Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Best Thing My City Did This Year

Writers, urban planners, and local governmentistas in 20 U.S. cities shared with us the best thing their city did this year. See how many are about walking and cycling.

Sick of congestion? Build roads, not transit

 As urban geographer Wendell Cox likes to say, this idea that road construction only worsens congestion is like believing that building more maternity wards will cause more babies to be born. Read more.

This Bike Suit Makes You Look Like a Marvel Superhero

The futuristic garb, only slightly less ridiculous than actual Lycra bike clothes, is the product of a collaboration between Austrian designer Utope and Berlin research concern Fraunhofer IZM. An award-winning entry at the 2013 Red Dot design contest, the suit is intended to increase cyclists' safety while making them look like they stumbled out of a video game. Read more.

The answer to congestion is not to build roads and encourage sprawl. It's to get people out of their cars

There is pretty much a consensus that sprawl is not a good thing for the people who live in it, the communities and governments that have to provide services to it, those concerned about climate and the CO2 emitted by the people driving to it. Then along comes Brian Lee Crowley of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, an "independent non-partisan public policy think tank." He thinks sprawl is wonderful because it spreads everyone out and gives them so many more roads to drive on. Read more.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fourteen ways to fix the GTA in 2014

Transit, bike lanes, community interaction, a boost for the music scene ... oh, and did we mention transit? The Globe and Mail asked planners, mayors, city-builders and visionaries to share their big ideas to improve the GTA in 2014. Read more.

Australia - Cycling goes through a gear change

In the 1990s, cycling seemed serious and Lycra-clad. But its forbidding nature has been overtaken by the birth of a buoyant urban bike culture that has altered what we ride, wear - even where we "caffeinate". Read more.

A Tax On Cycling: Too Steep A Hill To Climb Or Just Around The Corner?

As city governments are pressed to provide safe bike lanes and bike-sharing programs in hopes of reducing gridlock and placating resident cycling enthusiasts, costs devoted to a once-secondary class of transportation are rising dramatically. Pile these expenses on top of the customary budgetary costs of police, education, and Godzilla defense, and cities country-wide are searching for additional sources of revenue. And in many cases, that search is landing squarely on the city’s helmet-donning denizens. Read more.

Friday, December 27, 2013

New York - Mayor Bloomberg's aggressive traffic policies have caused massive drop in traffic deaths

The increased safety — traffic deaths are down more than 30% from 2001 — came about because of a sweeping and aggressive program carried out by Bloomberg’s Department of Transportation. It involved redesigning dangerous intersections and boulevards, imposing 20-mph speed zones around schools, widening sidewalks, extending street crossing times for pedestrians, installing speed-enforcement cameras and creating the nation’s first protected bicycle lanes. Read more.

San Francisco Added to a Burgeoning 'Street View for Bikes'

Dutch start-up Cyclodeo has just released a new collection of geo-tagged bike route videos covering the city of San Francisco. The route videos build on an existing database that includes Eindhoven, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and New York City. Read more.

How Uber could reinforce car culture

But just because we're driving less doesn't necessarily signal the end of car culture — that collection of values expressed in our infrastructure and land-use policy that has favored the automobile for decades. Even as more people flock to urban areas, we're still stuck with many Cold War-era artifacts of urban planning. Read more.

In a Car-Culture Clash, It’s the Los Angeles Police vs. Pedestrians

In a city of seemingly endless highways — with its daily parade of car accidents, frustrating traffic jams and aggressive drivers — the Los Angeles Police Department these days is training its sights on a different road menace: jaywalkers. Read more.

Choosing to bike or walk will save money

There is overwhelming evidence that improving pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure is a healthy, cost-effective and economically beneficial way to improve transportation choices and build more livable cities. Read more.

Walking 2,000 Steps A Day Could Decrease Cardio Risks

Those who walk at least 2,000 steps a day could be at a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control. Read more.

Don’t mix bikes and politics

Trust me, a person can believe in climate change and wind power and still conclude that Rob Ford, Toronto’s Neanderthal mayor, had a point when he said: “Cyclists are a pain in the ass to the motorists.” Read more.

Whitehorse cyclists criticise plans for shared cycling, pedestrian paths

Whitehorse Cyclists Advocacy Group member David Simm said the group supported the first shared path concept, which included a 3m-wide path as part of a 10m-wide bio-link along the reserve's length. But he said the group believed the path offered in the Davy Lane and Community Use concepts, partially made up of a shared path and bike lanes on roads, would not be as safe. Read more.

As cycling in cities grows, so does temptation to tax bicycles

Who is paying for all this bicycle upkeep? And shouldn’t bicyclists be kicking in themselves? That is testing the vision of city leaders who are transforming urban expanses with bike lanes and other amenities in a quest for relevance, vitality and livability — with never enough funds. Read more.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Bike Curious: Seniors Discover a Bicycle Life

Without the burden of a car, we feel that our quality of life has been enhanced. The cost of maintaining our bicycles is nominal compared to owning a car. Now we can occasionally splurge on dinners, go out on dates, and attend cultural events. Living out of our panniers for more than a year on the road taught us that we could thrive on less of everything and still live comfortably. Read more.

11 Reasons Why Bicycling in the U.S. Is Exceptionally Dangerous

According to a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Americans are not only among the world’s least avid cyclists; they are also among the most likely to get killed. Read more.

Great News for Cyclists and Pedestrians in Nepean

The Nepean Trail cycling pathway will be improved in the upcoming version of the Transportation Master Plan. The idea, borne by a member of the Trend Arlington Community Association, was endorsed by the Knoxdale Merivale Council (KMC) and later championed by the ward councillor. Read more.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Support Cycling Advocacy and Research

Shell is spending $2 million annually on Canadian environmental organizations and initiatives, and Tour de Nuit (Calgary) expected to receive $100,000 to support our cycling advocacy work. Your vote will help. Once you have registered to vote you will start with 30 votes; you can acquire more votes from just one receipt at any Shell station.

Additional information can be found on the Tour de Nuit website.

WHO: Health in the Green Economy - Transport Sector

Cycling, walking and rapid transit systems are associated with a wide range of health benefits that need to be reflected more systematically in transport and development policies.

This report, part of the Health in the Green Economy series, considers evidence regarding health co-benefits, and risks, of climate change mitigation strategies for transport, as reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Read more.

NYC DOT Publishes First-Ever Metric for Measuring Economic Benefits of Safer, More Sustainable Streets, Providing Innovative Planning and Outreach Toolkit for Cities Worldwide

The new report follows the earlier DOT models for tracking impacts in “Measuring the Street,” and the recent release of “Sustainable Streets: 2013 and Beyond,” which outlined safety and mobility benefits since 2007, including the 34% drop in fatalities at re-engineered corridors and intersections. Read more.

Is the 'Traditional Downtown' Dead?

Gen-X and the Millennials have much more optimistic and positive views of urban areas than baby boomers and previous generations. I think this results from the rupture that those earlier generations experienced when our urban cores declined. Read more.

Bikes and Barriers — Is it only the physical ones that matter to New Canadians?

While infrastructure investment is undeniably an important step in making cycling safe and attractive, recognizing that there are significant cultural and social barriers to adopting cycling for transportation is another important piece of the puzzle. Read more.

A Before-and-After Guide to Safer Streets

Last month, the New York City Department of Transportation released a brief-but-handy guide that uses before-and-after design renderings to illustrate five basic rules for street safety. Read more.

Velo-city Global Adelaide 2014 program goes LIVE...

With an overall theme of ‘Celebration of Cycling’ the Velo-city Global Adelaide 2014 program features high profile plenary speakers from almost every continent, and people with a huge diversity of expertise and great stories to tell from more than 40 countries. Read more.

Hantsport on board for active transportation plan

Hantsport’s town council is willing to commit about a dollar per resident toward a joint active transportation plan with Windsor and West Hants. Read more.

Conservatives’ new enemy: Bikes

Cyclists who have struggled to attract political attention might be surprised to hear themselves cast as an insidious new social force. But they can also see it as recognition that for better or worse, they have, politically, arrived. Read more.

The Walkability Dividend and the Age-Old Political Struggle

Every municipal service that cities provide today is the outcome of an earlier argument between people who wanted to improve urban quality of life and people who didn't want their taxes to go up. Read more.

A Little Less Driving Means Big Dividends For Local Economies

 If everyone in the 51 largest metro areas reduced driving by one mile per day on average, the U.S. as a whole could save $31 billion a year. Read more.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Who's behind those tags in D.C.'s bike lanes? And why does she want you to smile?

You’d notice them at reds as you braked at the mouth of an intersection. You’d look down, perhaps as you began to creep into the crosswalk, and spy the Day-Glo words on the asphalt: “Make Us Bicyclists Look Good.” And then, maybe, you’d stay put, waiting for that green. Read more.

Calgary - Controversial cycle lane boosts traffic flow

The controversial construction of a city bike lane has sped up vehicle traffic on the downtown road, city council says. Read more.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The 100 "Best" Books on City-Making Ever Written?

Here are 100 of Brent Toderian's favourite books on city-making that I’ve collected and read over the years. Many are quite old, but still completely relevant. Others are only a decade or two old, but may not as relevant as they once were... but they are included because they were very meaningful and valuable to me at the time I read them. Read more.

Bike vs. Car: Parking Spot Edition

This simple but clever design has been making its way around the world. A similar design by cyclehoop was originally commissioned for the 2010 London Festival of Architecture. It's also been spotted in Sweden.

Safer Streets Pay Off for Businesses

When policymakers think about changing a street, economic factors weigh heavily. Objections from business owners can prevent the installation of bike lanes, traffic-calming measures, and sensible parking pricing. Read more.

London ON - Cycling community gets support for separate advisory group

During the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee meeting, members voted 11-4 to support the creation of a cycling advisory committee, while also calling on staff to revise the terms of reference for the existing Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC). Read more.

Why does cycling thrive in some cities and not in others?

So the question isn’t so much how to get people to cycle as how to get people who wouldn’t ordinarily cycle—such as women and old people—onto bikes. The first answer seems to be safety. Read more.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cyclists cannot stop drivers overtaking dangerously, research suggests

A new study from the University of Bath and Brunel University suggests that no matter what clothing a cyclist wears, around 1-2% of drivers will pass dangerously close when overtaking. Read more.

Circular cycle bridge in the Dutch city of Eindhoven

The cable-stayed bridge, designed by ipv Delft, offers cyclists and pedestrians an exciting crossover. With its impressive pylon, 72 metre diameter, thin deck and conspicuous lighting, the cyclist roundabout is a new landmark for the city. See picture.

Census Data Shows Which Cities Encourage the Most Walking

Nationally, only a small fraction of people walk to work. But some cities' policy and planning efforts are making walking an everyday means of commuting. View data and maps for dozens of U.S. cities. Read more.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ottawa receives silver-designation as a walk-friendly city

The City of Ottawa received a silver-level designation as a walk-friendly city by WALK Friendly Ontario – which is a recognition program that encourages municipalities to create and improve spaces and places to walk. This silver-level designation is the highest level awarded so far by the program – with only Ottawa and Hamilton receiving those honours. Read more.

Snow-clogged bike lanes frustrate Calgary cyclists

Members of Calgary’s cycling community say the city isn’t doing a good enough job of clearing snow from designated bike lanes and that’s putting cyclists at risk. Read more.

Biking in New York in 1897 Was a Dangerous Pursuit

Even with the undeniable progress that's been made creating safer spaces for bicycles and pedestrians, traffic remain aggressive and unpredictable. Users of all modes break the rules with abandon. Navigating the resulting mess is not for the fainthearted.

But if you think things were better before the advent of the automobile, you're wrong. On the excellent blog From Wheels to Bikes, Michael Neubert digs deep, chronicling the mayhem that reigned during one random month in 1897. Read more.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Goodbye Car Lanes: Madrid Wants To Take Back Streets For Pedestrians

Twenty four of the city's busiest streets are going to be redesigned for walking, rather than driving. It's a growing trend in urban centers around the world, but this policy could prove a big test. Read more.

Chicago speed cameras reduce speeding 65 percent in less than two months

The Chicago Department of Transportation recently announced that its first nine speed cameras had done something remarkable: Reduced speeding at those locations by 65 percent in less than two months. Read more.

America’s 10 best protected bike lanes of 2013

Two years ago, PeopleForBikes launched the Green Lane Project to help focus attention and expertise around something that we decided was going to be the next big thing in city biking: the protected bike lane. As the thermoplastic dries on this year's round of terrific protected bike lane projects, we decided to scour the country for a comprehensive (and subjective) ranking of the best of the best. Read more.

How The Cost of Other People's Parking Drives Up Your Rent

Quite literally, however, you may also pay for parking – whether you use it or not – in your basic monthly expenses. If you live in an apartment complex that includes parking (even parking that comes with an extra fee), its costs are likely tucked into your rent. Read more.

Calgary - 50 bikes recovered, 17 arrests made in police operation

Calgary police have recovered more than 50 stolen bikes and laid charges against 17 suspects. The arrests came after a two-month investigation involving several police units that focused on the downtown core and the Beltline district. Read more.

Walk Your Way to Health

Researchers have discovered a "wonder drug" for many of today’s most common medical problems, says Dr. Bob Sallis, a family practitioner at a Kaiser Permanente clinic in Fontana, California. It’s been proven to help treat or prevent diabetes, depression, dementia, breast and colon cancer, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity, anxiety and osteoporosis, Sallis told a packed room of leaders at the 2013 Walking Summit. "The drug is called walking," Sallis announced. "Its generic name is physical activity." Read more.

Video - Have You Seen the Latest Bicycle Wheel? It’s Simply Incredible

MIT presents: a smart wheel which replaces your rear and does much more than you’re thinking. The capabilities of this revolutionary design will convince many to rethink the way they commute. See video.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

French Transport Ministry Plans Co-financing of Regional Cycling Routes

In a response to a parliamentary question by socialist deputy Philippe Plisson, the French transport ministry has recently confirmed that the national government plans to co-finance regional cycling plans from 2014-2020. Read more.

How a Few Dutch Children Fought for a Street Where They Could Play, and Won

In 1972, a group of young schoolchildren in rundown central Amsterdam banded together to demand a play street. In this excerpt from a documentary that aired on Dutch television at the time, you can see them marching for their right to run around without fear of automobiles. Read more.

Iceland has heated sidewalks, why not Edmonton?

Should Edmonton be looking at heating downtown sidewalks and streets to clear them of ice and snow in the winter? The idea is officially part of the city's winter strategy calling for pilot projects of heating sidewalks in downtown business zones. Read more.

10 Classy Gift Ideas (For People That Ride a Bike)

Looking for a fun gift for your bicycle-riding friend or loved one? Here's a list of our top 10 picks for gifts this holiday season. Read more.

London's Bike-Share Crisis

Something is going badly wrong with London's bike-share scheme. Read more.

Ottawa - Cycling and the Law

On Wednesday November 27th, I attended a forum on cycling, the law, and your rights in an accident. Presenters included a member of the Ottawa Police Services, a tort lawyer, and representatives of the insurance industry. Read more.

Calgary - Cycling strategy continues to move forward

Year three of Calgary’s cycling strategy saw some notable advancements towards the goal of making this a bike-friendly community. Read more.

We're driving less, taking transit more. Now let's invest accordingly.

A comprehensive new analysis of government data demonstrates that Americans are driving less per person, and taking transit more, both overall and in a strong majority of our large metro areas.  Especially because the new report is consistent with a multitude of information showing changes in living patterns and lifestyle preferences, we should shift more public resources into transit, to keep up with and strengthen the trends toward more sustainable modes of transportation. Read more.

Vancouver's growth propelled by the dynamic of a new generation

With a shrug that amounts to a tectonic demographic shift, millennials – especially in Metro Vancouver – are rejecting their parents’ suburban commuting lifestyle in favour of “live/work/play” neighbourhoods. Read more.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why Cul-de-Sacs Are Bad for Your Health

Of every 100 American commuters, five take public transit, three walk, and only one rides a bicycle to work or school. If walking and cycling are so pleasurable, why don’t more people choose to cycle or walk to work? Why do most people fail to walk even the 10,000 daily steps needed to stay healthy? Why do we avoid public transit? Read more.

Sean Carter's Winter Cycling Tips

For many Calgary cyclists, the first snow of the season means it's time for their bikes to get tucked away in garages and storage rooms to hibernate for the winter. There are also those hardy riders who keep cycling year round. Read more.

Democracy Is Bus-Only Lanes and Protected Bikeways

In a TED talk posted yesterday (but filmed in September), Peñalosa pushes the boundaries of what most people think is possible in a city. Reserve every other street for transit, bikes, and pedestrians? Dedicate bus-only lanes in dense, congested cities? It’s not only possible, Peñalosa says, it’s also necessary for a healthy democracy. Read more.

Huron County Promotes Active Transportation

The Huron County Health Unit is working on a project to promote active transportation. They are trying to promote things like biking, jogging, hiking and the use of trails as much as possible. Read more.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Complete Streets: Why America Needs the Safe Streets Act of 2013

Metropolitan regions added tens of millions of housing units that lacked access to public transportation, sidewalks, and other pedestrian amenities. Even today, almost one-third of Americans live in neighborhoods without sidewalks. Finding a safe and convenient place to walk, bike, or access public transportation can be a challenge.

The Safe Streets Act of 2013, introduced by Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and David Joyce (R-OH), addresses this unintended consequence of our transportation policy by requiring states and metro regions to design their roadways to safely accommodate all system users, regardless of age or ability level. Read more.

Distracted Driving Pedestrian and Cycling Death Continues to Increase

A new study released by the Public Health Reports claims that pedestrian deaths caused by distracted driving have increased by over 50% in a five year period.  The amount of cyclists killed by distracted driving accidents has amplified by 30% over the past five years. Read more.

Distracted Driving Pedestrian and Cycling Death Continues to Increase

A new study released by the Public Health Reports claims that pedestrian deaths caused by distracted driving have increased by over 50% in a five year period.  The amount of cyclists killed by distracted driving accidents has amplified by 30% over the past five years. Read more.

San Diego OKs plan to double bicycle network

San Diego’s support for bicycling whooshed forward Monday with the adoption of a blueprint that calls for doubling the city’s bicycle network during the next 20 years. The City Council unanimously approved the San Diego Bicycle Master Plan Update, which builds on the city’s original bicycle plan of 2002. Read more.

Suwon citizens chart future course following inaugural EcoMobility World Festival

The Festival sparked the conversion of Haenggung-dong into an ecomobile neighborhood during September 2013, implementing a car-free environment which saw 4,300 residents relinquish their automobiles and instead walk, cycle and use ecomobile vehicles in carrying out their daily routines. Read more.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Join the #RaceForChange community

Right To Play is proud to announce our involvement for the second year as a charitable partner for seven races across Canada. We’re inviting runners of all ages and stages to join our #RaceForChange community, where racers can swap stories, motivate and inspire each other on the road to personal success with a shared goal of raising vital funds for Right To Play. Read more.

Video - Riding the Bike Share Boom

Without a doubt, 2013 has been a banner year for bike-share in the United States. Major systems were implemented in New York City and Chicago, and many others debuted or expanded in other cities. In fact, Citi Bike users have biked over 10 million miles and the system is closing in on 100,000 annual members. This video features a dozen bike-share systems and captures footage from an unprecedented number of bike-share cities in any one film. See video.

Baltimore's Got Some Playful New 'Hopscotch Crosswalks'

In Baltimore, the well-worn zebra crosswalk just got a whimsical facelift. Recently, the city unveiled a set of new "hopscotch crosswalks" at an intersection by the historic Bromo Selzer Arts Tower. Read more.

Momentum Mag Issue 64 – The Travel Issue

In this issue you'll discover how to ride all winter as we investigate how cities can support winter riding for everyone. Get an uncomplicated look at riding through your first winter and many more to come. Plus: 2014 Trend Report featuring new city bikes and gear, yoga for city riding, great gear for under $100, helping a child love biking, Youth Bike Summit, Detroit Bikes, and more. Read more.

Torontonians living far from transit, without a car

A conference organized by Toronto Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat unveiled a striking statistic, online magazine Yonge Street reported last week: 60 per cent of people living in eight so-called tower neighbourhoods in the inner suburbs don’t have drivers’ licenses. Read more.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

School Travel Planning Toolkit

School Travel Planning Guide and Tools: Webinar Training Session. A step-by-step overview of the STP Guide and complete toolkit - recommended for training purposes. Read more.

Urban or suburban? The sprawl debate

 For Sarrazin-Sullivan, the shine that draws many to the suburbs is more of a stain. “There’s no way,” she said. “I walk. I bike to work. I spend a lot of time with the kids, and I don’t sit in traffic forever twice a day. So, for me, there’s no other choice.” Read more.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Driving Is Going Out of Style

A new study from U.S. PIRG gives us perhaps the most detailed yet look at the "peak car" phenomenon whereby America's passenger-miles driven keeps falling. As Ashley Halsey writes, perhaps the most important contention of the report is "data that show the cities with the biggest drop in driving suffered no greater unemployment peaks than those cities where driving declined the least." Read more.

Pedestrian fatalities in Toronto hit 10-year high

Elderly pedestrians are taking the brunt of the increase, with 20 seniors killed on the streets of Toronto this year compared with six at this time last year. Read more.

Canadian Municipal Active Transportation Policy Map Webinar

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer will host a one-hour webinar on Canadian municipal active transportation policy and a new tool, the Canadian Municipal Active Transportation Policy Map, supporting active transportation policy work. Read more.

Antigonish - “Response is slow for Active Transportation Plan“

The recreation director for the County Of Antigonish says a green partnership with the town will hopefully soon take flight. Read more.

Cargo bikes the new minivan for cycling families

Cyclists are pushing the limits of what they can haul on cargo bikes - sturdy two-wheelers built to haul lots of stuff. The so-called SUV of bicycles are increasingly popular in pedal-friendly communities. Read more.

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Guide for Maintaining Pedestrian Facilities for Enhanced Safety

U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration: A Guide for Maintaining Pedestrian Facilities for Enhanced Safety provides guidance for maintaining pedestrian facilities with the primary goal of increasing safety and mobility. The Guide addresses the needs for pedestrian facility maintenance; common maintenance issues; inspection, accessibility, and compliance; maintenance measurers; funding; and construction techniques to reduce future maintenance. Read more.

Crosswalk safety under scrutiny in Halifax: ‘We have to share this road space, and be safe’

The professor leading a review of thousands of collision reports across Nova Scotia says it confirms that reducing pedestrian-vehicle collisions is a shared responsibility. “Both user types should be very cautious in making connections when they are crossing those crosswalks,” said Dr. Ahsan Habib, director of the Dalhousie Transportation Collaboratory. “We have to share this road space, and be safe.” Read more.

Must Read: The Bike Share Planning Guide

It's not easy to set up a bike share system. Some have been wildly successful; others are disasters and more are disasters waiting to happen. Cities are willing to subsidize transit and fix roads on the taxpayers nickel, but baulk at the idea that bike share systems should be anything but self-supporting. People complain that the bike stands are ugly and that the bikes clog the road, and that all those tourists and novice riders are accidents waiting to happen. Read more.

Bike Share and Helmet Laws: An Uncomfortable Relationship

Injury rates among bike share users are much lower than among general riders. Helmet use is significantly lower for bike sharers, too. A study of Boston and Washington, DC, found that while about half of all riders on their own bikes donned head protection, only one in five bike share users chose to wear a helmet. Read more.

The World's Top 7 Bike-Share Systems

If you want to have a great bike-share program in your city, a few factors are key, according to a report just out from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. They include:
  • Lots of densely situated stations, ideally no more than about 325 yards apart
  • Many bikes (10-30 per 1,000 residents in the coverage area)
  • A sweeping coverage area that's more than six square miles
  • Solid, usable bikes with hardware that discourages theft
  • Easy-to-use stations and payment systems
If you don't have enough bikes and stations in a wide enough area, you're setting a system up for failure. Read more.

Saving Lives with Sustainable Transport

While sustainable transport initiatives are usually proposed and evaluated based on their impact on travel times, local air quality, accessibility, or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, their potential traffic safety impacts are often overlooked. Read more.

London begins labeling the physical world with calorie loss indicators


Each poster features a QR code and NFC tag, enabling those with smartphones to log, track and share their calorie burning with friends. According to StepJockey, the signs were developed using the principles of behavioral science, and tests proved that the nudge to take the stairs improved usage by up to 29 percent in some cases. Read more.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nova Scotia - Helmet Law Effective at Reducing Head and Brain Injuries

The following is an op-ed from Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. Recently, some Nova Scotians have been making the news for their objection to the law requiring them to wear helmets while riding bicycles. Read more.

Building a Year-Round Bike Culture in a City That Gets 88 Inches of Snow a Year

One of the cities working the hardest is the Canadian capital of Ottawa. There, the city has been building and planning bike infrastructure at a steady clip. The new nonprofit Ottawa Bicycle Lanes Project is part of a robust grassroots effort to promote cycling as a reasonable way to get around. Read more.

Watch These Little Girls In Afghanistan Be Better At Skateboarding Than You'll Ever Be

Whatever you do, don't stop the video before you get past minute 1:15. That's when things really start to get going.

Research Paper - Business Performance in Walkable Shopping Areas

Walkable commercial districts are a key component of communities that promote active living. Walking has great health benefits, including helping people maintain a healthy weight. This report examines whether there are also economic benefits to businesses in walkable communities. The study consisted of a meta-analysis of 70 studies and articles. However, there have been few studies that address economic performance directly and the author conducted an exploratory study of 15 walkable shopping areas judged as successful to examine the sources of success. Read more.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Shift to green transport makes city residents happier, richer

Across the world, cities are making their transport systems more environmentally friendly. They are revamping bus services to be faster and more reliable, introducing bike-sharing schemes, putting in cycle lanes and reducing the number of cars on the road.

At the same time, the world’s population is becoming increasingly urban. For the first time ever, more people now live in cities than in the country. A larger urban population requires more and better public transportation, and improved road management. Read more.

A Bus Rider’s Frustration With Transit Planners

The people doing transit planning where Nick Magrino lives aren’t paying attention to the basics, he says. And he thinks one reason is that they simply don’t ride the bus: Read more.

Video - Advocating for pedestrian safety in HRM

Wed, Dec 4: This week, three pedestrians have been hit while crossing the street in the Halifax-area. Pedestrian safety advocate Norm Collins shares his insights. See video.

Toronto - Bixi bike-sharing program to come under city's wing

The City of Toronto has announced a new plan to take control of the popular, but money-losing, Bixi bike-sharing program. Public Works chair Denzil Minnan-Wong announced Wednesday that control of the program will shift to the city's parking authority in the spring. Read more.

New bike bridge in Surrey divides a community

Some of those living near the ravine in North Surrey where the 200-foot-long cycling and pedestrian bridge is slated to be built worry about its safety – both the threat of neighbouring trees falling down and injuring somebody, and the risk the new span will bring unwanted criminal elements into their neighbourhood. Read more.

What Your Street Grid Reveals About Your City

Not all grids are created equal. Some shape a walking-friendly streetscape. Others, not so much. Over at the Strong Towns blog, Andrew Price, a software developer by day who blogs about urbanism, has been writing about the math of the grid and what it reveals about a city's economic productivity and walkability. Read more.

Baltimore's Got Some Playful New 'Hopscotch Crosswalks'

In Baltimore, the well-worn zebra crosswalk just got a whimsical facelift. Yesterday, the city unveiled a set of new "hopscotch crosswalks" at an intersection by the historic Bromo Selzer Arts Tower. Read more.

Winter cycling – what to wear, eat and put on your bike this winter

Winter doesn’t just bring cold weather; it also brings also sloppy conditions. Even with the best of gear, if you have no mud-guards, you’re rear and legs will be wet and cold.  Plus you need to protect your trusty ride, which is going to take a bit of a beating from snow, ice, salt and sand. Read more.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ottawa - Airport Parkway pedestrian bridge to cost another $4.6M

Fixing the Airport Parkway pedestrian bridge will cost another $4.6 million, the city's finance and economic development committee (FEDCO) heard Tuesday. The bridge project was suspended in October to allow of a new team of engineers to determine how best to move forward after professional engineers raised concerns this summer about the bridge's stay supporting system and steel anchorage piece at the top of the tower. Read more.

Toronto - More density downtown will cut down on gridlock

Governments need to change the rules to encourage midrise. We have lots of space in downtowns. But we still think we can run the fourth-largest city in North America on low-density housing and cars.” “Until we do,” Burda says, “we’ll remain stuck in traffic.” Read more.

Bike-friendly Copenhagen faces cyclist backlash

In one of the world's best cities for bicycles, Copenhagen cyclists are earning a reputation for recklessness and arrogance, prompting calls for politicians to back-pedal on plans to further boost bike traffic. Read more.

New Equity Report: Engaging Youth

Chen worked with the League on a project-based, six-week, paid internship to help us better understand what motivates youth to ride and how to engage them in advocacy.
The result? A new report, authored by Chen, on "Engaging Youth in Bicycle Advocacy." Read more.

Mythbusting: Exposing Half-Truths That Support Automobile Dependency

Critics claim that walking and cycling are unimportant, based on data indicating that about 90% of households own automobiles and 95% of all commute trips are by motorized modes. However, active transport is more important and more common than such statistics indicate. Read more.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Petition asks for protected bike lanes in Waterloo

A group of cycling advocates has collected more than 750 signatures on a petition to convince Waterloo city councillors to consider building protected bike lanes from the railroad tracks in the city's uptown, stretching north to University Avenue, as part of a wider plan to improve Uptown Waterloo's streetscape. Read more.

‘Free’ streets, highway network an illusion

One researcher has determined there are at least 90 different ways to put a price on something we all need one way or the other: the road-based transportation network. Whether through flat fees, tolls, distance-charging or a myriad of variations, the idea is fundamentally simple: you pay for what you use. It’s fairer, more transparent, potentially more equitable and ideally more affordable than what we have now. Read more.

Book Review: Happy City, by Charles Montgomery

Contemporary urbanism, its critics argue, caters to a new elite, who are gentrifying once affordable ’hoods with their sudden enthusiasm for High Lines and bike lanes. Read more.

A Tale of Two Suburbs

In Canada, we build tens of thousands of new homes—detached, semidetached and low rise apartments—in subdivisions across the land. At best, in our planning documents we only pay lip service to the concept of human-powered transportation. Few if any examples of suburban land developments show any attempt to address active transportation (AT) as a real and viable alternative transportation mode. Read more.

Condo buying: The walkability factor

The "walkability factor" has become an important consideration for condo buyers. The concept, made popular by the website, is based upon the notion that people walking on the streets makes an area more livable. Read more.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Walking, a Simple Yet Highly Effective Health Measure

At a time when extreme sports are all the hype, mundane activities like walking don’t get much attention. It’s just too basic, too boring to even think about it. Yet walking can be a great indicator of both physical and mental wellbeing. In addition, walking is considered by health experts as one of the most effective ways to stay fit and fend off illnesses like high blood pressure, heart disease, and even dementia. Read more.

Finally, a Bicycle Ad That's as Sexy as One for a Car

Now, for the first time, I’ve seen a bicycle ad that gives these car commercials a run for their money. The spot, just released by Copenhagen’s Butchers & Bicycles (located “in the heart of the meat-packing district in Copenhagen, Denmark”), employs all the traditional automotive tropes to promote the company’s new cargo bike, the MK1. Read more.

Walkable Cities are Good News for Small Business

When a city is more walkable—supporting pedestrians with narrower streets, wide sidewalks, and nearby recreational outlets—shops are frequented more often and do far better than those in less walkable areas. A report issued by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that “businesses appear to do better in a walkable commercial areas than in areas attracting mainly drive-to patronage.” Read more.

New York - Pedestrian fatalities on the rise across city

Pedestrians deaths are up this year across the five boroughs compared with 2012 — and have spiked by 15.5 percent since 2011. While the city boasts that overall traffic fatalities are at record lows, a Post analysis found at least 141 people were killed by cars through Monday, compared with 132 over the same period last year. Read more.