Saturday, December 20, 2014

Port Hawkesbury looking to further develop active transportation trail system

The Strait Area Trails Association will hold a public meeting in the boardroom of the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. to discuss possible projects for the Port Hawkesbury Community Trails system. Read more.

'Cycling Santa' Unwraps Victoria's First Bike Barometer

Victoria’s first bike barometer, displaying the number of cyclists per day and the total for the year, along with the temperature and time, is now in operation along the Galloping Goose Trail. This is one of a series of actions the City is taking to improve cycling in Victoria. Read more.

Amazon Begins Manhattan Bike Deliveries

The service, called Prime Now, for now is starting only in select areas of Manhattan. It's slated to be rolled out to more U.S. cities in 2015. The cost for a one-hour delivery in Manhattan is $7.99 for buyers of such everyday essentials as batteries, towels, shampoo and books. But two-hour deliveries are free. Read More.

Funding provided for design study for cycling, pedestrian overpass linking Truro and Truro Heights roads

East Hants MLA Margaret Miller, on behalf of Energy Minister Andrew Younger, announced on Friday morning in Truro the provincial government will pay $37,500 to commission a design study that will ultimately result in a pedestrian and bicyclist (bridge) overpass connecting Abenaki Road to Truro Heights Road. Read more.

Walkability Is Good for You

A slew of new research links walkable neighborhoods with safer, healthier, more democratic places. Read more.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The surprising reason why morning walks can help you lose weight

Getting up for a sunrise walk can help you lose weight — but it isn't just the walking that makes the difference. Earlier this year, researchers at Northwestern University revealed that exposure to morning light can help as well. Read more.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Are complete streets losing steam at Hamilton city hall?

Coun. Chad Collins, one of the most vocal councillors on killing the lane, says he heard while campaigning in Ward 5 during this fall’s election that constituents were annoyed by the cost and inconvenience of downtown transit and bike lanes. Read more.

Cycling Is Creating More Jobs in Europe Than Automakers Are in the U.S.

Europe boasts a cycling economy that employs more than 655,000 people in industries such as retail, manufacturing, infrastructure investment, and tourism. On just two wheels, the industry is creating more jobs than Europe’s high-fashion footwear industry (388,000 jobs), its well-established steel sector (410,000), and the United States’ Big Three automobile companies (Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler) combined (510,000). Read more.

Architecture to encourage cycling

Dr. Steven Fleming works to make bicycles the inspiration for architects that cars were during the twentieth-century. In today’s ArchDaily architecture journal, Fleming discusses 10 ways architects can design for bicycles to move cities forward. Read more.

Edmonton - Pedestrian-friendly changes proposed to McKernan/Belgravia LRT area

Plans for making the area around the McKernan/Belgravia LRT station more pedestrian and cycling friendly are already in the works, with several transit oriented development accessibility structures plotted. Read more.

Four Reasons Pedestrian Injuries Have Plummeted Along Protected Bike Lanes

As dozens of thought leaders on street safety gather in New York City today for the Vision Zero for Cities Symposium, some of them will be discussing this little-known fact: On New York streets that received protected bike lanes from 2007 to 2011, total traffic injury rates fell by 12 to 52 percent. Read more.

Researchers point to urban parks and trails as cost-effective ways to promote exercise

A new systematic review in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that providing public parks and walking and biking trails is the most cost-effective strategy to increase physical activity among large populations in urban areas. Read more.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Could Your Local Bike Shop Serve Women Better?

As a less-experienced commuter cyclist, I'm still learning first-aid skills for my little 10-speed mixte. So I've been sad to find an air of guarded knowledge, and slight dismissiveness, among the mechanics at my otherwise solid local bike shop. Hey, don't laugh off my question about whether my rim's bent or the wheel needs truing, dude—help me understand. Read more.

Australia ‘world’s worst place for cyclists’, says Danish rider who’s circled the globe

Thomas Andersen, from Copenhagen, singled out Sydney for particular criticism, saying he was shocked at the regular abuse from drivers. “Australia has wonderful people, but some just don’t like cyclists,” he told “Sydney was the only place in the world that people would wind down the window and shout ‘F***ing cyclist!’ It happened about three times, it was quite strange. Read more.

Paris mayor announces plans for a car-free city centre, plus €100m for bike lanes

The mayor of Paris has announced a plan to tackle traffic and pollution in the French capital by transforming the city's historic centre into a "semi-pedestrianised" zone. "In the four central districts, apart from bikes, buses and taxis, the only vehicles allowed will be residents' cars, delivery vehicles and emergency vehicles," Anne Hidalgo said in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche. Read more.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pelham recognized as ‘walkable community'

Being pedestrian-friendly has earned the Town of Pelham provincial recognition. The Walk Friendly Community Designation from Green Communities Canada was presented during a Sustainable Mobility and Healthy Communities Summit in Markham, Wednesday. Read more.

Red Bull rolls into Nova Scotia to create a skateboarding movie

It was once a business dream: turn a scenic location on the Aspotogan Peninsula into a hotel resort and spa. That half-built hotel by the sea, abandoned years ago, was an unexpected skateboarding playground for a movie by Red Bull, the energy drink manufacturer. Read more.

Cycle of Giving marathon builds bikes for Winnipeg kids

Dozens of volunteer mechanics have turned the Orioles Community Centre into a holiday workshop as they aim to build 300 bicycles during the 24-hour period. The built bikes will go to children who cannot afford a bike of their own, according to organizers with W.R.E.N.C.H. (Winnipeg Repair Education and Cycling Hub). Read more.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Hamilton - Meeting with Transportation Managers Heralds a Culture in Transition

Last night, I had the pleasure of joining a group of engaged downtown residents to meet with several managers from the Public Works Department for an informal discussion about complete streets, corporate culture and citizen engagement. Read more.

Okanagan taxpayers on the hook for millions after CN deal struck

Taxpayers are on the hook for millions of dollars after the purchase of the abandoned rail line between Kelowna and Coldstream. The City of Kelowna and several other municipalities struck a deal with CN Rail on Monday. With little information about how the $22 million for the rail bed will be raised, some taxpayers are already speaking out against the idea. Read more.

Winter cycling: 5 tips for riding in the sleet and snow

Riding on snow can be a bit tricky, but with some adjustments you can easily gain the confidence to ride all year long. Read more.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Roundabouts Versus Stop Signs: Which is faster and safer for cyclists?

Roundabouts are clearly better for cars, but what about cyclist safety? In the States, attempting a roundabout on a bike is a scary concept since most drivers aren’t adept at navigating the circles. That could be because they have less experience with them: France, reportedly the European country with the most roundabouts, has more than 30,000. By comparison, Roundabout USA reports that there are a mere 3,500 in the US—in total. Read more.

Myth Debunked: Cyclists Are In the Way

When you're stuck in traffic in a car, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that you're helping create that same traffic, even as you complain about it. Read more.

The 6 Most Annoying Pedestrians Walking in Front of You

WHAT A TWIST! As much as it enrages you with OTHER people do these things, you will definitely, 100% do them at some point as well. And when you do, you'll be wondering what everyone else's problem is when they get frustrated. Read more.

Amsterdam colours its bicycle lanes red

At the moment, parts of this busy bicycle route lack a clearly marked red lane. Therefore the bicycle lanes will be coloured red to make them more visible and to provide cyclists with more safety on the road. The roles of cyclists and car drivers will be reversed, with the car now being a guest in bicycle territory. Read more.

Proposed Debert sidewalk would result in ‘huge rate increase'

Debert residents will see almost a 20-cent increase on their tax rate if a proposed new sidewalk is constructed from the village post office up to MacElmon Road. Read more.

Edmonton council unanimously decides to fund curb cuts, bike parking as part of Active Transportation plan

Mayor Don Iveson  has been nothing short of “disappointed” that during his time on council has consistently had to “dig” the Active Transportation plan out of the budget “book” in hopes of giving it funding. Read more.

Proposed plan for the Stanley Park Causeway hopes to improve safety

The Cycling and Pedestrian Safety Improvement Project primarily focuses on widening the sidewalks and installing safety fencing along the Stanley Park Causeway, a 2.2 km segment of Highway 99 which provides one of two connections between Vancouver and the North Shore. Read more.

Saskatoon - Tax hike cut, but talks continue

An effort by Coun. Eric Olauson to cut the increase to Meewasin Valley Authority funding for trail repair to about $200,000 from $257,000 failed, as did an attempt to slash $174,000 earmarked for the active transportation fund. Read more.

Halifax - Turf for Cole Harbour, dollars for active transportation: council goes to work on capital budget

City staff told council’s Committee of the Whole on Wednesday the capital budget – which pays for buildings, equipment and non-transit fleet, land development and transportation infrastructure – will rise to $159 million from $144 million in 2014-15. It includes an increased investment in street recapitalization and sidewalks and was balanced as presented to council. Read more.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Lloydminster - Back to school using active transportation

The benefits of using active transportation to get to school or work are numerous. Also as numerous are the ways to sneak in a few steps even if you have to use non-active means of transportation to get to and from school or work. If you are driving your kids to school, don’t drop them off from the closest parking space. Drop them off at the other end of the school yard so they have the opportunity to walk at least some of the way to school. Read more.

Sydney - ATV users make pitch for access to planned pedestrian overpass

Members of the Isle Royale ATV Club and the Marconi Trailblazers ATV Club are seeking permission to cross a planned pedestrian overpass to accompany a new roundabout at Sydney Port Access Road, Highway 125 and Grand Lake Road. Read more.

Saskatoon - Focus on cars bad for city

Considering that governments use tax policy as a way to encourage or discourage public behaviour, the juxtaposition of two recent front-page stories was noteworthy. Above a story headlined Car ownership surpasses city population again was the article Transit fees may increase next year; Leisure centre pass could go up by 5.38%. Read more.

Hamilton - Repurpose a Lane of Claremont Access for a Protected Two-Way Cycle Track

At last Wednesday's packed-house Love Your Streets seminar, we learned that half of all driving trips in Hamilton are a distance of five kilometres or less. Even more amazing, more than half of all trips one kilometre or less are taken by car. (Citizens at City Hall has an excellent write-up on the event.) Read more.

Pedal-powered cars eyed for Vancouver

VeloMetro is reviving the 80-year-old velocar, a lightweight pedal-powered car — but adding a 21st-century twist of electricity and an energy-recovery brake system to help users climb hills and travel longer distances. The functionality and design is a cross between an electric bicycle and a smart car. It’s a single-person enclosed vehicle, three-quarters the size of a smart car, but powered and steered from the inside like a bicycle on three wheels. Read more.

Plans for improved bike route on Stanley Park causeway coming today

The ministry had promised to unveil its proposal by late last spring, but instead scheduled a public consultation for Tuesday. A ministry spokeswoman said it had taken a bit longer than expected to balance the technical requirements of an expanded sidewalk with minimizing the impacts to the park. Read more.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Parking Lot Safety

When thinking of parking lots, one normally does not think of potential hazards associated with it. Parking lots are designed for vehicles and not pedestrians. Therefore, hazards are everywhere. The National Safety Council’s Journal of Safety Research reported 2,057 work-related deaths on company parking lots between 1993 and 2003. Both pedestrians and drivers should view parking lots as if they were streets and intersections. Read more.

Pedestrians at risk from distracted drivers

There is a suspicion that in car-crazy Toronto, people who walk are an endangered species.
For example, during a recent week-long pedestrian safety blitz, two pedestrians were killed.
In one two-hour period a couple of weeks ago, five pedestrians were struck by cars in separate incidents. Pedestrians are knocked down by any number of various vehicles. They are hit by cars, of course, but also street cars, buses, trucks, bicyclists. But mostly cars. Read more.

Suffolk County Approves Legislation Calling For Park Exercise Prescriptions

In a first for the Tri-State Area, health care professionals in the suburbs may soon be giving patients unusual prescriptions. The patients are receiving a doctor’s prescription not for medication, but for serious exercise in the form of walking in parks. Read more.

After a Series of Failures, This Is How Vancouver Finally Built a Controversial Bike Lane

In 1996, Vancouver temporarily converted a car lane on the Burrard Street Bridge into a separated bicycle lane. The six-month trial was a spectacular failure: it lasted a week. In 2005, the city revisited the idea, only to have it shot down for fear of reprising the previous debacle. Then, in 2009, the Burrard bike lane got one more chance—only to work out beautifully and become a permanent fixture. Read more.

Phoenix launches bike share program

The program allows anyone with a membership or a pass to stop by one of the 27 stations across the city, enter a PIN code to pick up a bike and ride it to their destination. The bikes are equipped with impressive solar-powered technology that allows users to reserve a bike, lock it up to any rack and even track mileage and gas savings. Read more.

Monday, December 1, 2014

France's Tour de Force in City Biking

In this age of rethinking how we plan cities, intense urban change, and information sharing, focusing on what inspires is important. Many cities inspire me with their fast and effective change and vision in reestablishing the bicycle on the urban landscape, but what of nations? Where do we find change at the national level?

We look to France. Read more.

Vancouver - Decoy pedestrian raises ire

West Vancouver police are among those who have been targeting pedestrian safety this month, with campaigns in Ambleside and Dundarave. But at least one driver is questioning some of the techniques used by police to drive home their point. Cameron Duff, a West Vancouver lawyer, says the "pedestrian decoy" that landed him with a $167 ticket recently amounts to entrapment and doesn't make streets safer. Read more.

Toronto to narrow traffic lanes in hopes of increasing safety

Toronto will narrow many of the city’s traffic lanes in a bid to increase safety by reining in speeds while freeing up space for bicycle lanes or wider sidewalks. The city has just finished a new policy for lane widths, guidelines that will be rolled out gradually across Toronto. Read more.

The Secret History of Cars Begins With Bicycles

Politically powerful 19th-century cyclists created road infrastructure in the U.S. and Europe—and many of them went on to lead the fledgling automobile industry. Read more.

Walk21 - Vienna 2015

The conference will be held from 20 - 23 October 2015. The conference motto “Stepping ahead” promotes activities and innovations towards the future of our resilient cities and healthy living environments.

The main conference themes are

• Walking towards new public spaces
• Walking towards resilient cities
• Walking towards safety and health
• Walking together

Whether you are a politician, a planner, a campaigner, a researcher or a practitioner, you are welcome sharing your experience and be part of the discussion and all side events at Walk21 Vienna 2015.

For more information on the Call for Abstracts visit our conference website or have a look at the guidelines and instructions for submitting an abstract attached to this email.