Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ontario - Crombie marks birthday with expanded waterfront trail

“The waterfront trail is not a project that begins and ends,” Crombie told his audience, which included Liberal MP Adam Vaughan and Liberal MPP Ted McMeekin. “It is a never-ending event, it is a story of the people of the Great Lakes.” Read more.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Medicine Hat - New program promotes walking and running

A program to make the most of walking and running for physical exercise is being offered by Alberta Health Services (AHS) in partnership with Southridge YMCA. Read more.

Best foot forward – are you walking correctly?

The way we walk has a much bigger impact on our overall health than many of us realise. Believe it or not, there is a specific walking technique that helps to maintain healthy joints, muscles and ligaments, and getting it wrong can cause long-term damage. Read more.

Province Investing $295,000 in Cycling Infrastructure for Hamilton

The City of Hamilton will receive $295,000 to build a new 2.3 kilometre cycling route that includes painted bike lanes, physically separated bike lanes and a bike path alongside the road. This combination of infrastructure will create a safe cycling route. Read more.

Northern Ontario town plans trail system inspired by Group of Seven paintings

In recent years, Marathon has been working with neighbouring communities to expand the trail system in the region. Their goal is to attract visitors by leading them to the spectacular scenery along the coast of Lake Superior, said Hancherow. Read more.

The case for walking – how much should we be doing and why

When it comes to living a long, healthy life, every step counts. A 2014 study by Saarland University in Germany, presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress, suggests that a 25-minute brisk walk every day can add up to seven years to your life. Read more.

University of Ottawa cyclist, pedestrian tunnel to close for nearly 4 months

A heavily-used pedestrian and cyclist tunnel at the University of Ottawa will shut down in early May for nearly four months as the city continues work on the Confederation light rail line. Read more.

Okotoks - Creating New Adventures With Extended Trails

"These are multi-use trails and they're single track so they'd be very suitable for mountain biking and cross country runners. In the winter time they could be used for snow shoeing and if we had the snow you could use them for cross country skiing. You can also them for hiking and walking your dog as long as your dog is on a leash." Read more.

Cycling trails expected to be top priority in Toronto bid for federal cash

Cycling and active transportation projects are expected to be among the city's first request for federal infrastructure money. Read more.

City ignoring pedestrian safety in Sudbury: Critic

Sudbury pedestrian safety advocate Matt Alexander says a pair of staff reports to the Greater Sudbury operations committee will do little to make streets safer. Roads director David Shelsted is expected to present a report on pedestrian collisions and another on pedestrian safety initiatives to city councillors on Monday. Read more.

Reality check: Distracted walking isn’t a big problem. (Distracted driving is.)

“We’re not adjusted to multitasking at higher speeds — cycling speed, or driving speed. That’s when distraction becomes a problem, because we can only pay attention to a limited number of things at a time.” Read more.

Vancouver woman creates 'walking-bicycle' to improve lives of those with mobility challenges

Vancouver's Barbara Alink was in the Netherlands a few years ago when her mother, who she was visiting, commented on all the elderly people they had seen on scooters and using walkers. Read more.

New Calgary pedestrian signs get national attention

The need to bump up safety at an affordable price led city Roads director Troy McLeod and colleagues to develop a simple fluorescent green reflective sleeve that’s fitted over sign posts at pedestrian crossings thought to be far more visible than the more dull-coloured oversized signage. Read more.

Ottawa - Winter cycling: on a roll or grinding your gears?

If you’re a winter cyclist, you likely feel pretty strongly about Ottawa’s bike lane network during the dreariest months. And now you can formalize that opinion through a new winter cycling survey. Read more.

Dangerous Streets Discourage Children from Walking to School

If we think we have a health and obesity crises now, this report shows we're likely only seeing the beginning. Since 1986, levels of active transportation (defined as walking or cycling) to and from school have dropped 19 percent for 11- to 13-year-olds and 11 percent for 14- to 17-year-olds. Read more.

Saskatoon high school bicycle program offers freedom, opportunity for students

The students had to fill out an application, listing why they needed the bike and how they could use the bike to do good in the community and pay it forward. Read more.

Ontario Allocating $10 Million in Local Cycling Infrastructure

Ontario announced $10 million to help municipalities across the province invest in cycling infrastructure and improve cycling safety. Ontario is now allocating the funding that is being used by municipalities to install or improve on-road cycling lanes, off-road cycling and walking paths, cycling-specific traffic signals and signs, active transportation bridges and bike racks.  Read more.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Manitoba - Three party leaders' roundabout responses on environmental sustainability

Selinger also noted he has committed $100 million to active transportation, including “proper shoulders” on roads, active-transportation plans drafted “in partnership with our major cities,” and “charging stations for electric vehicles.” Read more.

Williams Lake - Walking and wheeling forum helps to sort out community needs

Working in groups facilitated by specialists from Interior Health, Active Transportation committee members and city planner Chris Hutton, participants outlined on maps their favourite walking and wheeling routes and identified hot spots where walking and wheeling access could be improved. Read more.

Strategy helps us make short trips by bicycle instead of by car

Using the bicycle as alternative transportation takes effort. I think nothing about getting into my cycling gear for a 35-mile fitness ride but find it a challenge to use my bike for a short trip to the drugstore. Read more.

Ikea to launch low-maintenance Sladda bicycle for urban riders

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is set to release a lightweight bicycle tailored for city environments, designed with a rust-free belt to replace the traditional bike chain. According to the company, the aluminium bike will require little maintenance, and has been designed to "make life as easy as possible for the user". Read more.

Pedestrian ticketed after hitting cube truck in Halifax crosswalk

A pedestrian has been ticketed by police after a vehicle/pedestrian collision in Halifax Wednesday morning. A cube truck was legally in the crossing and waiting to make a right hand turn when a man in an electric wheelchair entered the crosswalk, striking the back of the truck. Read more.

Closing of tunnel to Old Montreal raises safety issues for pedestrians

A major pedestrian tunnel linking the Champ-de-Mars métro station to Old Montreal was closed on Monday, but the suggested detour was unsafe for the thousands of Montrealers and tourists who would have used the route over the next year, an opposition city councillor claims. Read more.

Windsor protesters push for more bike trails, ecotourism

About 30 adults and kids braved the cold, wet weather Sunday afternoon to hold a protest to save Ojibway Park and preserve other green spaces in Windsor. Read more.

Do you feel safe walking outside at night? Share your experiences

After dark, some of us become wary of leaving the safety of our homes, or workplaces. A lack of street lights, a fear of crime and how capable we believe we are at handling unknown threats can all be factors in how safe we feel walking outside at night. Read more.

Skateboarding is good for you – and good for public places

Concerns about anti-social behaviour are often cited by those opposing skateboarding in public places, but empirical evidence is sparse. In fact, a greater weight of evidence suggests that it is the lack of things for young people to do that is more likely to fuel undesirable activity. Read more.

12 of the most ridiculous cycling accessories you'll ever see

From novelty lights and electric testicles to banana holders and 'invisible helmets', take a look through the most ridiculous cycling accessories out there... Read more.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Cycling in Montreal: Q&A with pioneering activist Robert "Bicycle Bob" Silverman

Cycling has come a long way since the early 1980s, when Moses tried, unsuccessfully, to part the St. Lawrence River so cyclists could travel between Montreal and the South Shore. Read more.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Toronto - Cycling study shows 77 per cent of Parkdale shoppers get around by active transportation

Many business owners in the Parkdale neighbourhood might believe that cars bring in the most customers to the area, but a study conducted by Cycle Toronto’s Ward 14 Advocacy Group this past fall seems to shatter those beliefs. Read more.

Ottawa - Cycling connection at U of O to close as part of LRT construction

In early May, the tunnel underneath Nicholas Street and the Transitway, which is used heavily by those travelling between the campus, Sandy Hill and the west side of the Rideau Canal, will close for at least 12 weeks as crews tear down the Transitway bridge and reconfigure an adjacent plaza as part of construction of the new uOttawa LRT station. Read more.

Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains

A study conducted by psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer found that creative problem solving can be drastically improved by both disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature. Participants in this study went backpacking through nature for about 4 days, during which time they were not allowed to use any technology whatsoever. They were asked to perform tasks which required creative thinking and complex problem solving, and researchers found that performance on problem solving tasks improved by 50% for those who took part in this tech-free hiking excursion. Read more.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Why Bike-Share Is Really Very Safe

To figure out why bike-share users have stayed safer than cyclists manning personal bikes on American roads, the MTI researchers consulted industry experts and held focus groups in the regions studied. They emerged with two explanations. Read more.

More of Toronto’s kids should be walking to school: Editorial

We live in a city where parents twist themselves into pretzels trying to get their children into soccer, swimming or other recreational programs, kick up a fuss when sports services are cut back, and pay through the nose for summer camps. And yet when it comes to the simplest form of exercise — a brisk walk to school — a new study shows that far too many parents toss all that concern for healthy living right out the window. Read more.

'You are a mom, so why are you cycling?' and other questions pedalling women are asked in Mumbai

Bambulkar and Velankar are part of a small but growing group of women in Mumbai for whom cycling is not a childhood memory but an adult obsession. Despite the inhospitable climate and road conditions, these women have made cycling part of their daily routine. They cycle to work, they cycle for fun and they cycle to take a much-needed break from the relentless demands of the office, housework and child-rearing. Read more.

Research backs up the instinct that walking improves creativity

For centuries, great thinkers have instinctively stepped out the door and begun walking, or at the very least pacing, when they needed to boost creativity. Charles Dickens routinely walked for 30 miles a day, while the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche declared, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” Read more.

Text Walking is Hazardous to Your Health

Recently a Toronto councillor jokingly tweeted about the idea for designated cell phone sidewalk lanes, in light of all the distracted walkers on city streets, and the risk of colliding with poles or other pedestrians. Read more.

Monday, April 11, 2016

“Trump” Wants to Make Your Bicycle Great Again (satire)

New e-bike entrant Flux Bike recently released an admittedly hilarious video mocking pedal bike riders in the voice of Donald Trump. In the video “Trump” tells viewers, “your pedal bike doesn’t win anymore, I’m sorry it doesn’t, it just doesn’t win” as an e-bike rider breezes past a tired-looking pedal bike cyclist on a steep climb. Read more.

Victoria's first walking festival sets out to extend pedestrian pursuits

What is Victoria's most neglected form of transport yet the most accessible and common? I'll give you a clue: look down. While debate rages around public transport, roads and cycling safety, little attention is given to walking. Read more.

Texas School Bans Parents From Walking Kids Home

Walking kids home from school is a daily activity for many parents, but one Texas school has banned the act and is now threatening criminal charges. Read more.

What I'm Learning From Walking 21,000 Miles Around the World

My intercontinental ramble, called the Out of Eden Walk, is a storytelling project that aims to retrace the footsteps of the first anatomically modern humans who migrated out of Africa back in the Stone Age. I am plodding toward Tierra del Fuego, the last cranny of the continents to be colonized by our species. Along the way I am writing stories and recording images of the people I meet. And one small perk of this 21,000-mile-long stroll is to offhandedly tell a café owner in, say, Central Asia, that I’ve just ambled in from Ethiopia. Read more.

Toronto - We Made More Useful Posters for the TTC’s Next Pedestrian Awareness Campaign

In the wake of a driver who blamed pedestrians in his “non-pology” for hitting a girl disembarking from a streetcar, the TTC’s recent pedestrian safety campaign struck many as similarly tone-deaf. Walk Toronto‘s Dylan Reid described it as “pedestrian blaming”. Read more.

Powell River - Cycling pays off with healthy benefits

“A lot of people, when they get older, will say, ‘My arthritis keeps me from riding’ or, ‘I can’t ride hard, it will hurt to much,’” said Brewer. “The interesting thing from others I have spoken to, and this includes a fair number of local doctors, is that you ride through a little bit of the pain and it goes away.” Read more.

What happened to the idea of walking to school?

The School Travel in the City of Hamilton report found that the use of automobiles for trips to and from school has shot up to 20 per cent in 2011 from seven per cent in 1986 for 11-13 year olds, and to 21 per cent in 2011 from 11 per cent in 1986 for 14-17 years olds. Read more.

Rubber hits the road as more space for cyclists urged on Highway 407

Durham Region politicians and cyclists say the province needs to lay a little more asphalt in the name of safe cycling around its $1.2-billion Highway 407 East expansion. Queen’s Park talks a good line about encouraging cycling in Ontario, but it isn’t spending the money to put bike lanes on the side of roads approaching the bridges and interchanges on the new highway. Read more.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The cycling infrastructure shortfall is hitting women hardest

The biggest barrier to getting on two wheels for everyday journeys is fear of traffic. This is an issue that disproportionately affects women. Transport academic Dr Rachel Aldred’s Near Miss project shows women tend to experience more near misses than men, while according to a recent YouGov poll, commissioned by British Cycling, support among women for protected infrastructure is greater than among men: 74% vs 68.2%, despite the fact fewer women cycle. Read more.

Workshops look at making South Frontenac walking and cycling friendly

“Today was about coming up with a plan for active transportation (walking and cycling),” said South Frontenac Coun. Ross Sutherland after a day of consultations, workshops and brainstorming both with the Kingston-Frontenac Health Unit and then later that evening in Sydenham Library with some other local cycling enthusiasts. Read more.

Mississauga - Time to walk the talk

Other jurisdictions across Ontario are already implementing aggressive programs to get students to move, and the Active & Safe Routes to School program is part of the green movement in Canada. When students leave footprints while walking, they’re also lessening the carbon footprint driven by car usage. Read more.

Lakeshore unveils plan to expand its trail system

The Town of Lakeshore will seek public input on its plan to extend the County Wide Active Transportation System in the municipality at an open house April 12. Read more.

WHO Diabetes Report Calls for Active Transportation Infrastructure

The report argues forcefully that the solution to this crisis is not to tell people to be more careful but rather to combine education and policy to create an environment in which a healthy lifestyle becomes the default rather than a defiant act of will. Read more.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Battle of signs over trails along Coquitlam River

The city of Coquitlam has a message for whoever is clearing paths and building bridges in the forest around Coquitlam River Park: Leave trail building to the professionals. Urban forestry and park services manager Lanny Englund told The Tri-City News the problems started last year and could have a negative impact on fish-bearing streams and environmentally sensitive areas in the park. Read more.

Toronto - Parkdale CI’s Bike Club sets pace for active transportation advocacy

The Bike Club at Parkdale Collegiate Institute is the School Cycling Champion of the Year for 2015, presented at the Toronto Bike Awards hosted by Cycle Toronto. Read more.

Study looks at declining trend of kids walking to school

From 1986 to 2011, the number of 11- to 17-year-olds who walked or rode a bike to school declined by 12.9 per cent, while the percentage who rode in a car jumped from 14 to 33 per cent, according to the study, based on the Transportation Tomorrow Survey that looks at regional travel patterns every five years. Read more.

Fewer Canadian students walking or cycling to school raises concerns

The number of elementary-school students being driven to school has more than doubled, a new study shows, adding to concerns about the declining levels of physical activity among Canadian schoolchildren. Read more.

How Big of a Problem Is Drunk Bicycling?

Dutch young people are accustomed to riding their bicycles home drunk at the end of the night. That’s the warning from a new report by The Netherlands’ SWOV Institute for Road Safety, currently receiving coverage in Dutch media outlets. Read more.

Montreal man cycling cross-country calls N.S. roads 'dangerous'

A Montreal DJ who's cycling across Canada on a fixed-gear bike says he thinks Nova Scotia would be a beautiful part of the country — if he could stop paying attention to the poor quality of its roads long enough to see it. Read more.

Cost of pedestrian collisions too high to ignore, say Calgary police

City officials estimate the financial effect of life-altering pedestrian collisions and fatalities could be $120 million annually. The department recently adopted a societal cost formula from a 2010 Capital Region Intersection Safety Partnership that factors costs associated with emergency services and medical treatment, legal fees and funerals, travel delay and productivity lost at work. It also measured the monetary cost of pain, suffering and lost quality of life. Read more.

Skateboarding Mom With Stroller Puts Everyone Else In The Skate Park To Shame

The video, captioned “Have fun with my Baby”, was large received positively, with most commenters impressed. Many found the video adorable. In addition to the hundreds of “awwws”, one viewer commented, “Family on wheels. Love it!” Read more.

Trails author to speak at three events in Victoria County

Hiking and trails writer Michael Haynes will be in Victoria County for three presentations on trails and hiking Wednesday and Thursday hosted by Naturally Active Victoria County. Read more.

Quebec Highway Safety Code bike-friendly changes delayed, cycling groups complain

Cycling groups in Quebec say they're worried the province has relegated to the back burner "badly needed" legislative changes to improve the safety of cyclists and other vulnerable road users. Read more.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Cycling hitting 'critical mass' in Ottawa

Cycling in Ottawa has reached a “tipping point” and needs more infrastructure to keep up, a local advocacy group says. Citizens for Safe Cycling’s annual report, released Saturday, shows cycling trips have jumped 44 per cent between 2010 and 2015. Read more.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Funding advocacy is an investment in the bicycle industry's future

Spending on advocacy is an investment, not an expense. And advocacy can build up a market sustainably over the long-term. Cycle advocates tend to be highly-intelligent, energetic and laser-focussed individuals. It’s madness not to partner with them, to harness their energy, their drive and benefit from their gimlet-eyed obsession with detail. Read more.

Local climate change action report highlights success stories and trends in Canada's municipalities

All of the plans propose one or more measures to reduce community-wide emissions in the transportation sector. The majority of actions target increases in active transportation such as walking and cycling, which is cited in 77 per cent of plans. Read more.

Calgary ups pedestrian safety game with reflective sleeves

Some crosswalks in Calgary are being outfitted with neon sleeves to help show where crosswalks are located in Calgary. The elementary school Our Lady Of The Assumption had one of their crosswalks outfitted with the new signage. Read more.

Waning Calgary pedestrian collision stats show potentially costly hysteria overblown

That’s a lot of statistics to consider, but they all point to the same thing: Calgary is seeing fewer pedestrian crashes, even as the amount of social media hand-ringing per collision increases exponentially, helping to fuel hyperbole and hysteria about a system in desperate need of repair. Read more.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Germany's bicycle autobahn: pedaling nowhere?

Construction on a bike highway - hoped to connect communities to make high-speed, emissions-free commuting possible - is underway in Germany. But with funding in question, will this bikers' dream still come true? Read more.

Buenos Aires by bicycle: Cover ‘Paris of South America’s’ diverse neighbourhoods on two wheels

Among the world’s bicycle-friendly cities, Buenos Aires ranks in the top 20. In fact, it is the highest rated among non-European cities and the only South American urban area to make the annual list published by Wired magazine. In the past three years, more than 150 kilometres of bicycle infrastructure, much of it dedicated, has been added to Buenos Aires’s burgeoning network, making a ride on wheels an ideal way to become acquainted with what is justifiably known as the Paris of South America. Read more.

How the Bicycle Helped Invent Flight

Drivers actually have bicycles to thank for the fact that most roads are paved at all. Much more than that, bicycles influenced the design of cars and their mass-manufacturing. Bikes also were a vehicle of first-wave feminism, helped underpin the development of cities in the 20th century, and informed the invention of the airplane. Read more.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Vision Zero Cities

A free collection of Vision Zero material from the recent conference, courtesy of Transportation Alternatives in New York. Vision Zero Cities: International Journal of Traffic Safety Innovation.

Ontario Helping York Region Expand Cycling And Improve Safety

Ontario is providing $1.3 million to York Region over the next two years to help build new, or improve existing, cycling infrastructure through the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Program. Read more.

Jasper National Park to get $66M biking, walking trail

Jasper National Park could soon be home to a walking and biking trail possibly linking Jasper townsite with Lake Louise along the Icefield Parkway. Federal budget documents indicate the Trudeau government is proposing $65.9 million for the trail. Read more.

Should Toronto make distracted walking illegal?

While he doesn’t know if legislation will stop people from navigating busy city streets with their heads down, eyes focused on tiny screens, he does believe that it’s a big distraction. Read more.

Elderly pedestrian deaths on the rise in Toronto

Elderly pedestrians are dying on Toronto streets at an “alarming” rate, data compiled by Metro shows. Of the 12 pedestrians killed thus far in 2016, eight were seniors. The average age of all pedestrian fatalities this year is 70. Read more.

Toronto - Cycling debate exaggerations and farewell to old friends

Jim Kenzie, Chief Auto Reviewer and Carte Blanche columnist, wrote one of his not-infrequent columns bemoaning what he considers to be the excessive attention being paid to cycling and cyclists by local governments. Read more.

Friday, April 1, 2016

In Montreal, a French-flavoured festival on bicycles: An iconic event for a bicycle-mad city

Montreal puts the sizzle on its status as a cycling and cultural beehive with a bike festival May 29-June 5. It’s anchored by a bicycle tour of the city-island that rivals New York’s Five Boro cycling extravaganza in size and adds a distinctive French twist. Read more.

Brandon - Council to debate Eighth Street bridge demolition

Demolishing the bridge and replacing it with a new structure for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic would cost between $31 million and $35 million. Replacing the bridge with a pedestrian/cyclist crossing would cost $11.8 million. Read more.

Club teaches mechanics of skateboarding, longboarding

Have you ever been walking to class, and suddenly you're watching someone zip past you on a skateboard? Do you ever find yourself wishing that you knew how to do that? Read more.

Thunder Bay pedestrian lobbies for visible crossings at Hillcrest Park

Taylor launched a petition on the web site, addressed to ward councillor Brian McKinnon and councillors Aldo Ruberto and Rebecca Johnson, asking the city to create painted crossings at the intersections of High and Beresford Streets and High and Bay Streets. Read more.

Webinar - Active Transportation and Real Estate: The Next Frontier

Around the globe, developers are seizing competitive advantage by leveraging residents’ and tenants’ growing interest in biking and walking. Municipalities are promoting health, equity, and sustainability by investing in active transportation infrastructure projects, such as trails and greenways. The Urban Land Institute’s new report Active Transportation and Real Estate: The Next Frontier explores interconnections among walking, bicycling, and real estate development. Read more.

New report: Developers are betting more on bikes — and seeing big benefits

“Through supporting bike infrastructure, real estate professionals can play a significant role in creating healthier, more sustainable communities," the report notes. "They can also help position their projects and communities in a marketplace that increasingly values active transportation.” Read more.

Kingston - Council explores 'innovative' new way to increase pedestrian safety on lower Princess Street

In an attempt to deal with an increasing number of pedestrian collisions and near misses on downtown sidewalks, Kingston City Council has quietly been exploring the implementation of a new bylaw that would make sidewalks on lower Princess Street between Division and Ontario Streets one-way only.  Read more.

Obesity rate predicted to reach 20% by 2025

Globally, the number of men and women with obesity rose from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014, a British led team reported in this week's issue of The Lancet medical journal. Obesity is determined by Body Mass Index, which is based on height and weight. A score over 30 is considered obese. Read more.