Archive for March, 2010

23
Mar
10

Cycle Toronto Has Moved!

Cycle Toronto has moved to a new address:


cycletoronto.blogspot.com


Thanks for your support and please continue to read Cycle Toronto at its new home.

20
Mar
10

Creating Culture and Inviting People to Use Public Space

The other day I watched an excellent video of a presentation given by Kristian S. Villadsen of Gehl Architects.  The presentation was part of a conference at McGill University, put on by the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre.

Gehl Architects is an excellent Danish firm that specializes in urban and public space design and architecture.  The firm was founded by Jan Gehl, who wrote the classic Life Between Buildings, and subsequently influenced the design and development of many great features of Copenhagen, including the longest pedestrian street in Europe and it’s excellent pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

The video below is called Designing Streets as Public Spaces in Northern Climate Cities. The original post I found on copenhagenize.com, which I recently found out is the term used to describe the copenhagenization of urban spaces; that is, the redevelopment of urban spaces and streets to invite pedestrians and cyclists.

The presentation is about an hour long and well worth the watch. Enjoy!

**CLICK HERE TO PLAY VIDEO**

(Sorry, I tried, but couldn’t figure out how to embed this video)

18
Mar
10

The Results Are In!

Long time since my last post, but I have a good excuse.  I spent the last two weeks preparing for my bike lane presentation in my land use planning class. Now that it’s over I can turn my attention back to the blog.

At the start of my presentation I handed out an informal survey to find out about the  cycling habits of my class mates. And… the results are in. First though, a copy of the survey itself:

Now, for the results. There were 14 surveys filled out in total.

Q1: Do you own a bicycle?

11 people do and 3 don’t.

Q2: How do you use it?

2 people are utilitarian riders (i.e. commuting to work/school or for errands), 7 are recreational, 2 people said both, and 3 n/a (the three who don’t own bikes)

Q3: How often do you use your bicycle?

3 people cycle daily, 8 occasionally (ranging from very rarely, once a month, or once a week, to seasonally – not in winter), 3 n/a

Q4: Do you ride your bicycle on major streets?

6 people do ride on major streets, 6 people don’t, 2 n/a

Q5: How comfortable and safe do you feel riding your bike on major streets? (rating from 0=not very to 10=very)

9 people rated their comfort and safety level at 5 or below (0, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5) and 4 people rated 6 or above (6, 6, 8, 9)

Q6: What would make you feel more comfortable and safer when riding on major streets? (check all that apply)

Everyone who answered this question (11) said that physically separated bike lanes would make them feel more comfortable and safe cycling on the road; additionally 3 people said bike specific traffic lights, 2 people said bike road signs, 1 said greater driver awareness

Q7: Are you satisfied with the cycling infrastructure in the city where you ride your bike?

1 person answered yes (qualifying their answer that they bike back home in the UK, which has physically separated lanes), 9 said no

Q8: If you own a bike but don’t use it for utilitarian purposes, what are the reasons why?

4 included safety, 6 included distance to work/school, 3 included comfort, 3 included convenience, 1 indicated that the city (presumably Windsor, ON) does not maintain the roads for bikes (e.g. pot holes and sewer grates)

Q9: What would make you more likely to use your bike for commuting/errands?

The answers to this question were varied and included: shorter distance, dedicated bike lanes, driver awareness, and safety

Q10: If you don’t own a bike, what would motivate you to buy one and use it for utilitarian purposes?

For those who don’t own bikes only one person indicated that greater road safety would motivate him or her to buy a bike.

As for an analysis of the results, it was nice to see that most respondents own bikes and use them somewhat regularly. Not surprisingly, most people don’t find major streets to be very safe for cycling and would feel much more comfortable with physically separated bike lanes. Encouraging cyclists to ride for utilitarian purposes seems to be a matter of creating more bike lanes, dedicated bike lanes, and issues related generally to distances being too great for cycling over driving.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this survey!

02
Mar
10

Toronto Makes Cycle Chic!

Who said bike riding can’t be sexy?

Cycle Chic, the original blog devoted to photographing stylish and cool cyclists in Copenhagen, recently posted their top 5 cycle chic cites. In order:

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark (of course)
  2. Tokyo, Japan
  3. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  4. Paris, France
  5. London, England

True, Toronto is not on that list. But, Toronto did make honourable mention!

So who’s coming up fast from behind? What cities are – hopefully – soon reaching a level of mainstream urban cycling and therewith glorious Cycle Chicaliciousness? Three come to mind right off the bat.

TORONTO
Laughing cyclist
There is a great deal of effort being made in Toronto to push cycling over into the mainstream realm and already the streets are graced with chic cyclists of both sexes.

So, congratulations to Toronto. (The other two were Montreal and San Francisco)

There are lots of great copycat sites out there and Toronto has a few of its own: 416cyclestyle and Toronto Bike Chic.

So, style it up Toronto and maybe you’ll find yourself on one of these sites soon!