I hope this is not an abuse of the network, but I thought a little
humour about winter driving (or not) might be appreciated.
Rick Mercer on: Rick's Rant: "Winter Driving".
FYI. See below.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Melissa Sitter <executive_director(a)trailsmanitoba.ca>
Date: Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 11:34 AM
Subject: Invitation to Bid - Winnipeg Trail Signage
Further to our meeting on January 6th, we have an opportunity to hire a
consultant to develop a signage strategy for the Winnipeg Trail. The
project description is included in the attached invitation to bid.
The purpose of this project is to answer the preliminary questions that
arose at our meeting, such as what types of signs should be used (e.g.:
reflective or aluminum; TCT logo only or TCT logo with directional arrows
or a customized sign), how many signs of each type, where should they go,
and provide a cost estimate for the project.
Please share the invitation widely. I'm available to answer questions
about these projects.
*Trails Manitoba/Sentiers Manitoba*
3-303 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2B4
*"In every walk with nature one receives *
*far more than he seeks."* - John Muir
Some of you may be interested in the content of these lectures and
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tim Walker (Basecamp) <notifications(a)basecamp.com>
Date: Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 1:13 PM
Tim Walker posted this message on Basecamp. *For anyone who may be
interested. A Dialogue on public health and its relationship to sustainable
development in Winnipeg, in Manitoba, in Canada, and globally is happening
"I want to engage the audience in a dialogue on important, challenging and
controversial issues of public health - and its relationship to sustainable
development in Winnipeg, in Manitoba, in Canada, and globally".
- Dr Joel Kettner
Former Chief Public
Health Officer for Manitoba
Current Director of
The Canadian Public Health Association
*Public Health in the 21st Century. Presentation and Community dialogue
every Tuesday in the Month of March. *in Convocation Hall at the U of W.
2nd floor Wesley Hall (the castle like building).
Public Health | What is it? Who needs it?
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at *7:30 p.m.*
Priorities for Prevention in Manitoba
Our Provincial Profile
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at *12:30 p.m*.
How can we prevent the threats that we do not see or know?
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at *12:30 p.m.*
Principles, Power and Public Policy
The Peculiar Ethics and Politics of Public Health
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at * 7:30 p.m*.
"Manitoba has significant inequalities in health status, associated with
racial, gender, socio-economic and geographic factors."
"Dr. Kettner will explore how we can understand the related roles and
opportunities of public health and social development in tackling big
issues such as poor health status, poverty, and illiteracy - within
Manitoba - and within and between countries."
RSVP Appreciated by:
*Jackie Avent* | Active and Safe Routes to School
Green Action Centre <http://greenactioncentre.ca/>
3rd floor, 303 Portage Avenue* | *(204) 925-3773 *|* Find us
Green Action Centre is your non-profit hub for greener living.
Support our work by becoming a
In Conversation with Bartek Komorowski
By: Estefania Wujkiw
For the 170 delegates who attended last week's International Winter
Cycling Congress, the challenges facing Winnipeg proponents couldn't have
been more apparent. Frigid temperatures. Plenty of snowfall. Slippery
streets. But Bartek Komorowski, who was one of the invited experts to the
conference, believes the obstacles can be overcome. He works at Vélo Québec
as the project leader in the research and consulting division. He has
extensive experience on projects about active transportation and
sustainable urban development for cities, including Ottawa, Toronto and
Montreal.ã He sat down with Free Press intern Estefania Wujkiw and
explained that biking is not about income, but about convenience. Biking is
not only fast, but environmentally friendly and cheap, because it doesn't
require any fancy gear.
*FP: What do you hope to see in Winnipeg?*
Komorowski: I would hope to see more cycle tracks hopefully, and maybe a
cultural change as well. I think a lot of people are telling me here that
Winnipeg is very much a car city and there is a bit of friction between
cars and bicycles. But that can change. Right now in Montreal, it is better
than it used to be. Apparently, the people that started, when they would go
out and bike on the streets, they would get things thrown at them out of
cars back in the '70s.
*FP: What are the prejudices of winter cycling?*
Komorowski: What really fascinates me is that Canadians generally have no
issue with doing winter sports. We go skiing, snowshoeing and that's OK,
yet cycling for some reason, it is too cold to cycle. If you are dressed
reasonably, it is no different. The benefits of cycling in the winter are
exactly the same as the benefits of cycling in the summer. In my case, I
keep riding through the winter because it's the fastest option to get to
work. I could drive, but there's no parking around where I work. I could
take transit, but that would take about 45 minutes, or I could ride my
bicycle and it takes me about 15 (minutes).
*FP: What has been the craziest idea you've heard at this event?*
Komorowski: The most out-there idea I've heard of was a presenter from
Finland saying that they are working on a cellphone app which will track
cyclists with a GPS. When a few cyclists are approaching an intersection,
they will turn the light green. In Copenhagen, for example, they have green
way, so they time the traffic light to the speed of a bicycle. But this is
even better because this is dynamic. If there are unexpectedly a bunch of
cyclists heading towards an intersection, that intersection will turn green
for them. They are working on it, incidentally, in Oulu, which is actually
where Nokia cellphones come from, so it makes sense that they would do that
*FP: What best practices were discussed?*
Komorowski:ã The key practices are building separated paths, also
prioritizing. You have a network and then you have to decide what are you
gonna maintain first, what are you gonna maintain second and third. If you
try to do everything at once and you don't have a plan, then it doesn't
work and nothing gets done. That's really a big message that a lot of
people here had. Then there are technical things like different techniques,
like using salt or sand, or scratching the surface to make grooves. Those
all depend on the type of climate you have. By exchanging (ideas) we can
avoid making mistakes.
*FP: Is the overall experience different between winter and summer cycling,
besides the obvious cold weather?*
Komorowski: I heard that there's apparently a Norwegian saying that "there
is no such thing as bad weather, there is only bad clothes." It's really
not that different from cycling in the summer; you just have to dress
appropriately. The only place where it's sort of painful is any part of
your face that is exposed. In terms of your technique, you have to be a
little more careful in the winter, and it's probably best to go a bit
slower because there can be unexpected circumstances. If you have studded
tires, you can stop on a dime, but a car might skid. In places where you
are sharing the road with cars, you have to remember that.
*FP: Do you have any advice for beginners?*
Komorowski: It is possible to bike in the winter; it is not insane to do
it. You dress the same way you would as if you were going cross-country
skiing. Maybe if you have a road bike with slick tires, that's not the
best. (Try) a slightly bigger tire or with a bit of tread or even a winter
tire. Just do it. Go slow when you start just to get a feel for it.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 22, 2014 D3
Leadership makes wheels turn Political will a must to spur year-round
cycling in city
ON ARCHITECTUREBy: Brent Bellamy
Winnipeg played host last week to the second International Winter Cycling
Congress. Nearly 200 delegates from across North America gathered to
discuss the challenges of urban winter cycling and celebrate the benefits
it can have for northern cities.
The health and quality-of-life-benefits cycling as urban transportation can
bring to the citizens of a city are obvious. Numerous studies show
commuters who cycle are generally healthier; they feel less stress, sleep
better and have more energy. Physically active employees often show
improved productivity, reduced absenteeism and turnover.
Beyond improving the well-being of its citizens, many cities that struggle
to keep up with infrastructure deficits are beginning to understand the
positive role investment in active transportation can have in building a
As we construct sprawling suburbs, greater commuting distances increase
vehicle time on the road, which, in turn, increases congestion levels. The
response is often to build new roads or expand existing ones to accommodate
higher traffic volumes at peak times.
This increased capacity then drives new development even further out and
the cycle begins again. By investing in initiatives such as public transit
and cycling infrastructure, cities can begin to affect the urban-sprawl
spiral, while incrementally reducing road construction and maintenance
costs. At less than a tenth of the cost of a new road, construction of
fully segregated bike lanes is an attractive option for cities interested
in sustainable growth.
For the first time, vehicle-ownership levels are declining in Canada and
young people in particular are looking for alternative transportation
Enticing even a small percentage of commuters to choose cycling can
significantly affect overall traffic congestion.
A study by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration indicated reducing the
number of cars by only three per cent can lower peak rush-hour traffic by
nearly 30 per cent. Realizing the benefits of reduced infrastructure
spending through the provision of alternate transportation options is only
effective if the strategy is successful year-round. A harsh winter climate
is an obvious barrier to achieving these results.
Delegates at the Winter Cycling Congress were inspired by the successful
growth of four-season cycling in Minneapolis, a sprawling suburban
metropolis that has been named the best cycling city in America, despite
winter conditions similar to those in Winnipeg.
Political leadership in Minneapolis has been dedicated to transforming the
city's urban-cycling culture, making it a central component of overall
transportation planning and a primary tool in its urban-design strategy.
Widespread construction of dedicated bike lanes, urban zoning requirements
for bike parking, rapid transit with bicycle-carrying capability and the
implementation of a successful 170 station bike-share program has led to a
78 per cent increase in commuter cyclists since 2007.
Despite being America's coldest major metropolitan area, winter cycling
rates are growing three times faster than those in summer. Today, five per
cent of Minneapolis residents bike to work (twice that of Winnipeg) and
nearly 40 per cent of those cycle through the winter months.
The most significant barrier to winter cycling participation is not
temperature, but the perception of safety. Riders generally feel cold can
be accommodated with proper clothing, but unsafe road conditions pose a
deterrent that is difficult to overcome.
The Twin Cities has addressed this issue by developing a system of paths
that physically separate cars and bikes. Smaller street-side bike lanes
connect to an innovative system of 'bicycle freeways' linking downtown and
the suburbs along former rail lines. The eight-kilometre Midtown Greenway
carries as many as 4,000 cyclists per day. The city has committed to
clearing these paths within 24 hours of a snowfall, providing winter
cyclists with a safe and efficient commuter path in all seasons.
With winter participation rates growing, Minneapolis cyclists are
experiencing safety in numbers as greater presence in the streets has
heightened overall awareness and lowered accident rates.
Similarly, in Montreal, a city that keeps 60 km of bike lanes clear from
snow all winter, participation has grown by 70 per cent since 2009 with the
number of accidents remaining constant.
Winnipeggers often hide behind the excuse of cold winters to resist new
ideas for improving our city's urban quality. Minneapolis should inspire us
to embrace northern-city living and reap the benefits of becoming a
year-round cycling community.
The conditions for developing a four-season cycling culture in Winnipeg are
more favourable than they were in Minneapolis. Our city is denser, it's
smaller with far shorter commuting distances, a more highly concentrated
downtown workforce and stronger initial participation levels. Both cities
have ample sunshine and flat topography, each with rail lines and hydro
corridors that could serve as 'bicycle freeways.'
Climate and urban form are not the most important factors in developing an
urban cycling culture. The common characteristic shared by all bike cities
is political leadership that makes active-transportation policy a priority.
These cities achieved high numbers of commuter cyclists through deliberate
municipal-development decisions. They serve as a model for winter cities
such as Winnipeg, demonstrating what is possible with strong political
leadership committed to sustainable urban growth and healthy cities.
Brent Bellamy is senior design architect for Number Ten Architectural Group.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 18, 2014 B5
*Apologies for the late notice regarding tomorrow's webinar due to being
away at the excellent Winter Cycling Congress last week followed by the
<http://greenactioncentre.ca/support/become-a-member/>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. Description
RSVPs are appreciated but not necessary. Hope to see you then!
Beth / Jessie
** * * * **
Design for Cyclist and Pedestrian Comfort
Wednesday, February 19 | 2:00-3:00 pm CT
Learn what tools some communities are using to make qualitative assessments
of cycling and walking facilities. Case studies include San Francisco's
Bicycle and Pedestrian Environmental Quality Indices and the Traffic Stress
model developed at the Mineta Transportation Institute.
- Conor Semler, Kittelson and Associates
- Megan Wier, San Francisco Department of Public Health
- Peter Furth, Professor of Civil Engineering, Northeastern University
*The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013,* released today by Smart
Growth America's National Complete Streets Coalition, highlights *15
communities that led the nation *in creating comprehensive Complete Streets
policies last year.
See the winning communities and download the full report: