Monday, March 24, 2014

Bixi needs Montrealers to 'show their love': Denis Coderre

Bixi will ride again this year under the name of Bixi Montreal, a new not-for-profit organization set up to manage the local operation. In what Mayor Denis Coderre called a “big pilot project,” Bixi Montreal has been given $4.3 million contract to run the popular bike-sharing service. Read more.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Benefits of Walking

You might call walking America’s untrendiest growing trend. Between 2005 and 2010, the number of adults who walked for 10 minutes or more at least once a week rose from 56 to 62 percent—an increase of almost 20 million people—as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more.

The Biking & Walking Boom, In Two Maps and One Dinosaur Comic

It’s hard to shake the feeling that North America is going through a walking and bicycling revival.
Prolific bicycle researcher John Pucher and colleagues declared a “bicycling renaissance” back in 2011, but it wasn’t until recently that biking for transportation really gained momentum in the public consciousness. Read more.

New Partnership Brings Together “Strange Bedfellows” For Active Transpo

The gospel of active transportation has spread. Thanks to a number of concurrent crises, from obesity to climate change to the “silver tsunami,” it’s become clear to more and more people that the simple act of walking and biking can have a major impact on averting some of the biggest problems America faces. So over the past several years, several different sectors have joined traditional biking and walking advocates in taking up the mantle of active transportation. Read more.

Ford CEO: More Cars in Cities “Not Going to Work”

It’s the last thing you would expect to hear at the Detroit Auto Show from the CEO of Ford Motor Company. But last week, Ford’s Alan Mulally showed some ambivalence about the role of cars in major cities. Read more.

Ontario's New Provincial Policy Statement Prioritizes Active Transportation but Misses the Mark on Complete Streets

For the first time, within this overarching policy that governs all provincial land use decisions, the term “active transportation” is introduced (replacing “alternative transportation modes” in previous versions.)  Other notable changes are:
  • That increasing the “use of active transportation and transit before other modes of travel” is prioritized (Part IV);
  • That municipal land use plans shall be supportive of active transportation (;
  • That streets should “foster social interaction and facilitate active transportation and community connectivity” (1.5.1).
 Read more.

Belleville - Transportation Master Plan presented by consultant

A consultant's review of the city's transportation has yielded several ideas for the future. He said there is public support for developing a city-wide active transportation network (including pedestrian walkways and trails) and improving transit services. Read more.

We're Close to Turning San Francisco into a Bike Utopia

Rejoice — bicycle utopia is coming! Sort of. Maybe by 2020. At the very least, your San Francisco riding experience is going to be very different by then. Big plans are afoot to redesign key thoroughfares and routes to prioritize cyclists, pedestrians, and public transit, and to separate different types of road traffic. Read more.

4 pedestrians hit in marked crosswalks in Halifax

Three drivers were ticketed for failing to yield to someone in a marked crosswalk after four pedestrians crossing in crosswalks were struck by vehicles in the Halifax region Thursday. Read more.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

ACT Canada Volunteer Engagement Survey

ACT Canada is at a pivotal point in its history, and we are working to better define our organization and its value. Based on a strategy session at the 2013 Sustainable Mobility Summit, we recognize the need to involve our stakeholders more actively. We want you, as a member of our community, to participate in ACT Canada's future.

To begin this process, we plan to create several volunteer Committees and Councils. These groups will support ACT Canada's evolution and offer a chance for professional development. The two survey questions below will help us determine which Committees or Councils are of most interest to stakeholders. The number of Committees or Councils formed will be based on feedback received.

Please take two minutes to answer this short survey if you are interested in volunteering for a committee or council. Many thanks!

U.S. - National Walking Day, April 2, 2014

On this day, Americans are encouraged to lace up their sneakers and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk. It's a great way to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and to get your family, friends and co-workers started on a healthier way of life. Read more.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A DIY Approach to Slowing a City's Cars

Signs are part of a citizen campaign to bring speed limits on residential streets down from 30 to a much safer 20. And if they look professional, it's because they are. The white plastic placards were donated by Brooklyn-based, which the company's content director Conrad Lumm describes as "the Amazon of signs." Read more.

Windsor cyclists watching Ontario legislation closely

The Ontario government has proposed new laws that could improve cycling safety, and cyclists in Windsor are watching carefully to see what politicians decide. Read more.

Ontario - Cycling advocate applauds new bill to protect riders

An Ottawa cyclist hopes that proposed changes to the Highway Traffic Act will create safer roads for riders. The bill, introduced Monday at Queen's Park, would see fines for "dooring" rise to $1,000 from $100 and three demerit points to drivers instead of two. Read more.

Halifax - Council passes pedestrian safety plan

Halifax regional council passed a pedestrian safety plan Tuesday that essentially piggybacks on the one passed two weeks ago aimed at cutting the number of crashes in municipal crosswalks. Read more.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Video - The AA - Now You See Me

How does one make cyclists visible? This video provides an effective, if unorthodox, solution. Video.


Bike Lab Montréal is an intensive, two-day workshop aimed at transportation planners, engineers, architects, designers, decision-makers and students. Participants will experience Montreal's bicycle infrastructure and culture and explore the conditions that make everyday use of bicycle so attractive.

> Participate in presentations, interactive discussions and field tours

> Learn how Montreal has become one of the most bicycle-friendly city in North America

> Understand the motivations and the context for implementing different types of bicycle facilities

> Study the environmental conditions that make the daily use of the bicycle so appealing

> Meet with local planners and decision-makers (City of Montréal, transit authorities, research institutions)

> Experience the 30th edition of Tour de l’Île de Montréal on June 1st (optional pre-workshop activity)

More details.

USDOT Continues to Overestimate Future Vehicle Travel

The USDOT's "Conditions & Performance Report" predicts that VMT will grow between 1.36% and 1.85%, although current demographic and economic trends have resulted in flat or negative growth in recent years. When Will They Learn? Read more.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Air Quality Woes May Finally Force Paris to Rethink Its Love of Diesel Fuel

After highly polluted air became trapped close to the ground across France last week by unseasonably warm weather, authorities introduced free public transport over the weekend in Paris, Bordeaux, Caen, and Rouen. Read more.

Winnipeg Workshop: Developing an Active Transportation Map of Your Community

DATE: Thursday, March 27th
TIME: 9:00 am ‐ 11:30 amLOCATION: Carol Shields Auditorium, Millennium Library, 251 Donald StreetRSVP: Sylvie (204) 925‐2320 ext. 108COST: Free

LA Metro Releases ExpressLanes Net Toll Revenues Grants for Active Transportation

In October 2013, LA Metro dedicated 40% of the Toll Road Revenue to active transportation projects in their Toll Road Revenue Allocation Plan, which stakeholders and the Los Angeles County Active Transportation Collaborative supported and provided public comments. Read more.

Skateboard Canada features local's work

A North Bay resident, who is taking film and broadcasting at Centennial College in Toronto, created a 26-minute video titled Middle of Know Where. The video was picked up by Skateboard Canada and is featured on its website. Read more.

Halifax - Councillor hoping new report helps ‘move the yardstick’ on reducing pedestrian accidents

The new action plan examines pedestrian safety initiatives underway by HRM departments and police related to engineering, education and enforcement, highlighting changes such as the revised tracking of pedestrian accidents by Halifax Regional Police. Craig said it’s all helping “move the yardstick” towards reducing – but likely never eliminating – pedestrian collisions. Read more.

Hamilton spending $1.6M on new bike share program

City councillors have voted to spend $1.6 million to implement a new bike share program. The money will buy as many as 650 bicycles and set up as many as 65 stations around the city for the new program, which allows Hamiltonians to borrow bikes and leave them at station near their destination. Read more.

Friday, March 14, 2014

We're Shamefully Bad at Protecting Pedestrians at Events

A driver apparently trying to evade a drunk-driving checkpoint drove through a temporary barricade onto a street that had been blocked off for the South by Southwest festival. He plowed through a crowd of people out enjoying the night, on their way to and from the numerous bars and music venues in the area. Two people riding a scooter were killed. Twenty-three others on foot were injured, five of them critically. Read more.

Pembroke - County committed to active transportation

With a commitment to spend $189,274 in the next year, Renfrew County unveiled its active transportation corporate policy recently. The development and property committee reviewed the policy which will be a co-ordinated approach to building and promoting safe and connected active transportation networks throughout the region over the next five years. Read more.

Where Do You Want to Go?

One of the primary challenges that remains is the perception of who infrastructure is for. I meet many politicians and planners around the world who clearly think that they are expected to provide safe infrastructure for the few people riding bicycles in their city right now. They fail to understand that they should be building infrastructure for all the citizens who COULD be riding a bicycle if they felt safe on a complete network of infrastructure. Read more

Hamilton - Cannon Street bike lanes will cost $1.6M, city says

A new staff report says the city will spend $867,200 on capital costs to build two-way bike lanes from Sherman Avenue to Hess Street in Hamilton’s lower city. It will also spend $728,970 over three years to operate the lanes, including waste collection and snow removal. Read more.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Big City Bike Parking Negative Feedback Loop

Despite the installation of hundreds of new bike racks around the city over the past few years, New York’s boom in bicycling has meant that it’s increasingly difficult to find a safe place to lock up. It’s illegal to lock to trees, and the fine for doing so is $1,000. Read more.

London's Plan to Move Cyclists to Side Streets

After years of planning, London is finally poised to witness a quiet revolution for two-wheeled transport: an exhaustive citywide network of new cycle routes. This overhaul will nonetheless be coming with a substantial twist. As a visitor to the city, you might possibly never come across a single one of the new routes unless you really try. Read more.

Peterborough - Active Transportation By-Law Review

The draft Active Transportation By-Law was amended to require c yclists and skateboarders to dismount to pass a pedestrian on a sidewalk. In-line skaters would be required to pass at a pedestrian

rate of speed.

A comment sheet is available for you to complete, either in hard copy format or by sending an email to: Comments are due by March 26. Read more.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Big Legal Blow to the Rails-to-Trails Movement

decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court Monday could endanger rail-trails, many of which have become integral to the economies and communities where they are located.

The court ruled decisively, 8 to 1, in favor of a southern Wyoming landowner named Marvin Brandt, whose father once ran a sawmill making railroad ties on the family’s 83-acre piece of land, now contained within the Medicine Bow National Forest. Brandt had contested the United States Forest Service’s right to use a half-mile-long, 200-foot-wide rail right of way going through his land as part of a 21-mile-long trail that runs along the former rail tracks. Read more.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities - Mayors say cities held back by housing costs and transportation gridlock

Canada's Big City Mayors' Caucus (BCMC) said that Canada must unlock the full potential of its cities in order to win the global race for investment, talent and jobs and protect its quality of life. The mayors called on provincial, territorial and federal partners to work with cities to fix the affordable housing shortage and improve aging transportation systems, two key impediments to growth. Read more.

Is Walking As Good A Workout As Running?

 Running can help keep the heart healthy, improve mood, and stave off sickness; plus recent studies have found running is a great way to lose and maintain weight. But research suggests going full speed isn’t the only route to good health. Read more.

London to spend $500M on cycling and pedestrian infrastructure

London, led by Mayor Boris Johnson, himself an advocate for cycling and pedestrian safety, is pledging $500 million to radically transform 33 intersections and roundabouts across the city. Read more.

Cycling in cities: the search for the world's most bike-friendly metropolis

Is urban cycling worth the risk? Only one way to find out: saddle up and plant two wheels in seven cities around the world. Read more.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Montréal - Passer «Go» et réclamer la ville

Dans une grande ville, il vaut mieux se lever de bonne heure pour pédaler sans avoir à jouer du coude avec les voitures. Une fois par année, à l’occasion des tours urbains de New York (Five Boro Bike Tour), Chicago (Bike the Drive) et Montréal (La Féria, rebaptisée Go Vélo Montréal), c’est jour de fête. Read more.

People Get Ready: Here come the Millennials

Last week’s release by the Pew Research Center of its “Millennials in Adulthood” analysis suggests there’s a train a-coming. And its steady progress is likely to force changes in community development over the next couple decades. Read more.

Video - Calgary Trends Growth Mobility

Interesting video produced by the City of Calgary about growth trends.

2014 Walkable Communities Grants

Heart&Stroke Walkabout™ is offering Walkable Communities Grants to help organizations or groups take steps to increase walking participation. See more.

Deadline for submissions is Monday April 21, 2014.

Click here to download the Walkable Communities Grant for Public Feb 2014
Click here for a Heart&Stroke Walkabout™ Fact Sheet

Sunday, March 9, 2014

B.C. - Lower Mainland transforms into a skateboarding mecca

There was a time when skateboarders were regarded as outcasts, but a new generation can enjoy dozens of Lower Mainland skateparks. Read more.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Maple Ridge BC - Help designing a better ‘multi-use’ path

One of the main concerns was that the path is bi-directional. If you install a bi-directional path – with relatively little traffic – along a highway with a massive amount of car and truck traffic, there may be some problems. Especially if the path is interspersed with driveways, where cars entering and exiting have to cross the path. And in particular when drivers exiting the driveways have to try and merge into an unending stream of fast moving cars. Read more.

London pedestrians - things are set to get easier with the launch of 'intelligent' pedestrian crossings

The introduction of Pedestrian Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique (otherwise known as the slightly-more catchy ‘pedestrian SCOOT’) is the first of its kind in the world and uses state-of-the-art video camera technology to automatically detect how many pedestrians are waiting at crossings. Read more.

Remove a lane to improve traffic? Expert explains his Calgary cycle track proposal

The guffaws were deafening. Remove a lane on a busy road, and traffic chaos won’t ensue? Riiiiight.
That has been one of the more common (and polite) reactions to part of a proposal that will go before City Council in April to build a network of downtown cycle tracks. Read more.

10 Lessons in More Engaging Citizen Engagement

As more people choose to live in cities, local governments find themselves facing increasingly complex issues in city-making. Demands for affordable housing and public transit, tensions around gentrification and density, even connecting the dots between city planning and climate change, are just some of the more high-profile critical conversations our cities need. Solutions can come from many places, but smart cities realize that engaging the broad public in the city-making process leads to better answers and a deeper public ownership of our future. Read more.

Cycling infrastructure is cheaper to build than not to build, part two. Features "old, inferior" infrastructure

It's important to campaign for the highest standards. If you ask for less, you'll certainly achieve less. Falling further behind is the inevitable result. Read more.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bike-Share Hits Yet Another Snag in Portland, Oregon

What Portland doesn't have is a bike-share program. That was supposed to change, with Portland on track to implement a $4 million, 75-station system. In 2013, officials delayed the launch a year. And now, the bankruptcy of Bixi might delay the program further, according to the Oregonian.

America's Cities Are Still Too Afraid to Make Driving Unappealing

We can incentivize transit by making all of those other options more attractive. Or we can disincentivize driving by making it less so. What's become increasingly apparent in the United States is that we'll only get so far playing to the first strategy without incorporating the second. Read more.

San Francisco Ponders Rainbow-Colored Crosswalks

Read more.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Canada's obesity rates triple in less than 30 years

Obesity rates in Canada have tripled between 1985 and 2011, according to a study from Memorial University in St. John's. Dr. L.K. Twells analyzed national and provincial data from a number of Canadian health surveys conducted in that time period. Her findings, published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), project that about 21 per cent of Canadian adults will be obese by 2019. Read more.

Texting And Walking Results In More Injuries Than Distracted Driving

Physical harm resulting from texting and walking occurs more frequently than distracted driving, according to a recent study. Researchers from the University at Buffalo found that although injuries from car accidents involving texting are more severe, distracted walking results in more injuries per mile than distracted driving. Read more.

Vancouver - Bike lanes on Commercial Drive spark debate

A community group wanting to reduce the “car-centric” character of traffic on Commercial Drive discovered that controversy tends to follow the mention of bike lanes. Read more.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

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.

Twelve Ways We Can Make Our Cities More Child-Friendly

This slideshow describes twelve ways we can make our cities more amenable to kids. These are by no means a comprehensive list, but are designed as a conversation starter. Read more.

Nobody Wanting to Drive in Megacities Signals Vehicle Peak

In the globe’s growing megacities, pollution and gridlock are putting a damper on driving. In India, some commuters are leaving their cars at home to avoid traffic snarls and long prowls for parking. More young Americans are forgoing the dream of auto ownership for public transport, bikes and vehicle- sharing. All of that may herald a new era for an auto industry weaned on a century of global growth. The world will reach “Peak Car” -- a point at which annual global sales growth will top out -- in the next decade, several auto-industry analysts predict. Read more.

How Buenos Aires Unclogged Its Most Iconic Street

In the past year, city work crews ripped out four traffic lanes in the middle of the Avenida 9 de Julio in Buenos Aires. In just seven months, they gave the space entirely to buses and the people who ride them. Read more.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Huntsville - Committee supports active transportation projects

“It was very well received, so we will be moving forward with some sidewalk improvements, crosswalk updates, trail improvements, way-finding signage and line painting all within the current budget,” said Francis. The projects she presented were included in a previous report presented by consultant Robert Voigt. But the consultant’s presentation last month received criticism and hesitation from committee members, who were cautious about supporting projects without knowing what they would cost or whether the community would support them. Read more.

Harvard Biz Review: Take a walk: It will make you more productive

When it comes to work, walking can dramatically increase productivity. In a very real sense, walking can be work, and work can be done while walking. In fact, some of the most important work you may ever do can be done walking. Read more.

When Will Skateboarding Get the Olympic Seal of Approval?

One of the chief influences in the progression and evolution of snowboarding – skateboarding – has never been given any real credibility as a potential olympic contender. Skateboarding, on the other hand, is an absolute staple of youth culture worldwide, and would surely draw a mass audience, were it admitted into the olympics. Read more.

Cyclists should wear helmets while it stays the law

It would be great if cyclists in Perth could ride helmet free without fear of fine or risk injury. We should be working towards that level of safety, but unfortunately we’re not there yet. Read more.

Victoria - Cyclists urge city to go big on two-wheeled travel

Berkhout and a group of bike-friendly residents are launching an online petition to urge the city to set more ambitious targets for cycling during its bicycle master plan update this spring. "We've certainly fallen behind a lot of Canadian cities in terms of cycling investment," said Berkhout, a Victoria resident who cycles with his wife and two young children regularly. Read more.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

We're Driving Less, So Should We Stop Building New Roads?

If we really are driving less than we used to — or, at the very least, no more than we used to — when will we stop increasing road capacity? Given vehicle-mile trends, it stands to reason that sooner or later states and cities will warm to the possibility that maintaining existing roads is a wiser public investment than building new ones. Read more.

Why Sweden has so few road deaths

Although the number of cars in circulation and the number of miles driven have both doubled since 1970, the number of road deaths has fallen by four-fifths during the same period. With only three of every 100,000 Swedes dying on the roads each year, compared with 5.5 per 100,000 across the European Union, 11.4 in America and 40 in the Dominican Republic, which has the world's deadliest traffic, Sweden’s roads have become the world’s safest. Read more.

The Mean Streets of New York

It is wrong to place all the blame on drivers for going fast on roads that are designed for them to do just that, and it’s unfair to blame pedestrians for not being careful enough when they are behaving exactly as smart, sensible pedestrians behave. The problem is how we are mixing the two together. Read more.

Cycle Tracks Revisited: Everyone Benefits?

There is lots of good research from other cities and Calgary’s new 7th Street cycle track that says if we create a few key separate bike lanes, we should see at least a doubling of cyclists in our downtown. There is recent evidence from New York City that shows traffic speed for cars actually increased on roads with bike lanes, perhaps because there is there is no more weaving in and out of each other’s way. Read more.

Urban walking is a legal high, so why are cities cruel to pedestrians?

The other things you notice from your vantage point as a foot soldier in the war between the pedestrian and the car is that the pedestrian is not winning. Drivers on phones cut you off, eyes focused on a mythical land that does not include actual people. Read more.