Thursday, December 31, 2015
Our review finds no radical safety improvement this year that would compel you to replace your current helmet. New technology has finally come to the marketplace, but there are no independent public test results confirming better performance. Read more.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Work to replace the pedestrian bridge near 76 Avenue along the Muskoseepi Park trail system is set to begin Monday, Jan. 4. Monty Haughian, field inspector for the City of Grande Prairie, said the bridge has been in use for at least 20 years and needs to be updated. Read more.
In 1729, Jonathan Swift wrote A Modest Proposal, which, according to Wikipedia, " Swift suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies. This satirical hyperbole mocks heartless attitudes towards the poor, as well as Irish policy in general." Read more.
One city councillor hopes to clear the way for a new snow-clearing strategy on sidewalks and other active transportation routes. Read more.
Metro Vancouver’s ill-fated transit plebiscite in early 2015 was not only a lost opportunity to secure a $161-million fund for walking and cycling improvements across the region. It also stalled any momentum, as six months of staff resources and political capital were directed towards securing a “yes” vote. Read more.
The results of two transportation plans and the nearly $25 million in recommendations associated with them has left Mississippi Mills council reeling. After months of preparation by Dillon Consulting, representatives Shawn Doyle, Doug Green and Michael Flainek, presented the comprehensive transportation master plan (TMP) and active transportation plan (ATP) to council Dec. 17. Read more.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Halifax is launching a city-wide certification program to improve support for cyclists — whether they're commuting to work or just going for a ride. Bike-Friendly Certification aims to increase bicycle parking and improve on-site policies across the city for cyclists. Certification is available for businesses, schools and other organizations. Read more.
Many people still don’t get that bikes are not just recreation, they are transportation. Even fewer people realize the impact that getting people out of cars and on to bikes can have on our cities. Bikes vs Cars, a new film by Fredrik Gertten, looks at the struggle to find a place for the bike in this world of cars that we live in now. Read more.
Unsafe pedestrian behaviour is a major factor in pedestrian injuries and fatalities. In a recent study of 7,000 pedestrian-vehicle crashes in Florida, researchers discovered that pedestrians were at fault in 80 percent of these incidents. Similarly, in a U.K. study, pedestrian behaviour accounted for 90 percent of crashes where vehicle struck a pedestrian. Read more.
If you’re a cyclist in Toronto, you might be feeling a little bit spoiled this winter. And with good reason: even apart from a startlingly mild, almost spring-like 15 degree Christmas Day, the weeks since November—a period during which the city usually sees at least one major dump—have been remarkably, unseasonably snow-free. Read more.
Monday, December 28, 2015
I’m aware that many – maybe most – cyclists are law-abiding and stop at red lights and don’t speed through T-junctions when pedestrians are crossing or ride on pavements, and that even terrible cyclists don’t kill pedestrians. The percentage of arsehole cyclists may be a minority, but it’s a minority large enough to make crossing roads an exercise in guesswork as to whether the one coming towards you recognises that you even exist. Read more.
It’s the sort of announcement that no one can complain about, an unmitigated, straightforward Good Thing. More walkers means more tourism, and more tourism means more people making connections to both the sea and the land. It means more healthy people, and more of those healthy people falling in love with the countryside. Read more.
Councillor Shad Qadri wrote in his weekly newsletter that he’s asking City staff reconfigure the northbound lane markings to allow for a dedicated left-turn lane plus a shared straight/right-turn. The bike lane will be removed. Read more.
The final touches are being put on the 20-kilometre, multi-use trail system and, in the new year, there will be an official unveiling of the new recreational ribbon stretching from Malden Road in West Windsor to near Howard Avenue in the east end of the city. Read more.
A pedestrian-activated signal installed to improve safety at a downtown intersection is instead adding to the problem, according to area residents. “Where (the Town) put the lights there’s no sidewalk ... so people aren’t using the lights,” said Mr. Moore. “They’re staying across the street, and just running across the road like they usually did.” Read more.
Saturday, December 26, 2015
A herd of cycling Santas (what is the collective noun?) descended on Manchester Town Hall on Friday, delivering a gift-wrapped parcel with the words ‘£25 per head for safe cycle lanes’ on it. Councillor Kate Chappell, executive member for the environment, accepted the gift, which local campaigners said represented the Christmas wishes of local residents. Read more.
It was a mid-century effort to launch Vancouver into the modern age — an elevated roadway made up of tonnes of concrete cutting through the city’s shiny downtown core to serve the almighty automobile. Read more.
A state MCA Youth leader hit out at the state government for its poor planning of bicycle lanes. Tanjung MCA Youth chief Lim Swee Bok said creating bicycles lanes without detailed planning was a total waste of money and put cyclists and pedestrians at risk. Read more.
To increase the overall number of young cyclists and improve their safety while cycling, GreenUP and B!KE: the Community Cycling Hub created Pedal Power, one of Ontario’s first in-school cycling education programs. By the end of its pilot run in 2015, over 500 Grade 5 students had completed the program, and over 2000 local youth had taken part in associated activities, like Pedal Power’s Bike Playground. Read more.
The City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, the board of the Regional District of North Okanagan, and the Province of British Columbia partnered together this year to buy the discontinued CN railway. The railway runs from Coldstream to Kelowna that creates a regional transportation corridor. The corridor helps connect Okanagan communities and helps provide even more ways to explore the area. Read more.
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Following meetings with the transport minister and Chris Boardman’s ‘Tour of Copenhagen’, where Robert Goodwill MP said he was inspired to “re-double our efforts”, hopes were high for what the Comprehensive Spending Review would deliver for cycling investment. Read more.
ycling infrastructure projects always seem to struggle to secure funding, while road capital projects costing in the millions slip through with minimal resistance. Recent trends have shown major interest in "big ticket" transit projects, with tens of billions of dollars committed to expanding transit in the GHTA. Read more.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Each year the major tourism stakeholders in Northern Ontario gather in Sault Ste. Marie for the Northern Ontario Tourism Summit. Mindemoya’s Maja Mielonen, a local cycling advocate and spokesperson for Manitoulin Island Cycling Advocates, was “delighted” at the recognition that has finally been provided to cycling as a major driver of tourism for Northern Ontario. Read more.
In London, Lord Lawson claims that bike lanes have done “more damage to London than almost anything since the Blitz.” In Toronto, Mayor Tory is fine with bike lanes as long as “whatever we do, we are not putting additional obstruction in the way of people getting around in this city.” In New York, the local community killed a crosstown bike lane because it would “cause congestion.” Read more.
Of all the cities across North America relaxing their developer parking requirements, none can boast a PSA on the topic as clear and concise as Ottawa’s 90-second “Review of Minimum Parking Standards” video. Read more.
Having studied the barriers Stockholmers face in switching from cars to bikes, the institute has recommended that the city’s existing congestion charge zone be adapted to benefit people commuting by bike. Some money earned through the congestion charge (which covers most of the inner city) could be funneled back into cycling benefits. Read more.
As our cities invest more heavily in safe cycling infrastructure, more and more people are beginning to view bicycling as a feasible option for their daily commute. As such, cargo bikes have seen a small surge in popularity, and an even bigger surge in interest as people explore their options for bike commuting with kids, careers, and the general load-bearing responsibilities that accompany adulthood. Read more.
The Canadian Embassy is, to a subset of Washington's adrenaline-chasing elite, the Everest of diplomatic missions. Bones have cracked at its white marble staircase. Untold skateboards have thudded, then split at the bottom of those 21 steps. Read more.
As crews near the end of a citywide plow operation following last week’s dump of snow, one Winnipeg councillor believes the time is right to examine how service can be improved for those on foot and two-wheels. Read more.
Available on podcasts created by SFU students enrolled in History 486/782, the tours were created in collaboration with the CityStudio program, and reflect some of the community-building initiatives laid out in Vancouver’s Healthy City Strategy. Read more.
In New York, where the number of cyclists taking to the roads during rush hour increased by 4 per cent last year, bikes routinely outnumber cars on some streets, while in inner London the number of residents cycling to work more than doubled between 2001 and 2011. Read more.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Salt Lake City, Utah, has the first protected bike intersection. Intersections are where most car-bicycle collisions take place, so this year Salt Lake City built one of the nation’s first “protected bike intersections” to make cycling in the Utah capital a lot safer. Based on infrastructure pioneered by the Dutch, Salt Lake City’s protected intersection incorporates four principal safety elements. Read more.
Monday, December 21, 2015
A small group of protesters handed out mock $697.50 jaywalking tickets Wednesday in front of the Halifax Central Library to raise awareness for what they say is an unreasonably high fine. Read more.
Sunday, December 20, 2015
The Winter Cycling Congress will be held 2-4 February, 2016 in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA. This is a three-day professional development event uniting a diverse and international group of people with a shared vision of increasing bicycling and walking among people of all ages and abilities through the winter. Read more.
The rise of curb-protected bike lanes has been dreamed of for decades in the United States, and in the leading cities, it's finally arrived. But the lessons we can all learn from the best new bike lanes of 2015 don't end there. Read more.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Each month traffic is blocked off for three hours and the children play out with bikes, scooters, balls and chalk. Our girls, aged five and eight when it started, love it. It was a revelation seeing the tarmac used for something other than cars, and we got to know our neighbours in a way that was not possible when we only used the street to park on. Read more.
In other words, none of the planning organizations looking after America’s 25 biggest metros had incorporated self-driving cars into their urban development outlook in a substantial way, even looking ahead two decades. Read more.
People who cycle to work are happier and have a better quality of life than those who walk, drive or use public transport, according to a study by the University of Sydney. Srividya Iyer, head of physiotherapy at Burjeel Hospital, said medical research supported the findings. Read more.
More than $14 million worth of transportation-related capital projects are contained in the budget, and there’s a particular emphasis on initiatives that primarily benefit pedestrians and cyclists rather than drivers. Read more.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Since it was built, the Skateboard Plaza has made a huge difference when it comes to upping the caliber of the sport in the city. Read more.
Vancouver's ever expanding bike community received another boost this week, when city council approved the building of 12 new separated bike lanes. But there's a catch. The lanes aren't just for cyclists anymore. Read more.
Bracebridge council is going ahead with a cost-sharing agreement for a sidewalk despite opposition from some members of council. Read more.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
After a bumpy start, Calgarians appear to be warming up to the city's cycle track network. Among the highlights, Thivener says bike trips along the five-month old track reached 388,000 between mid-June when it opened and mid-November. Read more.
Friday, December 11, 2015
The Transportation Master Plan (TMP), which is updated every five years, lays out the priorities, goals and costs for a myriad of projects such as new roads, sidewalks, bridges and public transit. But the TMP’s latest update left some questioning why the results didn’t reflect their own priorities around sustainability, transit and active transportation. Read more.
Nova Scotia is pushing ahead with plans to implement a $697.50 fine for pedestrians who break the law crossing the street, despite opposition from crosswalk safety advocates. "With the fatalities and the number of injuries, we've seen that we've got to do something and this is our effort," MacLellan said outside the legislature Thursday. Read more.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
The Municipality of North Cowichan is kicking off a process to create a single, unified parks and trails master plan to guide future decisions around management, development, and expansion of the parks and trails system in the municipality. Read more.
Carfree.com, HealthBridge Canada, and Work for a Better Bangladesh released this 53-minute film in August. The film proposes solutions to the challenges on the way to a sustainable society. The film proceeds from the carfree city as a point of reference and essential step in solving many of the problems we face. Read more.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
The study by the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy and the University of California, Davis, confirms the significant potential for cycling and electric bicycle use to significantly reduce GHG emissions while providing significant cost savings to individuals and government. The results show that a world with a dramatic increase in cycling could save society US $24 trillion cumulatively between 2015 and 2050 in urban passenger transport costs, and cut CO2 emissions from urban passenger transport by nearly 11 percent in 2050 compared to a High Shift scenario without a strong cycling emphasis. Read more.
At 4 p.m. Tuesday, walking through Beijing was like strolling through a coal mine, and the municipal air quality index read 308, rated "hazardous" by United States standards — a situation in which people should not set foot outdoors. Read more.
The NDP government says it is looking to strengthen provincial legislation to better protect pedestrians. Read more.
Pedestrian deaths in 2015 have spiked by 26 per cent, and yet we seem to have lost all respect and fear of moving vehicles. Read more.
A review of Aberdeen Avenue with a "complete streets" focus to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists is on the way. Read more.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
The legislature passed a bill last week that boosts the fine from $410 to $697.50 – more than the penalty for using a cellphone behind the wheel and well above jaywalking fines in other cities and provinces The penalty for jaywalking ranges from a maximum of $30 in Quebec and $50 in Ontario to $250 in Edmonton. Read more.
The provincial Liberal government should rethink its move to hike fines for pedestrians to nearly $700 for even relatively minor infractions of the Motor Vehicle Act. Bill 133, which along with the increased fines included a number of other uncontroversial amendments of the Motor Vehicle Act, passed final reading in the legislature last week and now needs only to be proclaimed to become law. Read more.
"Our transportation planning in North America historically has focused on moving cars," she said. "You design the street in a very different way if your goal is to move cars than if your goal is in fact to move people. So this is what a street looks like when it's designed to move cars." Read more.
Japan's mobile phone culture has always been a few steps ahead of the west, with the early emergence of emoji being the most famous example. Now Japan's leading cell phone carrier, NTT Docomo, has used the tropes of the country's popular martial arts films to promote a tech culture correction we could likely see in the U.S. sometime soon: getting users to stop walking while using their smartphones. Read more.
Every day at 7 a.m., before they started their day teaching youth, Deng and Bol met Const. Evan Nelson in the YouthLink parking lot for cycling lessons. Round and round the parking lot they went — from wobbly starts to slow speed wipeouts. Their confidence and joy grew with every turn of the pedals. This heartwarming sight, of an off-duty police officer teaching two grown men how to bicycle, caught the attention of passersby and other officers. Read more.
Skateboarders and rollerbladers could soon be legally allowed to skate in the city’s protected bike lanes that run from Kitsilano to Chinatown and through parts of the West End. But the Vancouver Police Department is warning that the city’s proposal to mix skateboarders and cyclists in the lanes might not be such a good idea. Read more.
While Saskatoon takes steps to factor cycling more significantly into its urban planning, members of the bike scene in Regina, on the other hand, are saying that there’s a troubling indifference to cyclists in the city’s municipal budget. Read more.
Monday, December 7, 2015
Snaking through the city core, the Baana — or "fast lane" — is a converted railway track. On foot or bicycle, I could safely and easily access many key points in Helsinki without breathing in exhaust from cars or worrying about getting crushed under a truck. Read more.
It’s unlikely that skateboarders will follow any bylaw requiring them to have helmets, lights and reflectors, say Victoria city staff, so it’s up to council to decide whether to include them. City staff are recommending the city write to the province urging it set provincial standards requiring boarders — like cyclists — to use helmets. Read more.
The new Adàwe Crossing connects pedestrians and cyclists looking for a quicker route between Ottawa's Vanier and Overbrook neighbourhoods and Sandy Hill, the University of Ottawa, and the downtown core. Read more.
The City is currently reviewing its City-Wide Transportation Master Plan and held a public meeting last week. It was extremely interesting and interactive. The first result was that 72 percent of attendees picked "segregated bike lanes on arterial roads" as the best opportunity to allow more cycling for trips between 2 and 5 km. Read more.
A bill that passed third reading in the Nova Scotia legislature Friday contains amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act that will mean pedestrians who don’t yield to motor vehicles that have right of way will be hit with fines of $697.50. Motorists who fail to yield to pedestrians with right of way will be fined the same amount. Read more.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
All told, L.A. had about 200 square miles of total parking infrastructure “dedicated to automobile storage” in 2010—or 14 percent of the county’s incorporated land, according to the new study. (That’s on-street parking spots, such as curb spaces, and off-street garages and lots alike.) Read more.
Winter Mobility Beyond Snow Tires: How Toronto can make walking and cycling more accessible in winter
Snow removal remains a sensitive issue for many who walk, roll, bike, take transit or drive in the winter months. Today, as the city shifts away from car-oriented transportation and development, roads aren’t the only places that need attention after a snowfall. Read more.
During a council meeting on Nov. 30, Bruce MacDonald, of the Durham Region Cycling Coalition, requested officials address gaps in area trails that force cyclists onto unsafe roads or road sections. Read more.
Skateboarders rolling through Victoria streets at night will have to wear lights but not helmets under new bylaw provisions endorsed by councillors on Thursday. Councillors agreed to bylaw amendments that will permit skateboarders, roller bladers, roller skaters and non-motorized scooter users to use city streets in the same manner as bicyclists. Read more.
This melting pot scene at Coleman Skate Park is emblematic of the world of professional skateboarding, where people of color are increasingly being welcomed by the industry and accepted in skateboarding communities. These days black skaters are visible in skateparks, suburbs and inner city streets from New York to New Orleans. Read more.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Tourism officials and cycling advocates sometimes refer to tourists on bicycles as “wallets on wheels.” That’s because they stay longer in a state and spend more per day than other tourists. Oregon, for example, has found that bicycle tourism contributes $400 million a year to its economy—roughly $1.1 million a day. It was the first state to create a Bike Friendly Business Program that helps businesses market to bicycle tourists. Read more.
From 2015 through 2024, the city plans to spend a total of $683,000 for the Brock Trail and $150,000 for the cycling network. The total project costs for the two combined amount to $2,421,000 over that same period, with the rest of the funds coming from grants and in-kind donations. Read more.
The four overarching goals are to be a “Yes we can community” with business-friendly policies and progressive attitudes, to have a vibrant downtown core with three anchors, to promote active transportation, and to draw more professional businesses to town that allow residents to live and work in Okotoks. Read more.
Visitors to Indianapolis today see a city that looks more like Portland, Oregon, than like Detroit, where traffic lanes have been replaced by broad, tree-lined pedestrian paths crowded with strollers, boats ply the Central Canal, bike lanes follow the curves of the White River, and greenways link the farthest-flung areas of the city. Read more.
Kids are in trouble. In era of ubiquitous electronics and car-centric cities, they don’t get enough exercise. The public health statistics read like a ticker tape of despair: Obesity rates have doubled in a generation, asthma rates have soared, and kids spend less time in nature. Increasing how many kids can safely bike or walk to school would seem like a great help. But there, too, thanks to changes in urban design, rates have been decreasing across the board. In 1969, half of all kids walked or biked to school; today that number is 13%. Read more.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
If you thought traffic was bad on a five-line freeway, can you imagine a 50-lane traffic jam?
Beijing, China, thousands of commuters were trapped on the G4 Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway, China's The People's Daily reported. Read more.
Google’s self-driving project is leading the pack, and a recently granted patent (Patent #: US009196164, granted 11/24/15) signals that the company is trying to pick off some of the issues they’ve been facing with how pedestrians and other drivers interact with them on the streets. Read more.
With just over a month left to go, 2015 is shaping up as one of the worst years for pedestrian collisions and deaths on Toronto roads. To date, Toronto police say over 1,500 pedestrians have been struck this year alone, including 34 fatal collisions. Read more.
Ah, fat bikes. They’re gaining in popularity, and more than likely, you’ve probably seen one or two of them on the streets of your town or city, even over the winter months. As ever, there’s a certain appeal to the rugged, robust look of a pair of huge, treaded tires, supporting a sleek frame. They might be a bit slow over the asphalt as a result, but they look seriously impressive. All that, though? That’s nothing compared to what they can do on the snow. Read more.
Riverdale Park and East Riverdale are two neighboring communities just east of Hyattsville in Prince George's County. One is thriving while the other has struggled. One reason could be that the Riverdale Park is near bike trails, while East Riverdale is blocked from them. Read more.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Kingston Transit is in the fast lane for even more improvements down the road based on the latest goals of the city’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP). Councillors have made it clear that future transit ridership targets need to be more aggressive than what a report had recommended. Read more.
Two-wheeled travelers are the subject of the Yukon Government's latest advertising campaign, which is attempting to lure visitors to the territory through fat-tire bicycling. Read more.
Massachusetts recently proposed a law that would prohibit cyclists from wearing headphones while riding. The bill is currently locked in committee, but it wouldn’t be a big surprise for it to see the light of day at some point. As Jenni Bergal at Pew’s Stateline blog writes, a number of U.S. states are dealing with distracted cycling indirectly—banning headsets or earplugs rather than cellphone use. Read more.
As the great and good gather in Paris for climate change talks, it’s time to consider what role the humble bike can play in combating global warming. Amid all the talk about the prosperity of developing nations and China’s coal addiction, bikes might seem a bit trivial, and will likely get little mention at the summit. But this is unfair. Read more.
The report, Cycling Cities: Supporting Cycling in Canadian Cities, put together by Canadian environmental agency the Pembina Institute, looked at several factors that go into urban cycling in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa. While the report stops short of drawing conclusions about which cities are doing the best, or which type of infrastructure is most effective, it does show differences in how the cities have accommodated cyclists. Read more.
Described as the “Swedish approach to road safety thinking,” agreeing to Vision Zero means a city commits to work towards zero motor vehicle fatalities within 10 years. “People have a right to safe mobility, and for too long that hasn’t been the case,” said Leah Shahum, the founder and director or the Zero Vision Network, which is based in San Francisco. Read more.