Monday, February 29, 2016

Our Ubiquitous, Neglected Roads: Best #Cityreads of the Week

Masdar City, when it was first conceived a decade ago, was intended to revolutionise thinking about cities and the built environment. Now the world’s first planned sustainable city — the marquee project of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) plan to diversify the economy from fossil fuels — could well be the world’s first green ghost town. Read more.

Australia - Hold on to your helmets, here comes the latest anti-cycling legislation

On 1 March, the latest instalment in anti-fun legislation comes into force in NSW. These rules are aimed at restricting the joy of riding a bicycle. The “greatest bike lane sceptic in the world” roads minister, Duncan Gay has proposed substantial increases in fines for not wearing a helmet, not stopping at a traffic light and not carrying identification. Read more.

Along for the Ride: Being a pedestrian in the 'burbs

Being on foot makes her a rarity on the wide and flat four-lane road, where lulls in the traffic are few and far between. Read more.

Walking For At Least 10 Minutes Can Help You Live Longer

Previous studies have already demonstrated that a sedentary lifestyle or the lack of physical activity is detrimental to health and can contribute to the risk of developing heart disease. Ezra Fishman from the University of Pennsylvania found that people need not spend a lot of time in the gym or perform extreme workouts to live longer. Read more.

Cash for cycling? Polluted Milan wants to pay commuters to bike to work

Famed for Vespas, Fiat 500s and a somewhat erratic driving style, Italy is not a land known for a thriving urban cycling culture. While the metropolises of northern Europe have invested in innovative solutions to get citizens on their bikes, in the bel paese the car remains king. Read more.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Pedestrian injuries, fatalities in Calgary cost society $120 million each year, says city

The financial impact of life-altering pedestrian collisions and fatalities in Calgary could be $120 million each year, and possibly higher, according to newly released city figures. Read more.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Commuters Don't Stop Driving to Work Unless You Take Away Free Parking

What policymakers didn’t quite understand then, and still don’t now, is the power of the free parking spot to overwhelm transit benefits of any size. Read more.

Former Surgeon General Benjamin Promotes Walking's Health Benefits

Yesterday, former U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D., offered her insights on the health benefits of walking at a Capitol Hill briefing about Step It Up!: The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities. Read more.

7 innovations to get people to stop texting while walking

More than 1,500 pedestrians landed in emergency rooms in 2010 because of accidents sustained while texting and walking at the same time — up nearly 500% since 2005, according to an Ohio State University study. Other researchers say phones account for 10% of pedestrian injuries, and a half-dozen deaths a year. Read more.

The mysterious biomechanics of riding – and balancing – a bicycle

While riding and balancing a bicycle can seem simple and effortless, the actual control process used by a human rider is still somewhat of a mystery. Read more.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Toronto Considers Crackdown on Motorists Blocking Bike Lanes

The City of Toronto is considering easing the process by which bylaw officers ticket motorists who are blocking bike lanes. If the change passes, bylaw officers will have their new authority in place by spring of 2016. Read more.

Of Course Copenhagen Is Giving Bicycles Traffic-Light Priority

Long home to a highly advanced bike network, Copenhagen will reportedly replace 380 traffic signals with intelligent lights that will prioritize the flow of buses and bicycles over cars at intersections. Read more.

Bike sharing service to launch in Vancouver this summer

Vancouver is launching a bike sharing service this summer, City Councillor Geoff Meggs announced at a regular city council meeting on Tuesday. It will launch in June and will consist of 1,000 bikes initially with another 500 to come by the end of the summer, as well as 150 stations. Read more.

Trails not built for e-bikes: Orillia councillor

Resident John Menear says critics are ignoring an important distinction between classes of e-bikes. Menear rides a pedal-assisted model, in which electric power is provided only when the rider is pedaling. “They are no more dangerous than a bicycle,” he said. Read more.

PEI - Westisle High School opens its halls to all for lunchtime walking program

After a study found few students are meeting the recommended daily exercise targets, the school created two walking tracks through its halls in an effort to help people become more physically active, said principal Heidi Morgan. Read more.

Active transport in Hamilton: We deserve safer options in 2016

As it stands, the rules of the road mandate that a bicycle and a three thousand pound vehicle occupy shared road space. The logic behind these rules is deeply flawed and problematic. Read more.

Pelham wants in on cycling's circle route

The circle route currently follows the Welland Canal, the Friendship Trail between Port Colborne and Fort Erie, the Niagara Parkway trail between Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake, and then along Lake Ontario back to the Welland Canal trails. Read more.

Vancouver - Cycling leading cause of youth concussions

Cycling is the leading recreational cause for young people to be hospitalized for concussions — taking up more than a third of all cases caused by sports or leisure activities in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions, a B.C. Injury Research and Prevention report has found. Read more.

New rapid flashing beacon pedestrian crossing system coming to Vancouver

The City of Vancouver is setting up a new kind of pedestrian crossing as part of a pilot project to help residents get across busy streets at three different crosswalk locations. Read more.

Hamilton - Active Transportation Growing Pains as City Piles Snow on New Walkway

This is a high pedestrian traffic area with a particularly high concentration of senior citizens, but the street network is not very pedestrian-friendly. The sidewalks are narrow and are have no physical or space buffer from fast vehicle traffic just inches away. Read more.

Calgarians speak about lives changed by pedestrian collisions

A pedestrian is struck by a vehicle in Calgary, on average, every day. Typically, eight Calgarians die crossing the street each year. Three Calgary families whose lives have been changed by pedestrian-vehicle collisions on city streets shared their stories. Read more.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Five Circles: Pedestrian Bridge in Copenhagen

The sailboats anchored in Copenhagen’s Christianshavn district served as inspiration for Olafur Eliasson’s Cirkelbroen. This bridge for pedestrians and cyclists has finally closed a wide gap along the harbour promenade. Read more.

Pedestrian traffic at Portage & Main would invigorate all of Winnipeg

Nothing stirs the passions of Winnipeggers more than talking about traffic. Those emotions boiled over recently when the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ hosted, Imagine Portage and Main, a symposium to stimulate conversation about the future of our city’s once iconic intersection. Read more.

Urban planners encourage City of Regina to review parking minimums

It’s a municipal regulation dictating how many parking stalls a developer must construct depending on the type of building. But parking minimums have come under fire recently for being detrimental to urban design, increasing property costs for developers and tenants — whether you own a car or not — as well as discouraging alternative modes of transportation. Read more.

Castlegar releases Street Tree Master Plan

"It's about creating pedestrian friendly tree-lined streets with bicycle use pathways, it helps promote active transportation and a healthy vibrant community. The street tree program enhances the gateways to Castlegar, the streetscapes within the city and will help create an even more desirable community for residents to live and work and for visitors to visit." Read more.

Montréal - A walk to work exposes flaws in urban design

The message is: if you are not in your car, it is just wrong. Read more.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Should Hamilton hike public parking prices?

A new budget update circulated to councillors says the city's $1-per-hour metered parking price is the lowest among Ontario cities that take part in a yearly municipal benchmarking survey. Read more.

Energy Landscapes: An Aerial View

MacLean documented historical design advantages that many European nations have inherited and now knowingly reinforce in their physical landscapes: dense urban centers with an emphasis on pedestrian and bike accessibility; compact rural and suburban communities with sharp growth boundaries; connectivity between public transport and human-powered transportation; the integration of commercial and retail space into the fabric of residential areas; and a dearth of sprawl. “How we organize ourselves on the ground is the key factor determining how much fossil fuel we burn,” MacLean says. Read more.

A Little More Fuel for the Mandatory Helmet Debate Fire

In this week’s episode of “I Can’t Believe We’re Still Talking About This,” researchers in Canada have determined that mandatory helmet laws have no impact on bicycling injury hospitalization rates across Canada. Other factors, namely mode share, were much more likely to affect the outcome. Read more.

Halton residents aren't getting enough physical activity: Halton report

Some 39 per cent of Halton residents, aged 12 and older, were inactive during their leisure time in 2013/2014, states the Active Transportation Health report discussed at Halton Region’s health and social services committee meeting Feb. 8. Read more.

Montrealers bike in -25 C to promote winter cycling

A group of dedicated cyclists took to the streets Sunday in Montreal for the third annual Vélo sous zero. Read more.

Engaging with children through skate programmes

Steve Hodges wants to get rid of people's stereotypes about skateboarders. Helping youth enjoy skateboarding has been his passion for the past three years, inspired by his son's love of the sport. Read more.

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Case Against Drive-Throughs

Minneapolis is thinking about nixing these consumer-friendly byways. More cities should follow suit. Read more.

The Bicycle as a Tool of Social Justice

Philosopher and social critic Ivan Illich was fascinated by technology. Forty years ago he was arguing that the automobile, rather than a tool of freedom, contributed to entrenching mobility hierarchies. Read more.

Ice cycles: the northerly world cities leading the winter bicycle revolution

Oulu in Finland and Winnipeg in Canada are two winter cities with remarkably different stories. Oulu is just like Winnipeg – except for the bike paths stretching for miles in every direction and the thousands of people riding bicycles in the snow. Read more.

Alaska - Bicycles during the gold rush

Many people view winter biking as a recent phenomenon. However, bicycles came north with gold- seekers more than 100 years ago. The 1897-98 Klondike Gold Rush occurred near the peak of a world- wide bicycle craze in the 1890s, and it was only natural for some stampeders to bring their bicycles with them. Read more.

Cycling-friendly infrastructure project in Courtenay, B.C. granted federal funding

The Vancouver Island city of Courtenay, B.C. made progress this week towards realizing a long-standing vision for city transportation—one that would have the bike-friendly ideals of active transportation at its heart. Read more.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

8 Principles for Creating Thriving Public Streets

Vibrant, thriving commons are essential to creating healthy, human-scale cities. Our public streets are one of the most overlooked commons, as they’ve long been dominated by cars. But a growing movement is working to recreate streets as public spaces that belong to everyone—not just car owners. Read more.

Montréal - 5 ways to improve pedestrian safety

A recent analysis on pedestrian accidents revealed that close to 5,000 pedestrians were injured between 2011 and 2014. The distressing statistics have prompted calls for more secure streets and raise the question of how to make pedestrians safer. Read more.

Cambridge - Pedestrian refuge just won't do

The suggestion of a pedestrian refuge island at a busy Preston intersection doesn’t go far enough to address safety concerns, say city councillors. Read more.

Sudbury - Study aims to reduce vehicle-pedestrian collisions

Greater Sudbury Police says collisions at intersections in Greater Sudbury are increasing, and they are launching a special study to find out why. Read more.

Final Round of Public Consultations for Active Transportation Plan Sunday

Sunday is your last chance to have your say on Saskatoon's Active Transportation Plan. The plan is part of the city's 30 year roadmap to half a million people, and focuses on supporting walking, biking and other forms of active transportation. To participate in the survey, click here

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Courtenay lands funding for Complete Streets Pilot Project

A significant funding grant of $3.253 million was awarded to the City of Courtenay to construct a Complete Streets Pilot Project on a section of 5th Street, the western gateway to the city's historic downtown core. Read more.

Video - City of Saskatoon building an Active Transportation Plan

Saskatoon is known for its beautiful Meewasin Valley that provides kilometres of trails for cyclists, but the number of users drops for downtown commuters and the city wants to know why. They’re asking for the public’s opinion how to improve active transportation. See video.

Video - Two-wheeled winter: CBC producer takes on winter cycling

Video producer Rick Bremness straps a go pro to a bike frame to get a closer look at how a studded tires fare in winter cycling conditions. See video below for a look at how a fat bike compares. See video.

Could flags be Vancouver's answer to better pedestrian safety?

We’re less than six weeks into 2016, and Vancouver has already seen two pedestrians die at the hands of motorists. Another pedestrian collision in Surrey on February 4 prompted the RCMP to call for vigilance from both drivers and people utilizing crosswalks. Read more.

Video - Calgary taking part in worldwide winter cycling event

Thousands of cyclists around the world are braving the elements on Friday, including many here in Calgary, to take part in an event to promote the use of city cycle tracks. The International Bike To Work Day is meant to show that bicycles are a viable form of transportation, no matter what time of year it is. See video.

B.C. to provide $6M to help build local cycling infrastructure

"Applications for this year's BikeBC funding are now open," said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone at a rain-soaked media event in Richmond. Read more.

Cycling in winter doable, says man who regularly bikes from Elmira to UW

On frigid days when many people bundle up with tuques, mittens, scarves and parkas to stay warm on their walk to the car or bus, it's not unusual to find Brendan Lowther getting his bicycle out to ride to work. Read more.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Sustainable Huron Project Evolving

Sustainable Huron began in 2012, with a list of 11 priorities designed to make Ontario's West Coast economically, environmentally, and artistically sustainable. Read more.

Video - Halifax looks to Vancouver for help with active transportation

The man in charge of active transportation for Vancouver was in Halifax and the city is hoping to get some more information about how they can make the municipality more pedestrian and bike friendly. See video.

Winnipeg looking for private company to plan pedestrian traffic at Portage and Main

A request for proposals for a transportation study has opened on the city’s bid website. The tender requires options for pedestrian crossings on three or four legs of the iconic intersection. Read more.

Pedestrian safety should be forefront of Halifax urban redesign

The manager of active transportation for Vancouver is in Halifax to share his ideas on improved street designs for walking and biking. Read more.

Montréal - New fountain, pedestrian bridges part of plan for Dorchester Square renovation

The city of Montreal has approved a plan to renovate the northern part of Dorchester Square, where the sidewalks are crumbling and the roadway – Dorchester-Square St. – is cratered with potholes. Read more.

Thunder Bay is more than broken roads

This city is changing from a vehicle dependant, rotted-road sprawl to an eco-conscious mecca, regardless of whether people see it or not. Read more.

We know walking is good, but how and where is best?

A number of recent findings have shown that the benefits you derive from walking depend to some extent on how and where you take your walks. If, for example, you walk while you’re also doing something else—talking on your phone, looking at a screen, or even listening to an audio book—you’re less likely to feel calm at the end of the walk. Read more.

Youth taking to the trails in Kap Nordic Ski Club's Junior Ski Program

Youth in Kapuskasing took part in this year's first day of lessons and skiing during the Kapuskasing Nordic Ski Club's Junior Ski Program launch on Feb.6. Read more.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Some Bike Infrastructure Is Worse Than None at All

Denver gave rise to the sharrow in the early 1990s, and now two researchers there offer a compelling case to put the lowly form of bike infrastructure to rest. Read more.

Can Removing Centerlines Make Roads Safer?

In some parts of the U.K., the roadways are looking kind of bare. Markings that indicate bus and bicycle lanes remain, but gone are the white lines that separate opposing traffic. That may seem like a hazard, but according to some experts, the lack of centerlines can actually make roads safer by making drivers slow down. Read more.

Coming Soon to France: Hundreds of Miles of Solar-Powered Roads

France plans to install 1,000 kilometers of solar panel roadways in the next five years. One kilometer is enough to power public lighting for a city of 5,000 people and 20 square meters of Wattway can power a single French home. Read more.

New algorithm improves speed and accuracy of pedestrian detection

What if computers could recognize objects as well as the human brain could? Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego have taken an important step toward that goal by developing a pedestrian detection system that performs in near real-time (2-4 frames per second) and with higher accuracy (close to half the error) compared to existing systems. Read more.

Which Montreal intersections pose most danger to pedestrians?

4,825 pedestrians injured in collisions in Montreal between 2011 and 2014, 59 killed. Read more.

Port Alberni - Cycling Safety

The city, in partnership with Cycle Alberni, has already hosted a consultation session with cyclists within the community to begin to map out priorities. Read more.

Video - 5 new pedestrian-friendly streets for Montreal

The city will be converting five areas of the island to either pedestrian-only or shared pedestrian and motor vehicle zones. See video.

Waterloo - Improvements planned for pedestrian crossings at roundabouts

Region of Waterloo councillors approved a multi-phased approach for new pedestrian crossovers that will include education, as well as implementation at all 23 existing roundabouts in 2016 and a priority list for other intersections and midblock crossings. Read more.

More should be done to make cycling a ‘safe and normal activity’ in Britain

Cycling continues to grow as a key political subject, with MPs from all political parties converging for a debate on cycling investment in Britain on Wednesday, February 3. Although investment in cycling infrastructure in Britain is slowly increasing, the consensus is that much more could be done before it reaches a satisfactory level. Read more.

Montreal to host Winter Cycling Congress in 2017

Montreal will be the next city to host the Winter Cycling Congress in 2017 as part of its 375th anniversary celebrations. Read more.

Orillia - Trails safer without e-bikes

The Millennium Trail has proven immensely popular; it is well used throughout all four seasons by both local residents and visitors. It has become exactly what was envisioned by those who championed it: a haven for walkers, joggers, hikers and cyclists. However, in recent years, electronic bikes have begun to invade that trail and others in our area. Read more.

Sudbury pedestrian collisions drop in January

About half the pedestrians observed by Greater Sudbury Police during a safety campaign last month were rewarded for responsible behaviour at intersections. Greater Sudbury officers made about 200 pedestrian contacts during a high-visibility initiative in January focused on educating both motorists and pedestrians about safety and prevention, the police service states in a release. Read more.

Town of Oakville boosts Active Transportation with more pedestrian and cycle paths

Oakville Town council gave a green light to the 2016 Active Transportation Capital Program at Monday’s (Feb. 1) council meeting. By the end of 2016, implementation of more than 28 km of new cycling and pedestrian paths will have started for a number of different uses. Read more.

Pedestrian safety blitz pays off for Barrie police

Forty-one charges were laid under the Highway Traffic Act, including 18 for crossing at an uncontrolled area and nine for ignoring the 'no walk' signal at an intersection. Thirteen motorists were charged with not yielding to pedestrians. Read more.

Thunder Bay - City cuts pose threat to cycling, walking: advocate

A proposed $50,000 cut to Thunder Bay's active transportation budget would leave the department unable to plan potential big projects. "If you want people to change their behaviour, you have to make big improvements to their environment and that does cost a bit of money," said active transportation co-ordinator Adam Krupper, adding that without those big changes, people won't start jumping onto the active transportation bandwagon. Read more.

Proposed Inside Passage Bike Route offers dedicated, beautiful cycling experience on Vancouver Island

Cycling along the eastern shores of Vancouver Island, B.C., between the North Island cities of Courtenay and Comox and the Southern Gulf Islands, is one of the most beautiful experiences a Canadian rider can have. Hugging the Island’s picturesque coastline along the stunning Inside Passage, the scenery is breathtaking, the ride itself almost meditative. Read more.

Roadie gets fat: The joy of cycling through the snow

I quickly became every cliché you'd expect from an adult who spends way too much time riding a bike. Since then, everything in my life revolves around my bike and when my next ride will happen. Read more.

Cycling advocates call for Hamilton to boost bike infrastructure

There have been some high-profile recent additions to the city of Hamilton's cycling inventory: Cannon's cycle track, a successful bike share program. And then there are reminders of the gaps in the infrastructure — stark ones, like the death of kindergarten teacher Jay Keddy while he cycled up the Claremont Access in December. Read more.

Friday, February 5, 2016

St. Albert - Council gets to shoulder-check transportation master plan

Improving and encouraging the use of more active forms of transportation is a big part of the new version of the city’s transportation master plan. The draft plan was unveiled at Monday’s council meeting. Read more.

Winter Cycling Congess - February 8–10, 2017 - Montreal

After Oulu, Winnipeg, Leeuwarden and Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the 5th edition of the Winter Cycling Congress will be held in Montreal! Read more.

Five things we can learn from Minneapolis about winter bike friendliness

One of the projects that put Minneapolis on the cycling map, and made a huge difference in the lives of the city’s commuters, was the Midtown Greenway. Basically, it’s a rail trail — it was originally a trenched route for freight trains serving  warehouses and industrial buildings along the route. As the route fell into disuse by the railroad, forward thinking civic leaders recognized the land’s potential for a pathway. Read more.

Stimulus that Sticks: Why Building a Bike Friendly Canada Cannot Wait

Eventually, all levels of government will catch on the enormous mountain of latent demand that exists. Denmark had to work to become Denmark. The Netherlands became bike friendly intentionally. Canada must do the same. Read more.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sudbury - Bus riders seek break

Local transit advocates hope Greater Sudbury city councillors make affordable, accessible transportation a priority when they meet to review budget options this week. FST and Coalition members are also high on the option for a full-time permanent active transportation co-ordinator, which would cost an estimated $100,000, to help speed up improvements in the city for walkers, cyclists and transit. Read more.

Google Street View Aids Understanding Of Pedestrian Safety, New Study Finds

Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health developed what they say is a novel method to assess how the streetscape affects the chances that walkers will be injured by drivers.
“Using Google Street View to assess intersection characteristics works as well as, if not better than visiting sites in person, at much lower cost and with fewer logistical headaches,” Stephen Mooney, a graduate student in Epidemiology and co-author of the report, said in a statement. Read more.

Kelowna - City hopes plan will keep cyclists safer

The City of Kelowna hosted an open house showcasing its draft master plan for pedestrian and cycling routes in Kelowna on Saturday morning at the Parkinson Recreation Centre. Read more.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Calgary - Why public health advocates are getting behind winter cycling

Despite its 120-year history, riding your bike in winter is still a rather novel idea to most people, and it still harbours a reputation for being risky. Read more.

Montreal hopes to host cycling congress for 375th anniversary

Montreal hopes to bring winter cycling to the city in a new way for 2017 — it's hoping to host the Winter Cycling Congress next year as part of Montreal's 375th anniversary celebrations. Read more.

Hamilton - Let’s start taking cycling seriously

Not only is being a cyclist in Hamilton unpleasant, it's dangerous. In fact, according to the Social Planning and Research Council, cyclists in Hamilton have an injury risk nearly twice as high as the provincial average. Read more.

Annual Montreal pedestrian safety campaign gets an early start

The city’s police department kicked off its pedestrian safety campaign a little early this year, mainly due to the warm weather. The not-so-freezing temperatures have drawn out both winter warriors and sun seekers, leading to a higher number of pedestrians and cyclists on the roads. Read more.

Waterloo - Pedestrian crossovers to be installed at all roundabouts

Pedestrian crossovers will be installed at each of the 23 regional roundabouts later this summer following changes to the Highway Traffic Act. The crossovers will be installed at each entrance and exit of the roundabouts and will be marked with paint and signage. Any driver who doesn't observe the rules and stop for pedestrians could be ticketed by police. Read more.

Montreal will add 5 new pedestrian streets this year

Montreal will make sections of five streets off-limits to cars during the warm months of 2016, following the success of a similar program last year, the city announced. Read more.

Video - Cyclists in central London set 'to outnumber car drivers'

Cyclists will outnumber car drivers entering central London in rush hour in the next few years, according to figures from Transport for London. See video.

Durham Region Cycling Coalition concerned with safety on newly constructed highway bridges

A group of local cyclists from the Durham Region Cycling Coalition recently had a rare opportunity to have a face-to-face discussion with Steven Del Duca, Ontario transportation minister. DRCC’s concern is the new highway bridges, highways 407, 412 and 418 are being built in a way that is unsafe for current and future cyclists. Read more.

5 Things Cyclists Do You Didn’t Know Are Perfectly Legal

It’s true that city cycling is on the rise in the United States, and that has come with some backlash.  The mere sight of a bicycle can send some motorists into a fury — often due to drivers not knowing the law. Read more.

Orillia - 'Havoc' on the trails?

The banning of e-bikes has been on Cipolla's radar for the better part of the past six months. Staff was directed to explore the option of regulating e-bikes on the trails at the Dec. 7 council meeting, through an oft-delayed inquiry motion. The recommendation they brought forward to council committee Monday night was to keep the status quo. Read more.