The link above provides a great infographic on the myriad health benefits of decreased car dependency and increased walking and transit use. This is a great primer for anyone who questions the assumption on this blog that car dependent land use and transportation planning decisions are the worst way to run a human settlement.
Off Topic But Interesting: A Risk Evaluation of...
This one is a little off the topic of this blog, but the proposed Enbridge pipeline is too big of an issue to really ignore. Its nice to see an issue that sees so much emotion from both sides evaluated logically. For those who aren’t aware, the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline is a proposed oil pipeline that would carry oil from Alberta’s oil sands to Kitimat. While it would...
The Connection Between Transportation and Retail
NYC’s Department of Finance recently found that after improvements to transit and pedestrian infrastructure, local retail revenues jumped by 73 percent. The project included a package of improvements, including dedicated bus lanes, reduction of parking space, and added parking meters. As is usual with these types of street improvements, local merchants opposed the improvements in the...
Narrow Streets and Housing Affordability
Earlier this month, the City of Vancouver released the final report from the Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing, with the lofty goals of increasing affordable housing choices for all Vancouverites, and (get this) ending street homelessness by 2015. While it is good to set time lines for concrete goals, I think that ending Vancouver’s street homelessness may be a...
The Proliferation of Density in the Metro...
Last week, the Vancouver Sun highlighted the growing trend in Metro Vancouver for in high rises outside of Vancouver proper, particularly in Burnaby, Surrey, and Coquitlam. This isn’t necessarily earth-shattering news, as several cities in the region have had small but dense areas of development for quite some time. In fact, many of these developments meet the goals of longstanding community...
After backlash from apparently shoddy research, a UK auto magazine has pulled an article that accuses cyclists of rampant rule-breaking.
The Reckless Cyclist Fallacy
The debate surrounding allocation of transportation resources is a lively one, and for good reasons. Decisions surrounding personal transportation affect everyone. Unfortunately, one debate tactic that surfaces in the bikes vs. cars subset of this debate is the idea that cyclists are reckless, lawless, and unsafe. This idea is often used to justify calls for greater regulation of cyclists or the...
Cycling in Winnipeg
I am visiting family in Winnipeg for the next two weeks, so I wanted to profile the Winnipeg transportation system while I am here. This week, I start with my first impressions of cycling in Winnipeg. Despite having lived in Winnipeg as a teenager, I have never seriously biked for transportation purposes. On this visit, however, I wanted to try it out. So far, I have only cycled somewhat suburban...
This Victoria Times Colonist Article is Written to... →
Derek Spalding reports that cycle crashes are up 21% in four years. What he doesn’t tell you anything about is the change in cyclists on the road, or the rate of crashes per cycle trip. If growth in cycle trips is increasing faster than total number of crashes, the crash rate is going down and cycling in Victoria is getting safer. The scaremongering infographic does show that cycling across...
E-Bike Classification in BC
Last week, a BC supreme court ruled that when you take the pedals off an electric bike, it ceases to be a bike. The court case involved a Chilliwack man who took the pedals off his electric bike and was ticketed for riding a motor vehicle without insurance or registration. He was riding an emerging style of ebike that is essentially an underpowered scooter with vestigial pedals attached at an...
Rowhouses on the Horizon for Vancouver
The Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability recently released its interim report. One of their key recommendations was to increase options for denser forms of housing. This supply-side effort to bring down the cost of housing also has positive effects on density, as I wrote about previously. One form that caught my eye for its mention was row houses. There is some confusion and...
Vancouver Bike Share: Will it Sink?
Vancouver has been in planning for a city bike sharing program (VIXI) since 2008. On June 13, the City announced that the program is expecting to launch the system in the spring of next year. The bike-share system will be operated by a private company, with the company running Montreal’s BIXI expected to be involved. Paris’ Vélib’ bike share program launched in 2007, kicking off what...
Vancouver's Funny Density Issues
Since coming across Massurban’s post on density (and reblogging it below), I’ve been wanting to write an entry on Vancouver’s love-hate relationship with the topic. Vancouver is Canada’s densest city, with plans to densify further under the Eco Density Charter. Even the most casual of urbanist understands the ecological benefits of denser cities: higher transit use, less...
Excellent Video on Road Diets
Check out this video on Streetfilms about road diets. It shows one of the most (to the urbanist wonk anyways) astounding things about road diets: that we can take the infrastructure we have, and get more out of it for everyone with just a few gallons of paint. Road diets involve no construction. In any road diet, a two-way street has two one-way lanes removed and replaced with a center turning...
On Parking Minimums
The revelation that first got me interested in city planning issues was that our built environment is no accident; it is designed by people in various positions with various goals. The result of these often abstract decisions are very concrete, as urban design has a wide-ranging effect on the quality of city life. In most of the developed world, a large share of these decisions are made by local...
Offering Cycling Amenities on Routes That Cyclists...
Recently, Vancouver City Hall announced that two new bike lanes were in the works. Plans are for one on Commercial Drive in Grandview-Woodland, and another route down Cornwall and Point Grey Road in Kitsilano. Both routes are near popular leisure destinations: Cornwall and Point Grey run along the beaches of Kitsilano, while Commercial Drive is a destination for its shops, cafes and restaurants....