Hamburg sets out to become a car-free city in 20 years
Hamburg is virtually to become a car-free city in 20 years
Hamburg City Council has disclosed ambitious plans to divert most cars away
from its main thoroughfares in twenty years. In order to do so, local
authorities are to connect pedestrian and cycle lanes in what is expected to
become a large green network. In all, the Grünes Netz
<http://www.hamburg.de/gruenes-netz/> (Green Web) plan envisages
eliminating the need for automoviles within two decades.
By connecting the entire urban centre with its outskirts Hamburg is
expecting to smooth inner traffic flow. In all, the northernmost city is to
lay out new green areas and connect them with the existing parks, community
gardens and cementeries.
Upon completion of the plan Hamburg will pride itself on having over 17,000
acres of green spaces, making up 40% of the citys area.
According to an official, the ambitious plan will reduce the need to take
the car for weekend outings outside the city.
The entire city centre is to be linked with its outskirts by an extensive
network of pedestrian and cycle lanes
Although vehicles are not to be banned from the main thoroughfares, the
council expects residents and tourists alike to be able to explore the city
exclusively on bike and foot.
At the same time, the green ring will play a crutial role to help the
metropolis fight against rising temperatures and urban flooding.
The average temperature in Germanys second-largest city has risen by 9
degrees Celsius in scarcely half a century, experts warn.
As regards to leisure, the interspersed patches of green areas will let
residents "hike, swim, do water sports, enjoy picnics and restaurants,
experience calm and watch nature and wildlife right in the city.
Who rides a bike in winter? Study sheds light on thousands of urban winter
cyclists in Calgary<http://blogs.calgaryherald.com/2014/02/11/who-rides-a-bike-in-winter-study-…>
February 11, 2014. 6:24 am * Section:
The average winter cyclist in Calgary is a middle-aged man who rides almost
every day, usually to work, and will brave temperatures down to -20 C and
colder to do so.
That's some of the initial findings of a project from the University of
Calgary <http://www.ucalgary.ca/> that is shedding light on heretofore
enigmatic winter cyclists in Calgary, those sometimes misunderstood and
maligned people who ride their bikes through Calgary's long and
ever-fluctuating dark season and have become a major part of the debate
over cycling in Calgary.
The project is being spearheaded by Dr. Farnaz Sadeghpour in the Schulich
School of Engineering <http://www.schulich.ucalgary.ca/> and is designed to
teach engineering students the importance of engaging with the community
and users before designing solutions to real-life civic problems. The nice
side-benefit to the project is that it gathers data on winter cycling in
Sadeghpour, a passionate professor, recently agreed to show me the data
that has been collected so far, and work with me to present it here. It's
still early in the process and she has yet to do much serious analysis, but
after attending the world'sfirst winter bicycle conference in Finland
year and seeing how little information has been collected about winter
cyclists anywhere in the world, I don't think it's a stretch to say this
may be the most advanced project of its kind in the world.
This is the third year in which Sadeghpour will ask her students to stand
at strategic places around the city and stop cyclists during the evening
commuting hours with a survey that asks questions about themselves and
their cycling habits. In the first year, the project was limited to about
100 cyclists on the then-newly painted bike lanes on 10th St. N.W. Last
year, it was expanded throughout downtown and captured more than 2,000
different cyclists in all kinds of winter weather. This winter, the project
will focus even more on downtown.
Sadeghpour loves to speak about how the project gives her students a chance
to tackle a pressing issue in the city -- she has even involved planners at
City Hall to help judge students' final designs- but what grabbed me most
was what the data revealed about winter cyclists in the city. These
highlights were pulled from the 2013 data:
* Most of the winter cyclists were male (more than 70 per cent). Most were
over 35 years old, and the biggest segment was those older than 44.
* More than 30 per cent said they ride when the temperature dips as low as
-20 C, and nearly 25 per cent will ride no matter how cold it gets. That
means about 55 per cent of them say they ride to -20 C or colder.
* The most common distance travelled was 10 kilometres, but many cyclists
travelled much farther distances. Nearly 30 per cent said their ride was
longer than 10 kilometres, a distance Sadeghpour notes is farther than has
been recorded in academic literature from any other city.
* Fifty six per cent of survey respondents said they were on their bikes as
part of their commute. The second most common reason for riding in winter
was recreation and exercise.
* The biggest safety concern of the 2,100 cyclists surveyed was ice and
snow, which was cited by 30 per cent of respondents. Lane width (which also
includes proximity to moving vehicles), poor pavement, and gravel were also
areas of concern.
* When asked where bike routes should be expanded, 38 per cent said
downtown, 36 per cent said routes into downtown, and 25 per cent said
* A quarter of respondents said their bike trip was supplemented by another
form of transportation. Among those, 44 per cent said their multimodal trip
included a car, while 35 per cent said transit.
* More than 75 per cent of winter cyclists said they own a car.
What does all this mean? Sadeghpour is reluctant to read too much into the
early data. It did, however, point out some intriguing things to me.
The data contradicts some common perceptions of winter cyclists in many
ways. The vision of cyclists being aggressive young men is only partly
true. Yes, most are men, but they aren't necessarily young. The single
biggest segment, 33 per cent of respondents, were 44-years-old or older.
The data also suggests they are committed commuters who let little stop
them from riding, including cold weather.
In fact, I was surprised to see more than half will ride when the
temperature reaches -20 C or colder. Assumptions are often made about
northern cities being unsuitable for cycling because of the cold.
Considering the temperature last winter reached -20 C or colder only four
times, according to Environment
that means there aren't many days that would be considered too cold to ride
for most winter cyclists. (So far this winter, 13 days have been colder
than -20 C).
A bigger challenge to those surveyed, however, is snow and ice, which was
cited as the biggest concern. Cracks in the pavement, gravel and proximity
to vehicles were also big concerns, which underscores the importance of
road and pathway maintenance, snow clearing, and good-quality
All of this is important information because Sadeghpour says it offers
insight into one of the bigger questions facing civic leaders as they
consider ways of making the city more bicycle friendly: In a city as cold
as Calgary, is it worth investing in bicycle infrastructure? It's proving
to be a contentious question these days, so this data may prove to be
Sadeghpour says a great addition to the data would be querying people who
don't ride in winter to find out what is stopping them. For now, however,
she plans to repeat this project every year, building up our understanding
of what motivates people to ride bikes in winter and how city leaders can
accommodate them, if they choose to. This student assignment could wind up
to be an essential resource as Calgary evolves.
Graham: Cycle track deserves to get some traction
BY BRUCE GRAHAM, CALGARY HERALD FEBRUARY 7, 2014
Calgary's proposed cycle track network has been creating quite a buzz
around town lately and we wanted to weigh in on this issue. You may wonder
why we, as Calgary's leading economic development organization, care about
a cycle track network for Calgary. Well, as the promotional agency tasked
with attracting and retaining the best talent, as well as promoting our
business and lifestyle advantages around the world, a cycle track network
will help us do just that.
It may be less obvious than an increase in healthy lifestyle or taking
tailpipes off the roads, but an inner city cycle track network can boost
business. In Colorado, cycling brought more than $1 billion to the state's
local economy, and in New York, after the installation of a protected bike
lane, retail sales increased by as much as 49 per cent compared to a three
per cent increase in sales citywide during the same period.
When San Francisco optimized Valencia Street for cyclists and pedestrians,
nearly 40 per cent of merchants reported increased sales and 60 per cent
reported more area residents shopping locally due to reduced travel time
and convenience. Travelling by bike encourages more frequent stops than
travelling by car; a study of Toronto merchants revealed that patrons
arriving by foot and bicycle visited the most often and spent the most
money per month.
It goes without saying that parking the car and jumping on your Trek is
good for your health, but it's also good for the health of the community.
Business owners would be interested in a study done by the Netherlands
Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, which found that cycling
reduced employee absenteeism -- specifically, the employees who cycled to
work regularly missed less work, on average more than one day per year less
than colleagues who didn't. And a Minnesota company that encouraged its
employees to bike to work saved $170,000 in health care over three years
and $301,000 through increased employee productivity every year.
And then there's the social reputation factor: The "I didn't know the city
built on energy invested in commuter bike lanes." And make no mistake, it
is an investment. This is a prime example of the kind of selling feature we
use when telling Calgary's story around the world. People want to live in a
city that invests in making the lives of its citizens better. Sixty-two per
cent of recent transplants to Portland, Ore., said that the city's bike
friendliness was a factor in their decision to move there. By 2018,
Calgary's population is expected to grow by more than 150,000 people. We'd
love to add the cycle track network to our people-attraction tool kit
before we see tens of thousands of new cars added to our morning commute.
The major benefit of dedicated bike lanes is they help pedestrians,
motorists, transit users and cyclists coexist safely. Even in Calgary's
harshest weather, you'll see many diehard cyclists making their way to
work, and these numbers would increase if we made their commute safer.
After New York City installed their first protected bike lane (the first in
the U.S.), they saw a reduction in injuries to all street users by 58 per
cent. Calgary drivers will be the first to say that the unpredictability of
cyclists sharing the narrow downtown roadways makes them nervous for the
safety of the cyclists and themselves. A cycle track network in Calgary
gives commuters a reliable alternative to driving, while ensuring the
well-being of both cyclists and motorists.
Calgary is already well suited to adopting a cycle track network and here's
why. With the most expensive parking in Canada, our citizens have already
shown us they would happily utilize this healthy and fun mode of
The first leg of the cycle track network runs on 7th Street S.W., and over
the course of a year (2012-2013), the number of bikes quadrupled per day.
Pedestrians were happier too, as the number of cyclists riding on the
sidewalk went down by 25 per cent. At 700 kilometres, Calgary has the
longest paved urban pathway system on the continent. With the addition of a
downtown cycle track (and Calgary Transit's recent announcement that all
new buses will have bike racks), commuters can safely and efficiently
travel from their homes in any quadrant of the city into the core.
Calgarians may be surprised (and hopefully delighted) to learn that over
the past five years, a multitude of downtown building owners have added up
to 2,000 bike parking stalls in their buildings, telling their tenants and
their employees they support their desire to embrace diverse transportation
We realize adoption will take time and people want to be involved in the
process to understand where the proposed network will go and how it impacts
them. We encourage Calgarians looking for more information on the cycle
track network, to stop by the CORE Shopping Centre, Plus-15 level, by Holt
Renfrew, this Monday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to talk to the
cycle track network team.
Bruce Graham is president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development.
(c) Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
Winter cycling focus of congressWinnipeg welcomes experts, advocates
By: Bartley Kives
The coldest winter in decades has proven challenging to year-round cyclists
in Winnipeg, but not because of the temperatures alone.
In late December and early January, people who use bikes to get around
uttered many of the same complaints motorists made about the condition of
the city's streets. The heavy ruts that made driving difficult a month ago
also made cycling frustrating and dangerous, especially on routes where
cars and bikes are expected to share the road.
Although road conditions have improved, Winnipeg's recent transportation
headaches will provide a timely backdrop for a gathering of international
winter-cycling advocates and experts known as the Winter Cycling Congress.
Beginning this Wednesday, approximately 170 delegates and speakers will
spend three days in the Manitoba capital, sharing ideas about making winter
cycling easier, safer and more accessible.
Conference director Anders Swanson said slightly less than half the
participants are coming from outside the province, including delegates from
European and North American cities and towns where the winter climate is
similar to that of subarctic Winnipeg.
"What we're trying to do is change the conversation in terms of what is
possible for year-round transportation," said Swanson, who travelled to
Oulu, Finland, for the 2013 conference before lobbying to bring the event
here this year. "We're trying to connect places that know what they're
doing with places that are learning to fully embrace the bicycle
As recently as the 1990s, the only people who rode bikes year-round in
Winnipeg were couriers and a handful of die-hard commuters. Now, both
recreational cyclists and commuter cyclists are a common winter sight,
albeit in modest numbers.
The main obstacle is not cold, but road conditions. "On some of the colder
days, you have to bundle up a bit more," Swanson said. "In my experience,
in cities that take care of winter cycling infrastructure properly, the
cold really doesn't matter."
Swanson said several Scandinavian cities are among the world leaders in
this capacity, but that's hardly surprising considering the immense
popularity of warm-weather commuter cycling in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and
The challenge in North America -- and in Winnipeg in particular -- is to
convince cash-strapped municipal authorities to devote more resources to
clearing bike paths and bike lanes.
Swanson said he believes the City of Winnipeg is doing the best it can. "I
have no interest in suggesting there's any problem this winter, when we've
had a lot of cold and a lot of snow," he said.
Still, delegates to the Winter Cycling Congress will hear from a range of
Scandinavian and Canadian panellists about ways to improve winter street
and bikeway maintenance. Other conference topics include sessions on the
design of the perfect winter bike, winter cycling fashion and the creation
of other modes of alternative winter transportation, from Winnipeg's river
trail to a curb-side commuter-skating trail in Vancouver.
The conference was timed to take place the same week as this Friday's
Winter Bike To Work Day, the 130-kilometre Actif Epica winter race on
Saturday and Sunday's Icebike race. The Forks also hoped to extend its
river skating and walking trail to the University of Manitoba by this
weekend, but the weather would not co-operate.
"We came up against the worst conditions on the Red River we've ever
encountered," said Paul Jordan, chief operating officer at The Forks. The
presence of almost more than two metres of snow on the Red insulated the
surface, creating dangerous slush that made the southern extension of the
trail impossible, he said.
Jordan nonetheless expects existing river trail sections to be visited by
the roughly 75 out-of-province Winter Cycling Congress delegates as they
explore downtown Winnipeg by bike.
"This conference has really exploded," Jordan said. "There are a lot of
cities looking at doing more (with active transportation) during the
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 10, 2014 A6
TIME: 11:00 am
MEET: At the central canopy in front of the Forks Market building!
Huts / RAW:almond / frozen river trail / Sharon Blady / sunny Saturday
& Free Cocoa
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Janice Lukes
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2014 12:24 PM
Subject: [At-network] Winter Walking Day - Saturday, Feb 8th
And here is another winter event - for the walkers in the crowd! See
attached poster - and those warming huts on the river are a must see!
* * * * * * * * * *
Come and join Sharon Blady, Minister of Healthy Living and Seniors, the
Winnipeg Trails Assoc. and friends to walk on the Red River Mutual River
DATE: Saturday, February 8th
TIME: 11:00 am
MEET: At the central canopy in front of the Forks Market building!
Calling all Winnipeg winter walkers!
Walk and talk with the Minister, check out the architecturally designed
warming huts, sip on free hot chocolate and make new winter memories with
friends and families! We have ordered up a sunny mild day - so shake that
cabin fever and come out for a winter walk!
**Please forward this opportunity to anyone who works with newcomers and
who may be interested in attending a workshop next Friday. Workshop is
free. Conference registration is not necessary.**
*Workshop: Welcome to Canada - (Winter) Riding for Newcomers*
*Friday, February 14th - 1 - 4pm Manitoba Theatre For Young People (The
*(Free - coffee provided)*
Do you work with newcomers to Canada? Do you get asked questions about
transportation? Wonder how to use the power of the bicycle build
self-esteem and create community? Whether its year-round or just when
spring hits, bicycles can be a powerful tool. Learn how to make it easier
for everyone to adopt.
Join us for unique and exciting "train the trainers" workshop for those who
work with new Canadians, refugees and others being run by Angela Van Der
internationally-reknowned educator, specialist in newcomer issues and an
expert on bicycle skills programming who is joining us from Delft, Holland.
*All the details on the workshop are here
*Please RSVP to local organizer Robin Ellis at volunteer(a)thewrench.ca
The Organizing Team
*Winter Cycling Congress Winnipeg 2014
*Feb 12-14, 2014*
*Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada*
[image: Inline image 1]
twitter. @wccwpg <http://twitter.com/wccwpg>. #wccwpg #wintercycling
Green Communities Canada, Metrolix and the University of Toronto have
completed the first Canadian Benefit-Cost Analysis of School Travel
Planning. Looking at 19 Ontario schools from varied urban, suburban and
rural communities, the findings illustrate a benefit-cost ratio of 1.8.
It's important to note that the estimated annual cost of $93,000 for the 19
projects is not the influx of all "new" money, but rather a
re-prioritization of time and resources at a school, regional and
provincial level along with some monetary investment.
The one-year endeavour was estimated to garner $200,000 in annual health
and societal benefits from car trip reduction and increases in walking.
You can find the full-version of the report
the executive summary
Reposted from: http://www.greencommunitiescanada.org/blog/
School Travel Planning: The Way to Go
Posted on February 3,
[image: Canada Walks Director Jacky Kennedy introduced School Travel
Planning in Canada.]<http://greencommunities.nonprofitwebsites.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/sch…>
Canada Walks Director Jacky Kennedy introduced School Travel Planning to
The results are in: School Travel Planning (STP) is a cost-effective way to
increase walking and cycling to school. What's more, it provides economic,
health and environmental benefits.
School Travel Planning is designed to take active school travel to the next
level by comprehensively addressing barriers and incentives that affect
The first benefit-cost
STP projects in Canada was released in January 2014 and is a collaboration
of Green Communities Canada, Metrolinx and the University of Toronto. Key
findings, extrapolated for a full school year, show the 19 STP projects
studied are estimated to have:
- reduced 192,224 vehicle kilometres travelled;
- reduced 41.7 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and 1.7 tonnes of air
- increased physical activity, including 1.3 million minutes of
walking, and 2 million minutes of cycling.
Translated into dollars, this increase in walking and decrease in driving
- annual societal benefits of approximately $200,000;
- net benefits of $1.8 million is STP if maintained for 11 years; and
- an average benefit per student of approximately $221 over 11 years.
Based on the average benefits versus the average costs per student, if STP
programming was delivered across Ontario the benefit-cost ratio would be
1.8. In other words, benefits are almost double the costs.
The STP model was introduced in response to studies showing the number of
children being driven to school nearly doubled over the 20 year period
between 1986 and 2006. Driving causes traffic congestion, safety concerns
and increased air pollution around schools. STP promoted active and
sustainable ways of getting to school at 71 elementary schools in Ontario
between 2009 and 2012.
*Jackie Avent* | Active and Safe Routes to School
Green Action Centre <http://greenactioncentre.ca/>
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