Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Windsor to pursue Bicycle Friendly Community status

Friday, October 1st, 2010

The Windsor Star is reporting that Windsor City Councillors “voted unanimously to pursue Windsor’s designation as Canada’s first Bicycle Friendly Community.”

“There’s a growing respect and enthusiasm for cycling in cities, it’s the wave of the future,” said Coun. Alan Halberstadt, a member of the city’s bicycling committee.

Cycling tourism, already big in Europe, represents “a huge opportunity” for Windsor, said [Eleanor] McMahon, who grew up cycling in Windsor and was once press secretary to Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

While it will still be “a big leap from the motor city to the bike city,” Halberstadt said council’s unanimous vote shows Windsor is keen on going further in that direction.

Yep, Windsor is Canada’s Motor City.

Go Windsor!

Ontario Bicycle Summits

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

This month there are two bicycle summits in nearby Ontario.

The first is the Ontario Bicycle Summit which runs from September 20th through the 21st. The location is Waterloo, which is about 3.5 hours from Detroit via car.

Although there are not many details yet on the planned workshops, they do have an impressive list of speakers, including Congressman James Oberstar and Researcher Todd Littman.

  • Oberstar plans to discuss the latest updates on the U.S. federal transportation bill he’s been crafting for months (which is currently stalled.)
  • Littman is the founder of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, which has a wealth of excellent research on bicycling in both their TDM Encyclopedia and documents page.

The other event is the 2009 Ontario Mountain Bike Summit hosted by IMBA Canada. This event runs from September 25th through the 27th. The location is Kitchener, which is right next door to Waterloo.

Topics will include the creation of a provincial leadership body, bike parks and sustainable trails, youth outreach, and growing local capacity for the 40+ clubs and patrols in IMBA’s Ontario network. In addition to informative seminars and networking, the gathering will feature great parties and plenty of riding.

Of course, don’t forget the Mid-America Trails and Greenways Conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the end of October. For more information, visit the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance web site.

Winter Bike Commuting & Safety

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
Bike share of work trips, 2000/2001

Bike share of work trips, 2000/2001

Yesterday’s Detroit Free Press had a decent article on those still commuting by bike during the winter.

Bike enthusiasts, law enforcement and transportation officials say people like Bierman are among a growing number of commuters in metro Detroit who are responding to the sluggish economy and rising gas costs by riding bikes to work during the winter — despite a total snowfall that measures more than 21 inches above average so far.

We’ve heard from naysayers that Detroit won’t be popular for biking because of our winters.

Not true.

A higher percentage of people bike to work in Canada than the U.S. — three times higher according to one report. In fact a much higher percentage of people bike to work in the Yukon Territory than either California or Florida.

This same report offers some explanations as to why.

One explanation is safety, and that was a highlighted concern in the Free Press article. Since 1988 Canada has done a signficantly better job at making biking safer compared with the U.S.

In fact, compared with many European countries, the U.S. is much more dangerous.

Due to the lack of comparable time-series data on cycling levels in Canada and the United States, we can only attempt a standardized comparison for the latest available year. We also include selected European countries as a basis for comparison, since cycling is generally considered safer in Europe than in North America (Pucher and Dijkstra, 2003). That impression is certainly confirmed by Fig. 4, which shows rates of cycling fatalities per 100 million km cycled in each country. Fatality rates range from a low of 1.03 in Denmark to a high of 5.74 in the USA. With fatality rates well under 2.0, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden have the safest cycling. Canada has 2.39 cycling fatalities per 100 million km cycled, just about the same rate as France (2.04) and Germany (2.43). The United States has, by far, the most dangerous cycling, with a fatality rate of 5.74 almost six times as high as in Denmark, almost three times as high as in Canada, and about twice the rates in Italy and the UK.

Besides safety, the report notes one other statistically significant explanation for biking levels: the price of gas.

Oakland County through a Canadian Cyclist’s Eyes

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

Mark from Canada posted the below comment on the MTGA web site.  We’ve reprinted it here (with his permission) because it echoes our push for safe AASHTO on-road bicycle facilities in Oakland County.  It’s great that Ontario is so forward-thinking and progressive with respect to cycling.

I’m accustomed to road cycling in Canada, and planning a visit with a friend in Oakland County. I can’t believe I’m being pushed onto “recreational trails” if I want to cycle! I want to get places and see the community, not paved trails in woodlands or parks! Bikes are classified as a vehicle by Ontario’s road authority, and there’re active advocacy groups successfully pushing for bike lanes on current and future roadways. Maybe we have a healthier mindset in Canada. Or maybe Michigan just can let go of the narrow minded car mindset. I recall seeing some arterials without sidewalks even!