Monday, April 29, 2013

Sitting is the Smoking of Our Generation

Diet and genetics contribute to obesity and overweight, but so does simple inactivity — and prolonged sitting may be a killer even if we don’t put on the pounds. Read more.

Look How Quickly the U.S. Got Fat

1985-2010 Animated Map shows the percentages of the U.S. population medically defined as obese, which means a body mass index of 30 or greater. See map.

Dubai communities to have cycling tracks

The construction of the cycling tracks is part of a master plan developed by the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) to provide dedicated cycling spanning the entire Dubai Emirate in a bid to encourage the use of bikes as an environment-friendly transit means, as well as for the benefit of cycling enthusiasts. It also comes in implementation of RTA’s vision of Safe &  Smooth Transport for All as the advanced countries are focusing on raising the proportion of pedestrian & cycling travels since they involve traffic, health and environmental benefits. Read more.

Thunder Bay gets help to improve cycling trails

Improved signage and better maps are just a couple of ways Thunder Bay can improve its trail system around the city and boost tourism, say trail cycling advocates. Read more.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A New Look at Affordability

When we think of affordability, we usually think only of housing costs. A common threshold used for affordability is spending less than 30% of income on housing. We should really we should be thinking of housing AND transportation costs. With this new definition of affordability, how does our view of what is affordable and what is not change? Read more.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Accell Group NV Launches Accell North America

Officials from Accell Group NV, a leading global bicycle company based in the Netherlands, announce the formalization of a new entity: Accell North America. Read more.

When Cheeseburger = Walking, Will We Eat Less?

If I want that oh-so-delicious Chunky Monkey ice cream, knowing that a half-cup serving delivers 300 calories and 18 grams of fat isn't going to stop me. But what if I knew that it would take me an hour and 20 minutes of brisk walking to burn off those Chunky Monkey calories? Would I think twice? Read more.

Report - Get Britain Cycling

The Get Britain Cycling inquiry was an initiative of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG), a cross party body with members in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, with the aim “to enable more people across the UK to take up cycling, cycle more often and cycle more safely by interviewing or receiving written evidence from expert witnesses on the obstacles that must be overcome and suggesting concrete, effective measures to be undertaken by central and local government as well as the wider world of business and the third sector”. Read report.

Port Sydney fights for active transportation

Wayne Winterburn presented Huntsville councillors with a petition of 158 signatures in support of paved shoulders along South Mary Lake Road. Residents in the area could use the shoulders as an active transportation route for walking, running, cycling and other non-motorized transportation, he said.

Winterburn said that district staff told him district roads are meant to move cars. Read more.

Comprehensive Bicycle Planning and Design, Portland State University, August 25 - 29, 2013

This course will bring you up to speed on the cutting edge in practice and research, offering valuable skills for your professional life. It will cover the fundamentals of bikeway planning and design through an intensive week of interactive classroom and field experience. Instructors will integrate transit access and connections, bridges, trail crossings, and other special features into discussions, while using project examples to highlight practical applications of the principles and techniques covered. Effective education and encouragement programs, including public involvement strategies, will also be discussed.

Who should attend? Transportation planners, designers, and engineers responsible for integrating bicycle facilities into community transportation systems, including public roadways and trails.
The cost for this course is $995 and includes continental breakfast, snacks, lunch, and course materials. The fee does not include travel, lodging or other meals while in Portland. Registration deadline is July 31, 2013. More information and registration can be found here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Nova Scotia - Sustainable Transportation Strategy, April 2013

Nova Scotia’s Sustainable Transportation Strategy is not about getting rid of the automobile. It’s about providing Nova Scotians with choices. In essence, the aim of this strategy is to help everyone in Nova Scotia, urban and rural, to choose how they move. Read more.

Nova Scotia - Critics call $6 million in transportation aid inadequate

The province has announced $6 million over three years to help communities across Nova Scotia develop sustainable transportation plans, a figure that falls far short of what’s needed, say active transportation advocates. Read more.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Walking While Old: Seniors Face Greatest Death Risk

Older people are at higher risk of being killed by a car while walking, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more.

Bixi: Think of bike-sharing as transit, advocates say

Bike-sharing as public transit should drive the future of Bixi in Toronto, says Jared Kolb, executive director of Cycle Toronto. “The thing about bike-sharing as public transit is that it won’t pick you up and drop you right at your doorstep, but it fills in the gaps. It enables people to make the trips that are too far to walk but too short to take the TTC — that 2-kilometre sweet spot,” he says.

Mayor Rob Ford has said the city will not subsidize Bixi’s expansion. Read more.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Windsor - Proposal seeks connection to new bridge

A petition circulating in Lakeshore is seeking support for pedestrian and cycling infrastructure on the international bridge crossing connecting to the Herb Gray Parkway. Read more.

Edmonton drivers concerned over 95th Avenue bike lane

City staff were planning to paint 23 kilometres of shared-use and bicycle-only lanes in Edmonton this year, but have already sent two routes back to the drawing board for more consultation. Protest about routes on 76th Avenue and 132nd Avenue was strong enough for Mayor Stephen Mandel to label the project a “nightmare.” Read more.

Bike-sharing in place from Paris to China

There are almost 400 bike share programs around the world: Washington, D.C., Paris, Berlin, even Dubai started a bike-share program last month. Even more, "In far western China almost bordering Kyrgyzstan, bike-sharing made its debut in Aksu City, Xinjiang this week. The first station with 20 bikes of the service, which will eventually include 500 bikes and 20 stations, opened to celebrate the end of the Chinese New Year Spring Festival. According to the Xinjiang Daily, 300 eager Uyghurs signed up for the bicycle access card the first day!" Read more.

Civita: San Diego’s New City within the City

Designed by local architect and planner Gordon Carrier, a principal at Carrier Johnson & Culture, the project is creating a high-density urban village organized around a network of parks and open space, with housing, retail, office, and civic components linked by pedestrian trails, walkable streets, and bike paths. Read more.

French Market Down, But E-Bikes Are Up

The number of bicycles sold dropped below the threshold of 3 million: 2.9 million bicycles were sold on French soil in 2012; a 9% drop over the previous year. All segments were down except e-bikes which sales increased by 15%. Read more.

Robin crap, belly flab and ... cyclists

Beware bicyclists. They will do anything to further their cult. They will not be happy until our roads are theirs and our cars are on blocks. Read more.

Pedalling myths: the anti-bike lobby is flat out of plausible arguments

To anyone who agrees that cycling, much like genocide, is a phenomenon that all decent people should condemn, the implication is clear: the anti-bike lobby urgently needs some new arguments. Read more.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

2013 Ontario Bike Summit

Toronto: May 28-29. Register by May 1st to Receive the Early Registration Discount! Details.

Walking vs. running

Comparing walkers to runners is like comparing Barry Manilow to the Rolling Stones. One gets all the respect and the other … well, not so much. But a new study, published this month online in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, out of the University of California, Berkeley, has given walkers a much-needed boost in respect, not to mention added validation that walking is bona fide exercise. Read more.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Model Design Manual for Living Streets

This manual focuses on all users and all modes, seeking to achieve balanced street design that accommodates cars while ensuring that pedestrians, cyclists and transit users can travel safely and comfortably. This manual also incorporates features to make streets lively, beautiful, economically vibrant as well as environmentally sustainable. Read more.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Vote for Your Favorite City-Changing Bike Proposal

In order to bring people from around the world to this meeting of the city cycling minds, the organizers of Velo-city 2013, an urban cycling conference slated to be held this June in Vienna, are awarding 30 “Cycling Visionary Awards” to people who have submitted ideas in five areas: advocacy and social projects; science, research, and development; design, fashion, and cycling equipment; urban planning and urban design; and cycling and the arts. Read more and vote.

U.S. - Where sprawl still rules

Unless we change our building patterns, we are about to be significantly oversupplied (relative to future demand) in large-lot housing and significantly undersupplied in more walkable, urban forms. Read more.

For a Model Complete Streets Policy, Look to Indianapolis

Smart Growth America has recognized the best of the 130 complete streets policies approved last year across the United States; and the one passed by Indianapolis has received the highest ranking. Read more.

Calgary - City breaks ground on 7 St. S.W. two-way cycle track

Crews are starting construction today on Calgary’s first downtown cycle track. This two-way bike lane along the east side of 7 Street S.W. between the Bow River pathway and 8 Avenue will provide a designated space with a one metre wide concrete barrier the height of a sidewalk curb. See more.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Kelowna - 2013 Building SustainAble Communities Conference

Date:  25 Nov 2013 - 8:00am - 28 Nov 2013 - 5:00pm

Location: Delta Grand Resort, Kelowna, BC, Canada.

More details.

Report - Strategies for balancing urban transport to improve mobility and reduce road congestion

This report reviews the factor shaving a main impact on the supply and demand for road capacity, before it considers the strategies which allow to address congestion and improve mobility of persons in urban areas.
From different case studies, the report reviews nine strategies:
  • promoting public transportation;
  • promoting bicycle transportation;
  • promoting pedestrian transportation;
  • promoting intermodal transportation;
  • influencing car demand;
  • strategy to improve the utilisation and allocation of capacity of roads;
  • increasing capacity utilization of vehicles;
  • improving the temporal spread of traffic volume;
  • reducing the impacts of incidents;
  • more compliant handling of road works and maintenance;
and makes recommendations to road authorities. More details.

Study - Examining Consumer Behavior and Travel Choices

Given the extent and maturity of Portland’s existing bicycling, transit and pedestrian infrastructure and the ambitious level of anticipated future investments here and elsewhere in the U.S., the timing is right to investigate the relative economic benefits of different modes of transportation in more depth. This study examines the links between consumer behavior and the mode of transportation used to access local destinations. Read more.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mayor Rob Ford promises to defeat bike parking plan

A proposal to build a $1.2 million bicycle station in downtown Toronto has raised the ire of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford who calls the idea "a complete waste of taxpayer's money." Read more.

E-bikes banned from Windsor trails, pathways

"We're creating a nanny state where we have to protect and wrap [everybody] in bubble wrap," said e-biker Kimberly Tucker. Read more.

Monday, April 8, 2013

ACT Canada - Sustainable Mobility Summit 2013: Call for Presentations

Program Format

Two session formats will be offered this year. Presenters will be able to indicate their preference upon abstract submittal

SNAP or Pecha Kucha - 20 slides @20 seconds/slide – a total of 6.40 minutes per presentation – stimulating ideas and innovation
Regular concurrent panel session – 3 presenters at 20 minutes each.

Plus, we’ll be offering interactive workshop breakout/roundtable sessions - facilitating dynamic creative discussions on focused topic areas.

Deadline: May 10, 2013

Summit presentation abstracts are due May 10, 2013. ACT Canada’s program committee will review all abstracts and notify successful speakers in July.

To be considered as a speaker at this year's Summit, please submit your expression of interest electronically at Download the Call for Presentations for more information.

What an arterial means to neighbourhoods and pedestrians

In an urban planning and transportation context, arterials are roads that typically carry a large capacity of vehicles, collecting traffic from smaller neighbourhood streets and providing a route between neighbourhoods or to and from highways. Any attempt to create a walkable community is disrupted by the danger and intimidation of vehicles on the arterial. Read more.

Halton ON - Creating healthy communities through active transportation

Currently Halton Region is creating an Active Transportation Master Plan to help connect our communities.  To learn more about how you can get involved, or if you would like to learn more about walkON and other health related programs, please dial 311 or visit

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Reclaiming the Sidewalk in City Design

Over time the sidewalk was value engineered out of our subdivisions. Counties and other exurbs simply did not see the value in providing auto-only development with sidewalks that, in the end, only created a distraction for traffic. Read more.

Brandon - New bicycle corridor in works

Cyclists will soon have a new bicycle corridor to travel on that will stretch over 43 blocks along Lorne Avenue.

The initiative, called Share the Road, will connect to existing pedestrian pathways and promote safe, active transportation.

The Value of “Good Enough Urbanism”

Good enough urbanism is the next step after tactical urbanism. It’s reclaiming everything we can from the spaces we have, and doing everything possible to put people on the street. It’s just a little bit more durable and longer-lived than a “paint and traffic cones” intervention. Read more.

Thunder Bay - Man falls through hollow sidewalk

A Thunder Bay man was lucky to escape injury when the sidewalk collapsed beneath him. A spokesperson for Thunder Bay's roads division said sidewalks were built with hollow spaces underneath years ago on the south side of the city. Read more.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Ending Ban on Women Cyclists Can Lead to a More Bike-Friendly Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is set to lift its ban on women cycling, and while the decree comes with a few strings attached, it might also help lead the way to a new future for Saudi cities. Read more.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Is Calgary “Sticky” Enough?

The term “sticky” is used to describe great spaces, neighbourhoods and cities that not only attract people to the area but also entice them to stay for lengthy visits. A place’s stickiness has to do with surrounding densities, and that by “putting more people together in beautifully designed neighborhoods and places, (we) support everything that makes us human, from creativity, tolerance, and happiness – to even sexiness”. Read more.

Cycle Toronto Launches Businesses for BIXI Expansion Petition

Toronto businesses see BIXI as an important service for attracting customers and making commuting easier. Cycle Toronto calls on all businesses that want BIXI stations in their neighbourhoods to sign on to our Businesses for BIXI Expansion petition and encourage City Council to support a timely expansion to all places where BIXI would thrive. Read more.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Peel Region ready to fight obesity with urban design

Instead of scolding people to eat right and exercise, the region wants its planners and policy makers to start designing communities that intrinsically promote healthier living — with more stairs, transit, enticements to walk or cycle, and easier access to healthy food. Read more.

Video - The Gift of Walking

Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO George C. Halvorson discusses the gift of walking. Discover how walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week can help reduce the rate of diabetes, strokes, heart disease, hypertension and more. The benefits of walking are good for all, and can also help combat breast and prostate cancer. Beyond the physical benefits, walking can have a major positive impact on depression by creating positive neurochemicals. Read more.

Kelowna - Warm weather beckons cyclists

With spring’s arrival comes warmer weather and longer days – and more people biking and walking on Kelowna’s bike lanes and pathways. Read more.

April 10 webinar on promoting rural walking and cycling

Haliburton Communities in Action is a rare, well-documented model for promoting walking and cycling in a small or rural community. It illustrates how infrastructure and policy changes can be important elements of the social marketing mix, in this case to remove key barriers to walking and cycling. Find out what the Committee did and the results of its recent formal impact evaluation (preliminary impact results showed dramatic increases in walking and cycling.) Designated a Landmark case study in 2012.
Presented by Sue Shikaze and Kate Hall Haliburton Communities in Action, Wednesday April 10, 2013, 12 noon to 1:00 PM Eastern Time.
Registration is $50; free for the first 25 connecting locations that tell Tools of Change how they have used information from its past webinars or website. Registration here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Density Done Well, and Not Just Downtown

Density is never easy, including in Vancouver, and poorly done density deserves to be criticized. However if any city-region takes its economic resiliency, livability and sustainability seriously, density done well is a must. Read more.

Ottawa - New design for Queen Street to be done within a year

A completely new look for Queen Street should be finished within a year, the city says in a posting for engineering consultants to oversee the downtown street’s transformation into a showcase pedestrian road. Read more.

Monday, April 1, 2013

How will driverless cars influence our cities?

This article is not directly related to Active Transportation, but is interesting in considering how a rapidly emerging technology might change the design of our cities. Read more.

Sustainable Happiness? 6 Ways to Get There

Sustainable happiness takes into account that happiness is interconnected with other people, other species, and the natural environment by a remarkable web of interdependence.  This means that our daily actions and decisions contribute to—or detract from—our own well-being, and that of others. Read more.

Cape Town sets up skateboarding task team

The City of Cape Town and the National Skateboarding Collective have established a task team that will meet monthly to come up with a “comprehensive strategy” to ensure the integration of skateboarding as a mode of transport in the city. Read more.

Hamilton - City fails to meet public transit targets, looks at restructuring system

Hamilton has failed to meet targets set by council and staff to improve public transit ridership and reduce reliance on cars in the city, officials say. Now, major policy changes and investment are needed so the city can avoid what the transit director calls a “crisis situation” for traffic and transportation in Hamilton. Read more.

Callander adopts Active Transportation Plan

A copy of the Callander Active Transportation Plan is available for review at the Municipal Office located at 280 Main Street North in Callander, Ontario. Read (a little ) more.

Busting the myth that road narrowing schemes are good for cyclists

The thinking goes that by narrowing the carriageway more space is provided for pedestrians, and speeds of motorised traffic are slowed because of the proximity of oncoming traffic, but the reality of the subjective experience of cycling on narrowed roads is extremely concerning indeed. Read more.