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.