* You are viewing Posts Tagged ‘cycling’

Bike, bike, revolution.

Thanks to Paul Krueger on Flickr for this gorgeous photo taken at Vancouver's Hornby Street separated bike lane.

The introduction of downtown bike lanes in Vancouver, Canada has been controversial. In contrast to the concerns about potential business losses and increased traffic congestion, investment into bike infrastructure has demonstrated economic benefits. A recent study from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies found that bicycling contributes $1.5 billion to Wisconsin’s economy every year through bike-related jobs, tourism, reduced health care costs, and a better quality of life.

Vancouver’s Hornby and Dunsmuir bike lanes serve several important functions that will have tangible and intangible benefits.

  • Downtown commuting is now a viable option for more than the most stylish bike courier.
  • The seawall is … Continue Reading

Flying Recumbent Monorail Bicycles: Project 10 to the 100’s Public Transport Winner Announced

One of the winners announced yesterday for Google’s Project 10 100 contest provides a great example of the “stuck in the future” boondoggles that Jarrett Walker despairs of getting in the way of functional transit innovation.

As ably pointed out by Wired magazine, the Schweeb technology combines the worst and weirdest aspects of of recumbent bicycles, monorails and personal rapid transit, in an unholy, uncomfortable-looking, cost-intensive and doubtlessly stinky union. After winning $1,000,000 in funding from Google, the company website promises to “soon announce the location where we will build the first transit Shweeb for public use!”  Yikes. Check out the video of the world’s first SHWEEB in Rotorua, New Zealand (above) to … Continue Reading

Sustainable Transport Ideas: Cycling in Amsterdam

The view from the top level of the multi-storey bicycle parking lot near Amsterdam's Central Station. Photo by author.

Amsterdam is one of the most frequently-cited examples of a cycle-friendly city, and I recently had the opportunity to experience it from the perspective of the cyclist, the pedestrian, the automobile passenger, and the transit user. I was not disappointed by the transport network from any perspective, and was most impressed by the infrastructure that allows cycling to be a dominant form of transport in the city. Cyclists are accommodated by a vast network of well-connected bicycle lanes, traffic-calmed streets, and plentiful bicycle parking (though still not enough).

Amsterdam’s canal streets are, for the most part, traffic calmed to allow cyclists easy passage without dedicated cycle lanes. Cycle lanes on other … Continue Reading

Vancouver’s Bicycle Infrastructure – A Summer Cycle Tour!

In Vancouver, as in many cities in North America and Europe, June is officially Bike Month. To celebrate, the Planning Institute of British Columbia’s South Coast Chapter presented a summer bicycle tour on June 19 for local planners and cycling enthusiasts.

The theme was “Health and the Built Environment”, so the morning began with a chat about the implications of walkable and bikeable environments for public health. Next, the cyclists took to the streets and bike lanes to tour Vancouver’s cycling infrastructure, lead by a dream team of local transportation planners and cycling advocates.

My twelve favourite pictures from the morning are in the slideshow below…

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Using Social Media to Make Transit Fun!

Around North America and Europe, a whole lot of energy is being invested in using social media to improve communication between transit agencies and the people who rely on their services. An impressive and ever-growing array of agency-created and privately-produced iPhone and iPod Touch apps disseminate information about transit schedules, service updates and even real-time bus and train locations.

The US-based website CityGoRound helps people to find local transit, biking, walking and driving applications. Advancing its overall goal of making sustainable transportation more convenient, CityGoRound also actively encourages transit agencies to make their data public.

Just as users can access information about transit services, transit providers also can take advantage of social media to gather data from their users. For instance, as discussed in this PlanningPool post, … Continue Reading

Teaching Tomorrow’s Urban Stewards: National Green Week

From February 1 to 5 , two million American students between kindergarten and grade 12 will be involved in environmental education programs as part of National Green Week. While National Green Week is a great program, sustainability needs to be more than just an addition to the curriculum that is presented by the most progressive teachers!

‘Urban Acupuncture 101’ – Mobility and cycling in New York with Janette Sadik-Khan

October 19, 2009.  In a room full of Vancouver’s planning and transportation elite, Gordon Price (director of SFU’s City Program) introduced an event from SFU’s public lecture series, evoking New York City’s gritty and dangerous history, comparing it to a “fallen empire.”  He feels that the success in recent years give it reason to be called “a resilient city” – acting as proof that cities can rebound – and aptly referencing the Gaining Ground conference this week.  Our guest this evening, Janette Sadik-Khan is the commissioner for New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT). She is largely responsible for this transformation, rigorously analyzing ways to make streets more people oriented in one of the world’s largest most congested city.  “It’s a war out there,” she said a few times.

[caption id=”attachment_1459″ align=”aligncenter” width=”574″ caption=”Creative Commons photo of NYC's 9th Ave … Continue Reading

Proposed Drive-Thru Ban in Comox, BC: Cognitive Dissonance and the LEED-certified A&W

***Update, July 17: The Comox bylaw received first approval from the town council.***

Have you ever wished that your least favourite form of development could be simply banished? In the Vancouver Island town of Comox (pop. 12,000), the town council is considering just that.

Drive-thru A&W in the City of Coutenay, in the Comox Valley. Thanks to Brian Chow for the Creative Commons picture.

Drive-thru A&W in the City of Courtenay, in the Comox Valley. Thanks to Brian Chow for the Creative Commons picture.

A current resolution, meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support sustainable development, would amend Comox’s Zoning Bylaw to prohibit drive-thru services like restaurants and banks throughout the town. Existing uses would remain but no future drive-thrus could be developed.

Howls of protest and approval … Continue Reading

Bikewise: Making cycling safer and more fun

BikewiseBikewise is a website where users can report bike crashes, hazards, and thefts. The site is similar to SeeClickFix, EveryBlock, and PickupPal, some websites that we have written about before. The site, run by the Cascade Bicycle Club in Seattle, WA, aims to make biking safer and more fun. Bikewise wants users to add their own reports about crashes, hazards, and thefts. You can read more about the site on Streetsblog.

The site doesn’t seem to work in my Chrome browser, and there’s no information for Charlotte, NC, where I am now. But, Bikewise seems to be a great idea for “citizen journalism” and for the public to transparently see information about the city around them.

Buying your own bike is so five minutes ago. . .

Listen up, municipal governments – bike sharing is in. All the cool cities are doing it – Paris, Washington DC, Beijing. And why not? It’s effortless, sustainable, and it cuts down on congestion. But for so long, us Torontoians (and Vancouverites) have only been able to look on and dream. Well not anymore.