Making Stanley Park car free has been a “tremendous success” in
transforming people’s experience of the park, according to the general
manager of the Vancouver Park Board.
Malcolm Bromley said Tuesday that the board is learning from its move to
limit the seawall to people on foot, move cyclists onto Stanley Park Drive,
and ban cars in the park. The change came into effect
“People have really loved it,” said Bromley. “It put a lot more people in a
safe environment to cycle. It’s been transformational, really, for the
experience of the park.”
Any move to either create permanent car-free sections of set aside car-free
days has to be measured against ensuring people can get to and from
amenities such as restaurants at Prospect Point and Ferguson Point, he said.
“Cycling has taught us something about how the park sounds and feels when
it’s quiet,” Bromley said.
“You notice more birds. It smells different. It feels different. It’s a
very interesting experiment we’re doing in the name of the pandemic, and
it’s teaching us some things.”
Bromley said staff is collecting data on the number of cyclists on the
roadway and pedestrians on the seawall and will be reporting back to the
board about how to promote active transportation around the park.
Berlin proves it is possible to build cycle infrastructure in 10 days
The district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg in Berlin stepped up to the
challenge, building several temporary facilities in just 10 days and
ensuring citizens could travel safely by bike while maintain recommended
Mobycon supported Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg in the development of these
measures and were asked by the district to produce this guidebook: Making
Safe Space for Cycling in 10 Day - A guide to temporary bike lanes from
This guide provides a good foundation for planning safe, temporary
infrastructure that can be implemented almost immediately in towns and
cities that do not currently offer enough space for cyclists. It serves as
inspiration to cities worldwide that want to do something, but don’t know
how to start.
Milan Limits Cars As Italian Cities Hope To Make Lockdown Environmental
Cities in Italy have been recording cleaner air and significantly reduced
pollution under coronavirus lockdown, and now plans are being made to
maintain these environmental changes as life begins to return to normal.
Milan in northwestern Italy has gone from chaos and traffic jams to silent
streets in a few weeks under COVID-19 lockdown.
Traffic congestion has fallen 30-75% and polluting nitrogen dioxide dropped
24% in March compared with the previous four weeks, according to the
European Environment Agency.
When lockdown begins to lift, Milan’s authorities have announced that the
city will be introducing one of the most ambitious schemes in Europe to
reduce traffic congestion in the center.
“We are in an emergency and for phase two we must organize ourselves so all
those who have to move to make the city work, do it in the safest way for
them and to prevent contagion,” Marco Granelli, a deputy mayor for Milan,
said in a statement.
To avoid using crowded subways and buses, the city hopes to boost the use
of bicycles and electric scooters so that residents won’t resort to using
“We worked for years to reduce car use,” said Granelli. “If everybody
drives a car, there is no space for people, there is no space to move,
there is no space for commercial activities outside the shops.”
Over the summer, 35 km of streets will be transformed to cater for cyclists
and pedestrians. The *Strade Aperte* (open roads) plan will reallocate road
space by introducing temporary low-cost cycle lanes and widened pavements.
The new scheme will also see 30 kph speed limits and pedestrian and cyclist
As Rome prepares for phase two of the coronavirus emergency, it too is
looking to switch to eco-friendly transportation.
Mayor Virginia Raggi is promoting the use of bicycles and electric scooters
to get around the city saying, “otherwise, we will be invaded by traffic, a
prospect we must avoid.”
In an interview with Radio Cusano Campus, Raggi explained: “We are working
to privilege transport by bike and other ‘soft’ modes like scooters.” To
help keep levels of pollution and traffic low, the city will see the
creation of new cycle lanes.
Raggi also stated that she had asked the government to “reopen bicycle
shops quickly” and that she was “pushing to provide incentives for
purchasing electric bikes.”
Residents of Venice are also breathing cleaner air as polluting cruise
ships are no longer docking in the city. The canals are still and in some
places the water has become clearer as motorboat traffic has reduced.
Many would like to see environmental measures imposed, such as resident
Diana Vandeville who has started a petition
for change. “Before the coronavirus lockdown, I could smell the pollution
as I walked around,” says Vandeville.
Vandeville’s petition proposes stricter controls on motorboat speed in
order to reduce wake pollution, which damages building foundations and
harms the lagoon eco-system by stirring up the sea and canal beds. Her
petition also calls for switching to electric or hybrid engines and using
Italy is due to commence phase two of the coronavirus lockdown plan on May
4. The government has announced that some businesses and industries will be
allowed to restart production in a bid to boost the crippled economy.
Throughout May there will be gradual reopenings of clothes shops and
restaurants for a takeaway service, although details are still to be
released by premier Giuseppe Conte.
Although the number of new cases of COVID-19 rose on Wednesday, the country
is hoping that with adequate safety measures, some sense of normal life can
*Active transportation group urges city to block traffic in some curb lanes
THE city is being asked to block off curb lanes to vehicle traffic on many
normally busy streets to clear more space for pedestrians and cyclists
during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Winnipeg Trails Association wants the city to give people using active
transportation nearly exclusive 24-7 access to some stretches of key
streets and lanes [map attached]. The organization said that should cause
little disruption, since the traffic volume has dropped significantly.
“Now there’s very little excuse to not (do this). Vehicle traffic is
extremely low,” said Anders Swanson, the association’s executive director.
Swanson said the need for biking and walking space will grow as Winnipeg
Transit begins to reduce services after seeing its ridership plummet. The
reduced frequency of buses could lead some to use other options, he said.
“We need a comprehensive (transportation) network that works for
everybody,” he said.
The association suggests that buses be allowed to pick up and drop off
passengers in the affected curb lanes, but not travel through them. Swanson
is lobbying for the lanes to be placed on key stretches of St. Mary’s Road,
Osborne Street, Pembina Highway, Jefferson Avenue and Burrows Avenue, among
many other typically well-used routes.
The association also wants the city to reduce residential street speed
limits and add traffic-calming measures near homes.
Council’s public works chairperson said he’s discussed the association’s
request with city staff but no decision has been made.
“Before we go forward with something, we want to make sure to get it
right,” said Coun. Matt Allard (St. Boniface).
The city will add some extra travel space for bikes and foot traffic in
early May, limiting vehicle travel to one block between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
daily on five new routes. Allard said this will help ensure people can stay
two metres apart, as health officials recommend.
“This is a perfectly acceptable way to get your exercise while maintaining
physical distancing requirements,” he said.
Newly designated routes will be in place from May 5 until May 29 on
Assiniboine Avenue (from Bedson Street to Westwood Drive), Churchill Drive
(from Hay Street to Jubilee Avenue), Egerton Road (from Bank Avenue to
Morier Avenue), Kildonan Drive (from both Helmsdale Avenue to Rossmere
Crescent and Larchdale Crescent to Irving Place) and Kilkenny Drive (from
Burgess Avenue to Patricia Avenue and Kings Drive.) The city will also
extend previously announced bicycle/active-transportation routes to May 29.
Drivers will also see the road-construction season kick off next month,
with about 200 planned projects.
Meanwhile, the city is cancelling its spring giveaway weekend for residents
to lay out items marked “free” at the curb for others to collect; it had
been scheduled May 9-10.
COVID-19 is spread by droplets that leave a person’s mouth when they cough
or sneeze, which could fall on the “free” items and then infect someone
picking them up, said Jason Shaw, Winnipeg’s assistant chief of emergency
Shaw said he’s also concerned Winnipeggers would roam through
neighbourhoods in search of free items, despite being urged to stay home as
much as possible.
“The giveaway weekend encourages a lot of people to get out and about,” he
Winnipeggers also won’t be able to collect free city-made compost any time
soon, since social distancing has created delays at the 4R depots. Instead,
that program has been indefinitely postponed.
joyanne.pursaga(a)freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @joyanne_pursaga
City expanding temporary bicycle/active transportation routes effective
May 5 to May 29
Released: 9:00 a.m.
Winnipeg, MB – In an effort to assist with social distancing requirements
during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is further extending its annual
bicycle and active transportation route schedule and expanding the
temporary routes to include five new streets.
“As the global pandemic continues to have an effect on our residents, I’m
pleased to see an expansion of active transportation routes that can better
facilitate physical distancing,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “With
ever-evolving circumstances related to COVID-19, the City is once again
demonstrating its willingness and ability to innovate.”
“It’s important that we provide Winnipeggers with safe spaces they can use
to keep active while practicing social distancing,” said Councillor Matt
Allard, Chairperson of the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure
Renewal and Public Works. “I’m pleased that we were able to expand upon
active transportation routes to give residents even more options to enjoy
the outdoors as the weather begins to warm up this spring.”
The following four streets in Winnipeg are currently designated as
bicycle/active transportation routes, and will be extended until Friday,
May 29, 2020:
- Lyndale Drive - Cromwell Street to Gauvin Street
- Scotia Street - Anderson Avenue (at St. Cross Street) to Armstrong
- Wellington Crescent - Academy Road (at Wellington Crescent) to Guelph
- Wolseley Avenue - Raglan Road to Maryland Street
Winnipeggers are invited to take advantage of these additional 5 designated
routes from Tuesday, May 5 until Friday, May 29, 2020:
- Assiniboine Avenue - Bedson Street to Westwood Drive
- Churchill Drive - Hay Street to Jubilee Avenue
- Egerton Road - Bank Avenue to Morier Avenue
- Kildonan Drive - Helmsdale Avenue to Rossmere Crescent & Larchdale
Crescent to Irving Place
- Kilkenny Drive - Burgess Avenue to Patricia Avenue and Kings Drive
These designated routes limit motor vehicle traffic to one block throughout
the designated area. The routes will be in place daily from 8 a.m. to 8
p.m. The City will re-evaluate at the end of May to determine if the
designations need to be extended.
Signs are posted on all approach roadways as notification that motorists
are entering a bicycle/active transportation route. Signs are also posted
at the end of the routes advising motorists that they are leaving the
bicycle/active transportation route.
It is important to note that these roads are not closed. Cyclists and
pedestrians are reminded to use caution and continue to follow the rules of
City looking to close more streets to vehicles
THE city is looking to expand its street closures to make space for people
who want to get outside as the weather warms without fighting vehicle
Coun. Matt Allard said as many as six streets are being prepared for
similar restrictions to the ones imposed on four others earlier this month,
which limit motor vehicle travel to one block between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
The infrastructure renewal and public works committee met Tuesday, where
Allard (St. Boniface), chairman of the committee, said closures on Egerton
Road, Churchill Drive, Kildonan Drive, Kilkenny Drive, Assiniboine Avenue
and Glenwood Crescent are under consideration.
Ryan Palmquist, a spokesman for Allard, said in an email the committee’s
goal is to have the restrictions in place in the next two weeks and that
the streets were chosen because of their similarities to Lyndale Drive,
Scotia Street, Wellington Crescent and Wolseley Avenue, which are under the
same restrictions 12 hours per day.
The city plans to collect data on the restrictions in the future, Palmquist