Ticketing blitz seeks rapport between cyclists, drivers CORBETT HANCEY From
Saturday's Globe and Mail Published Friday, Apr. 29, 2011 10:27PM EDT
As warmer weather brings out more cyclists, Toronto police have started a
ticketing blitz in a bid to persuade downtown cyclists and drivers to
respect each others’ rights on the road.
Police say most cycle-related accidents in the downtown core happen when
drivers open car doors without first looking for cyclists. They also said
residents have complained about cyclists driving on the sidewalk and not
obeying traffic signals.
Urban cycling consultant Yvonne Bambrick agrees that it’s the job of the
police to enforce cycling-related traffic laws, but thinks police should
focus more on public education for cyclists.
“Not everybody knows the rules or how they apply to cyclists. People do need
to know,” she said, adding, “and ideally they would be wearing lights on
their bike at night and obeying the stop signs and giving right of way to
As the ticketing began on Friday, cycling advocates from across Canada and
the world met at a downtown cafe to talk about strategies for promoting
cycling to municipal politicians. It was part of the Complete Streets Forum,
a conference organized by the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation.
The group’s website says the goal of the conference was to “embrace and
protect cyclists and pedestrians while accommodating all road users,
including transit and cars.”
“The most important issue is creating excellent bikeways and encouraging
people to bike, to get out there and do it, enjoy it, take it seriously and
smile while you're doing it,” said Mia Birk, a speaker at the conference,
and president of Alta Planning and Design, a Portland, Ore.-based firm that
works with cities across North America to promote biking, walking and mass
“That’s far more important than focusing on enforcement,” she added.
She said less attention should be paid to the negative aspects of cycling
like ticketing for violations and more on the positives, such as the
city-wide bike-sharing program that launches next week. The program starts
May 3 and will put 1,000 bikes at the disposal of Torontonians.
“Having all these bikes is going to be a big moment for Toronto,” she said.
But not everyone at the event shared Ms. Birk’s enthusiasm. The police
campaign comes after council voted to stop work on the Fort York pedestrian
and cycle bridge, and Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee voted to dissolve
the cycling advisory panel, along with 20 other citizen advisory groups.
Toronto Councillor Mike Layton said he worries that eliminating the advisory
committee shuts down an important line of communication between Torontonians
and their municipal government. He said he hopes it’s not a sign of things
to come under Mr. Ford.
“The cycling committee is made up of people who actually bike and are
dedicated bike activists,” he said, adding, “We need to have their opinion
when we’re making decisions.”
The advisory committees will be shut down after the next council meeting
unless something is done to save them, Mr. Layton said.
More related to this story
- Rob Ford could become a champion of
- Ford’s committee criticized for vote to cancel citizen
- Ford pedalling away from downtown bike-lane network
** please share widely - thanks! **
Shine your walking shoes Winnipeg:
The fifth annual Jane's Walk festival is coming up May 7 & 8 !
On Saturday May 7 & Sunday May 8, join a walking tour in your community led
by your neighbours. Explore Winnipeg's diverse and vibrant neighbourhoods
while walking, talking and sharing ideas.
What is Jane's Walk?
Jane's Walk is an annual celebration of sustainable cities, walkable
neighbourhoods, and vibrant communities. Named in honour of Jane
urbanist and activist whose writings championed a fresh, community-based
approach to city building--the first Jane's Walk was organized in Toronto
five years ago and has since spread to more than 30 cities across Canada and
70 cities worldwide. Jane's Walk is now in it's fifth year in Winnipeg and
includes walks on a range of themes and topics, including local history,
urban biodiversity, city planning, design and transportation issues, social
experiences of the city, and more. Jane's Walks are intended to create a
space for citizens to talk about what matters to them in the places they
live, work and play.
How do I join a Jane's Walk?
Participating in Jane's Walk is simple: local community members with a
passion for urban issues and local history have organized walking tours in
their neighbourhood; a list of confirmed walks is published on the Jane's
Walk website <http://janeswalk.net/cities/landing/category/winnipeg/> and
the public is invited to join any walk of their choosing—no registration or
RSVP required. Simply meet your walk leader at the time and place indicated
in the online listing. Remember, Jane's Walk is a "walking conversation" and
we encourage walk leaders and participants alike to contribute to the
conversation by asking questions and sharing their knowledge and passion for
What walks are being offered this year?
Some of the walks confirmed for this year's Jane's Walk include:
- *History Lives In North Point Douglas* with Robert Galston
- *Winnipeg Modern: Explore Winnipeg's Modernist Architectural
Heritage*with Serena Keshavjee
- *The Rapid Tranist Walk* with Paul Hesse
- *So You Thought You Knew the West End: Murals and More* with Gloria
- *Discover Public Art in Downtown Winnipeg* with Tricia Wasney
- *Echoes of Our Past: Walk the Historic Seine & Red Rivers in St. Boniface
and visit of Fort Gibraltar* with Jean-Pierre Brunet
- *New Central Park* with Designers from: Scatliff Miller + Murray Inc.
Landscape Architects, David Penner Architect, Cohlmeyer Architecture Ltd.
- *West Broadway* with Robert Shaw
- *The Heart of Fort Rouge Tour: Riverview a Place with it all* with Jino
- *Sharing Cars and Gardens: An educational walk through Osborne Village *with
Melissa Dupuis and
- *Urban Wildlife in Winnipeg *with Laurel McDonald
- *Transcona Remembers with ** Transcona Historical Museum* - Matthew Komus
- *Winnipeg Modern: Explore Winnipeg’s Modern Architectural Heritage* with
New walks are being confirmed everyday. For a complete listing of Jane's
Walks check out our website: www.janeswalk.net
Matt Koop-Pearce, volunteer organizer
*Join the Commuter Challenge!*
Sign up to bike, bus, carpool or walk to work for the Commuter Challenge
running June 5-11!
Sign up by stopping in at one of Downtown Biz's conveniently located kiosks
or register online!
Wednesday, May 4 from 11:30 to 1:30 in the walkway by the Millennium Library
stairs, Thursday, May 5 from 11:30 to 1:30 in Portage Place, Edmonton Court,
or on Friday, May 6 from 11:30 to 1:30 in Portage Place, Edmonton Court.
Free mini muffins and cinnamon buns from Tall Grass Prairie Bakery will be
available for those who stop by. Also, enter to win a $100 gift certificate
to Sydney's and a $50 gift certificate to Mountain Equipment Co-op.
This is an initiative of the Green Action Centre and Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.
For more information, please contact Francine at 204-925-3779 or
**For more information on the Commuter Challenge, go to:
Postdoctoral position in Health and Community Design
- *Employer:* Bombardier Active Transportation Lab, University of British
- *Location:* Vancouver, BC,
- *Posted:* Apr 26, 2011 *Expires:* May 31, 2011
*Full Time Postdoctoral Research Fellowship(s) in Health and Community
*Active Transport lab -- University of British Columbia (UBC)*
The Active Transportation Lab (ATL) at the University of British Columbia,
directed by Dr. Lawrence Frank, invites applications from accomplished
researchers in the fields of environmental health, epidemiology, health
promotion, urban planning, geography, engineering, and others. The Lab’s
mission is: *assessing and conveying how community design, including the
location and form of transportation investments and land development
actions, impacts travel, time use, and activity patterns; air quality;
climate change; energy consumption; and public health*. The lab is
positioned between the Schools of Environmental Health and Community and
Regional Planning at UBC.
Postdoctoral fellow(s) will be encouraged to traverse health and
environmental impacts of community design with a direct focus on comparative
work across socio-demographic sub-groups. This is an excellent opportunity
for a candidate with strong quantitative skills to play a leadership role in
cutting-edge research that has societal implications for health,
environmental and economic sustainability, and overall quality of life. The
Vancouver region is a wonderful setting for this work with several very
progressive and supportive organizational partners at the municipal,
regional, and provincial level along with a growing transit system. Canada
is making several advances in promoting healthy communities that offer
unique research opportunities.
Postdoctoral Fellow(s) will participate in recently funded longitudinal
studies and conduct original research and publishing drawing upon several
recently completed large scale observation studies (4 NIH funded
Neighborhood Quality of Life Studies see www.nqls.org – Sallis, Saelens,
Frank, King and others); the King County (Seattle) Healthscape Study; and
the NEWPATH Study which integrates travel diary, dietary, and objectively
measured physical activity and built environment data including pedestrian
infrastructure. Data include objectively measured physical activity,
sedentary time, and features of the built environment in GIS at the parcel
level, transit and roadway accessibility, and most have in field collected
micro scale features of the pedestrian environment. We have also audited
parks and food establishments and collected dietary data.
Applicants should have a sound theoretical and practical understanding of
the linkages between the built environment and travel behavior, including
relationships with secondary outcomes such as physical activity, obesity,
air pollution, and access to food. Strong research design skills are
desired. Applicants are requested to provide a cover letter detailing their
research interests and expertise. The application should also include a
current CV, representative publications, and contact information for three
references. Please submit these documents as pdf files to
andrea.procyk(a)ubc.ca by May 31, 2011.
*Complete Streets - New Report*
The National Complete Streets Coalition in the U.S. has just released a new
report updating and comparing the skyrocketing number of Complete Streets
policies that have been implemented in the past couple of years. Waterloo,
ON became Canada's first community to implement a Complete Streets policy
last week. The report can be downloaded from:
If you're not sure what this is all about, here's a quick explanation from
"Complete Streets policies formalize a community’s intent to plan, design,
and maintain streets so they are safe for all users of all ages and
abilities. Policies direct transportation planners and engineers to
consistently design and construct the right-of-way to accommodate all
anticipated users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation
users, motorists, and freight vehicles.
Complete streets can be achieved through a variety of policies: ordinances
and resolutions; rewrites of design manuals; inclusion in comprehensive
plans; internal policies developed by transportation agencies; executive
orders from elected officials, such as Mayors or Governors; and policies
developed by stakeholders from the community and agency staff that are
formally adopted by an elected board of officials..."
The report identifies the strongest policies existing today and provides
guidance on the key elements that should be included.
*Beth McKechnie* | Workplace Commuter Options
3rd floor, 303 Portage Ave | (204) 925-3772 | Find us
Green Action Centre is your non-profit hub for greener living.
Support our work by becoming a
Canada gets a failing grade for childhood fitness
ANDRÉ PICARD, PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTER— From Tuesday's Globe and Mail Published
Tuesday, Apr. 26, 2011 6:00AM EDT
Canadian children spend a mere 14 minutes of their after-school hours being
physically active, a new study shows.
“The days of biking home from school and putting the nets out for a game of
road hockey are long gone,” said Mark Tremblay, chief scientific officer
with Active Healthy Kids Canada.
In its annual report card on physical activity, published Tuesday, AHKC
identifies a number of factors that contribute to the sedentary behaviour of
kids in the key 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. time period, including:
* After-school programs do not see activity as a priority;
* Lack of supervised programs, particularly for older children;
* Schoolyards that are devoid of play structures;
* Transportation policies that result in kids being whisked away as soon as
the bell rings;
* Latch-key children who come home and plunk themselves down in front of the
* Parental fears about community safety that keep children inside.
“We need a fundamental rethink of how we deliver after-school programs,”
said Elio Antunes, chief operating officer of ParticipACTION. “Getting kids
outside needs to become a priority.”
While it is often argued that modern children are overwhelmed by homework
and that the pressure to succeed takes precedence over activity, Mr. Antunes
does not buy that argument.
“If they can find hours a day to watch screens for entertainment, they can
find time to be active,” he said. “Besides, we know that kids who are
physically active do much better in school.”
Canadian research shows that young people aged 5 to 19 who spend time
outside after school take about 2,000 additional steps a day – the
equivalent of walking two kilometres.
The new data reveal that that 72 per cent of children do not have access to
after-school programs, which are geared principally to young kids. Further,
less than half the after-school programs focus on physical activity.
“Essentially, it’s babysitting – sedentary babysitting,” Dr. Tremblay said.
The children who are on their own after class is dismissed seem to fair even
“Screen-time is replacing after-school activity. We have to find a way to
turn that around,” Dr. Tremblay said.
Active Healthy Kids Canada is a charitable organization that advocates the
importance of physical activity for children and youth where they live,
learn and play. It has published an annual report card for the past five
years. The group now assigns 23 grades related to childhood physical
This year’s grades include:
* F for overall physical activity: Only 9 per cent of boys and 4 per cent of
girls meet guideline recommendations of 60 minutes daily of
moderate-to-vigorous physical activity;
* F for active play: Only one in eight children engage in play every day
* F for screen-related behaviour: Canadian kids spend, on average six hours
daily in front of TV, computer and game screens;
* D for active transportation: One in four children get to and from school
under their own steam, such as walking or biking;
* C- for physical education: One in four children get no gym classes; half
get one to two gym periods a week and; one in four gets three to four
* C for organized sport: 75 per cent of parents say their children
participate in organized sport in the past year;
* A- for proximity and availability: 95 per cent of parents polled say that
parks and outdoor spaces are available locally.
Dr. Tremblay noted that the grades have remained fairly consistent over the
years - “consistently and uniformly grim” - but that will not change until
there is a concerted effort to improve the situation.
“We talk a lot about all this stuff, about childhood obesity and lack of
physical activity, but we don’t seem to do anything about it,” he said.
Out of Disaster, a Burst of Enthusiasm for Bicycling By MIKI TANIKAWA
April 18, 2011
TOKYO — Whenever Shigeki Kobayashi spots a salaryman on a bicycle with his
bag in the front basket, he knows that he is watching a novice bike
commuter: putting the heavy load up front makes steering harder, an
Mr. Kobayashi also realizes that someone is new to street cycling when the
rider is on the sidewalk. “Some people mistakenly think it is safer on the
sidewalk,” he said. “That’s wrong, because on the sidewalk there is greater
chance you’d bump into someone or something.”
Mr.Kobayashi is director of the Bicycle Usage Promotion Study Group, a
nonprofit organization that promotes usage of bicycles in Tokyo. Since March
11, when an earthquake devastated northern Japan and rattled the Tokyo
metropolitan area, the streets of Suginami ward, where he lives, have teemed
with wobbly bikers pedaling their way to work.
“The increase was sudden and visible,” he said during an interview.
Over the past 20 years, more commuters in urban areas like Tokyo have been
switching gears and choosing to bicycle to work instead of using trains and
cars, citing concerns for health, environment, costs and an escape from
packed trains. The catastrophe last month has now converted some of the
holdouts by proving one more benefit to cycling: you have a means to go home
when the trains stop moving.
On that fateful day, millions of workers were stranded in the middle of the
city when virtually the whole Tokyo train and subway system — which together
shuttle nine million people in and out of the megalopolis daily — ground to
a halt. Railways stopped trains for fear of aftershocks. While most of the
trains and subways resumed service toward midnight, hundreds of thousands
walked home or took shelter in their offices or public halls.
Amid worried colleagues wondering how to get home, Masataka Isashiki, 32, a
government worker in downtown Chiyoda ward, wowed his colleagues when he
announced he was going like he always did: He put on his helmet and headed
for his bike. The street was jammed with traffic, “but I simply found my way
between cars which were stuck,” he said. “My colleagues were impressed.”
That night, hordes of workers trailing home, sometimes as far as 20
kilometers, or 12 miles, on foot, swarmed any bicycle shops they found on
“There were many, many people who bought a bike on their way home,” said
Kenji Tanaka, secretary general of a bicycle retailers’ association in
Tokyo. “Many stores went empty that night.”
Since then, “sales have been steadily growing and orders have been pouring
in,” he added.
Reflecting that, “there are more people on a bike on the road in the
morning” now than a month ago, Mr. Isashiki said. “I also see more bicycles
parked in the premise of the building I work in.”
Mr. Kobayashi, director of the bicycle advocacy group, regularly counts the
number of bikers passing by a busy boulevard that leads to downtown Tokyo.
On a day last November, he counted 105 bicycles from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. That
rose to 243 on March 14, three days after the earthquake and to 330 on March
“The quake has clearly changed the number of bike commuters,” he said. “It
resembles the sudden spike in bike commuters in London after the 2005
bombings when public transportation was suspended for a while.”
People who try biking to work quickly discover that finding their way on the
meandering Tokyo streets is neither as daunting nor as exhausting as they
expected. “With smartphones and
the task is made easy,” Mr. Kobayashi said. “They also notice it is
quite a pleasant experience cycling. All together, the earthquake may have
triggered a change in lifestyle for many.”
Mr. Isashiki, the government worker, rides 10 kilometers each way — a 40
minute trip — on his silver Bianchi, an Italian-made bike for which he paid
80,000 yen, or $960. “It just feels good on the bike, generally,” rather
than being squeezed into a train, he said.
Riding lowers stress, said Takayuki Maruyama, 51, an executive with an
information technology company in downtown Tokyo, who cycles to work once or
twice a week. “Some people say you might get exhausted on the bike,” he
said. “But I feel refreshed. The only snag is parking. There is no dedicated
bicycle park, so I leave it on the sidewalk.”
For most metropolitan riders, the mental and cardiovascular benefits
outweigh the perceived environmental gain, since most have switched from
train commutes rather than cars.
“Since around 2002, people began talking about the metabolic syndrome and so
forth for middle-aged people, which gave birth to the initial boom in
bicycling,” Mr. Kobayashi said.
According to the Japan Bicycle Promotion Institute, a government affiliated
agency, bike ownership in Tokyo rose to 8.99 million in 2008, the most
recent available yearly figure, from 7.07 million in 2000.
Recently, electric-powered bicycles have also seen something of a boom in
demand, particularly in the aftermath of the March temblor.
Tooru Miyake, manager of the sales planning team at
Technology, based in Osaka, said that, probably as a result of the
earthquake, the company’s sales of electric bicycles rose about 30 percent
in March from that month last year. In February, the increase was just 10
percent, he said.
The company would not say how many bikes it had sold, but it said total
electric bike sales in Japan were running at about 380,000 a year, of which
Panasonic holds a 40 percent market share.
*This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:*
*Correction: April 19, 2011*
An earlier version of this article stated that bicycle ownership in Tokyo
rose to nearly nine million in 2008 from 7.07 million in 1990. The 7.07
million figure was for 2000, not 1990.
Research shows biking, walking can thrive in
Posted by Jonathan Maus
April 26th, 2011 at 8:47 am
It's a somewhat generally accepted concept in urban planning circles that
there's no hope for suburbia. Cinderblock walls, cul-de-sacs, and wide
arterials all make for a car-centric lifestyle. But new reseach shows that
among suburban multifamily housing — the fast growing housing type in the
U.S. — biking and walking can thrive.
In *Overlooked Density: Re-Thinking Transportation Options in
* Nico Larco <http://otrec.us/research/researcher/larco/>, an assistant
professor of architecture at the University of Oregon, focuses on suburban
multifamily housing, which he calls a "widespread and overlooked example of
"Dispelling commonly held beliefs about the amount of walking and biking
occurring in suburbia, our study shows that more than a third of all trips
to the LCA [local commercial area]... are active travel trips."
His findings show that, not surprisingly, site design and connectivity to
commercial areas are major factors in whether or not residents choose to
walk or bike. Among developments in the study that were well-connected to
commercial areas, more than 44% of residents choose to walk or bike to them
— a rate that's nearly twice as high as multifamily developments that lack
But what is surprising is that, contrary to our popular perception of
suburbia, "Across *all* studied developments, more than a third of all trips
to nearby commercial strips are taken on foot, with a total of 38.7 percent
taken on foot or by bicycle."
Nico Larco, AIA
Larco writes that there may be, "additional latent active transport in
suburbia," but it will only be realized if developers and planners make
connectivity and "pass through" between their units and commercial areas a
top priority. For those that get it right, here's what they have to look
forward to (taken from chapter 2 of the study):
"The latent potential in proximity of residences and commercial areas can
reduce residents’ reliance on automobiles and increase active modes of
travel such as walking and biking, especially for short trips under a half
mile. Increasing active travel might reduce vehicle miles traveled, which
has positive impacts on the environment as it reduces carbon emissions. In
addition, walking and biking can have a positive effect on residents’
physical and mental health and can provide economic savings."
Especially significant in Larco's field of study are the health, economics,
and equity implications. As he notes in the study, the typical demographic
of suburban multifamily housing includes the elderly and lower-income
individuals. "Increasing active travel for these populations," Larco writes,
"can have an economic effect as residents do not need to have access to
automobiles or pay for additional fuel for these short trips."
Larco's study was funded by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education
Consortium (OTREC). Learn more and download the final report at the OTREC
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Michael Haynes <activetransportation(a)rogers.com>
Date: Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 10:26 AM
Subject: Active Transportation - Canada: April 26, 2011
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.
Twenty new items have recently been posted to the Active Transportation -
Canada Blog. To view in more detail, go to:
1. A dreadful accident, a wake-up call on street safety
2. City of Waterloo Adopts Canada's First Complete Streets Policy
3. The Federal Election and Cycling
4. Toronto - 2011 Complete Streets Forum
5. Guerilla Urbanism: North Oak Cliff residents create their own Complete
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.
Interested in an AT workshop in your community? For more information, please
Pedestrians risk life and limb Dodge traffic after pathway submerged
By: Melissa Martin
High water and heavy construction have choked off key walkways through one
of Winnipeg's busiest downtown routes, triggering a jaywalking jam many fear
is a disaster waiting to happen.
On Monday afternoon, as the first waves of southbound rush-hour traffic
started to flow south down Osborne Street from downtown, dozens of
pedestrians and cyclists gingerly picked their way between oncoming cars to
make it to Osborne Bridge's single open sidewalk.
"This is what passes for planning in this city," said Paul Hesse, who walks
or bikes every day from his Osborne Village home to his downtown law office.
"It's terrible. Something has to be done."
The problem: Since Monday morning, the east side of the Osborne Bridge
sidewalk has been closed to accommodate the bridge's year-long
The city expected pedestrians and cyclists crossing the bridge from Osborne
Village to use a path underneath the bridge's north side to get to the
legislature grounds or the Assiniboine Avenue bikeway.
But with that walkway deep under the swollen Assiniboine River and no
temporary crossing from Mostyn Place to the legislature grounds, pedestrians
walking downtown are forced to either walk north to Broadway -- or, as
hundreds of people did on Monday, nip across three lanes of bustling Osborne
Until the underpass reopens, Hesse worries, a scheme that pushes dozens of
people an hour across Osborne Street traffic risks tragedy. "People haven't
been warned about this," he said, minutes after a construction worker in a
bright orange vest helped escort an elderly woman through the traffic.
"Will people have to risk lives crossing illegally through Osborne's
Monday was a holiday for city employees, who were not available to discuss
the issue in-depth.
But in an email to Hesse on April 21, a city bridge engineer acknowledged
the concern and said the city had "considered installing a temporary
crossing at street level but determined that it is not safe to do so."
The letter also noted that once the Assiniboine River water level retreats,
the city will raise the walking path so it isn't impacted by future
The bridge-level sidewalk will not re-open until October. The bridge project
will also add a permanent pedestrian crosswalk between Assiniboine Avenue
and Mostyn Place, the city said, but that will not be open until October
At the impromptu crossing on Monday, some pedestrians scooting between cars
were taken aback by the city's decision.
"It's too dangerous (to put a temporary crossing)? Oh, that's good," said
Kendall Hinds, an Osborne Village resident, on his way to toss a Frisbee on
the legislature grounds.
"They really thought this one through -- this is the major access point into
On the flip side, drivers seemed to understand that too, as they slowed down
and stopped on Monday to let pedestrians and bikers cross. "It's a little
inconvenient, but for the most part motorists have been really considerate,"
said bike commuter Bonnie Van Steelandt, waiting for an opening in traffic
to pedal across to the west side of Osborne Street.
"But it would be nice to have a crosswalk here. I don't know the right
answer -- I just hope it doesn't last long."
*Beth McKechnie* | Workplace Commuter Options
3rd floor, 303 Portage Ave | (204) 925-3772 | Find us
Green Action Centre is your non-profit hub for greener living.
Support our work by becoming a