*[ One more. Further to the two recent postings on bike sharing...
Companies come and go all the time. Even banks. For anyone looking for a
bit more context on the bankruptcy of one bike sharing company, consider
the fact that there are now more than 535 the public bike sharing systems
around the world and more opening every day. The amount since 2008 has more
than doubled. See the link below, for example. Even more interestingly,
bike share programs around the world are now starting to stay open all
winter, see recent stories in New York, Denver and Chicago. - Anders ]*
Urban sprawl is sickening, as well as ugly: Editorial
Urban sprawl is sickening, say researchers at Toronto’s St. Michael’s
Hospital, who found obesity and diabetes higher in suburban areas that
Published on Sun Jan 19 2014
Urban sprawl is ugly, inefficient and bad for the environment. It’s also –
quite literally – sickening. The unhealthiness of spread-out, car-dependant
neighbourhoods is clearly spelled out in a new study by St. Michael’s
Hospital researchers. Urban planners, municipal leaders and city residents
would be wise to pay close attention.
Scientists from the hospital’s Centre for Research on Inner City Health found
risk of obesity and diabetes was
as much as 33 per cent in suburban areas of Toronto with poor
“walkability.” Simply put, the layout of a neighbourhood has a big impact
on the health of the people who live in it.
The findings were published this past
the online journal PLOS One.
Older, downtown areas are more walking-friendly because they’re divided
into shorter city blocks. There’s a higher population density, so residents
aren’t as spread out. And there are more places to go (such as stores and
services) within walking distance. In contrast, many outlying Toronto
neighbourhoods don’t even have sidewalks.
Furthermore, in contrast to sedentary suburbanites, people in walkable
communities don’t just stroll more often, they also cycle and use public
transit more frequently and are significantly less likely to drive. All
that translates into solid health benefits.
It’s important to note that other factors, beyond walkable neighbourhoods,
do affect risk of obesity. Affluence and ethic origin play a big role too.
And it’s possible that walking-friendly neighbourhoods don’t so much
inspire residents to use their legs as attract people who were walkers in
the first place.
None of that should deter city planners and urban activists from pushing to
cut sprawl and create walkable communities. Canada is facing an obesity
epidemic. And rather than throw up their hands and lament that there’s not
much that can be done, policy-makers can play an active role by promoting
neighbourhoods specifically designed as healthier places to live.
An emphasis on creating fewer single-family homes, and more multi-unit
residential buildings, is fundamental. So are zoning initiatives aimed at
developing more easy-to-walk-to mixed use areas, expanded public transit
lines, and bicycle paths. Sidewalks would be nice, too.
Discouraging driving and broadening opportunities for strolling, cycling,
and using public transit don’t constitute a “war against the car,” as Mayor
Rob Ford calls it, but part of a battle for better health. Urban sprawl is
the real foe. And a determined effort is required in order to defeat it.
[FYI. The focus of this discussion is walking, cycling and other modes of
winter physical activity. See below.]
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Alana Odegard <aodegard(a)winnipeg-chamber.com>
Join the conversation and attend the Winnipeg Chamber’s BOLD Breakfast
Wednesday, Jan. 22 | 7:30-9:00 am |Radisson Downtown
Hear our panel talk about “Winterpeg” and some BOLD ideas on embracing an
active winter lifestyle. Tickets:
Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your
To register, please contact Marissa Schluter at (204) 944-8484 or
Policy & Communications Manager
The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce
Office: (204) 944-3316
Cell: (204) 297-5703
Confidentiality Warning: This message and any attachments are intended only
for the use of the intended recipient(s), are confidential, and may be
privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified
that any review, retransmission, conversion to hard copy, copying,
circulation or other use of this message and any attachments is strictly
prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender
immediately by return e-mail, and delete this message and any attachments
from your system. Thank you.
*Winter Cycling Congress Winnipeg 2014
*Feb 12-14, 2014*
*Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada*
[image: Inline image 1]
twitter. @wccwpg <http://twitter.com/wccwpg>. #wccwpg #wintercycling
Big-city feel to bendy bus Articulated unit hits streets to glowing reviews
By: Alexandra Paul
The best part? Everyone got a seat.
Transit riders on the No. 54 St. Vital Express were in for a surprise
One of the city's articulated "bendy" buses made its debut, picking up the
first bus riders just before 4 p.m., eastbound on Portage Avenue at
There were the obvious comparisons to other cities -- that Winnipeg was a
big city now, like Toronto, Ottawa and countless American cities that have
big buses and subways.
The biggest practical difference was everybody got a seat on a rush-hour
Typically it's standing room only by the time the 54 Express makes the turn
from Portage Avenue onto Main Street for the long run down St. Mary's Road
into St. Vital.
"That's pretty cool, first time on an articulated bus," said Jonathan Kos
as he cast his gaze around the nearly empty bus.
As one of the first passengers, along with a gaggle of university students,
Kos and the kids were the first to get a good look inside.
"I kept walking. I was so surprised, I just kept walking" past the fare
box, University of Winnipeg student Kayla Goossen said. Her companion,
Trevor Thomson, nodded beside her.
Skipping the fare isn't something Goossen does.
Later, the bus driver said he remembered the young student with the long
hair. "Yeah, I called her (back)," he said. Goossen returned quickly to
drop in her fare.
"I really like the length of it, and you didn't really see it when it
pulled up, how long it was. It's like two buses," Thomson said.
>From the outside, lots of riders missed the fact the articulated bus is 20
metres long (60 feet) compared with a regular 13-metre (40-foot) transit
Inside, there was an initial disorienting split second before the eyes
adjusted to the new reality, to take in the depth and the long walk back.
And to count the three doors, instead of just two on regular buses.
And so it went for just about everyone. "I just walked in with the
(lineup)," chuckled Ron Ferguson. "No, didn't notice, not until I looked
up," he said.
Articulated buses have been spotted around the city in the last few weeks
in a training role, but a city spokeswoman said the Monday-evening
rush-hour run was the first time one of the vehicles had ferried passengers.
Winnipeg Transit purchased 20 articulated buses that had been used in
Ottawa previously. The vehicles were refurbished by New Flyer Industries,
the manufacturer. The second-hand buses were a steal of a deal. Transit
picked them up for far less than their new cost, which would have been
$625,000 each. Winnipeg's price per bus came to $53,000 (plus GST), roughly
the cost of a fully loaded pickup, plus $11,500 each for refurbishment.
Winnipeg Transit will slowly integrate the vehicles, which can carry 40 per
cent more passengers than a regular transit bus.
The first of the new bendy buses arrived before Remembrance Day and were
expected to be on city streets weeks earlier, but refurbishing at New
Flyer, followed by tweaks by Winnipeg Transit to refit the refurbished
buses to match the city's code, took some extra time.
In November, Transit Tom picked four routes for the initial passenger runs:
Routes 36, 54, 58 and 59, for their high-traffic routes through the St.
Vital and Maples areas. The No. 54 Monday was the express from downtown to
deep St. Vital.
Bus driver Eric Genereux said it took him about half an hour to adjust to
the extra space and the gentle accordion swing in the ride.
"It feels a lot like a regular 40-foot bus," the transit driver said. "It's
a longer bus, that's the difference, I guess. I've got 60 feet to pay
attention to on either side and the third door."
It's the riders who notice it more: "They all love the added space," the
More than one passenger compared the bendy bus to a transit status symbol,
rolling proof the gateway to the Prairies had graduated to a grown-up
Spin seats at the articulated middle spin gently as the bus makes a turn.
Sitting there, passengers don't feel much of anything. But the swing looks
cool and playful from other seats.
That said, it's no surprise to learn the accordion middle widens and swings
far less than, say, the 90-degree turn the bus makes on the street.
"There are things to watch. It's like a regular 40-foot bus only it's 60
feet long. It's not the bus driver who does the work, it's the articulated
(middle) that's got to work," Transit official Carlos Fernandes said.
He said the bus design, with wheels on either side of the accordion middle,
is what keeps the bus on track.
Toronto, Montreal and Halifax already use articulated buses.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 14, 2014 A5
Green Action Centre and Bike Winnipeg invite you to join us for a local
viewing of the following APBP webinar at the EcoCentre (3rd floor, 303
Portage Ave). This will be followed by group discussion of local
applications. Detailed description provided below.
Please note this webinar is 90 minutes (rather than the usual one hour).
RSVPs are appreciated but not necessary. Hope to see you then!
** * * * **
Strategies to Enable Winter Cycling and Walking
*Wednesday, Jan.15th | 2:00-3:30 p.m.*
Winter conditions vary across a range of temperatures and precipitation,
but in all cases communities must find ways to provide safe, accessible
conditions for winter cycling and walking while balancing competing
priorities. This webinar offers examples of policies and practices that are
used to ensure timely snow removal from sidewalks, pathways, bike lanes and
Presenters in this session will discuss:
- An overview of different types of winter climates and how facilities
and maintenance should be adapted to local climate
- Different policy approaches to snow removal from sidewalks
- The importance of prioritization and predictability of snow removal in
encouraging winter cycling
- A pilot program to determine operation and funding requirements to
achieve improved snow clearing and street sweeping along on-street bike
- Tyler Golly, General Supervisor – Sustainable Transportation, City of
- Marc Jolicoeur, Research Director, Velo Quebec
- Nicole Losch, Bicycle/Pedestrian/Environmental Planner, City of
- Arthur Ross, Pedestrian/Bicycle Coordinator, City of Madison, Wisconsin
*Mark your calendar for the full year of APBP webinars coming up in 2014*
Strategies to Enable Winter Cycling and WalkingFebruary 19
Design for Cyclist and Pedestrian Comfort March 19
All In: The Value of Investing in Complete and Green Streets April 16
Public Health Benefits of Active TransportationMay 21
Best Planning and Engineering Practices for School Zones June 18
Calming Arterial Streets for Safer Walking and Cycling July 16
>From Fast to Safer: Best Practices Where Road Speeds Change August 20
Transform Bicycling and Walking Outside the Urban Context September 17
Optimize Signals for Pedestrians and Bicyclists October 15
Design Treatments to Transition from Trails to Roadways November 19
E-bikes, Electric Assist Bikes and Transportation Policy December 17
Getting to Better Outcomes from Public Engagement
Plans for 'cycle utopia' above London's rail lines
Plans to build a network of cycle paths high above the streets of London
are being put forward for consultation.
SkyCycle is a 136-mile (219 km) route, with the first phase, proposed from
east London to Liverpool Street Station, costing more than £200m.
If approved, the 10 routes would be built above existing rail lines and
would take about 20 years to complete.
The plans will be sent out to interested parties for feedback before a
planning application is submitted.
Sir Norman Foster, the architect who designed London's Gherkin tower, has
been working with Exterior Architecture and Space Syntax on the concept
He said cycling was one of his great passions, particularly with friends.
"I believe that cities where you can walk or cycle rather than drive are
more congenial places in which to live," he said.
"To improve the quality of life for all in London and to encourage a new
generation of cyclists, we have to make it safe.
"However, the greatest barrier to segregating cars and cyclists is the
physical constraint of London's streets, where space is already at a
"SkyCycle is a lateral approach to finding space in a congested city. By
using the corridors above the suburban railways, we could create a
world-class network of safe, car free cycle routes that are ideally located
He said early studies of a SkyCycle system indicated that it provided
capacity at a much lower cost than building new roads and tunnels.
The car-free cycle routes will be accessed via ramps at more than 200
Sam Martin and Oli Clark of Exterior Architecture Ltd said: "SkyCycle is an
urban cycling solution for London. A cycling utopia, with no buses, no cars
and no stress."
A spokesman for Network Rail said they supported the plans.
He added: "We are always happy to look at ways we can contribute to
improving travel and transport in London. We will continue to liaise with
all involved as the aspiration for this innovative scheme develops."