Cycling Is Smart But Cyclists Need to Get Smarter
Bicycles are an increasingly popular, affordable and practical
transportation option. Many cities are making life easier for cyclists by
building separated lanes, implementing bike-share programs and introducing
regulations to reduce conflict between bikes and cars. You can now find
bicycle sharing <http://www.earth-policy.org/plan_b_updates/2013/update112>
in 500 cities in 49 countries, including Beijing, Montreal, Chicago, Paris
and Mexico City.
In my home city of Vancouver
tion.pdf> , we're still waiting for a planned sharing program, but cycling
is the fastest-growing transportation mode here, jumping by 40 per cent
since 2008, from about 47,000 to 67,000 daily trips. This is mainly thanks
to an ever-expanding network of bike lanes and routes.
The personal and societal benefits of getting out of your car and onto a
bike are well-known: better mental and physical fitness and reduced
health-care costs, less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, often
speedier commutes and significant cost savings, to name a few. Studies also
show the exercise benefits of cycling exceed negative health effects
<http://cyclingincities.spph.ubc.ca/air-pollution/> from pollution and
Still, despite the many arguments in favour of cycling, increased
infrastructure always incites criticism -- most of it unwarranted. And the
behaviour of some cyclists doesn't help.
Let's consider some claims from opponents. Two main ones are that bicycling
initiatives hurt local businesses and impede car traffic. Numerous studies
show the opposite is often true: over the long term, business usually
improves and car traffic is reduced. When bike lanes do affect car-commuting
times, it's often by a small amount.
Research by the New York City Department of Transportation
ocal_business> found retail sales increased 49 per cent along Ninth Avenue
after a protected bike lane was built, compared to just three per cent for
the rest of Manhattan. A Toronto study focused on Bloor West Village
stVillage.pdf> found far more customers arrive by foot, bike or transit
than by car and "visit more often and report spending more money than those
As for impacts on car commuting, bike lanes often have a negligible or even
positive effect. More people cycling means reduced car traffic - the real
cause of gridlock and slowdowns. Not everyone can use a bike and sometimes
cycling isn't practical. But as people opt for alternatives to cars, the
roads open up for those who must drive. A study by Stantec Consulting Ltd.
found Vancouver drivers thought it took them five minutes longer to travel
along a street with a new bike lane, but it actually took from five seconds
less to just a minute and 37 seconds more.
Studies around the world also show that bike lanes have significantly
ists-safer-study-says/article4624522/> involving cyclists, as well as the
incidence of speeding cars.
But if we really want to increase safety for cyclists - and pedestrians and
motorists - we all need to take responsibility for our behaviours. People
navigating on foot must be aware of surrounding bikes, buses, cars and other
people and not wander with their eyes fixed on electronic devices. Car
drivers need to follow road rules and be more aware of cyclists and
pedestrians. Some cyclists just need to be smarter.
A lot of criticism of the growing number of cyclists in cities is valid: too
many blast through stop signs, don't give pedestrians the right-of-way,
refuse to signal turns, ride against traffic, don't make themselves visible
enough and use sidewalks. Many seem to have a sense of entitlement
compelling them to ignore laws. It doesn't take much to learn and follow the
rules, and investing in proper gear - including lights and reflectors - is
absolutely necessary. You'll not only be safer; you'll also be less likely
to anger motorists, pedestrians and fellow cyclists.
Some jurisdictions have resorted to increased regulations and penalties to
make cycling safer and to reduce conflicts between cyclists and drivers. In
d-of-drivers-ed/> , bike riders face increased fines for disobeying traffic
laws, as do motorists who cause bike accidents. The fine for "dooring" a
cyclist (opening a vehicle door without looking and hitting a bike) doubled
from $500 to $1,000.
There's really no doubt: anything that increases bicycle use, from separated
lanes to bike-sharing programs, makes cities more liveable and citizens
healthier. Cyclists must do their part to build support for initiatives that
make cycling easier, safer and more popular.
Written with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Communications
Manager Ian Hanington.
Can we handle more good news from the south end? !
Where in the city - at any event - have we ever seen so many bikes 'park' -
Finally - an active transportation problem that we WANT to experience - for
sure it will be fixed - but - how great!
Winnipeg Free Press
. The problem: Not enough spaces for the number of bikes.
. The solution: The number of bike spots has been increased to 650
spots from 400.
. Did it work? Not much better than it did the first time.
By ~ 7:00 the lower level Bike Valet was full!
HUGE THANKS to:
. Amanda - Winnipeg Bike Valet coordinator for running such a tight
and efficient ship - - probably no longer than a 10 minute wait in either
. To the many many volunteers that stepped up to ensure a stellar
'bike parking' experience - it's a ton of fun volunteering at these high
. Liz Peters / CAA for providing 350 bike lights on short notice -
we had a team handing out at the end and all were gone!
. St. Norbert BIZ Association for providing two Green Team Staff to
help check bikes out
. Anders Swanson / Doug Little - for some great photography!
NEXT BOMBER GAME - Friday, July 19th! See you there!
I'm always collecting feedback on how to make the cycling experience to and
from the Investors Group Field the best it can be - please email or call if
you have any info.
Received lots from last two events - and presented at the Stadium Advisory
Committee meeting on Wed evening - am VERY optimistic much will be
addressed this first year!
Have a super and safe long weekend.
Watch for these on buses after July 1. Donations from over 50 Winnipeg
cyclists and sponsorship from Tire Stewardship Manitoba made is possible for
Bike Winnipeg to place these adds on 30 bus campaign for at least four
weeks. Those who donated voted overwhelmingly for the "Please don't
squeeze" message designed by cycling advocate Anders Swanson.
For those who attended last weeks (Wednesday June 19yth) webinar, What's
in There for Me: Mining National Data for Information on Walking and
Cycling, handouts/slides can be downloaded from the following link.
All cyclists and pedestrians are invited!
Announcing the completion of Pembina Buffered Bike Lanes Project
DATE: Friday, June 28
TIME: 1:30 p.m
LOCATION: In front of CanadInns at 1824 Pembina Hwy - next to the bus stop.
The City and Province will be holding a media event to announce the
completion of the Pembina Buffered Bike Lanes project.
Minister Lemieux and the Mayor Katz will be speaking.
Anders Swanson will be event MC.
Should make for an interesting Friday afternoon launch to the long weekend !
PRESS RELEASE | June 26, 2013 Montréal Urban Ecology Centre given the green
light to create a network of Active Neighbourhoods across Canada
MONTREAL, June 26, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Montréal Urban Ecology
Centre<http://www.urbanecology.net/>(MUEC) is known for its
ground-breaking expertise in urban planning and
active transportation. Public Health Agency of Canada announced (PHAC) that
the MUEC has been given the green light to launch the Active Neighbourhoods
Canada/Réseau Quartiers verts (ANC/RQV) project. The MUEC is thrilled by
this news, which will enable it to implement the ANC/RQV project over a
wide territory in twelve communities located in Quebec, Ontario, and
Over the last four years, the MUEC has developed tools for participatory
urban planning which have been made available to municipalities, citizens,
and professionals. These tools have contributed to creating a synergy
between the public health network and the municipal sector, as well as
between citizens and other local stakeholders. "The MUEC has developed a
tremendous wealth of expertise in community mobilization for the
collaborative creation and design of people-friendly neighbourhoods. This
is an incredible opportunity for us to expand our knowledge base and share
it. We use innovative tools that encourage dialogue between experts,
citizens, and policy makers. In recognizing the MUEC's expertise in this
type of project, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the MUEC's partners
confirm that our methods are not only sound, but also deserve to be tried
elsewhere," says Julie Rocheleau, MUEC General Manager.
*Partnerships in Ontario and Alberta*
The Sustainable Calgary Society, the Toronto Centre for Active
Transportation <http://www.torontocat.ca/> (TCAT) and the MUEC are the
partner organizations of the ANC/RQV project. They will identify possible
local partnerships in twelve communities, three of which will be located in
rural, remote or northern areas. "TCAT is very pleased to be a partner of
the Active Neighbourhoods Canada project," says Nancy Smith Lea, TCAT
Director. "The project's goals align very closely with our mission, which
is to create a better environment for cyclists and pedestrians, and to
promote public participation in local decisions regarding the built
"The research conducted by the Sustainable Calgary Society has consistently
demonstrated that social equity and over-consumption are two of the most
challenging issues in Calgary," says Dr. Noel Keough, Chair, Sustainable
Calgary Society Board of Directors. "This project allows us to engage
Calgarians in finding practical solutions to these problems."
The Sustainable Calgary Society <http://sustainablecalgary.org/>, the TCAT
and the MUEC have four years to stimulate dialogues and spread best
practices in urban planning, public transportation, and citizen
participation. These three organizations are well-equipped to identify core
groups of active citizens to come together to develop sustainable
communities. Challenges will be met thanks to technological innovation and
the sharing of expertise, knowledge, and experimentation between citizens,
professionals, elected officials, and researchers.
*About the MUEC and its urban planning and transportation focus *
Over the last five years, the MUEC has been working with Montréal
communities to develop a network of Green, Active, and Healthy
Neighbourhoods. With the support of the Fonds des saines habitudes de vie
(Healthy Lifestyles Foundation) of Québec en Forme, the MUEC has mobilized
hundreds of citizens, created forums for information sharing, and
established urban planning methods that benefit cyclists and pedestrians.
As a result of our efforts and general concern for healthy cities, in 2013
the City of Montréal will invest $10 million in eight green neighbourhoods
in five boroughs.
SOURCE: MONTREAL URBAN ECOLOGY CENTRE
*MUEC CEUM *
514 282-8378 # 253
Nancy Smith Lea
416 392-0290 Email : nsmithlea(a)tcat.ca
*Sustainable Calgary Society *
Ryan Martinson 403 463-7761
Email : ryan.j.martinson(a)gmail.com
Copyright CNW Group 2013
For those coming to this afternoons webinar, Next Generation Bikeway
Design: Raised cycle tracks, handouts can now be downloaded at
The webinar will be hosted at the MB-Ecocentre, 3rd floor 303 Portage
Local viewings of the NACTO webinars are made possible by the generous
sponsorship of Freig and Associates.
*#3, Next Generation Bikeway Design: Raised cycle tracks *
Wednesday, June 26 | 2:00 -- 3:15 p.m. CDT
While many cities have relied primarily on signs and markings to
radically transform their streets, a growing number of bikeways around
the country have been improved and made permanent using higher cost
materials, curb relocation and complex engineering. This session will
look at two facilities that embody long term solutions for city streets.
How can cities effectively move the curb without creating drainage
problems? What "green" infrastructure solutions can be incorporated into
these new bikeways? What are the highest and lowest cost alternatives to
Wendy Cawley, Engineer, City of Portland
Karen Haley, Executive Director, Indianapolis Cultural Trail
Jennifer Tower, Engineer, City of Portland
Cyclists call for more safety, infrastructure in Toronto
TORONTO - Chicago will soon fine drivers $1000 for opening their doors on
unsuspecting cyclists. That has some asking what Toronto is doing to curb
something that causes dozens of injuries each year.
Chavisa Brett was doored last year when she was cycling on Yonge Street near
"I went up and over, flying on to the other side of their door, landing on
concrete," Brett said. "I feel like cycling in Toronto is too dangerous."
She sustained serious bruising and soft tissue injuries.
"Dooring" or being "doored" happens when a parked driver opens his or her
door in the path of a cyclist who doesn't have time to move out the way.
In Chicago, dooring accounts for 12 to 17 per cent of all accidents each
year, according to Charlie Short, a cycling activist in the American city.
In 2008, the fine for dooring in Chicago was $500 but city officials
recently voted to double that fine to $1000. The change takes effect on July
"We knew it was a problem, we knew it was happening all over the city.
Mostly by anecdotal evidence. And so urged the Chicago police to start
tracking that information," Short said.
Officials in Los Angeles and New York City also track dooring in their
But Toronto officials don't track it because by law, it's not a collision.
According to the Highway Traffic Act definition, the vehicle would need to
be moving, says Toronto Police Const. Clint Stibbe.
But the incidents can still be investigated. Stibbe said dooring could fall
under improper opening of a vehicle door, which carries a fine of $110.
Jared Kolb, a Toronto-area cycling advocate, said city officials need to do
more - including building more cycling infrastructure.
"Get them out of the pathway of opening doors. In other words: bike lanes,"
Kolb said. "Cyclists need their own space on the roads."
_ ( \ _
Wow - lots going on down south!
CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING at this THURSDAY's BIKE VALET !:
This Thursday, I'm guessing upwards of 2000 people will come on bikes to the
Bombers opening game - I think it is a sell out - ? 32,000 or so people!
Is the traffic issues solved - why risk it - jump on a bike! I think many
will do this!
I worked with Amanda and team at the Bike Valet after the Taylor Swift
concert! She has it down to a science!
More volunteers would help ensure the BEST POSSIBLE BIKE VALET EXPERIENCE -
and contribute to the overall 'stadium cycling experience'.
Its super easy - super fun - and is only for a short time!
Amanda sets up a Google with different time slots (short shifts) and you
just fill in when you can work. You show up - observe - and jump in and
. VOLUNTEER FOR THIS THURSDAY:
. GENERAL BIKE VALET INFO:
REFLECTIVE GEAR & LIGHTS if YOU BIKE!
Please encourage anyone you know who is biking to the stadium to ensure they
wear reflective gear and have lights on their bikes. It will be dark when
the game is over and many 'new' cyclists just aren't set up for night
cycling - yet. We are working with CAA and MPI to have lights to hand out
at the Bike Valet.
BIKE LANES ON PEMBINA - BIKE TO WORK DAY:
Late last fall I was posting construction photos of the Pembina Bike Lane.
Lots of snow came, a late spring . . and yeah! LAST WEEK the final touches
were put on - the permanent paint markings are now down, the poly posts are
up - and the route behind the bus shelters is now complete! Other than
directional signage for new users departing the bike lanes - I believe it's
pretty much complete - and looking fantastic (photo attached)
Bike to Work Day: Alter Ego and Winnipeg Trails hosted a pit stop at the
CanadInns / Plaza end - and overall the comments were super . . 'I love it'
- 'continue the lanes all the way to downtown' - 'put some on Portage Ave' -
'I want to ride it all year around' ! We've been talking about creating a
video of it in 'full use' this Thursday (Bomber game) HUGE HUGE KUDOS to
Councillor Swandel for bringing the motion forward and getting the ball
rolling - and to the Public Works / Property Planning and Development teams
for so much thought into designing / developing. Yes - we need more.
Quite a different demographic attending - lots of big equipment sitting on
the old Zellers parking lot in the 'hood - lots of interest for boys - and
~175 or so bikes in the Bike Valet - and many locked up around at the
permanent bike racks. Concert was over just after 10:00 - I worked the Bike
Valet and talked to folks - lots of people biked to the stadium for the
first time - to avoid congestion - the loved it. BUT I noticed at least 80%
didn't have lights on their bikes - or reflective clothing as they departed.
Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on their 'Stadium cycling
- feel free to keep the feedback coming so we can work towards the best
possible cycling experience!