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.

2011 Ontario Bike Summit

3rd Annual Ontario Bike Summit
June 27-28
Ottawa, Ontario
Canadian Museum of Nature
“Moving Ontario Forward – Building Bicycle Friendly Communities”
v Are you looking to develop a cycling master plan in your community but don’t know where to start?
v Are you looking for tips and ideas on how to work more effectively with local governments to advance cycling?
v Are you looking for data and research that you will help you “make the case” for enhanced cycling investments and programs in your community?
v Are you interested in creating infrastructure, education and awareness and legislative policies in Ontario to encourage cycling?
v Are you looking to learn about what other communities are doing in the areas of law enforcement initiatives – education and awareness – public health ideas, bicycle tourism?
v Are you looking to be inspired by speakers from bicycle friendly cities?

TCAT Newsletter

The June 14 newsletter of the Toronto Coalition of Active Transportation.

With his bike valet service, David Wieser is hoping more Winnipeggers will two-wheel it to city events

Bicycle Valet Winnipeg is exactly what it sounds like: Cyclists present their bikes to whoever is on duty at happenings like rock concerts and street festivals. Valets park the bikes in a cordoned-off area, then hand out claim stubs. At the end of the event, the bike owners return their ducats, and the valets fetch their rides. Best of all: it's free.

Toronto - Where did all the lanes go?

As the new chair of a city council committee, hand-picked by Mayor Rob Ford, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong confidently proposed a network of bike lanes physically separated from cars and trucks. It would, he said, make cycling in the city core safer and encourage more people to commute on two wheels instead of four.

Six months later, this bold plan appears to have vanished. Minnan-Wong’s works committee will consider a plan on Thursday that offers less — far less — than the vision he outlined in January.

Editorial: Bike strategy travelling too fast

Calgary has miles to go, to catch up with other places when it comes to being a bicycle-friendly city. Still, it should proceed with caution, steadily and methodically. The newly released bike strategy moves too quickly for our comfort.

The cost? A whopping $28 million over three years. The plan, which goes to a council committee for a vote on Tuesday, proposes an ambitious, gold-plated strategy that includes new on-street bike lanes, a cycle festival on Canada Day by next year, showers at LRT stations and throughout downtown, and the implementation of a bikesharing program similar to the Montreal model, copied around the world.

Cycling P.E.I. president calls for more bike paths in city

“We need more lanes in the short term with an idea to turning lanes into paths,’’ Sims said after the group finished a ride around Victoria Park. “If moms and dads are going to feel good sending their children to school riding a bicycle a bike lane along Queen Street just isn’t going to cut it.’’

Bike paths, trails OK -funding model isn't

The county's plan to build 700 kilometres of trails in Essex County hit a speed bump here on Tuesday.
Council is opposed to paying for trails outside its jurisdiction and directed staff Tuesday to negotiate a different funding model with the county.

Toronto's new bike plan revealed

A report to the Toronto council's public works committee recommends construction on a series of separated bike lanes in the downtown core begin this year.

China To Adopt EU Standards for e-Bikes; for Export Reasons?

Is it because of big ambitions on rising exports of e-bikes to Europe? Fact is that the Chinese government wants all e-bikes made in the country to meet EU standards as from June 1, 2011.

Muskoka - District keeps trails money in budget

Once the budget is passed, the district is promising to put $200,000 into the Active Transportation Fund. Once council makes the deposit, there will be a total of $550,000 sitting in the fund.

Established under the previous council, the fund is a local initiative that helps the district set aside money each year, with the aim of building a network of trails that connects each of Muskoka’s municipalities, in order to encourage biking, cycling and other forms of non-motorized travel.

Hallifax - Informal open house gives residents chance to offer input

Over 150 people came out to the open house that was put on jointly by HRM and the Waterfront Development Corporation Limited (WDCL) to showcase various planning, design, active transportation and open-space initiatives.

Fort York pedestrian bridge plan nixed in council

Toronto council's public works committee is stopping work on a pedestrian bridge designed to link two neighborhoods at historic Fort York after deeming the project too expensive.

Rob Ford could become a champion of cycling

The suggestion seems laughable on the face of it. Mr. Ford ran for office vowing to end the “war on the car.” He opposed bike lanes on University Avenue and Jarvis Street. This is the mayor who invited Don Cherry to his swearing-in and watched as the hockey commentator denounced bike-riding “pinkos.”

Obesity epidemic demands legislation: doctors

Canada's obesity epidemic needs legislative approaches such as taxing junk food, setting standard portion sizes and nutritional labels, and banning trans fat, researchers say.

Public board joins push for lower speed limits

Trustees with Edmonton's public school board voted Tuesday to push for lower speed limits along residential streets. The motion calls on the board to "join the advocacy efforts of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues and other organizations in pursuing lower speed limits within residential areas" and for the chairman, Dave Colburn, to write a letter to Edmonton city council.

Tour de l'Ile bike event delights cyclists, irritates motorists

There were so many people on their bikes for the 27 th annual Tour de l'Ile bike ride Sunday that some had to wait an hour just to start pedaling at the starting line.

Bike cargo delivery comes to Hamilton

Abram Bergen used to drive delivery trucks across the continent for a major U.S. company. He still delivers goods, but he has traded his big rig truck for two bicycles and now delivers cargo for local businesses in Hamilton.

It’s the first of its kind in Hamilton.

Sharing the road not always easy

As [Thunder Bay] city council will hear tonight, dedicated on-street bicycle lanes were installed on Walsh, Court and Syndicate Avenue last spring. Bicycle counts were undertaken in July 2009 and July 2010 and analysis of this data reveals that cyclist volume on these routes has increased, on average, by 40 per cent.

Bicyclist behaviour on these routes has also changed. There has been a 23-per-cent increase in lawful riding and a 29-per-cent decrease in sidewalk riding.

Feedback from cyclists has been “overwhelmingly positive.” Feedback from drivers has been “generally supportive,” though they have expressed some confusion about how to navigate with dedicated bicycle lanes.

Plan will give Calgary cyclists their own street space

Much has changed since 2000 to get more Calgarians cycling to work: increased traffic congestion, soaring fuel costs, and the increasing alarm about climate change and automobile emissions.
But what hasn't changed in a decade? The number of Calgarians cycling to work.

Kingston ON - City keeps bike wheels turning

This week marks the third year the city has sponsored Cycling Week, a commitment that coincides with a $1.8-million contribution towards improving cycling ways, signage and infrastructure.

Nijmegen's big bridge for cyclists

Video of a very large bridge dedicated for cycling use in the Netherlands.

New bike share program coming to Boston

A cutting edge new bike sharing program is coming to Boston. Mayor Thomas Menino announced that he has just signed a contract with Alta Bicycle Share program to create the new “Hubway” program for Boston area bicyclists. Boston, a city known long known as a "walking city" may now have the added distinction of becoming a "biking city" if the mayor's plan is successful.

Plan to introduce speed limit for cyclists on Golden Gate Bridge hits opposition

City officials in San Francisco are planning to introduce speed limits for cyclists on the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, but their proposals are meeting with strong opposition from local cycling campaigners.

Jarvis bike lanes likely to be dismantled

The controversial Jarvis Street bike lanes installed last year under former mayor David Miller could be erased later this year, if Mayor Rob Ford’s council approves a public works and infrastructure committee recommendation voted on late Thursday.

Slight delays for motorists on Jarvis after bike lanes installed

[A] report released Tuesday evening shows that catastrophic traffic delays some motorists predicted on Jarvis St. haven’t materialized since the city removed a car lane last summer to create two cycling lanes.

His passion is the wheel thing

Winnipeg cyclist tireless advocate for active transportation.

Haliburton County Commuter Challenge results revealed

Haliburton County residents took to the streets for the fourth annual Commuter Challenge from June 5 – 11. Modes of active transportation included walking, cycling and canoeing – truly a Haliburton Highlands commute!

How did rejected plan find new life?

Moncton is once again locked in a battle to implement its Active Transportation plan. This ran into major opposition in 2006, when attempts to put a road diet on Shediac Road generated widespread anger and pressured City Council to shelve both that project and its entire AT strategy.

Shediac Road's diet has been proposed again, and the Moncton Times-Transcript has come down solidly against it. The newspaper is also attempting to mobilize public opposition. Several of its articles follow:

Friday, June 3, 2011

DOT to develop master plan for walking and cycling in Abu Dhabi

Walking and cycling are critical components of a modern, livable and sustainable word-class city and nation - the clear vision set out in the Plan Abu Dhabi 2030. These types of transportation are ideal solutions for short trips, helping residents and visitors explore the emirate, whilst bringing about unrivalled benefits for the environment, health, and the overall quality of life.

Bixi bicycle given as gift to royal couple

London Mayor Boris Johnson is giving Prince William and his new bride, Kate Middleton, a Bixi tandem bicycle for their wedding. The regal tandem was designed specifically for the royal couple, drawing on the rental bicycle model created in Quebec.

Halifax - Active transportation plan stalls

Coun. Jennifer Watts, chair of the active transportation committee, said she would like to see $2 million a year for five years to build corridors so people could bike or walk to work instead of drive.
Opponents on council say it’s too expensive for a low priority plan.

The world's Top 10 bicycle cities

With fuel costs soaring and environmental conservation in vogue, the bicycle is making a comeback in many cities, becoming a major part of urban transportation plans. Men’s website ( has come up with a list of the world’s top most bicycle-friendly cities.

30 mph traffic is too fast for children to judge accurately, study finds

Adult pedestrians can accurately judge the speeds of vehicles traveling toward them at up to 50 mph, say researchers at Royal Holloway College, University of London, England. But for elementary school children, it's a different matter. Children simply don't have the perceptual ability to make an accurate judgment.

NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide

The purpose of the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide (part of the Cities for Cycling initiative) is to provide cities with state-of-the-practice solutions that can help create complete streets that are safe and enjoyable for bicyclists.

‘Cycle tracks’ in cities could save bicyclists lives

Public health researcher Anne Lusk argues that installing bike routes separate from motor vehicles will boost cycling and make compact communities work better.

Ottawa - City launches initiatives urging residents to leave cars at home and get active

The City of Ottawa has launched three separate initiatives, iWalk iBike, Bike to Work and Every Day in May, to encourage residents to leave their cars at home, consider biking to and from work and to be physically active for 30 minutes a day.

Two hours of your work day goes to paying for your car

Americans work 500 hours a year -- two hours every work day -- just to pay for their cars, says James Schwartz of the blog The Urban Country. That's 12 and a half working weeks. Basically, you only work to pay your rent, feed your family, clothe yourself, buy iPad apps, etc. through about the end of September. Schwartz based his calculations on the average car-owning household, which has more cars than working adults -- 2.28 cars and 1.147 full-time wage earners on average.

Windsor - Trails plan seen as boon for tourism

That is a proposal that will go before County Council Wednesday in the form of the County-wide Active Transportation Study. The study, which took a year to complete, calls for the county and area municipalities to spend $52 million over the next 20 years constructing 712 kilometres of bike lanes, multi-use trails, paved shoulders and putting up signs designating roads as cycling routes.

Funds needed to finish trail

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority needs about $700,000 to repair and complete hiking trails in Oak Ridges. The proposed paths will snake across 400 acres of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s Jefferson Forest tract and tentatively is set to become integrated with the Oak Ridges Corridor Park.

Do Unsafe Streets Prevent Us From Walking and Biking?

A new study in the American Journal of Public Health says that Americans aren’t walking or cycling as much as we think they are. Even though transit use is up, active transportation has mostly stagnated.

While the gut reaction for some might be to blame suburban sprawl, the study indicates that safety is the chief concern. “Children, women and seniors are just not going to cycle on a busy arterial street,” Pucher says, but men may be less risk-averse, the research suggests.

Edmonton - City paving way for dedicated bike lanes

Cyclists are gaining ground in Edmonton as the city plans to implement 18 kilometres worth of dedicated bike lanes this summer.

Denmark - Not everyone is bonkers for bicycles

Amidst the fanfare of proposals and newly rolled-out projects for bicyclists, it is sometimes tempting to forget that “the city of cyclists” still has residents who do not want to a ride bicycle, thank you very much. Some Copenhageners still prefer to walk or even – gasp! – drive a car.