[Snipped from the Centerlines e-newsletter #216 published by the National
Center for Bicycling and Walking]
COME ON GOOGLE -- GET MORE CYCLE-FRIENDLY!
According to the Nov. 27th Life Cycle UK newsletter, "A global campaign is
underway to persuade the planet's favourite search engine to be more
cycle-friendly. Many of us use the wonderful Google maps to find our way
around. The maps show a street plan, or at the click of a button, an aerial
photo to help you get a feel for the terrain. Another click and you can
summon up live traffic info, and car drivers can get detailed directions
from A to B. For the USA and some other countries Google has also added a
mass transit directions option which tells you how to reach your destination
by bus, tram or train. Now cyclists are asking for a Bike There feature.
"The organisers of the campaign say: 'By implementing the "Public Transit"
option, Google and the Google Maps team have shown themselves to be
concerned and capable world citizens. A "Bike There" feature would be the
ultimate statement in support of sustainable development, self-reliance,
exercise and healthy living: that's bicycle directions.'
"Campaigners envisage the "Bike There" feature showing cycle lanes, bike
paths and other infrastructure, and giving cyclists the option of seeing
either the most direct route or the quietist and safest. The feature would
make cycling easier and more pleasant for millions of people around the
world. It would empower world citizens to adapt their lifestyles to face the
challenges of global climate change and it would help Google fulfill its
mission of "organising the world's information and making it universally
accessible and useful. More than 40,000 people have already signed the
on-line petition. Add your voice to the campaign now!"
To learn more, go to:
Hi All! (Apologies for cross-postings)
Our new holiday issue of Active & Green has arrived! Visit the link below
We hope you will share it widely with your colleagues, family and
friends. Have a very Happy Holiday and New Year!
Here are a few highlights from the Active & Green Winter 2008 issue:
* Tips for Greening Your Holidays
* "Living Car Free" Story Contest Winner
* Green Travel During the Holidays
* New Bike Map for Winnipeg
* Winter Cycling Tips from the Pros
* Skating the Assiniboine
* GC Highlights from Elsewhere
* AT Holiday Greeting Cards
If for some reason you are not able to access the link, please contact
me and I will email the pdf file directly or provide a hard copy for
posting at your workplace.
Stay Active & Green (and warm!),
Workplace Transporation Demand Management
Tel: (204) 925-3772
Resource Conservation Manitoba
303 Portage Ave, 3rd Floor
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2B4
Fax: (204) 942-4207
TRANSPORT CANADA OFFERS WEBINAR SERIES
Transport Canada's Urban Transportation Showcase Program is underwriting a
series of new webinars. The first, on January 27th, 2009, covers 'The Urban
Transportation Emissions Calculator' (UTEC), a free, user-friendly web-based
tool developed by Transport Canada that estimates greenhouse gas and air
contaminant emissions from urban transportation. This webinar will provide
an introduction to the upgraded tool and case studies of how it can be used
to estimate emissions and emissions savings for different transit and
transportation projects. A February 3rd webinar will feature the Canadian
"Walkability Roadshow," introducing a model for how to engage communities of
all sizes in promoting walking, and a program available to Canadian
communities. And on March 3rd, the topic will be "Individualized Marketing:
Where Do We Go From Here?", featuring a discussion panel on how to engage
additional audiences and increase the cost-effectiveness and practicality of
the approach for a wider range of communities.
Transport Canada's Urban Transportation Showcase Program is paying for the
first 85 Canadian organizations to participate in each of the webinars above
at no cost.
You can learn more about the webinars and register at:
Council refuses to budge on funds for bicycle paths
By: Joe Paraskevas
Cycling activists left city hall disappointed Tuesday, having come up short in their attempts to increase capital budget spending on bike paths and pedestrian trails.
City council passed the 2009 budget Tuesday over appeals from community groups and some councillors who called for more substantial investment in Winnipeg's so-called active transportation network.
Council voted 11-4 to approve the $476.1-million budget, which earmarks $3.5 million to be spent directly on bike and pedestrian infrastructure.
Community activists, some of whom lobbied repeatedly before city hall committees in the three weeks since the budget was released, were exhausted.
"I don't know what else to say," said Anders Swanson, project co-ordinator of the cycling group One Green City, told councillors at the end of his five-minute presentation.
"The bicycle is very, very, very, very, very, very good for you," Swanson added, drawing laughter from council members and an audience of about 75 people in the council chamber galleries.
Despite public efforts to convince councillors that investments in active transportation could contribute to everything from friendlier neighbourhoods to healthier workers, the majority on council resisted.
"There is nobody on the floor of council who believes we can't do more," Mayor Sam Katz assured onlookers. "We will get there."
Other councillors pointed out that in addition to the money the budget committed directly, bike and pedestrian paths were also part of some large public works projects, such as the Chief Peguis Trail extension and the planned Disraeli Freeway overhaul.
Councillors rejected a last-minute motion to increase active-transportation spending and sidewalk renewal by $2 million.
The motion was tabled by Point Douglas Coun. Mike Pagtakhan and seconded by Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt.
"We have come into the dawn of a new era here in Winnipeg where the young people are looking for creative choices," Pagtakhan told council during the three-and-a-half-hour debate.
Besides finding jobs, young Winnipeggers wanted to roam their city on foot, by bicycle or on inline roller skates, Pagtakhan said.
"If we want people to get out of their cars, we've got to give them a reason to get out of their cars," he added.
The motion was defeated, but Pagtakhan and Wyatt, who last week were the two councillors in Mayor Sam Katz's six-member executive policy committee to vote against the budget, turned around and supported the document at yesterday's council session.
The two councillors said they had made their points at a cabinet meeting last week and would take their opposition no further.
Councillors Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry), Harvey Smith (Daniel McIntyre), Lillian Thomas (Elmwood-East Kildonan) and Dan Vandal (St. Boniface) voted against the budget, however.
Gerbasi bemoaned what she perceived was the limited time allocated for budget debate and the relatively little chance ordinary Winnipeggers had to influence budget decisions.
She and Vandal called for the city to hold public meetings to gather input before it released the final budget document.
The afternoon was also marked by tributes from councillors and Katz to Brenda Leipsic, the former councillor for River Heights-Fort Garry, who passed away last week from lung cancer.
A red rose in a vase and a framed 8x10-photograph of Leipsic were on her council chamber desk throughout the budget debate and a book where the public could sign condolences was outside the chamber.
The city's flag was also draped over Leipsic's empty black leather armchair.
Transport Reviews, Vol. 28, No. 4, 495-528, July 2008
Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark and
by John Pucher and Ralph Buehler, Bloustein School of Planning and Public
Policy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
ABSTRACT: This article shows how the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany have
made bicycling a safe, convenient and practical way to get around their
cities. The analysis relies on national aggregate data as well as case
studies of large and small cities in each country. The key to achieving high
levels of cycling appears to be the provision of separate cycling facilities
along heavily travelled roads and at intersections, combined with traffic
calming of most residential neighbourhoods. Extensive cycling rights of way
in the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany are complemented by ample bike
parking, full integration with public transport, comprehensive traffic
education and training of both cyclists and motorists, and a wide range of
promotional events intended to generate enthusiasm and wide public support
for cycling. In addition to their many pro-bike policies and programmes, the
Netherlands, Denmark and Germany make driving expensive as well as
inconvenient in central cities through a host of taxes and restrictions on
car ownership, use and parking. Moreover, strict land-use policies foster
compact, mixed-use developments that generate shorter and thus more bikeable
trips. It is the coordinated implementation of this multifaceted, mutually
reinforcing set of policies that best explains the success of these three
countries in promoting cycling. For comparison, the article portrays the
marginal status of cycling in the UK and the USA, where only about 1% of
trips are by bike.
Winnipeg Free Press
Councillors fight for more bike trail cash
By: Bartley Kives and Joe Paraskevas
Two members of Mayor Sam Katz's cabinet plan to take another crack at putting more cash in the city's bike-and-pedestrian kitty at a Tuesday city council meeting that promises to be packed with cyclists and other trail-building activists.
Earlier this week, Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt and Point Douglas Coun. Mike Pagtakhan annoyed fellow members of council's executive policy committee by voting against the 2009 capital budget, a $476-million blueprint for city infrastructure spending next year.
Wyatt and Pagtakhan voted against Katz and finance chairman Justin Swandel to protest what they felt was insufficient cash for bike trails, sidewalks and other active-transportation corridors in 2009. Katz and Swandel proposed spending $2.75 million on trail creation next year, while Wyatt and Pagtakhan tried to increase that figure to $5.75 million.
The duo will try again to amend the trail budget, this time by asking all members of council at Tuesday's special capital-budget meeting to support a total spending of $4.75 million on trails, sidewalks and other active-transportation corridors next year.
"We can fix part of the problem right now," Wyatt said of the extra $2 million. "Why wait until next year?"
Regardless of what happens, Wyatt and Pagtakhan are promising not to vote against the capital budget, a move that would suggest a lack of confidence in Katz and other EPC members .
The mayor had no choice but to reappoint Pagtakhan to EPC and retain the outspoken Wyatt during an October cabinet shuffle, thanks to Mike O'Shaughnessy's desire to leave the committee and the late Brenda Leipsic's absence from council.
But since EPC functions like a cabinet, a genuine rift between left-leaning and centre-right factions could not be tolerated for long.
"Mike and I, we made our point on Wednesday," Wyatt said. "No one likes to have a gun held to their head."
No matter how council votes, Wyatt and Pagtakhan will have a cheering section on Tuesday. The Winnipeg Trails Association, the Manitoba Cycling Association and Bike To The Future have called on all "cyclists, wannabe cyclists and anyone who uses a sidewalk" to attend the capital budget meeting in an effort to place pressure on council to increase active-transportation funding.
WTA director Janice Lukes intends to present council with a list of 10 projects that could be completed next year with the extra $2 million.
"We're going to compare this city to what other cities are doing now," Lukes said. "What do the people of Winnipeg want to see? Do we want to see a car culture or more active transportation?"
Winnipeg has increased its trail-creation budget significantly during Katz's current term as mayor. The city only devoted $200,000 to trails and sidewalks in 2006, when council adopted the recommendations of a groundbreaking active-transportation study.
[From Jackie Avent, Bike to the Future, Co-Chair]
Please spread this far and wide to anyone you know who would like to see safer and more accessible cycling routes in Winnipeg.
Winnipeg has never been as close as we are today in seeing a significant increase in funding for Active Transportation (AT) to go towards complete routes throughout the city.
You may have read in the Free Press about efforts by Bike to the Future and partners like the Winnipeg Trails Association, Resource Conservation Manitoba, One Green City, and other local AT supporters [ed. note: Physical Activity Coalition of Manitoba] advocating for an increase in AT funding in the City's 2009 Capital Budget.
In an unprecedented move, two of the mayor's Executive Policy Committee members voted against the proposed 2009 Capital Budget because of limited funding for cyclists and other AT users.
We need to show the councillors that cycling is not a fringe issue, but that safe, enjoyable, accessible, and convenient cycling infrastructure is in everyone's best interests.
Tuesday December 16th at 1:00 PM at City Hall
We are asking all cyclists to come out -– bring your bike bells -- and support Mark Cohoe from Bike to the Future and Janice Lukes from the Winnipeg Trails Association who will be doing a joint presentation to City Council opposing the 2009 Capital Budget and advocating for equality for cyclists.
Your attendance will help make a difference.
What else can you do to help?
1. Pass this message on to all the people you know who are interested in having better facilities for cycling in Winnipeg.
2. Contact your city councillor (http://winnipeg.ca/council/) and ask him/her to increase the funding for active transportation. Share your reasons why you want to see more and safer infrastructure; if it existed, you would use it.
3. There may be an opportunity to speak on Tuesday at City Council if you feel strongly about increasing funding. Currently only two presentations opposing the budget are allowed, but by-laws can be waived if there are enough people wanting to be heard. Call your city councillor and tell him/her you want to speak to this issue.
Winnipeg Free Press
Bike paths split civic committee
By: Joe Paraskevas
In a surprising rebuke of the city's 2009 capital budget, two of six councillors in Mayor Sam Katz's cabinet rejected the $476.1-million public works plan Wednesday, saying the city could do much more to build bike paths and pedestrian trails.
At a meeting of executive policy committee, Point Douglas Coun. Mike Pagtakhan and Transcona Coun. Russ Wyatt voted to turn the budget down, signalling a split on council between bike-riding advocates and others.
Last year, EPC councillors unanimously supported the budget. A city hall source said Katz was "shocked, surprised and disappointed" at Pagtakhan and Wyatt's actions.
EPC did add $2.35 million to the budget, including $500,000 for biking infrastructure and pedestrian trails and the same amount for sidewalk and curb renewals.
It also committed $250,000 for a study into a pedestrian-cyclist bridge across the Red River from the University of Manitoba to south St. Vital.
The additions brought the budget's commitment to city cyclists to $2.25 million and its plans for sidewalk and curb repairs to $1 million -- pending the approval next week before city council.
But the $1.25 million the committee pencilled in for cyclists and pedestrians wasn't enough for Pagtakhan and Wyatt.
The additions came a day after several community groups lobbied the same committee for more spending on bike paths and bike lanes.
One activist suggested the city commit $80 million over 10 years to build 50 kilometres of bike paths and three cyclist-pedestrian bridges.
With that in mind, Pagtakhan tabled a motion calling for the city to spend $2 million on active transportation in 2009.
And Wyatt echoed that demand by proposing $2 million for sidewalk and curb renewals, saying the extra money for cyclists would only build one kilometre of bike paths.
"Basically, we're adding one kilometre of asphalt," he said. "I think we can do more."
Winnipeg has about 190 kilometres of bike paths and bike lanes on streets across the city, Wyatt said.
Calgary has more than 900: 635 kilometres of bike paths and 290 kilometres of bike lanes.
And yet, Wyatt and Pagtakhan's motion failed. Their committee colleagues didn't share their devotion to cyclists and pedestrians.
"We have an obligation not to throw money at the squeakiest wheel," St. Norbert Coun. Justin Swandel, the city's budget architect, told his fellow committee members. "We are doing a budget for the entire city of Winnipeg. we are not doing a budget for active transportation."
Katz urged Pagtakhan and other active transportation advocates to come up with a five-year plan for cycling infrastructure. He said he was "extremely embarrassed" that parts of Winnipeg lacked proper sidewalks and back lanes as well as bike paths.
The divide created by Pagtakhan and Wyatt is likely not large enough to stop the budget from passing before the full city council next week.
But others interpreted it as a sign of conflicting visions of the city among councillors.
"In all my years on council I don't recall two members of EPC voting against the final recommendations of a budget," said Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry Coun. Jenny Gerbasi, who was first elected in 1998.
"This may be a sign that there are two very different visions of our city and council is more polarized than ever."
Mark Cohoe, chairman of the community group Bike to the Future, said in a news release "total funding for active transportation will drop from $2.35 million in 2008 to $2.15 million in 2009, just 1 per cent of the city's budget for roads and bridges.
"At this rate of expansion it will take several hundred years to complete the city's bikeway network," Cohoe said.
Mynarski Coun. Harry Lazarenko, a city councillor for almost three decades and a former member of EPC, called the budget rejections "irresponsible."
"They voted in retaliation because they could not get their amendments approved," Lazarenko said, of Pagtakhan and Wyatt. "that's not what EPC is supposed to do."
Yet another spine tingling feel good video from streetfilms. Just posted
today. It has something for everyone, biking, walking, safe routes to
school, bike co-ops...
Add Boulder, Colorado to the League of American Bicyclists' cities to
achieve Platinum Bike Status. This Fall, they were bestowed the nation's
highest rank for U.S. cities and joined Portland, Oregon and Davis,
California as the only three cities to have that honor.
My favorite line... 3 mile ride to work and no stop signs or stop lights,
one continuous ride to work.
Another feature is that kids can earn ipods by biking to school with a
computer chip in the kids helmet to count their trips and encourage them to
wear their helmets.
Active Transportation - Canada features a regular posting of news articles, studies, reports, and other items that have relevance in this field, with previous postings available in an archive. In addition, pictures of existing Active Transportation infrastructure from communities across Canada will be profiled each week.
The following items have recently been posted to the Active Transportation - Canada Blog. To view in more detail, go to: http://activetransportation-canada.blogspot.com
1.. Resource - BC Built Environment Summit Proceedings
2.. Article - Open house for wheeling walking and cycling in Golden
3.. Article - Now is the time to reshape our cities
4.. Job Opportunity - Regional Municipality of York ON
5.. Job Opportunity - Smart Commute North Toronto
6.. Article - Winnipeg dramatically increases spending on AT
7.. Upcoming Event - Kelowna BC: Building SustainAble Communities Conference
8.. Interesting Website - Team Wonderbike
9.. Links - Cargo Bikes
10.. Video - David Suzuki cycles in Copenhagen
A reminder e-mail of new postings will be sent no more often than once per week. To continue to receive these updates, you need take no action. Should you not wish to receive updates, please return this e-mail with "Unsubscribe" in the Subject area.
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