The Insurance Corp. of B.C. is investing $24,000 in a BC Cycling Coalition
initiative to develop a provincewide standard for bicycle training.
"While new bike lanes continue to hit the head-lines, there has been no
attention on the need to provide willing cyclists with the skills they
might need to start riding," states the BCCC release.
"Voluntary and commercial organizations have offered a variety of cycling
courses across B.C. for years but there is no coordination or consistency
on what is taught."
A standardized cycling training program will lead to more knowledgeable and
safer cyclists, said ICBC community involvement manager Jared Huber.
The initiative, Right to Bike, will develop courses that incorporate
various levels of cycling ability. It will also focus, at least initially,
on bicycle instruction in schools.
Vancouver-based HUB - formerly the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition - is a
not-for-profit society that offers cycling training courses. It is also
backing BCCC's initiative.
"Cyclists should have access to education," said executive director Erin
O'Melinn, adding "the best way to do that is to go through schools and
teach children how to ride [as well as] the rules of the road."
However, O'Melinn said cyclist-related training for drivers is equally
important and that B.C.'s driver-training regime is inadequate, especially
when compared to places like Europe.
The City of Vancouver wants to make cycle safety awareness a key component
of all B.C. driver training courses and examinations, according to its
Transportation 2040 plan.
"The driving environment has changed," city transportation director Jerry
Dobrovolny said in a telephone interview. "We've got bike lanes now and
bike boxes and [a lane] that denotes bikes and cars have to share.... A lot
has changed in 30 years."
The city plans to discuss this new infrastructure with ICBC, which conducts
driver training courses and over-sees licence examinations. The discussions
will also include feedback the city received on cycling issues during its
transportation plan consultation process.
Drivers may endorse the city's initiative, according to a Harris/Decima
poll conducted recently for the Canadian Automobile Association. Ninety-two
per cent of respondents said they either strongly or somewhat support
including more information on cyclists in young driver programs.
When ICBC was asked whether it would support the city's initiative,
spokesman Adam Grossman replied in an email that the insurer already
incorporates a great deal into its training and testing regimes regarding
sharing the road with cyclists.
Three pages in its Learn to Drive Smart guide deal specifically with
cyclists. Topics include maintaining a wide margin when passing bicycles
and hand signal explanations.
ICBC-approved training courses teach drivers how to interact with cyclists
as well, including indirectly through lessons on hazard identification.
The learners' licence written examination may include up to 13 questions on
cyclists, Grossman said. The 50 questions on the exam are randomly selected
from a database of 150-200.
The road examination also tests awareness of cyclists, Grossman added, by
emphasizing skills such as checking over your shoulder.
Grossman noted cyclist-related crashes in B.C. make up less than 0.5 per
cent of all collisions. On average, there are 1,300 cyclist-related crashes
per year out of a total of 270,000.
The city's transportation plan is open to public feed-back until July 13
and will go before council in the fall.
TOP CONTRIBUTING FACTORS ASSIGNED BY POLICE TO
in crashes involving cyclists are:
Driving on wrong side of road
Failing to yield right-of-way
Ignoring traffic control device
TOP CONTRIBUTING FACTORS ASSIGNED BY POLICE TO
in crashes involving cyclists are:
Failing to yield right-of-way
I just wanted to share this
community of Steinbach. We have worked with the Hanover School
Division over the past two years with our School Travel Planning
increase active transportation to and from school and to improve the
safety around the school sites. School Travel Planning gets more families
walking and wheeling to/from school by bringing the community stakeholders
together to identify the barriers to active transportation for each school
and develop a written action plan to address those issues.
The community based approach was so successful for them that the division
is now working on School Travel Plans with 7 schools in three
municipalities (Steinbach, Niverville, and Landmark).
I am so proud of the work they have all done. If anyone is interested in
learning more about how School Travel Planning can help improve a school
near you, please get in touch with me to learn more about our program.
National program gets Manitoba children walking to school
Posted on 06/27/2012, 9:37 am, by mySteinbach.ca
*Pilot results show increase in active travel, decrease in traffic
congestion around schools*
Students around Manitoba, including Steinbach, are walking and biking more,
thanks to their participation in the School Travel Planning project, which
sought to reduce numbers of children being driven to and from school. Prior
to starting the national pilot, it’s estimated 41 per cent of children
across Canada were driven to school, based on new data from Canada Walks.
Green Action Centre’s Active and Safe Routes to School (ASRTS) piloted
School Travel Planning (STP) in 4 municipalities (Winnipeg, Thompson,
Fisher River Cree Nation, and Steinbach) totaling twelve schools. Honoured
with a Manitoba Planning Excellence Award earlier this year, School Travel
Planning aims to get more families walking and wheeling to/from school by
bringing together community stakeholders to identify barriers to active
transportation for each school and develop a written action plan.
STP projects worked to improve street infrastructure, increase awareness of
the benefits of active travel and establish walking and cycling groups.
This translated into a 4-6 per cent increase in children walking to and
from school provincially. As more improvements are made, numbers are
expected to increase. Manitoba data also revealed 19 per cent of surveyed
families reduced driving for the school trip, and parents noticed a
corresponding decrease in traffic congestion by 19% around participating
Randy Dueck, Assistant Superintendent for Hanover School Division likes
what School Travel Planning has done for the children of Steinbach’s
Woodlawn School saying “School Travel Planning is a process that has helped
us to take a comprehensive look at improving the safety of our students as
they travel to and from our schools. We have already responded with some
specific improvements that include infrastructure improvements made by the
city. Without the data from School Travel Planning we would have
experienced greater difficulty in achieving these improvements.”
Hanover School Division saw such value in School Travel Planning that it
was expanded to the communities of Niverville and Landmark also,”I am
convinced the students in all three communities that have participated in
this process are safer today than they were prior to School Travel
Planning. School Travel Planning has already proven its value in helping us
to resolve some of the student traffic challenges we face.”
“We celebrate every family who chooses to walk, even if they can’t do it
all the time” says Shoni Litinsky, ASRTS for Green Action Centre. “Breaking
up sedentary time for children is key to bringing down rates of obesity,
chronic illness and some cancers and when we leave the cars at home our
communities become more connected and we have cleaner air. ASRTS in
Manitoba believes so strongly in School Travel Planning we’re leading the
nation in building capacity by delivering training workshops and building
an iPad app that will expand data collection capability.”
*Shoni Litinsky* | Active and Safe Routes to School
Green Action Centre <http://greenactioncentre.ca/>
3rd floor, 303 Portage Avenue* | *(204) 925-3773
Green Action Centre is your non-profit hub for greener living.
Support our work by becoming a
Find us here<http://greenactioncentre.ca/content/ecocentre-directions-and-travel-options/>
[Editorial from The Record newspaper in Waterloo Region re the recently
circulated report on bicycling deaths in Ontario. Note that I have put a
couple of links in below that were not in the original article. -cheers,
Helmets not the only answer
Editorial | Fri Jun 22 2012 | Waterloo Region: The Record
Humans naturally crave quick and easy fixes for tough problems, and this
holds true whether the human is pedalling a bicycle or driving a car.
No surprise, then, that this week’s release of a
bicycling deaths by the office of Ontario’s chief coroner sparked
demands for a new law forcing every cyclist in the province — regardless of
age — to wear a helmet.
The coroner’s report recommends precisely this change and a public debate
on such legislation would surely be timely. Yet the report’s call to action
includes so much more than just a mandatory helmet law that it would be
wrong, in fact needlessly distracting, to focus on this issue alone. Too
many people are doing this.
The public deludes itself if it thinks a tough new helmet law will suddenly
end all the dangers cyclists face on the road or that the passage of such a
new rule will free us to move onto other matters, confident our roads are
safer. Not so. It might be quick and easy. But it would hardly confer the
armour of invincibility on those who mount a bicycle for fun, recreation or
In fact, to read the Cycling Death Review of 129 fatal accidents involving
cyclists in Ontario over a five-year period ending in 2010 is to reach a
far different conclusion. Major changes, extensive changes, very expensive
changes are needed in how this province builds its transportation networks.
That’s the real point the coroner’s report: There are no simple fixes. We
need what the report calls a “complete
approach that focuses on “the safety of all road users.” And this would
lead to a profoundly new way of redeveloping existing communities and
designing new ones. Why can’t we seriously consider putting in segregated
cycling lanes whenever we rebuild major municipal roadways or construct new
arteries? And why can’t we make it a priority to pave shoulders on
provincial highways for the specific use of cyclists?
Of course, this would cost us big-time. It’s so much easier to enter a
predictable and somewhat tedious debate about bike helmets, with one side
insisting they must be mandated and the other arguing that such a move
would unreasonably infringe on personal liberties. Let’s resist that
temptation. It won’t solve the problem.
In its analysis of specific fatalities, the report itself is often
ambiguous about the effectiveness of helmets in protecting riders. In some
cases we know that riders who died weren’t wearing helmets — but the report
refuses to speculate on whether a helmet would have made a difference.
Similarly, there are other cases where riders wearing helmets were struck
and killed by vehicles. No wonder some of the people who wrote this report
urged careful study of the pros and cons of a helmet law before bringing
one into force.
One of the most stark and disturbing findings of this report is the fact
that 71 per cent of the cycling deaths over five years — that’s 91
fatalities — occurred at least partly because of an avoidable cyclist
error. Failing to yield the right of way, ignoring traffic signals,
travelling against traffic and improperly using road lanes were all fatal
errors. Amazingly, in 23 per cent of the cycling deaths that were studied —
30 lost lives in all — the cyclist was under the influence of alcohol or
drugs at the time of the collision.
All this explains, and supports, one of the report’s other major
conclusions. We have to do a better job educating cyclists and some of this
could be done in our publicly funded schools. Better instruction on the
responsibilities of drivers for those seeking a motor vehicle licence is
also in order.
This is an important report, one that should not collect dust on the shelf
of some provincial bureaucrat’s office. But if Ontarians agree with its
authors that the lives of cyclists should be a higher priority, they will
also realize they must commit themselves and their tax dollars to prove it.
Adding to this: When I managed the OttoCYCLE GPS bicycle study here in
Winnipeg, we had over 700 people participate and found similar results.
Some perspective is required in looking at the results too - most people
volunteered for the Winnipeg study which would depend on who heard of it,
and might have limited participation from lower income groups, etc.
Cycling study in region busts myths
VANCOUVER — Some myths about cyclists were busted by a study done by the
University of Waterloo and the Region of Waterloo, presented Tuesday among
the opening sessions of Velo-city Global 2012 in Vancouver.
Velo-city Global, the international conference sponsored by the European
Cycling Federation, is being held outside of Europe for only the third
time, drawing 800 delegates from 41 countries to Vancouver, to discuss
cycling infrastructure, planning, technology and advocacy. Among the reps
from Australia, Uganda, the U.K., Germany and Korea are dozens of
presenters and participants from Ontario universities and municipal
Kyrylo Cyril Rewa, a master’s student at UW, presented the joint UW-Region
of Waterloo GPS study of cyclists, done between March 2010 and January
2011. Some 400 cyclists kept diaries, filled out surveys and carried GPS
devices, tracking the best and worst that the area’s roads have to offer
Rewa told the audience that the research group was surprised to find that
the study seemed to undermine the preconception that cyclists choose
bicycles because they may not have the money for a car. In fact, the
participants tended to have higher average incomes than the regional norm,
and may have in fact have owned a car in their household, but chose to ride
Another preconception, said Rewa, is that cyclists ride for leisure,
recreation or exercise, but the GPS survey showed that the highest bicycle
use occurred during the peak travel times for commuters. Essentially, the
participants were riding to and from work. Rewa said this demonstrated the
potential for reducing rush-hour congestion by encouraging more cycling
To reach that potential will require overcoming some obstacles, Rewa said.
Among them: the feeling of many non-cyclists that cycling is unsafe. That
the concern about high traffic on area roads and the perception that many
motorists demonstrate poor behaviour to cyclists, were the main barriers to
During the GPS study, cyclists identified several areas of concern in
Waterloo Region, and Rewa drew laughter from the audience of 60 delegates
when he showed an image of the intersection of Erb and Caroline streets in
Waterloo, with red lines indicating the dangerous routes that cyclists have
to take to proceed through the intersection.
The database developed by the survey is being used to develop a
“generalized cost” for cycling, to give regional planners a baseline for
budgeting for future cycling infrastructure.
Rewa told the group that the methodology developed by the Region and UW has
attracted attention from outside the area, and a revised version of the
project is being launched in Peel Region, tracking cycle use in
Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon.
[Print from today's Freep of the article Anders circulated yesterday]
Winnipeg counts down to countdown crosswalks
PEDESTRIANS will get a heads-up about how much time they have to cross
Portage Avenue and Donald Street.
This Wednesday, the City of Winnipeg will install a pedestrian countdown
signal at all four points in the downtown intersection to indicate the
number of seconds remaining to cross the street. It's Winnipeg's first
countdown signal and is part of a pilot project to test the devices.
Traffic-signals engineer Michael Cantor said the devices are mandatory at
some intersections in the United States, and other Canadian cities have
also installed them.
He said Winnipeg traffic officials decided the downtown intersection would
be a good place to test the device, since there is a high volume of foot
traffic and it is close to the MTS Centre.
"If you decide to start (crossing) later, at least you know how many
seconds you have," Cantor said.
It costs up to $10,000 to install the devices at an intersection. Cantor
said the city plans to review feedback from a survey at the downtown site
and consider whether the devices can be installed at other locations.
He said there are some technical challenges involved in making the device a
permanent fixture on city streets since the new software in Winnipeg
traffic-control signals doesn't support the countdown system. Cantor said
the city will work to address this challenge.
*Provincial press release:*
Provincial AT page & coordinator contact info:*
* * * * *
Winnipeg Free Press
Active transport plan unveiledBy: Larry Kusch
There was more tolerance and respect on city streets Friday between
motorists and cyclists -- and the province's local government minister
would like to see that happen more than one day a year.
The well-publicized Bike to Work Day saw thousands of Winnipeggers don
helmets and pedal to their jobs. By all accounts, riders and drivers got
along on the way to work, despite all the extra two-wheeled traffic.
Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux chose the day to unveil a three-year
active transportation action plan he hopes will help lead to a permanent
increase in cycling.
It includes pledges of funding and technical support to municipalities to
develop active transportation infrastructure and efforts to promote more
understanding between cyclists and drivers.
"I'm personally very concerned with improving awareness of motorists so
that the tragic collisions we've seen recently can be avoided," Lemieux
said at a press conference. "We need to find better ways of balancing the
needs and rights of all users of roadways (so they) get to their
destinations safely and feel secure while they're doing so."
Lemieux, who lives outside the city, said he was impressed with the
consideration he witnessed between motorists and cyclists as he drove in to
work on Friday.
He said the government is working on ways to ease tensions between the two
groups since "active transportation is only going to increase."
The program he announced Friday was lean on specifics and lacked a dollar
figure. Lemieux said initiatives will be rolled out in the coming weeks and
months as the province consults further with stakeholders. He also said the
province would press hard for the funding of active transportation
improvements under a new Building Canada capital projects fund (involving
all three levels of government), which is expected to be unveiled in a
couple of years.
In the spring sitting of the legislature, the Selinger government passed
legislation giving municipalities more authority to set rules governing
bicycle traffic within their boundaries. That is expected to set the stage
for future active transportation improvements.
Doug Dobrowolski, president of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities,
said his group supported the legislation and hopes future active
transportation infrastructure spending will help promote local tourism.
"Each community has something unique they want to showcase. So this gives
another opportunity for people to come to these communities and see what's
outside the city of Winnipeg," he said Friday.
Janice Lukes, who chairs the province's Active Transportation Advisory
Group, called Lemieux's announcement a good start. She applauded the fact
the province has appointed an active transportation co-ordinator -- Vicky
Reaney. But Lukes would have liked to have seen a funding commitment.
"I'm still challenged by the fact that there's over $500 million spent on
roadways this year and we haven't heard a dedicated amount... put into
active transportation," she said.
Meanwhile, Anika Terton, who bikes to work between April and October, said
Friday the key to improved cycling safety is simply getting more people out
riding bikes, whether they use them to get to work or not.
"I felt safer today because there were more cyclists on the road, and I
felt there was more respect because there were more cyclists on the road,"
"I think if you cycle and drive your car, you respect cyclists more when
you're in your car."
Manitoba's active transportation plan*
-- Develop design guidelines for active transportation infrastructure.
-- Provide new funding and technical support to help municipalities
integrate AT planning with other land use and transportation planning and
-- Launch a new online portal with AT resources and an inventory of cycling
routes across the province.
-- Work to complete the Borders to Beaches section of the Trans Canada
Trail (from the Ontario border to Grand Beach).
-- Construct a new AT overpass at the north Perimeter Highway to extend the
popular Northeast Pioneers Greenway, which runs along Gateway Road.
-- Work with Manitoba Public Insurance to raise awareness of safety issues
concerning cyclists and pedestrians.
Bike to Work Day 2012
Pembina and Plaza Pit Stop
Leg Announcement - 3 year AT Action Plan with list if actions / Vicki Reaney
as dedicated person / coordinator
BEST t-shirts every - and was one of the first 300 to register - but never
made it to Natural Cycle -
And am looking for a left over !
Thank you to all who attended Wednesday's APBP webinar "Resolving
Conflicts at Complex Intersections". I hope the session was helpful to
If you haven't already evaluated this webinar, please take a minute and
fill out the webinar evaluation