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 RenĂ© 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.