frances ON - Public to offer input on budget

During council’s strategic planning process this past summer, the Axtive Transportation Committee requested council integrate active transportation in the town’s budget and infrastructure process, and that council renew its commitment to follow up on the recommendations of the ATC and implement its recommended actions and programs.

Steering clear of cars in big cities

The problem is that, even as population grows and grows, rapid public transit does not. Madrid is a city of comparable size to Toronto and it knows how to get subways built. Madrid has 293 kilometres of subway lines serving 272 stations. Toronto has 70 kilometres serving 69 stations. By Madrid’s standard – a good one – Toronto should have four times the amount of underground rapid transit as it has now. It doesn’t even have a rapid rail line to the airport. No wonder the roads are jammed.

Vancouver’s schools must address student health issues

Our kids will be the first generation to see a decrease in their overall physical health. Childhood obesity is on the rise as are a number of environmental challenges other generations have not experienced. It’s critical that our schools address these health issues and the design challenges behind them; we must support our kids in being active while ensuring they are safe traveling to and learning in our schools.

UK - Great walking ideas

There's more to the National Trust than stiff old stately homes. The charity manages some of Britain's wildest and most beautiful landscapes and is encouraging people to explore them with the launch of its first nationwide Walking Festival (22-30 October).

Toronto skateboarding community connects the dots

Skateboarders are a different breed. And I'm talking specifically about the grown-up ones who take it really seriously and who are making a living of it. How is it that full-grown men are putting everything they have - their time, their bodies, their money, their energy - into an activity that doesn't really have any kind of professional sporting association and appears to be completely devoid of structure?

Armstrong BC - Light shed on Smith Drive

Smith Drive in Armstrong will be lit up and fixed up in 2012. Council voted unanimously to install new lights on the back of the sidewalk from McDonald’s to Pleasant Valley Road, and also voted to make safety and visibility upgrades in conjunction with the city’s active transportation plan

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Study - Bicyclists Bring Business

Since 2005, Parks & Trails New York and the New York State Canal Corporation also have been presenting “Bicyclists Bring Business” roundtables in communities across the state to help local businesspeople seize the economic opportunity presented by rising interest in bicycle tourism. In turn, we have learned even more from the many business owners and community leaders attending these workshops. We are pleased now to share our knowledge with interested businesspeople and other community leaders through this guide.

Calgary - Mayor not aware of cycle scheme

Someone gives the high sign to take 10 St. N.W. down from four to three lanes, set up bike lanes, don’t tell anybody, including the mayor, and when the doo-doo hits the fan ... surprise, surprise ... we have an angry population and a “pilot project” where commuters on short fuses are the guinea pigs.

Lace up those walking shoes and hit the road

Ever see pedestrians flipping off one another?

World’s first foldable skateboard now available

The SNAP Skateboard is a curious item and will undoubtedly take its place among a long line of unique skateboarding inventions.

The skateboard is 32 inches long by 7.87 inches wide, is made from aircraft grade aluminum, weighs 6.5 pounds and sports a 15 inch wheel base when fully extended. It also comes standard with 56mm wheels, ABEC 7 bearings and a 7.75 inch axle. Once folded for storage the skateboard allegedly reduces in length to 14.3 inches long and requires five inches in height clearance due, in part, to the re-positioning of the wheels.

Aspotogan Peninsula Active Transportation Strategy

A rural Active Transportation Strategy from Nova Scotia.

Voting now open in effort to land funding for Amherstburg-Essex trail

The general public is being asked to help click the Amherstburg-Essex trail into reality.

The Essex Region Conservation Foundation (ERCF) has entered into the Aviva Community Fund online competition to seek funding to develop the Essex-Amherstburg Greenway, a 22-kilometre multi-use recreational trail, similar to the Chrysler Canada Greenway.

Perth County Trails and Active Transportation Facebook

MovingON would like to you (or an alternate representative) to attend our next meeting to join a conversation about creating a Perth County Trails and Active Transportation Council and the creation of a county-wide master plan. Attached is a flyer describing this conversational session. A representative from the Oxford Country Trails Council will share also their experiences.

Korea - New bicycle roads to become green transport infrastructure

The government said refurbishing the four main river systems — the Han, Nakdong, Geum and Yeongsan — will not only secure water resources and improve water quality, but also build “green” transport infrastructures by encouraging more people to enjoy bike riding as a leisure activity.

Active Transportation in Canada Guide

Last week the Active Transportation in Canada: a resource and planning guide was released by Transport Canada. This will be an important tool for planners and engineers that focuses bes approaches to active transportation in Canadian cities.

The Journal of Public Transportation

The Journal of Public Transportation is published quarterly by the National Center for Transit Research Center for Urban Transportation Research:

University of South Florida • College of Engineering 4202 East Fowler Avenue, CUT100
Tampa, Florida 33620-5375
Phone: (813) 974-3120
Fax: (813) 974-5168

Banff - Skateboard ban lifted

Council voted 5-2 to lift the ban on skateboarding between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Only Coun. Paul Baxter and Coun. Leslie Taylor were opposed to scrapping the restriction. "We as a council, by lifting this bylaw, are introducing a new activity into the night in the town," she said, noting it was a council responsibility to address the consequences of that.

Transportation targeted

An international transportation expert is coming to London next week to answer that question at a community forum that will look at the good and bad of the city's transportation network. "The main issue I see with London's active transportation is we aren't all together on the same page. This is the first hurdle we need to surpass. The idea is to create a community flag that we can all stand behind," said Ryan Craven, of the Urban League of London's Our Street.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Is Sarnia a good place to ride a bike or go for a walk?

Between now and Oct. 20, the active transportation committee is running an online survey to collect information on barriers to walking, biking and other forms of human-powered travel.

The survey can be found at

"We want to know what's preventing people from being active on their bikes or walking," Elliott said, "so we can do more to create a pedestrian and bike-friendly culture in Lambton County."

2012 Building Sustainable Communities Conference

The Fresh Outlook Foundation is hosting its 5th Building SustainAble Communities conference February 27th to March 1st, 2012 at the Delta Grand Resort in Kelowna, BC, Canada.

The program--inspired by 75 industry experts on 11 planning committees--features a variety of plenaries, breakouts, panels, workshops, debates, and interactive sessions to provide opportunities for enhanced communication and collaboration

Video - Bikes a Path to Jobs

A "talking-head" video explaining that if you want to maximize the jobs created for the dollars spent on 'road' infrastructure, you will include or focus on bike paths. [5m 20s]

Ford uses Frankfurt Auto Show to introduce E-Bike concept

Somehow to the powers-that-be at Ford it made sense to introduce its new eBike concept, an electric bicycle, at the Frankfurt Auto Show, which runs through this Sunday, Sept. 25. Introduce an electric bike it claims it has no plans to build.

In traffic-choked L.A., a car lane is given to bicycles

In a city known for traffic gridlock, deliberately eliminating an entire lane for cars could be politically dubious. But that's just what officials did Thursday as they unveiled Los Angeles' newest bicycle lane, a 2.2-mile stretch along 7th Street from Catalina Avenue in Koreatown to Figueroa Street downtown.

Manitoba - Green's out of fashion for political parties

The environment, especially climate change, has largely fallen off the political agenda. The NDP's 15-page vision document doesn't mention greenhouse gases or climate change at all -- or biofuels, active transportation, recycling or organic farming. The party that once bragged (prematurely) about being the only province to meet its Kyoto targets has yet to make any green promises at all.

But on the other hand, neither have the Tories or Liberals.

Province Wants Input on Proposed New Bicycle Rules

The province is starting public consultations on proposed new rules for bicycles, aimed at making the rules of the road clear and easy to understand.

Latest Hornby, Dunsmuir bike stats show 40% increase in trips since 2010

Despite recent claims to the contrary, cycle trips are up 40 percent along the Hornby and Dunsmuir separated bike lanes, according to the latest counts posted today.

Army of skateboarders takes over downtown streets

Several hundred longboarders surprised drivers, and police, when they took over downtown streets Saturday. Decked in white dress shirts and ties — “because it’s a board meeting,” skateboarder Dan Slater quipped — they held up traffic as they zipped through stop lights, riding from Yonge St. and St. Clair Ave. to Bellevue Square in Kensington Market.

Report recommends increased snow budget

THE City of Winnipeg wants to beef up plowing this winter by clearing snow from active transportation routes and more back lanes. A new report recommends Winnipeg spend an additional $250,000 in its 2012 operating budget and subsequent winters to clear snow from active transportation corridors.

TCAT Newsletter

The September 13 newsletter of the Toronto Coalition of Active Transportation.

Why are so few adults wearing bike helmets?

In Vancouver, where bike helmets are mandatory, there are plans for a legal challenge of the helmet law that's scheduled for mid-August. Many of those fighting the law say making helmets mandatory infringes on their rights.

Canada’s slowest rush hour

The board’s analysis revealed that 28.8 per cent of Toronto’s commuters walk, bike or take public transit to work, a rate that ranks 11th out of 22 cities worldwide. Montreal was slightly ahead with 29.5 per cent, while Vancouver sits at 25.3 per cent.

New York City remains North America’s gold standard for alternative transportation, with 40.3 per cent avoiding the car on their commute. That’s nothing compared with other cities around the world such as Hong Kong, where nine out of 10 workers walk, bike or use transit.

County and local partners develop active transportation plan

An active transportation plan is being developed locally and across Wellington County to create and improve opportunities for people-powered recreation and transportation.

Public input will help the county and its partners develop a progressive and comprehensive Active Transportation Plan for Wellington County. For more information, contact Sarah Wilhelm of the planning and development department for the County of Wellington at 519-837-2600 ext. 2130 or

Winnipeg - Cycling by numbers

How do we know if Winnipeggers are actually using the city’s active-transport infrastructure? Bike to the Future has the answer.

New report targets transportation improvements

The Cape Breton District Health Authority has released a new report which it hopes will spark discussion on ways to improve public transportation. The report is titled “Transportation – Ways to Go, How Will We Get There?” and is a follow-up to last spring’s Population Health Day and identifies solutions and actions to achieve accessible, affordable and active transportation.

The report is available online by visiting the Population Health bulletins section of the district’s website:, or by contacting Debbie Martell, at 794-8942 or

NYC Biking is Up 14 Percent From 2010; Overall Support Rises

Biking is up in New York City by 14 percent from last spring. The NYC Department of Transportation says it recorded 18,809 cyclists per day, up from 16,463 in spring 2010. Word of the increase in cycling comes the same day a poll shows a widening number of New Yorkers support bike lanes.

Movement afoot to get Duncan walking

The City of Duncan, Cowichan Tribes and the Municipality of North Cowichan are working together on an "Active Transportation Plan" that will focus on methods of transportation other than cars and trucks.

"Many roadway improvements made in the past decades have been solely for enhancing automobile movements at the expense of mobility for pedestrians and cyclists," explained James van Hemert, Duncan's director of development services.

Active Transportation Plan Takes Great Strides Forward

[T]he province’s Cycling Infrastructure Partnerships Program’s Bike BC Program announced that the city of Rossland is one of 16 communities to receive grant money to help build and improve local cycling infrastructure. Rossland’s portion of the grant is $25,000.
“We’re committed to investing in community cycling infrastructure to improve the health and well-being of all British Columbians. This investment will help make cycling a viable transportation option for families and communities, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Blair Lekstrom, in a news release.

Severn plans for active transportation

Severn Township is preparing to become more active transportation friendly. "I think what people would like is if they could ride their bicycles on the roads that we have already," Severn Mayor Mike Burkett said on Friday. "That would mean we'd have to make them a little wider."

St. John's NL - City’s new bike plan stirs questions, cautious optimism

It’s been four years since the prospect of turning St. John’s into a more transport-egalitarian city became a good possibility. Now, after more than a year-long delay involving conflicting opinions of what a local bike plan would look like, the City of St. John’s is preparing to introduce Phase 1 of its Cycling Master Plan later this month.

Boarders urge town to change skateboarding bylaw

About 20 youths descended on [Collingwood ON] town hall, Thursday afternoon, to emphasize the point that skateboarding isn't a crime.

A bylaw passed in 1994 banned skateboards — along with a number of other activities, including rope skipping, marbles, and haki-sack — from sidewalks. Another bylaw sets the fine for using a skateboard on a public road, sidewalk, or municipal parking lot.

One Path to Better Jobs: More Density in Cities

How great are the benefits of density? Economists studying cities routinely find that after controlling for other variables, workers in denser places earn higher wages and are more productive. Some studies suggest that doubling density raises productivity by around 6 percent while others peg the impact at up to 28 percent. Some economists have concluded that more than half the variation in output per worker across the United States can be explained by density alone; density explains more of the productivity gap across states than education levels or industry concentrations or tax policies.

[Interesting opinion piece. -MH]

The simplest health fix

It might not be as sexy as surfing, as cool as cycling or as chic as sailing but walking has plenty of rewards. Not only is it cheap and relaxing but it doubles as a great mode of transport. It's also incredibly popular. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show more than one in five Australians prefers to walk as exercise, making it the most common form of physical activity.

Issue #63 of Carfree Times

Carfree Times is an excellent online magazine. Many consider it to be thorough and well written.

U.S. - A New List of Top Walking Cities Reveals Surprises

Once upon a time, a new list identifying the top U.S. cities for walking would generate no more excitement than the roster of all-time greatest shortstops playing for the Toledo Mud Hens. Indeed, some would have argued that rating American cities on walkability makes no more sense than ranking the best swimming beaches in Greenland.

But it’s a different story now that walking is associated with attractive urban traits like community spirit, environmental quality, convenient mobility and an overall sense of fun.

Case against bike lanes has not been made

Businesses may complain, but they have yet to produce hard evidence that they have suffered as a result of segregated cycling areas. A study released last month that could have — and should have — nailed down the impacts of downtown Vancouver’s new bike lanes on the businesses that line the affected streets is, in fact, doing no such thing.

Video - Roll On, Oregon

The latest promo video from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, in Portland, Oregon. (Less than 2 min.)

OTREC Director Talks Bikes In Canada

OTREC Director Jennifer Dill traveled to Vancouver, B.C. to talk about the impact of new bike lane facilities in downtown Portland. The conference, Changing Lanes, was about improving bike-car relationships on Canada’s roads. The conference attracted leading international and domestic experts to discuss issues and research on bike/car safety, infrastructure and the business opportunities and costs of increasing bike use in cities.

Jack Layton saw the future and it was on a bicycle

An editorial in Wednesday’s Toronto Star mentioned something about the late Jack Layton that only a few others have voiced: his pioneering efforts to make Toronto’s roads safe for cyclists.

In the ’80s, Layton created Toronto’s first cycling committee. Run from his office, the goal was to gather more information on the use of bicycles in the city, as well as to create a voice for cyclists. It wasn't long before the committee started to receive funding from the city.

Fort Frances ON - New safety zone put into effect

Council passed a bylaw in May to amend By-Law 10/03 (the Traffic Control By-Law) to establish a “community safety zone,” with the intent being to raise awareness of the presence of pedestrians and cyclists, specifically students, crossing King’s Highway in that area.

The zone is part of a greater traffic safety initiative to strategically promote pedestrian safety and active transportation throughout Fort Frances. Future ventures could range from school zone signs with speed reduction and amber lights to bike paths.

Beijing plans congestion fees on main roads to ease traffic

The Chinese capital plans to impose congestion fees on vehicles using main roads and crowded areas in a drive to ease chronic traffic jams and cut pollution, Chinese media reported yesterday.

Officials hope the fees - which will be imposed under the new "Green Beijing" plan announced on Thursday - will lead more residents to use public transport and ride bicycles, the state-run news agency Xinhua said.

Rush to build bike trails results in a major disconnect

By the end of the month, the city will open 34.2 kilometres of new off-road bicycle trails, the result of federal and provincial infrastructure money that had to be spent by the end of the year. The $23 million project was funded in part by the city, which put in $10 million.

And it means a cyclist could bike off-road all the way from downtown to the Toronto Zoo. Well, almost.

Cycling Industry Club Founded by ECF and CEOs

[T]he first meeting of the Cycling Industry Club took place at Eurobike. According to ECF President Manfred Neun (l.) and Accell CEO René Takens (r.) representatives of leading bicycle industry companies and European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) gathered to discuss future collaboration which will advance pro-bicycle policies across Europe.

More bike lanes sought in Vancouver

According to the city, Vancouver has more than 300 kilometres of on- and off-street bicycle routes, including 10 new bike lanes downtown. It has separated bike lanes on Hornby and Dunsmuir streets.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Canada Walks August Update

Link to newsletter.

Biking to the BEAT

How a grant program promoting innovative city design helped build wheel-friendly communities in BC.

The Built Environment & Active Transportation (BEAT) initiative focuses on design changes in our surroundings that can help us incorporate those important bouts of physical activity into our daily lives, rain or shine.

Horwath announces green plans, promises bike funding

Ontario New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath cycled squarely into the centre of the biking and public transit debate on Thursday, promising to invest in cycling networks and freeze transit fares should she become premier.

Should it be illegal for drivers to come too close to cyclists?

[T]he NDP in Ontario [has] a proposal that would force drivers to keep their distance. The party wants to make it illegal for drivers to come within a metre of cyclists and punish those who do with a fine.

Michigan Puts Road Engineers on Bikes

Do you ever feel like traffic engineers just don’t get it? That there is a hopeless disconnect between the world of sustainable transportation and the world of “level of service” and “vehicle throughput?” Well, the Michigan Department of Transportation has a remedy for that. They call it “Training Wheels.”

Since 2005, MDOT has been putting traffic engineers, planners and public officials behind the handlebars for a view from the other side of the windshield. Hundreds of transportation officials and decision makers have received training in bike planning, but perhaps more importantly, experienced the streets from a cyclist’s perspective.

Video - no ridiculous car trips

An excellent video and campaign from Malmo, Sweden. Telling people how quickly they can get from place to place on a bike is an important part of the message.

County wants input on people-powered transportation options

WELLINGTON COUNTY — County officials want residents’ input as they seek to create and improve people-powered transportation options. The county and its lower-tier municipalities are collecting feedback and ideas on ways to improve conditions for cycling, hiking, walking and cross-country skiing.
“We really want people to tell us what they want,” said Sarah Wilhelm, a development planner with the county. The feedback will be incorporated into an active transportation plan, which Wilhelm suggested will help the county and its member municipalities better prioritize future spending based on meeting the community’s needs.

Car Companies Clearly Present at Eurobike

Despite the waiting list there are again also notable newcomers at Eurobike this year. Like Daimler Benz. This car company today announced that its subsidiary Smart will start selling e-bikes via its own dealer network as of mid 2012.

Smart positions itself as a pioneer of locally emission-free transport and broadens its program of electric vehicles further. Like other automotive companies, Smart will have a presentation at Eurobike to capture their share of this fast growing market as Daimler stated it today in a press release.

Bicycle Is Primary Means of Transport for 35 million Europeans

Commissioned by the European Union, the Gallup Organization held a survey among citizens of the EU-27 countries. The bicycle is the primary means of transport for more than 35 million Europeans or 7% of the total population.

Besides the Netherlands cycling is also taking a substantial part of the non motorized mobility in other EU member states. In Hungary for example the ratio is 19% cycling versus 12% walking, in Sweden 17% cycling versus 11% walking, in Denmark 19% cycling versus 4% walking, Germany 13% cycling versus 7% walking and Belgium 13% cycling versus 5% walking. The average for the European Union is 7% cycling versus 13% walking.

Cycling is definitely not a matter of limited income proven by the fact that in Cyprus, with the lowest average income in the European Union, 89% of all mobility takes place by cars while the portion of people cycling is neglectable.

Bicycling is Booming in Britain, Says London School of Economics

A 24-page report on the state of the 'cycling economy' and the prospects for the future has been released by an academic at the London School of Economics. The report - 'The British Cycling Economy' - was written by Dr Alexander Grous, a productivity and innovation specialist in the Centre of Economic Performance at LSE.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Winnipeg's Active Transportation Network Mapped Out

Maneuvering Winnipeg's Active Transportation network has become a lot easier. Now cyclists, runners and pedestrians can go the city's website to plan routes. There, you'll see all the paths, bike boulevards and pedestrian corridors. You can also take a virtual ride.. on each trail by watching videos recorded from a cyclist's perspective.

Bike lanes open on Victoria Avenue [Chatham ON]

Cyclists now have their own dedicated bike lanes on both sides of Victoria Avenue between Gregory Drive and McNaughton Avenue. The new lanes were hailed by Lynn O'Brien, of the Active Communities Steering Committee, and Chatham Coun. Derek Robertson, both of whom rode their bikes to the dedication ceremony.

City Completes Largest Investment in Cycling Infrastructure in Surrey's History

The City of Surrey will officially open two new overpasses during tonight’s Council Meeting by turning on the illuminated artworks that exist on the structures. The overpasses span Highway 99 and Highway 1 and complete major links in the city’s network of cycling and pedestrian paths, and serve as signature landmarks.

Report - Policy Interventions for Safer, Healthier People and Communities

Partnership for Prevention seeks to support the development of transportation policies that also promote the nation’s health. We are pleased to have collaborated with the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) at UC Berkeley, Booz Allen Hamilton, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to produce "Transportation and Health: Policy Interventions for Safer, Healthier People and Communities." This report examines the effects of transportation policies on public health in three key areas—environment and environmental public health, community design and active transportation, and motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities.

Top five skateboarding non-profit organizations

There are many non-profit organizations that are integrating the sport of skateboarding into their fundraising efforts and charitable services. Non-profit groups are vital parts of our society, as they provide adolescents with the resources to grow and mature into responsible adults. Skateboarding is all about having fun, but it can also teach kids crucial skills that can be applied in daily life. [Click the link to reach] a guide to the top five skateboarding non-profit organizations.

Toronto's 2011 Bikeway Update

This report responds to a request by the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, at its
meeting of April 26, 2011, that the Acting General Manager, Transportation Services report
  • the development and implementation of the Mayor's Bike Plan during the current term
  • of Council;
  • the development and implementation of a continuous Separated Bike Lane Network inthe downtown during the current term of Council;
  • the status of the Bloor-Danforth Environmental
  • any other outstanding matters relating to bike lanes.
[An interesting report from city staff, even if you do not live in Toronto. -MH]

Bike-Sharing Grows Up: New Revenue Models Turn a Nice Idea into Good Business

Despite the occasional bit of criticism, there seems to be a perfect storm brewing for bike-sharing at the moment. In many cities, better links are needed between transit hubs, and bike-sharing systems are a whole lot less expensive than new light-rail links or bus rapid transit programs.

[Once again the US, despite being behind Canada initially, shows signs that it is leaving us far behind. -MH]

US - National Bicycle & Pedestrian Documentation Project

One of the greatest challenges facing the bicycle and pedestrian field is the lack of documentation on usage and demand. Without accurate and consistent demand and usage figures, it is difficult to measure the positive benefits of investments in these modes, especially when compared to the other transportation modes such as the private automobile.

An answer to this need for data is the National Bicycle & Pedestrian Documentation Project, co-sponsored by and Alta Planning and Design and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Pedestrian and Bicycle Council. This nationwide effort provides consistent model of data collection and ongoing data for use by planners, governments, and bicycle and pedestrian professionals.

[We desperately need something like this in Canada. -MH]

County wants input on people-powered transportation options

County officials want residents’ input as they seek to create and improve people-powered transportation options. The county and its lower-tier municipalities are collecting feedback and ideas on ways to improve conditions for cycling, hiking, walking and cross-country skiing.

“We really want people to tell us what they want,” said Sarah Wilhelm, a development planner with the county.

Opinion: Case against bike lanes has not been made

A study released last month that could have — and should have — nailed down the impacts of downtown Vancouver’s new bike lanes on the businesses that line the affected streets is, in fact, doing no such thing.

Far from informing an intelligent discussion, the Business Impact Study prepared for council is so thin it’s little more than fodder for spin from anyone trying to score points either for or against the separated downtown lanes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Active Transportation Plan for the Township of Tiny

<font color="#000000"><font color="#000000">Final - Township of Tiny Trails and Active Transportati</font></font>Hi Michael,

We just completed the trails and active transportation plan for the Township of Tiny – I am sending you a link that will take you to a presentation of the final plan – I thought perhaps you might put this presentation up on your blog – cheers and hope all is well.

This is a link to the presentation which will take you directly to the presentation as a separate webpage when you click on it:


John McMullen
Partner | PLANbyDESIGN
Urban Planners + Landscape Architects

8 Peter Street South, Suite 202
Orillia, ON, L3V 5A9

Essex County Wide Active Transportation Study

The city of Detroit touches four counties. Most everyone can guess Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne, but the fourth? It’s Essex County in Ontario. Essex has put together an impressive County Wide Active Transportation Study (CWATS) which looks to improve cycling throughout their region.

[A US evaluation of a Canadian Active Transportation Plan. -MH]

Tour de Ford: Can you bike through the city using only pre-existing park routes?

When Mayor Rob Ford was running for office last year, part of his platform involved a plan to use Toronto’s pre-existing system of recreational paths and ravine roadways to develop a bicycling infrastructure independent of downtown streets. With the recent decision from City Hall to remove bike lanes from major arteries such as Jarvis Street, Ford seems committed to the idea of getting bikes off the roads. What is unclear is whether he intends to follow through with the rest of the plan and invest in an off-street network, or whether such a plan is even feasible.

Bike lane to link Charlottetown, Stratford

"Well it's to make sure that people who want to bike and walk and run can get where they want and need to go," said Robert Hughes, chief administrative officer in Stratford.

Bike lane reality isn't encouraging

Particularly galling are those cyclists who are clearly experienced (and tend to support the arrangement) who nevertheless insist on cycling two, three or four abreast, endangering themselves and hindering vehicles in the traffic lane. So much for co-operation and mutual respect!

See also: Bike lane saga continues at city hall today and Bike lane foes, fans speak up

Bike lanes by any other name

Grey County's roads department created new one-metre shoulder lanes, separated from the rest of the roadway by a white line, on both sides of the street from the Jubilee Bridge to the park's main entrance. The city calls them bike/fitness lanes. Grey County calls them widened paved shoulders.

"They won't be marked as bike lanes, as such. (Their intended use) is for bikes, pedestrians, anything that needs to be off the main traffic portion of the road, but primarily bikes," Grey County chief administrative officer Lance Thurston said Thursday afternoon.

Proposed TransLink strategy would make region a bike haven

TransLink hopes to turn Metro Vancouver into a cyclists’ haven within the next 30 years, with bicycle paths criss-crossing the region and more people — especially women — riding their bikes regularly.

Under a new Regional Cycling Strategy, launched Monday, TransLink has pitched a plan that aims to see 15 per cent of all trips less than eight kilometres in 2040 made by bicycle, up from two per cent today.

See also: Green+push+goes+next+level

Debate on Jarvis bike lanes set to continue

Cyclists have been mobilizing for several weeks since Councillor John Parker (Don Valley West) won approval by a committee of a plan to “rescind its decision related to the bicycle lanes on Jarvis Street.” That plan requires approval by City Council.

On Tuesday, Councillor Mike Layton (Trinity-Spadina) — who rides to work on his bicycle as his dad, Jack Layton, did before him — introduced a petition by 2,001 residents, calling on the city to maintain the bicycle lane that the city installed last year on Jarvis Street between Charles Street and Queen Street East.

See also: Toronto-city-council-slammed-over-jarvis-street-bike-lane-vote

Walking Is Healthy, So Why Isn't It Safer?

Many communities aren't pedestrian-friendly—so people have to choose between being unhealthy and being a bull's-eye.

[Story from a US newspaper, but relevant to so many Canadian communities as well. -MH]

Delta Ponds bridge earns recognition

With its cable suspension span over Delta Highway, the Delta Ponds [Eugene OR] bicycle pedestrian bridge is an impressive sight, especially at night when the bridge’s triangular shape is illuminated by red lights. The Federal Highway Administration has given the city of Eugene a 2011 Environmental Excellence Award for the bridge, which opened last fall.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ottawa - Bike lanes earn rave reviews on first morning commute

The inaugural commute for Laurier Avenue’s segregated bike lanes was the picture of civility on Monday morning, with a fleet of neon-clad support staff, bicycle police and cyclists lining up at their special green pads for nearly every red light at the Kent Street intersection. Of course, no one riding a bicycle opposed the route, and they all said they hope to see more such lanes opened in Ottawa in the years ahead.

Segregated lanes aim to get people on bikes

Segregated bicycle lanes, like the pair opening early next month along Laurier Avenue West, are the best way to get people out of cars and onto bikes, a cycling advocate said Sunday [June 26, 2011].

Ottawa's cycling network needs work

Ottawa needs to do a better job connecting its vast cycling trails and fixing "hair-raising" intersections if it wants to improve its standing as a bicycle-friendly city, an internationally renowned cycling advocate said Monday.

In giving Ottawa a silver designation during the Bicycle Friendly Communities awards at the Museum of Nature, Andy Clarke of the Washington-based League of American Bicyclists said the city's efforts thus far had made Ottawa a place where cycling was already feasible for a large number of residents.

Great Waterfront Trail Adventure winds through Durham

Colourful tents popped up on the grass at Ajax's Rotary Park recently when the waterfront hot spot doubled as a campsite, welcoming 120 cyclists participating in The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure.

Urban Children Are Healthier Commuters than Rural Teens

The children most likely to walk or cycle to school live in urban areas, with a single parent, and in an economically disadvantaged home, according to survey results that were published in Pediatrics today by Dr. Roman Pabayo of the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre and the university’s Department of Social and preventive medicine. Pabayo’s study is unique in that it follows the same group of children as they age throughout the school years, and it shows that children increasingly use “active transport” to travel to school until they reach ten or eleven years of age, at which point the trend then reverses.

Devon AB - Bike Town gearing up for pedallers' paradise

Behind Devon's Riverview Middle School in an oversized garage, a handful of students are milling around a bike on a repair stand beside an impressive tool bench and firing questions at teacher Kevin Haugjord. It's a Friday afternoon and the final bell has rung for the week. But the kids are still at school practising balance and riding manoeuvres on the timber features they have built on the grass adjacent to the school.

Calgary - Strategy on target

The cycling strategy survey identifies that 83 per cent of cyclists feel uncomfortable cycling on main roads. As a result, the main focus of the strategy and action plan is to create comfortable, designated bike lanes, with an emphasis on areas where bicycle use is already high, and where there is a prospect for more cyclists. That includes an emphasis on downtown.

June 2011 Canada Walks e-News

Canada Walks newsletter for June 2011. Includes links to a number of news items.

Bikeability index pushes for cyclist-friendly planning

A team of University of B.C. researchers is peddling a new "bikeability index" aimed at pushing urban planners to design more bike-friendly cities to promote healthier communities. The new tool rates municipalities on their bike friendliness, based on the number of bike lanes, hills, street connections and cyclists' access to school, work or other destinations.

Amherst - Toward a more active community

Amherst hopes to become a healthier community through the creation of an active transportation plan that will encourage residents to rely less on motor power and more on people power.

Winnipeg's war on bikes

With more and more cyclists on the road each year, motorists have to get used to the fact two-wheelers deserve adequate space. At the same time, cyclists must abide by the rules of the road and ride in a more predictable manner.

Vernon BC - Transportation plans under fire

The City of Vernon is being accused of putting up roadblocks for business. “The impression of most businesses is you want to starve us right out of business,” said Gerry Sellars, owner of Vernon Town Cinema.

“It’s wonderful to have an area where you can bicycle and walk but businesses will wither away as customers are driven away,” he said.

Building on the Simcoe County trail system

Today, Simcoe County's municipalities remain committed to trails for their recreational and economic benefits to residents. As a result of the County of Simcoe Transportation Master Plan and new Official Plan adopted in 2008, it was determined that the county would co-ordinate and support the development of trails and active transportation routes to help build healthier and stronger communities.

Winnipeg - New bike and walking path to be constructed

The province will spend $720,000 for the construction of a new bike and walking path north of Shorehill Drive near Bishop Grandin Boulevard, the province said today. The goal of the project is to create a safe point to Beaverhill Boulevard, Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux said. Construction on the Shorehill trail is to start this year.

Tecumseh backs 700-km county trail plan

The County Wide Active Transportation Plan report is making the rounds to area municipalities after it was approved by county council last month. In addition to the new trails, many existing trails will have new signs designating them as bike routes, while other projects include the widening or paving of shoulders on county roads and the construction of off-road trails. The projects are expected to cost $52 million. The county will pay for $27 million, while the towns are expected to fund $25 million.

Moncton - Bike Battles continue

In Moncton, opposition to bicycle infrastructure is among the most outspoken in Canada. A recent council decision to revive the idea of a "road diet" on two city streets, a proposal defeated by citizen opposition in 2006, has created a media firestorm.

Some of the articles written on this subject are:

Vancouver - Regional Cycling Strategy

TransLink's long-term transportation strategy, Transport 2040, sets goals for the kind of transportation future we want - a system that's safe, fosters economic growth and lowers GHG emissions. Within the next 30 years, one of the goals is that most trips in Metro Vancouver will be made by transit, walking and cycling.

Tehran Times - Poor kids bike, walk to school more often: Study

Kids, in general, aren't getting enough exercise, but a new Canadian study shows low-income city kids are most likely to walk or bike to school.

[Thought it was interesting that this study was quoted in Tehran, Iran.]

Winnipeg - New stadium transportation plan would severely tax Transit Tom

A traffic and transportation plan for the CFL team’s new stadium will rely so heavily on fans taking transit to its games that the city doesn’t have enough buses to accommodate the demand, according to documents to be presented to a committee on Monday [July 10].

He noted that the $190-million stadium will have about 400 bicycle stalls, while a new asphalt path along University Crescent will encourage cycling and possibly rollerblading.

Giving children a chance to build a bicycle

Eric Montgomery has a serious passion for bikes, and with the help of Kelly Potvin, he plans to channel that passion into something tangible for local youths. Together, Montgomery and Potvin have created the Brockville Bike Ministry. With the program, kids from Grades 4 to 12 can build and keep their own bikes, all for free.

Product review: Top five skateboarding helmets for ultimate protection and safety

Wearing a helmet while skateboarding is essential to prevent serious injuries to your head in the event of a fall. Helmets can decrease the severity of a head injury and prevent the likelihood of death after a nasty spill. There are many top-of-the-line helmet options on the market today, but here is a look at the top five.

Proposed TransLink strategy would make region a bike haven

Under a new Regional Cycling Strategy, launched Monday [July 10], TransLink has pitched a plan that aims to see 15 per cent of all trips less than eight kilometres in 2040 made by bicycle, up from two per cent today.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bixi program to lose millions for Montrealers, auditor general says

Montrealers stand to lose millions of dollars in the popular Bixi bike-sharing program because of administrative irregularities, an illegal organizational set-up, incomplete planning and a lack of oversight and accountability, city auditor-general Jacques Bergeron has concluded.
There are several articles available on this subject:

Bike-Sharing: 2011 State of the European Union report

Three years research on more than 50 bike sharing schemes in ten European countries, visualised in 27 tables and 73 figures, results and recommendations summarised on around 100 pages: That is the OBIS handbook, the final product of the most comprehensive research project on bike sharing schemes in Europe thus far.

School Travel Planning

School Travel Planning aims to get more families walking and wheeling to/from school by bringing together community stakeholders to identify barriers to active transportation for each school and develop a written action plan. Benefits include increased physical activity, reduced traffic congestion, improved air quality, and enhanced neighbourhood safety.

Park and Cycle in Canada’s Capital Region

The National Capital Commission (NCC) is pleased to launch the Park and Cycle pilot project, which will run from June 20 to October 28, 2011. The public will have access to 10 parking lot facilities (360 spaces), where unrestricted access (6 am to 10 pm) will be provided weekly to cycling commuters.

The American suburbs are a giant Ponzi scheme

We often forget that the American pattern of suburban development is an experiment, one that has never been tried anywhere before. We assume it is the natural order because it is what we see all around us. But our own history -- let alone a tour of other parts of the world -- reveals a different reality. Across cultures, over thousands of years, people have traditionally built places scaled to the individual. It is only the last two generations that we have scaled places to the automobile.

Ottawa - Walking Around the World: Innovation and inspiration for better pedestrian environments

Wednesday June 29th, 2011Champlain Room, Ottawa City Hall, 7pm

Dr Rodney Tolley, Conference Director, Walk21;Honorary Research Fellow, Staffordshire University (UK)
Active living is a way of life that integrates physical activity into daily routines. Evidence shows that compact, mixed use, walkable and cycle-friendly environments can encourage active living that has associated health, economic, environmental and social benefits. In spite of this, car-oriented communities persist, – though there are powerful demographic and economic forces now at work to achieve active living.

Rodney Tolley will argue that the creation of environments supportive of active living requires collaborative partnerships between all levels of government and other agencies. Using examples from around the world, he will draw attention to the remarkable resurgence in active travel in the past decade and demonstrate how cities are re-evaluating past development paradigms –in order to achieve liveability and sustainability in the future.