Monday, March 30, 2015
Saturday, March 28, 2015
As part of B.C. on the Move, the Government of B.C.’s new 10-year transportation plan, the ministry is committing $6 million in BikeBC funding this year to expand and build cycling lanes, trails and paths for B.C. families. Read more.
A well-worn path runs alongside Woodlawn Road. This summer, that muddy pathway will be upgraded to something a little more permanent, something a little smoother. At Wednesday night's council meeting, the operating and capital budgets for 2015 were hammered out, and $600,000 was set aside for the construction of a multi-use path along both sides of Woodlawn Road. Read more.
New York City’s bike share program abruptly announced on Friday evening that it would shut down for the weekend to improve the service. Citi Bike sent an email to members around 5 p.m. saying that the system would close at 10 p.m. on Friday. The email apologized for the short notice and explained that service was being suspended for maintenance “to make the system more reliable.” Read more.
Bike racks in the city should be a short-term priority for capital expenditures. Fill in the abundant missing spaces, the way SOBI bike share — in a matter of months — has. Go all out. It wasn't that long ago that Westdale lacked bike parking, and the racks installed to make up for it are now hitting capacity. We could use more here, and everywhere. Read more.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Imagine a street with no sidewalks, no crosswalks, no curbs, no lane markings—basically no real distinctions between pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers at all. At first glance, that might seem like an extraordinarily unsafe street. But the city of Chicago is betting on its success as it redesigns a four-block stretch of its uptown. Read more.
Common sense says that cars and pedestrians should be kept apart. Pretty straightforward. So why are so many cities challenging that idea? This spring, Chicago will become the latest to do so, as engineers break ground on a $3.5 million street-improvement project to turn a four-block stretch of Argyle Street in the city’s bustling Uptown neighborhood into Chicago’s first shared street—whether residents are ready for it or not. Read more.
While the Edmonton-raised, Vancouver-based landscape architect tried to settle into a new job, his fantastical plan for an 11-kilometre skating track called the Edmonton Freezeway has captured the world’s imagination. In addition to coverage in Wired, BBC, NPR radio (twice) and Newsweek, he’s been interviewed by World Architecture News and the American Society of Civil Engineers’ magazine. Read more.
Tentatively slated to happen at the end of May or early June, the day-long forum will explore myriad topics, from youth unemployment and low rates of post-secondary attendance to food security, affordable housing, and mental illness, “which we cannot deny and shy away from,” Clarke said. “We need to meet these things head on.” The meeting will also touch on broader issues, including development of infrastructure that encourages active living and local environmental conditions. Read more.
Sears identified a few key opportunities for Greater Sudbury, including more bike routes, better public transit and pedestrian-friendly streets. Addressing congestion, especially along the city's east-west corridors, and creating more direct routes between points could also be priorities, Sears noted. Finally, he said the city could explore ways to "support intensified land use in designated growth areas." Read more.
There were no cries of “save the trees” when the park board approved plans to widen the Stanley Park causeway on Monday night, a decision that means up to 14 trees will face the axe. Former park board commissioner Constance Barnes, who started advocating for road improvements after a 61-year-old woman died cycling on the causeway in 2013, credits a change in attitude toward active transportation for the lack of protest. Read more.
"I think people need to change their behaviour," said the crosswalk safety advocate, who was in Sydney on Tuesday evening to, talk to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality Regional Municipality's Pedestrian Advocacy Safety Group. Read more.
Canada can generate all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035 and cut 80% of its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2050, new study says. Read more.
Removing the extension from the city's master plan would cause a ripple effect through the city's major planning documents, the report stated. "The K&P Trail completion to Anglin Bay is dependent on the Wellington Street extension. The Douglas R. Fluhrer Park Master Plan demonstrated that the park use, the cycling active transportation and the Wellington Street extension can co-exist to meet the various needs to the community at large," the report states. Read more.
In this study of 37 projects, Smart Growth America found that Complete Streets projects
tended to improve safety for everyone, increased biking and walking, and showed a mix of
increases and decreases in automobile traffic, depending in part on the project goal. Compared
to conventional transportation projects, these projects were remarkably affordable, and
were an inexpensive way to achieve transportation goals. In terms of economic returns, the
limited data available suggests Complete Streets projects were related to broader economic
gains like increased employment and higher property values. Read more.
Spring is in the air and with it comes more bicycles on the streets of Kelowna. Cyclists are reminded about the rules of the road in Kelowna and that includes wearing a bicycle helmet. Those travelling on two wheels should also ride with lights before dawn or after dark and cycling on sidewalks is not permitted. Read more.
If nature exposure works to change our behavior and make us more cooperative, there could be considerable implications for environmental campaigns. Thus, the authors suggest that climate change advocates might consider using nature-focused messages, rather than economic or national security framings, to advance their cause. Read more.
Over the years, many teachers have tried to organize events encouraging kids to ride their bikes to school, only to be shut down by snivelling principals and administrators worried about liability. Someone might crash on his way to school, after all. Read more.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Hamilton Bike Share officially launched today at an upbeat, well-attended lunchtime ceremony at Gore Park. The new bike share network will have 750 bicycles at 110 hub stations across the city, spanning Dundas to Gage Park and the waterfront to Concession Street. Around 300 bikes are already in circulation, with the rest being deployed tomorrow in a public ride that starts at Seedworks Urban Offices, 126 Catharine Street North, at 10:00 AM. Read more.
In urban centres like the Greater Toronto Area, those looking for a family-friendly home often move to car-dependent suburbs with lower home prices. That raises questions about how homebuyers make their decisions. Specifically, what happens when location-related costs are added to the “sticker price” of a home? Read more.
Urban sprawl costs the American economy more than US$1 trillion annually, according to a new study by the New Climate Economy. These costs include greater spending on infrastructure, public service delivery and transportation. The study finds that Americans living in sprawled communities directly bear an astounding $625 billion in extra costs. In addition, all residents and businesses, regardless of where they are located, bear an extra $400 billion in external costs. Read more.
First of all, keep in attention in the soles of your feet, being aware of the alternating patterns of contact and release; being aware of your foot as the heel first makes contact, as your foot rolls forward onto the ball, and then lifts and travels through the air. Be aware of all the different sensations in your feet, not just a contact in the soles of your feet but the contact between the toes, the feeling of the inside of your shoes, the fabric of your socks, and let your feet be as relaxed as you can. Read more.
Boston is currently the third most walkable metro region in the country, behind Washington, D.C., and New York, as measured by the percentage of real estate located in walkable areas. It’s beating both those cities, though, in the percentage of new construction in walkable places. Twenty years ago, 27 percent of new construction in the Boston area took place in walkable urban areas. Today it’s 46 percent, which puts Boston on pace to surpass Washington and New York in walkability in the next few years. Read more.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Over the last few months, requests for bike parking have poured into Oxford Properties Group, which manages City Centre Mall. Mall officials are responding by considering plans to add bike parking and a shower system for their tenants. Read more.
In January, Hamilton Bike Share released the first 100 bicycles into its network of 100 hub stations between the North End and Concession Street, Dundas and Gage Park. The Bike Share officially launches this weekend with a full fleet of 750 bikes, but early members were allowed to use the service for free the past two months. Read more.
The city’s plan to make Calgary a more walkable place is moving forward. A series of public meetings wrapped up on Thursday night for the pedestrian strategy, an action plan city officials will present to council later this year. Read more.
À l’approche du budget provincial qui sera présenté le 26 mars prochain, les alliés de la Route verte sont impatients d’en connaître le contenu et de savoir si les quelques millions de cyclistes du Québec, les entreprises bénéficiant des retombées touristiques de la Route verte et les municipalités ont été entendus. Read more.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
They look like highways but run directly through New York neighborhoods, causing the majority of bike and pedestrian fatalities. They’re arterial streets — wide throughways like Queens Boulevard, Atlantic Avenue and Broadway — and they’re the focus of a new push from Transportation Alternatives, the advocates behind Families for Safe Streets. Read more.
Cycle and pedestrian bridge with the works: park, solar, winter warming, illumination, thermal storage
The Paleisbrug (palace bridge) is an elevated park and a bicycle and pedestrian bridge in one. It is designed to connect the old town centre and the new Paleiskwartier (Palace district) of the city ‘s Hertogenbosch and at the same time meant to create unity with the surrounding historic green landscape. Read more.
The Bike Friendly Business Program recognizes local businesses that have promoted cyclist-friendly shopping by making their stores more accessible to those choosing to ride rather than drive. Criteria for becoming a member of the program include providing a bike rack in a secure, visible occasion, allowing cyclists to fill their water bottles or make emergency calls inside the store and encouraging staff and customers to use their bikes. Read more.
At the moment, the plan is for 43 parking meters, nine accessible spaces and three taxi stands to be removed to make way for the bike lane, although all the accessible parking and taxi stalls and roughly half the short-term metered spaces would be moved nearby. Read more.
The speed limit on some of London’s busiest main roads is to be slashed to 20mph in a radical attempt to save lives. Transport for London is launching trials in a bid to reduce the number of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists killed or seriously injured by 40 per cent by 2020. Read more.
Land-use and transportation are intrinsically linked, and how we get around impacts our health. Active transportation means taking transit, walking, or cycling to get around--43% of all trip to work and school in Metro Vancouver are by active transportation modes. Read more.
Politically, this is not the opportune time to be promoting expensive bicycle lanes, especially where bicycles aren't allowed. The spring thaw is revealing streets in terrible shape. Potholes are ubiquitous, many of them deep enough to accommodate marine life. Read more.
Until March 29th, the City of Victoria is accepting feedback on its 2015-2018 Draft Budget and Strategic plan. Read them here. These two documents and the feedback received will provide a road map for the City over the next four years. Read more.
Cobourg has been approved for up to $675,000 through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund to reconstruct and improve the Division and Munroe streets intersection, located just south of the VIA Rail overpass at Park Street and the Midtown Mall. Read more.
The most basic of all mobility needs is the sidewalk. If you want to move around, in ways other than driving a car, be it for leisure or for work, you need to have sidewalks. This is particularly true for low-income earners and the elderly in particular. Read more.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Here's the thing about the "studies on possible economic impacts" requested by retailers wherever bike-lane plans emerge—they've been done. And done. And done again. And they all reach a similar conclusion: replacing on-street parking with a bike lane has little to no impact on local business, and in some cases might even increase business. Read more.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
The NCUTCD consists mostly of older engineers from state DOTs. In recent years, its bikeway design orthodoxy has been challenged by a new wave of engineers looking to implement treatments that the American street design establishment has frowned upon, despite a proven track record improving the safety and comfort of bicycling. Most notably, the National Association of City Transportation Officials has released guidance on the design of protected bike lanes that the MUTCD lacks. Read more.
The city of Kitchener gets an overall "C" grade for its work in fulfilling five key cycling measures, according to the city's first cycling report card. The report card was prepared by the city's cycling and trails advisory committee and is being presented to Kitchener council Monday. It looked at five key areas: engineering, evaluation, education, encouragement and enforcement. Read more.
Referred to as a “secret weapon” of the suburbs, the bicycle might energize possibilities for residents of outer London. Typically, it’s a challenge to commute from the suburbs to the urban heart of a big city, but in London, plans are in place for extensive protected bicycle lanes. Read more.
Sweden has experienced success with a plan they call Vision Zero, which has since been adopted in cities worldwide including Seattle, New York and San Francisco. Vision Zero plans demonstrate a real commitment by governments to work towards zero traffic fatalities. Calgary has a great opportunity to include Vision Zero principles in its upcoming Pedestrian Strategy. Read more.
The City of Saskatoon should improve the Meewasin Valley trails before funding designated bike lanes, Mayor Don Atchison says. "What we should be looking after is what we have," Atchison told city council's transportation committee on Monday. Read more.
The small town of Ørje, Norway has found a delightful way to spice up one of its crosswalks. As the sign clearly indicates, those pedestrians wishing to cross must do so using a silly walk. And while it’s technically an illegal sign, the town’s mayor and those involved don’t seem to mind the silliness. “Clearly, one should listen to the authorities, but this kind of fun should be allowed,” the mayor said. “You cannot just be square, right?” Read more.
Monday, March 9, 2015
One of the most important things a city can accomplish beyond building cultural hubs, great sports fields or libraries is ensuring that citizens can get from point “A” to “B”. Municipal transportation systems should be such that they are multimodal and form an integrated efficient network. Having well designed road, transit and active transportation networks are markers of a city that understands people like options for transportation. Read more.
Drivers who don't yield to pedestrians in crosswalks could be sent back to school if Halifax's transportation committee gets its way. The committee is asking regional council to consider stiffening non-monetary penalties for crosswalk violations, which could include rewriting a driving exam, taking defensive driving courses or enrolling in "crosswalk school." Read more.
Saturday, March 7, 2015
When we think of the social costs of driving, we tend to focus first on all the money and work productivity lost to traffic congestion, and second on all the lives lost to car crashes. But there are significant developmental impacts that occur as a result of the air pollution that accumulates along roadways, too. Read more.
Friday, March 6, 2015
The Vaughan Bicycle User Group, which has about 60 members, has come up with several cyclist- and pedestrian-friendly recommendations for the Ministry of Transportation to consider as plans are developed for the proposed four- to six-lane 400-series highway that will connect Vaughan to northern Halton Region. Read more.
City councillors agreed to embark on a new study that will examine transportation alternatives to building the controversial 2.6-kilometre extension along an abandoned rail line from Bay Street to Montreal Street. Read more.
It may be less than 400 metres long and two metres wide, but a proposed separated bike lane near Dalhousie University in Halifax has ignited debate and legal wrangling. Read more.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
While new innovations in automobile technology may grab the headlines, it's easy to forget that the bicycle, which predates the motor car by decades and assumed its basic design by the 1880s, is one form of transport that just refuses to go away. Read more.
Protected bike lanes aren’t only protected from automobile traffic; they’re also separated from sidewalks (at least via paint, if not curbs, bushes, trees, distance, or barriers). Naturally, this protects pedestrians from bicyclists, but in a number of obvious and subtle ways, this also protects pedestrians from cars. In some areas, the improvement is dramatic. Read more.
When Halifax police released their latest annual report on pedestrian and vehicle collisions last month, the headlines focused on one number: the 55 percent jump in accidents since last year. Read more.
The main conclusion that can be drawn from this study is that cycling measures can improve urban air quality levels as part of a package of measures directed at reducing overall road traffic. Read more.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
You've decided to walk to your office in downtown Halifax and end up taking a tumble on an icy sidewalk along the way. You're left with a broken ankle that takes weeks to heal and puts you off work. The bills are piling up and you have no income in the meantime. What can you do? Read more.
A brisk 20 minute walk each day could be enough to reduce an individual’s risk of early death, according to new research published today. The study of over 334,000 European men and women found that twice as many deaths may be attributable to lack of physical activity compared with the number of deaths attributable to obesity, but that just a modest increase in physical activity could have significant health benefits. Read more.
Members of Thunder Bay's Walkability Committee hope council will help make the city more pedestrian-friendly. After giving councillors a tour of the city’s walkable — and not-so-walkable — neighbourhoods on Tuesday, the chair of the committee said she hopes council will consider walkability the next time they're planning a new project. Read more.
The proposed tax increase would raise approximately $250 million per year,https://www.straight.com/news/402061/why-were-voting-yes-new-transit-and-transportation-funding-referendum and a cumulative total of over $2.5 billion over 10 years. This would represent the region’s contribution towards an overall $7.5 billion capital plan for transit and transportation investments, with the balance of funding coming from the provincial and federal governments. Read more.
The Transportation Master Plan studies the big picture of regional travel looking at all aspects such as roads, bridges, traffic flow and connecting links with neighbouring counties. The plan also explores emerging trends like cycling and other forms of active transportation. Read more.
An urban planning expert says Halifax is at risk of becoming a “banana republic in a cold climate” if it continues clearing snow and ice from roads more thoroughly than sidewalks. Barry Wellar, a University of Ottawa professor emeritus of geography, said maintaining a higher service standard for motorists than pedestrians creates different classes of residents. Read more.
"In short, we found that key areas of our cycling policies, programs and infrastructure are lagging," the report said. "We've done all the easy things," said Peter Dedes, chair of the cycling advisory committee, in an interview. "Now comes the really hard stuff that takes more resources." Read more.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
In a recently published paper, to be presented this week at a conference, a research team led by computer scientist Ioannis Karamouzas of the University of Minnesota propose "a simple and universal law governing pedestrian behavior." Read more.
About 21,000 premature deaths are attributed to air pollution in Canada each year, according to the Canadian Medical Association. The detrimental effects of air pollution on cardiovascular health and on the lungs are well documented and now researchers are looking at its effects on the brain. Read more.
By creating strong transit corridors, building dense housing near these areas, and charging a cost of driving that takes congestion into account, the situation can and will improve. New roads can help, too, but only for a while. Read more.
In moving forward with the CARIP project, the City of Kelowna would like to continue with transit improvements, as 63 per cent of our carbon emissions in our community are derived from transportation. The city is hoping to introduce the pedestrian and bicycle master plan, the expansion of the car sharing program; the continuation of transit exchange projects, Pandosy and Queensway, and investigate the potential uses of an electric bike fleet. Read more.
Ford showcased two prototype e-bikes — MoDe:Me and MoDe:Pro — that can charge while folded into a Ford car or truck. The bikes were unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The experimental bikes, with electric pedal-assist that can be adjusted based on heart rate, stemmed from the automaker challenging employees around the world to submit designs for e-bikes. Read more.
A long-term transportation strategy requires a long-term dedicated revenue source to be successful. So whether or not it happens today, council should get moving on a funding plan — and a sales pitch — to bring to Winnipeggers soon. Read more.
Monday, March 2, 2015
Transportation Research Board’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 211: Close To Home: A Handbook for Transportation-Efficient Growth in Small Communities and Rural Areas provides a vocabulary of land use characteristics in small communities and rural areas. It also estimates the per person change in daily driving after hypothetical growth occurs according to different development visions or scenarios. Read more.
Transport Research Centre Verne from Tampere university of Technology has gathered new information about the promotion of walking and cycling and published an inspiring and illustrative book for planners and decision makers. Read more.
An increasing number of European countries have put in place and implemented national strategies on cycling. Most of the time these national strategies and/or action plans set clear activities and precise goals for the development of cycling at the national level. Read more.
PRO-E-BIKE project promotes clean and energy efficient vehicles, electric bicycles and electric scooters (common name “E – bikes”), for delivery of goods and passenger transport among private and public bodies such as delivery companies, public administration and citizens in European urban areas, as an alternative to “conventionally fossil fuelled” vehicles. Read more.
Council just accepted 19 goals designed to make the city better. One of the more significant goals is about active transportation. The city wants 20 per cent of our trips to be by foot, bike or public transit. You could add things like longboarding as well, even if it is banned along River Landing and most of downtown. Read more.
While the link between excess body weight and diabetes is well known, a new report by Cancer Care Ontario suggests a growing waistline also increases a person’s risk of colorectal cancer by up to 15 per cent. Read more.
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Changing the way we build homes has proven challenging. That's in part because redoing plans for already-approved developments is costly and difficult. But it's also because builders argue with the idea that homebuyers want compact, walkable developments. Americans want space, they say, and they want backyards and private patios and big closets and places to park their big cars. Read more.
Cyclists who want to relax while waiting at traffic lights—without performing a troublesome, potentially crotch-crushing dismount, that is—can grab a sign post or put a foot on the curb. Or, if they're in Seattle, they can slide up to these swanky, new "leaning rails" and take a load off. Read more.
By allowing huge amounts of land to be dedicated to parking, for decades, North American policymakers shaped not only the American urban landscape, but also citizens' understanding of how streets should work and look like. Among other things, we accepted the fact that acres of asphalt sit empty for most of the day. But that is beginning to change. Read more.
After years of hypothetical discussion, the first proposals for commuter rail in Halifax were unveiled to an eagerly receptive audience, prompting animated discussions of the pros and cons – but mostly pros. Read more.
Learn how transportation planners utilized advanced video data collection technology to support Chicago’s goal of becoming the most bike-friendly city in the United States by 2020. Get a look at the results being shared at the National Bike Summit in Washington D.C. in March. Read more.
High housing prices tend to decrease further from downtown — enough that a house in the suburbs can cost significantly less than a similar one in the downtown core. But a new report that factors commuting costs into house prices finds the total costs aren't that different. Read more.