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  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/business/global/hip-cities-that-think-about-how-they-work.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&smid=fb-share The story of young people, full of ambition, energy, skill and talent, moving to enticing cities that call to them like a siren’s song is as old as modern civilization. And in a world where national borders are easier to traverse, where more countries are joining the prosperous global middle class and where the cost of a one-way plane ticket is more affordable, young professionals probably have more cities to choose from than ever before. This survey is not based solely on quality of life, number of trees or the cost of a month’s rent. Instead, we examine some cities that aim to be both smart and well managed, yet have an undeniably hip vibe. Our pick of cities that are, in a phrase, both great and good: Auckland With its beaches, inlets and lush coastal climate, the Kiwi metropolis has always had great natural beauty going for it (and, now, for the first time in 24 years, it is the home to the World Cup Rugby Champions). But we digress. Currently counting 1.5 million residents , the government is projecting the city to hit the two million-mark in just 30 years. The city has recently voted to create a new central core that mixes sustainable housing and mixed-use development. The public transportation system, which includes subways, trams, busses and ferries, is constantly being expanded. Measures to increase the density of the urban landscape, meant to ultimately prevent encroachment on surrounding lands, as well as planting “green carpets” along urban roads demonstrate a keen eye toward creating a greener future. Plus, the city is expanding its free Wi-Fi coverage, according to a city official. Auckland is doing its best to “up their game with urban design,” said Angela Jones, a spokesperson for the city, turning a beautiful but provincial capital into a smart city. Berlin This culture capital combines low rents, a white-hot arts scene, good public transportation and myriad creative types — from media to design to technology — from all over the world. Known as Europe’s largest construction zone for at least 10 of the past 20 years, 4.4-million-strong Berlin has probably changed more in that time than any other large European city. And while the restaurants have become more expensive, the clothes are now more stylish and the D.J.’s have added more attitude, there is still plenty of real city left to be discovered by the thousands of artists and young professionals who move here every year to make this the pulsing center of Germany, the powerhouse of Europe. Besides radical renovations to the government center, main train station and the old Potsdamer Platz, the city recently turned a historic airport in its heart into a vast urban park. A short-term bike-rental system is in place and the old subway system, reunited after the fall of the wall, like the city itself, is as efficient as ever. Besides artists and bohemians looking for the vibe, the city — home to several prestigious universities, research institutes and many a company headquarter — is brimming with smart scientists and savvy businessmen. Barcelona Anyone who has walked down Las Ramblas on a summer evening or has stared at the Sagrada Familia for long enough understands why this city attracts planeloads of tourists. Music, good food, great weather and strong technology and service sectors compete to make this city of 1.6 million a home for all those who want to stay beyond summer break. If all the traditional charms of Barcelona were not enough, an active city government is trying to keep this city smart, too. Under its auspices, photovoltaic solar cells have been installed on many public and private rooftops. Charging stations for electrical cars and scooters have recently been set up around the city, in preparation for the day when residents will be tooling around in their electric vehicles. A biomass processing plant is being built that will use the detritus from city parks to generate heat and electricity, and free Wi-Fi is available at hotspots around the city. Cape Town Wedged between sea and mountain, Cape Town’s natural setting is stunning. Nor does the city — with its colorful neighborhoods, historic sites, and easy charm — disappoint. And while its one of Africa’s top tourist destinations, it also attracts many new residents from around the globe. The local government is trying to lead the growing city of 3.5 million with a more inclusive government and development structure, to overcome the gross inequities of South Africa’s past. Four major universities and many research institutes make Cape Town one of the continent’s bustling research centers. Named the 2014 World Design Capital last month, the city government is encouraging a cluster of design and creative firms in a neighborhood called the Fringe. The 2010 World Cup of soccer was a boon for infrastructure, especially public transportation. A new bus system, with dedicated lanes, has been rolled out in recent years to keep the many suburbs connected and alleviate crushing traffic. Under a program called Smart Cape, libraries and civic centers have computer terminals with free Internet access. Poverty and crime are still issues in Cape Town, but overall quality of life indicators rank the city as one of the best in Africa. Copenhagen Progressive, cozy and very beautiful, the young and the elegant flock to this northern light. Rents might not be as low as in other hip cities, but the social infrastructure in this metropolitan area of 1.9 million cannot be beat. Offering a prosperous blend of art, culture and scene, this highly tolerant city is attracting young professionals lucky enough to work in the center of Danish industry and commerce. A mix of stately old European buildings and modern, green-oriented architecture speaks of a city that treasures the old but loves experimenting with the new. Despite its cool Scandinavian climate, the Danish capital might just be the most bicycle-friendly city in the world. Bike superhighways crisscross the city, and statistics show that more than a third of the city’s inhabitants commute to work or school on their trusty two-wheelers. A metro system was inaugurated in the last decade for those who choose to go without. With sunlight-flooded underground stations and clean, driverless subway cars, the system looks more like a people-mover at an international airport than an urban transport system. Having committed itself to reducing carbon levels by 20 percent before 2015, some of the city’s power is generated by wind. The city has been so successful in cleaning up its once-industrial harbor that it has been able to open three public baths in a harbor waterway. Curitiba, Brazil One of the smartest cities in Latin America, Brazil’s wealthy regional capital attracts many new inhabitants with jobs in service and production sectors, and with the promise a functioning city. The 1.7 million residents have access to a bus-based rapid transport system so good that more than 700,000 commuters use it daily. Buses run on designated lanes that, because of a unique and modern urban design, have right-of-way and preferred access to the city center. A beautiful botanical garden and other city parks, along with other strong environmental measures, keep the air largely clear of pollution, despite Curitiba’s land-locked location. The city strives to be sustainable in other ways, too. According to reports, it recently invested $106 million, or 5 percent, of its budget into its department of environment. The city government makes itself integral in the lives of Curitibans, not just seeking comment and feedback on policies, but also organizing a host of events. “Bike Night” is the latest craze in the active city. Each Tuesday, residents take to their bikes and peddle through the night, accompanied by municipal staff members. Montreal With its hearty French and North American mix, this city of 3.6 million has a real soul thanks to low living costs and long winter evenings. And it is no slouch when it comes to good food, hip culture, well-appointed museums and efficient transportation. With four major universities and plenty of bars, the nightlife in this bilingual city has a well-deserved reputation. Because the winters tend to be long and cold, the city possesses an extensive underground network connecting several downtown malls and a subterranean arts quarter. When spring finally does arrive, and snow is cleared from the many bike paths, the city puts out its 3,000 short-term-rental bicycles, known as Bixi. City-sponsored community gardens are sprouting around town, giving urbanites a chance to flex their green thumb. Montreal is an incredibly active town where festivals celebrating everything from jazz to Formula One dominate the city’s calendar during the summer. Thanks to Mount Royal, a large central park and cemetery that serves as cross-country, snowshoe and ice-skating terrain in the winter and becomes a verdant picnic ground and gathering spot in the summer, Montrealers never have to leave city limits. Santiago A vibrant mix of Latin American culture and European sensibility, this Chilean city is modern, safe and smart. The rapidly growing city of 6.7 million — , which, perhaps surprisingly, was first subject to urban planning mandates in the mid-20th century — is still ahead of others in South America when it comes to urban governance. A law curtailing urban sprawl and protecting the few natural spaces close to the city is exemplary. Beautiful old cultural jewels like the library and fine art museum are dwarfed by serious commercial skyscrapers. The smell of local food, good and inexpensive, brings life even to the streets of its financial district. One of the most extensive public transport systems on the continent whisks more than 2.3 million commuters to and from work or school every day. Because of its high altitude, pollution is a problem — one that the national government is trying to curb with various green initiatives. Short-term bike rentals exist in one of the more active parts of town, and significant city funds have been used to construct bicycle lanes. For a city this modern, however, Santiago has few parks. But the ocean is just a short drive to west and the mountains to the east. Shanghai China’s commercial heart has grown tremendously in the past couple of decades. Attracting young professionals with its jobs and opportunities rather than with museums and hip nightlife, this megacity of 23 million is surprisingly smart. Its top-down urban planning approach is efficient in a city made up of separate 16 districts and one county. City coffers are put to use building enormously ambitious infrastructure, like a deepwater port, tunnels, bridges and roadways. A good indicator for the rapid and deliberate growth of the city is the metro system. First opened in 1995, it is now the world’s longest subway network, according to city officials. Adding a futuristic aspect to the utilitarian system is a Maglev (magnetic levitation) line that connects the airport to the city, and on which the train travels at speeds of up to 431 kilometers, or 268 miles, per hour. But Shanghai’s urban development is also green. The city claims that it put the equivalent of $8 billion into environmental improvement and cleanup, which include sewage treatment systems but also an impressive number of city parks. In addition, Shanghai has made its city government more accessible by running a Web site were residents can find municipal information, and read a blog entitled “mayor’s window.” Vilnius, Lithuania One of the greenest of the former Eastern bloc capitals, Vilnius has a forward-thinking city government. In a recent Internet video that spread virally, the mayor, Arturas Zuokas, is seen crushing a Mercedes parked on a bike path with a tank. Beyond the obvious political theater of the stunt, the city, whose metropolitan area population is 850,000 takes providing good public transportation seriously. A recent study suggested that some 70 percent of the capital’s citizens either walk, bike or take the bus. Vilnius, a verdant city that despite some communist architectural clunkers is charmingly medieval and surprisingly well maintained, boasts an old town that is a Unesco world heritage site. After the fall of the old regime, the city took great pains to retool its waste disposal systems, building a modern landfill in 2005. The capital attracts young professionals, and not just from Eastern Europe, who see in Vilnius a rising star in business and appreciate all that the extensive cultural scene in the little capital has to offer.
  2. <header style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif; line-height: 16px;">http://www.ledevoir.com/art-de-vivre/voyage/401202/tourismeurbain-le-charme-apres-la-conquete TOURISME URBAINPasser «Go» et réclamer la ville Des tours de vélo à New York, à Chicago et à Montréal. Zéro auto. Les mains sur le guidon. </header>1 mars 2014 | Émilie Folie-Boivin | Voyage <figure class="photo_portrait left" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px; float: left; width: 224px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif; line-height: 16px;"><figcaption style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.846em; line-height: 1.2em; padding: 2px 0px 15px;">Photo : Émilie Folie-Boivin Le DevoirLe tour Bike the Drive de Chicago se déroule dans une boucle de presque 50 kilomètres.</figcaption></figure>La meilleure manière de découvrir les plus beaux profils d’une ville ? Les deux mains sur le guidon, pendant les grands événements de vélo urbain. Petit tour de piste. Dans une grande ville, il vaut mieux se lever de bonne heure pour pédaler sans avoir à jouer du coude avec les voitures. Une fois par année, à l’occasion des tours urbains de New York (Five Boro Bike Tour), Chicago (Bike the Drive) et Montréal (La Féria, rebaptisée Go Vélo Montréal), c’est jour de fête. Pendant quelques heures, les voitures sont interdites sur les routes et les bicyclettes ont le champ libre. Pour en profiter, il faut aussi se lever à l’aube, mais l’expérience est plus sublime que bien des grasses matinées. C’est encore tout récent que les rues des grouillantes New York et Chicago célèbrent la gloire du vélo comme transport alternatif, et leurs efforts fulgurants leur ont permis de se tailler une place enviable parmi les villes nord-américaines où il fait bon rouler. Les activistes de ce mode de transport aux États-Unis s’inspirent d’ailleurs ouvertement du réseau cyclable de Montréal et de son Bixi dans leur développement urbain. Le vélo se porte bien, et ça se sent. Les tours Five Boro Bike Tour, Bike the Drive et ceux de Go Vélo Montréal sont tout sauf des courses. Qu’on roule en CCM ou en Argon, ils sont une célébration de la ville et de la bicyclette. En un avant-midi, on aboutit dans des quartiers que jamais on aurait l’occasion d’explorer autrement ; on rencontre des gens créatifs qui scotchent la bière de la victoire sur leur porte-bagages avec du duct tape gris ; on lève notre casque à ces mamans admirables qui roulent 64 kilomètres avec deux petits copilotes dans la remorque. On engloutit des bananes sur le bras dans les stations de ravitaillement (yé !), reçoit des échantillons de yogourt gratuits (re-yé !). Y a pas que l’avenir qui appartienne à ceux qui se lèvent tôt !
Y a la route aussi. Five Boro Bike Tour - Le charme après la conquête Avec leurs cris de joie sur la ligne de départ, les cyclistes en liesse enterraient le dernier tube de Beyoncé. L’humeur générale était aussi radieuse que la météo au point de départ, près du complexe du World Trade Center à Manhattan. En mai de chaque année, ils sont plus de 30 000 à pédaler les 64 kilomètres du Five Boro Bike Tour (5BBT), l’un des circuits urbains à vélo les plus courus en Amérique du Nord. Les dossards s’envolent presque aussi vite que les billets d’un spectacle d’Arcade Fire. New York a fait du chemin depuis la première édition de l’événement en 1977, auquel ont pris part 250 motivés : en moins de cinq ans, grâce à l’ancienne administration Bloomberg et à la détermination de la chef des transports, Janette Sadik-Khan, la mégalopole s’est métamorphosée. Celle-ci voulait une ville animée aux trottoirs bondés de gens et de mobilier élégant, des places publiques où flâner et des pistes cyclables sur lesquelles les enfants se sentiraient en sécurité. «C’est ce qui définit la qualité de vie dans une ville», disait-elle en entrevue au magazine New York. Mais ce matin-là, ensoleillé, le réseau cyclable était bien le dernier endroit où les participants voulaient rouler. Jusqu’à ce que les voitures reprennent leur dû, les montures auront cinq ponts à se mettre sous le pneumatique, des rues commerciales et résidentielles et des autoroutes (dont la fameuse Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, un interminable quatre-voies dont le seul charme réside dans cette troublante impression que si la fin du monde arrivait et que tout le monde essayait de décamper à vélo, ça ressemblerait à ça). Il y a peu d’occasions de visiter autant d’arrondissements en un week-end à New York. Et dans une journée comme celle-là, avec les résidants qui envoient la main aux cyclistes, on se sent comme de la visite attendue. Après avoir passé un Lower Manhattan saharaesque et bouleversé le jogging dominical dans Central Park, Harlem nous accueillait les bras ouverts avec une chorale gospel. Le genre de spectacles semés un peu partout sur le parcours pour motiver les troupes. À moins de faire un pèlerinage en l’honneur d’Un prince à New York ou d’avoir de la famille dans le coin, peu de visiteurs se rendent dans Queens, mais les cyclistes auront enfin une raison de rencontrer les habitants du coin, suivant un saut de puce dans le Bronx. Après avoir pédalé derrière les entrepôts sur la rue Kent à Brooklyn, le tour débouche sur une rue commerciale. Fait étonnant : au lieu de bouder contre la commotion causée par la fermeture des rues, les commerçants embrassent la parade et en profitent pour faire une vente-trottoir pendant que des cyclistes s’arrêtent pour prendre une bière. Le circuit du 5BBT reste le même chaque année. Et comme chaque fois, la hantise des habitués se dresse dans les tout derniers miles de l’épreuve, à la porte de Staten Island. Avec ses interminables quatre-kilomètres inclinés et venteux, le pont Verrazano-Narrows donne envie de balancer son vélo dans la baie de New York et de rentrer en autostop sans demander son reste. Les participants font presque du surplace à cause des bourrasques. Un père poussant son fils handicapé persiste ; c’est triomphant et le visage écarlate qu’il franchit la ligne d’arrivée à Fort Hamilton, tout de suite à la sortie du pont. «Ça y est… Nous en sommes venus à bout!», dit-il en faisant un clin d’oeil fatigué à fiston. Pas de remise de médailles, pas de temps au chrono. Nous avons vaincu la bête, mais 64 kilomètres plus tard, c’est plutôt elle qui nous a conquis. Le Five Boro Bike Tour, c'est 64 kilomètres à travers cinq arrondissements : Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island. Quand: le premier dimanche de mai, soit le 4 mai 2014. Le circuit, plutôt plat et accessible, s’adresse aux gens de tous les âges en bonne forme physique. Il y a plusieurs stations de ravitaillement en chemin, l’organisation est impeccable et les responsables de la sécurité sont nombreux, autant au bord de la route que sur deux roues. Les billets à prix régulier se sont rapidement envolés en janvier, mais il reste des places VIP (à 325 $ par tête) pour le tour de 2014. *** Bike the Drive - Le pouls de l'artère Drive, comme dans Lake Shore Drive, l’autoroute devant le bord de mer de la ville de Chicago. Cette artère est le terrain de jeu sur lequel 20 000 cyclistes ont la chance de s’amuser cette unique fois chaque année. Dans le rayon des tours urbains, le Bike the Drive de Chicago se distingue par son circuit en « 8 » d’environ 50 kilomètres (deux boucles de 24 kilomètres au sud et au nord de Grant Park). Les huit voies rapides sont ouvertes dès 5 h 30 pour un avant-midi de balade à vélo. Puisqu’il n’y a pas de coup d’envoi comme à Montréal et à New York, on embarque dans le flot de vélos en sachant qu’on a jusqu’à 10 h 15 pour terminer le parcours. Comme le circuit est balisé et que la chaussée de cette route achalandée est plutôt en bon état, ce tour comporte une note plus sportive et c’est à coeur joie que les cyclistes peuvent mettre à l’épreuve leur monture de course dans les corridors. Ils s’y prennent à l’aube, avant que les promeneurs joignent le mouvement ; ils sont nombreux à se déplacer en groupe et à rouler avec leur bichon maltais ou leur chihuahua attaché dans le panier à bagage. Rencontré dans l’une des deux stations de ravitaillement, Paul est venu du Michigan voisin avec sa fille de 12 ans. «Nous l’essayons pour une deuxième fois. L’an dernier, nous n’avons fait que la boucle nord, mais là, nous nous lançons pour le grand tour avec le sud. Le panorama est complètement différent!», dit le natif de Vancouver, en croquant dans un biscuit au beurre d’arachide. Bike The Drive montre en effet deux profils très distincts de Chicago. La portion sud, allant jusqu’à l’avenue Bryn Mawr, est plus campagnarde et nous donne vite l’impression d’être catapulté dans une banlieue tranquille préservée de l’agitation de la métropole. La boucle nord, elle, met à jour les gratte-ciel et la prestance de cette ville qui a le vent en poupe. C’est là aussi que la vue est des plus splendides et que, derrière le muret de béton de l’autoroute, se distingue le bord de l’eau, la plage et les grands parcs. Ça sent le béton réchauffé par le soleil printanier, et quand on ne roule pas au bruit des changements de vitesse, on a le bonheur — ou le malheur, quand il est impossible de les semer — de rouler dans la bulle d’enthousiastes participants équipés de puissantes radios crachant du Foreigner et du vieux Daft Punk. La virée culmine par un grand festival au Grant Park, en guise de remerciement aux participants pour avoir contribué à l’amélioration du réseau cyclable dans la ville des vents. Le financement de ses installations est d’ailleurs la raison d’être de ce tour lancé en 2002. L’initiative a porté ses fruits : Chicago a tissé une belle amitié avec les cyclistes. Pour le voir, il faut sortir du Lake Shore Drive et plonger dans la ville. Le maire Rahm Emanuel s’est mis au défi de faire en sorte que les Chicagoans résident à moins de 0,5 kilomètre d’une piste cyclable ; pour l’instant, le réseau compte plus de 300 kilomètres. Ses nouveaux Divvy, inspirés du Bixi montréalais, sont en fonction depuis l’été dernier et remportent un vif succès. De passage à Chicago, les visiteurs peuvent en tout temps goûter au paysage qu’offre le Bike the Drive puisqu’une grande piste cyclable de près de 30 kilomètres, le Lakefront Trail, longe le lac Michigan. Par contre, seul l’événement procure l’effet grisant de se laisser porter par l’euphorie d’une masse critique. Le Bike the Drive, c’est près de 50 kilomètres en deux boucles sur l’autoroute Lake Shore Drive, fermée aux automobiles entre 5 h 30 et 10 h 15. Quand: le dernier dimanche de mai, soit le 25 mai 2014. Parfait pour les cyclistes plus sportifs puisque les voies sont larges et bien entretenues. Les familles et les cyclistes contemplatifs y trouveront leur compte puisque le parcours, qu’on peut faire à moitié, est relativement plat. Billets: à partir de 46 $ (41 $ jusqu’au 2 mars). *** Go vélo Montréal - La métropole a un je-ne-sais-quoi...On avait beau être trempé jusqu’à la moelle avant même le signal de départ du Tour de l’île de Montréal, l’été dernier, l’averse n’a pas réussi à enlever une once du charme de l’expérience. Faut le faire. Le festival Go Vélo Montréal, qui regroupe tous les circuits du Tour de l’île et qui célèbre ses 30 ans en 2014, a ce je-ne-sais-quoi de très spécial. Il est sans conteste le plus enivrant des tours urbains abordés ici, et ce n’est pas parce qu’il se passe dans notre cour ; très sincèrement, il rassemble ce que le Québec a de mieux. Contrairement aux parcours toujours identiques du Bike the Drive et du Five Boro Bike Tour, Vélo Québec se fait un devoir de modifier les siens tous les ans. Combinée à l’enthousiasme des bénévoles et à la générosité des spectateurs, l’expérience en terre québécoise est animée, humaine, vivante. Sorte de fièvre du vendredi soir, les 20 kilomètres du Tour la nuit rassemblent les familles, les gangs d’amis, les amoureux et les geeks qui parent leur monture de lumières de Noël branchées sur dynamo et les libèrent dans les quartiers résidentiels autant que dans les carrières éclairées. Cette fête du vélo et de l’activité physique devient une fête des voisins : les spectateurs veillent sur le perron pour encourager les participants et certains dépoussièrent accordéon et crécelle. «Le Tour la nuit, c’est la Montréal nightlife à son meilleur, décrivait Joëlle Sévigny, la directrice générale de Vélo Québec, quelques jours avant l’activité. S’il y avait un événement à nommer pour témoigner de la solidarité d’une ville, je dirais que le Tour de l’île en est une belle incarnation.» Pour les visiteurs du Québec et de l’étranger, l’expérience du Tour de l’île le dimanche est une occasion unique de constater que Montréal est plus qu’un immense et égocentrique centre-ville. La vie (et la vue) des riverains de LaSalle a conquis les Rosemontois pur jus avec qui j’ai roulé les 50 kilomètres, en juin dernier. C’est un peu le beau risque des tours urbains. En explorant de nouveaux territoires dans ces rues exemptes de toute circulation automobile, on réalise à quel point elle peut être belle, la ville. Le Festival Go Vélo Montréal, c’est une semaine de festivités et un vaste programme pour tous les goûts. Au total, 11 circuits sont proposés pour le Tour la nuit, le Défi métropolitain et le Tour de l’île réunis, s’adressant aux cyclistes contemplatifs autant qu’aux sportifs, afin de permettre à un maximum de personnes de prendre part à la fête. Pour le 30e anniversaire, les cyclistes auront une chance unique d’entreprendre le « vrai » Tour de l’île de 130 kilomètres. Quand: du 25 mai au 1er juin 2014. Gratuit pour les enfants de moins de 12 ans. *** Aux tours de Vélos Québec Voyages Il y a plusieurs façons de prendre part aux tours urbains de New York et Chicago. Vélo Québec Voyages propose chaque année de longs week-ends pour profiter de la ville lors de ces célébrations du vélo. Le séjour comprend le transport, et l’hô- tel est toujours très bien situé au cœur du centre-ville. L’an dernier, ils étaient 137 Québécois à partir en autobus pour le Five Boro Bike Tour, munis de leur vélo transporté quant à lui dans un camion de marchandise. Le jour J, les accompagnateurs outillés s’occupent de tout. Ils font toutes les mises au point des montures avant le départ et l’autobus attend les participants à Staten Island. Un beau luxe, très, très bien organisé. Pour voir s’il reste des dossards et pour réserver sa place à bord. Notre journaliste s’est rendue à Chicago et à New York à l’invitation de Vélo Québec Voyages.
  3. By Eric Moskowitz | GLOBE STAFF MAY 19, 2013 The city’s on-street bike lanes are marvels to US visitors. We had pedaled half a block from the vibrant Jeanne-Mance Park, past tennis matches, a youth league football game, and the filming of a music video, when it dawned on me: We were biking in one direction, and the cars were pointed in another. But this was no rogue move by our tour guide, leading us the wrong way down a one-way street. Pavement markings invited it. Stopping ahead, guide Martin Coutu pointed out a defining feature of the city’s residential neighborhoods: the cast-iron outdoor staircases leading to the upper floors of thousands of two- and three-story walkups, allowing the homes to achieve a gracious sidewalk setback without ceding interior space for shared entries and stairwells. Still, I couldn’t help marveling over that bike lane, beckoning two-way cycling down an otherwise one-way street. I could picture just a single block like it in Cambridge and none in Boston. But as we followed Coutu along Fitz & Follwell Co.’s ’Hoods and Hidden Gems tour, it became clear that, in Montreal, it was one of many. Coursing through the city, we followed all manner of on-street bike lanes — plain old painted lanes, two-way lanes, lanes protected from traffic by plastic rods or concrete curbs — and off-street bike paths. We even saw some bicycle-specific traffic lights. Painted markings guided us through intersections, and signs told drivers to give us the right of way. More remarkably, they obeyed. Related If you go biking in Montreal... On that four-hour tour, and again riding around the city on the bike-sharing network known as Bixi, no one honked at us, not even once. It was liberating, allowing us to follow Coutu — a cheerful character with the whippet build of a bike messenger, unafraid to give a playful squeeze to the bulbous retro horn affixed to his handlebars — without any white-knuckled worry about staying alive. “The majority of our customers are American,” Shea Mayer, Fitz & Follwell’s founder, told me later, “and they all say, ‘It’s unbelievable. I live in Boston, I live in New York’ — or California, or wherever it is — ‘and not only can I not believe the amount of lanes you have, but I can’t believe we haven’t been run off the road yet.’ ” And there was plenty to see following those bike lanes, on a tour inspired by Mayer’s idea of a perfect day off in Montreal, often ranked as the most bike-friendly city in North America. Riding a stylish set of Dutch-inspired upright bikes, we weaved through the colorful neighborhoods that fan out to the east and northeast of the verdant peak known as Mont Royal, including Mile-End, Outremont, and Petite Italie. We stopped to sample wood-fired, sesame seed-covered bagels on Rue Saint-Viateur; sip exquisitely prepared cappuccino at Café Olimpico; and explore the open-air stalls of the Jean-Talon Market, the larger, locally minded cousin to the tourist-choked Atwater Market on the waterfront. Mayer started Fitz & Follwell as a one-man outfit in 2009, soon growing it into an eight-guide business and a boutique in the hip neighborhood known as The Plateau, where he rents and sells bikes and offers locally made, bike-friendly products such as a leather crossbar holster for wine bottles. The outings now include a food tour by foot and winter toboggan and snowshoe expeditions in the city’s famed parks, but the bread and butter is still the April through October bike tour. It is designed not as a stop-and-go sightseeing tour that happens to be by bicycle, but a two-wheeled immersion in, and celebration of, a place with a deeply ingrained bike culture. Having written about Boston’s push under Mayor Thomas M. Menino to end its status as the scourge of the biking world, starting from zero to add 60 miles of bike lanes, and launching the Hubway bike-share network, I was aware of the basic facts about Montreal. It boasts hundreds of miles of bike lanes, and its Bixi system, with more than 400 stations and 5,100 bikes, is four times as extensive as Hubway. But the numbers tell only part of it. This is a rare city beyond Europe where bicycling is not just a form of daring recreation or reluctant transportation but an essential, accepted part of everyday life. It is the way urbanites get to the pub, the park, the office, the grocery store. I saw bikes as fashion statements and bikes outnumbering cars, three or four fastened to every parking-meter post on the bar-, cafe-, and boutique-laden Saint-Laurent and Saint-Denis avenues. Not that I had come to Montreal intent on geeking out on the bike infrastructure and scene. My girlfriend, Hannah, and I had been drawn by the city’s traditional allures: food, culture, architectural charm, and proximity to Boston. Before we went, Hannah made a Facebook appeal for suggestions, and a friend in New York quickly responded, declaring Fitz & Follwell “the best thing I’ve ever done as a tourist” — anywhere. A Google search yielded similar superlatives on TripAdvisor, where the company holds the top ranking among all manner of Montreal tour providers, so we booked. What distinguishes Fitz & Follwell was never clearer than at the end of the tour, after we had admired more outdoor staircases and followed Coutu through a world tourists rarely see: the intricate network of back alleys that were once the unremarkable setting for so many anonymous coal deliveries and trash collections, but that have been enlivened recently with lush gardens, ivy-draped terraces, and candy-colored murals. Winding down, we ducked into a boulangerie and pedaled behind Coutu to Parc La Fontaine, where he laid a blanket on a rare stretch of unoccupied grass and we sat down to a spread of ripe strawberries and cherry tomatoes from Jean-Talon Market, made-to-order sandwiches from the boulangerie, and ice-cold craft beers. As we sipped, ate, and laughed, another group biked into view on the far side of the lawn, gathering around a leader. Not only were they not enjoying a picnic, but they were clad in matching fluorescent vests, like members of a prison road crew. “That’s the other bike tour,” Coutu said, grinning impishly. “They’re people who get lost easily.” Watching them, it was easy to forget we weren’t locals ourselves — or, at least, visitors being shown around by a savvy friend. When we got back to the shop, we lingered, reluctant to let go of the leather grips on those Dutch-inspired bikes. So we did the next best thing, renting Bixis to explore places suggested by Coutu as we had buzzed by — only so many eating stops can be squeezed into one tour. Undaunted by intermittent rain, we rode in the evening along part of the Canal-de-Lachine, a 35-year-old bike path that traces a canal abandoned after the 1959 opening of a shipping channel in the mighty St. Lawrence River, and followed another bike path along part of the city’s active industrial port and over the low-slung Pont de la Concorde bridge, reaching Île Sainte-Hélène, the leafy epicenter of Expo ’67, still anchored by the Biosphere and an amusement park. Darkness settling in, we followed a path to the other side of the island and found a trail leading to the Jacques Cartier Bridge, an 11,000-foot steel truss span that rises 162 feet above the St. Lawrence, similar in size and design to Boston’s Tobin Bridge. However crazy the idea of biking the Tobin might sound, here we found an inviting bike lane — and an exhilarating one, high above the jet-black water — running along one side of the Cartier, protected from traffic. Pedaling back to downtown, I thought about something Coutu had said: Montreal wasn’t always so bike-friendly, it just had an earlier start. I considered Boston, where bicycle counts are rising, and new lanes, albeit unprotected ones, are striped every year. As the city lights came closer, I realized I wasn’t just pedaling toward the most bikeable city on the continent. I was seeing a vision of Boston’s future. http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/travel/2013/05/18/bike-tour-montreal/Q7r2F3g6TIuwiiITu0ypGL/story.html
  4. Note Personnelle: Cet articles va à tout ces gens négatifs qui visites trop souvent ce forum. Peut-être qu'on pourrait transformer "La Féria du Vélo" en élément touristique, imaginez cette année 33k cyclistes mais d'ici quelques années, un événement d'une semaine avec championnat du monde (comme en ce moment, mais en plus gros) un tour du Québec qui termine TOUJOURS à Montréal, prélude au tour de France (début Juillet). et un grand tour de l'île avec 100 000 cyclistes de partout dans le monde. c'est pas le grand prix, mais ça serait l'fun quand même. Et imaginez, ce commentaire viens de moi qui n'a pas embarqué sur un vélo (qui n'était pas stationnaire) depuis probablement 10ans. Source: The Examiners: NY I've just returned from a cycling paradise, and it’s got a French-Canadian accent. If you don't approve of adjectives like "magnificent," "joyous," "awesome," and "delightful,” better stop reading now, because all of them apply to Montreal's Tour de L'Ile, one of recreational cycling's greatest events in one of the world's greatest cities for bicycling. Yesterday this spectacular rally celebrated its 25th year. More than 33,000 riders took part in the 52 km. ride, according to Joelle Sevigny, executive director of Velo Quebec, the organization that produces the ride, and it seemed as though every man, woman, boy and girl participant wore a smile as part of their attire. It’s not my style to enjoy riding in the company with thousands of strangers. Not my style to bike on a rented utilitarian hybrid so uncool it had a kickstand. Not really my style to go overboard with praise. But I can’t help myself. Good golly, Miss Molly -- do these folks know how to throw a party! Cirque du Soleil stunt riders at the start, Quebec singer/songwriter Daniel Belanger at the finish, and miles of car-free mostly flat roadway in between, patrolled by singing, horn-tooting, chanting volunteers…. That’s a blueprint for a perfect bicycle Sunday. Oh, and the weather was perfect. Around 70 degrees and sunny, with a nice breeze. The ride slowly unfurls Montreal’s parks, high-rise downtown, chic shopping districts, ethnic neighborhoods and rivers like a beautiful multicultural flag. If you have never done this ride, write “Montreal” on your early June 2010 calendar now. When it comes to metropolitan biking, Montreal gets it. The city has tons of bike lanes. It’s got “Bixi,” a brand-new bike-sharing system. It has ferries with an entire deck of bike racks. I’ve rarely been in a big-city environment with such courteous auto drivers, respectful cyclists and an overall joie de vivre that is as infectious as it is real. The Tour de L’Ile in Montreal reminds us of what biking is all about – physical fitness, fresh air, and most of all, fun.
  5. First the Main, now it's downtown's turn Construction. Major projects have merchants, drivers in grumble mode Motorists negotiate the traffic and construction at de Maisonneuve Blvd. and Guy St. yesterday. The statue of Norman Bethune has been removed while work is under way.DAVE SIDAWAY THE GAZETTE, JASON MAGDER, The Gazette If you want to know how much it has snowed this winter, head for Place Norman Bethune at de Maisonneuve Blvd. and Guy St. The square, which is the cornerstone of a $22-million facelift for the Concordia University neighbourhood, has been cordoned off with metal fences since October. As a result, snow banks have grown to three metres. However, the transformation of Place Bethune is only one of three major construction projects under way on the corner. Motorists negotiate the traffic and construction at de Maisonneuve Blvd. and Guy St. yesterday. The statue of Norman Bethune has been removed while work is under way Like the merchants caught up in the seemingly endless construction on St. Laurent Blvd., those in this corner of downtown feel choked by street work. While improvements are wrapping up on the Main, crews are just getting started on the Place Bethune beautification project that is expected to last at least until 2011. In the meantime, it' a corner of hell for motorists and pedestrians. "Nobody passes by here anymore," said Mohammad Saken, 28, the manager of Dépanneur Beau Prix on de Maisonneuve west of Guy. "It's already our second year with construction here, and it looks like we're going to have long-term construction. That's going to screw up our business big time." Some merchants complain the constant construction is also dangerous. Saad Salem, the kitchen manager at the Château Kabab restaurant, said he saw a man fall into a hole, which had been dug three weeks ago by the city's Electrical Services Commission to work on underground wiring on Guy north of de Maisonneuve. "A few days ago, a handicapped man fell right into the hole because he didn't see it," Salem said, adding the man wasn't seriously injured. "The company came the next day and put up a fence around the area. But they made the hole and then left it like that, without doing any work. That wasn't a great idea." Serge Boileau, president of the Electrical Services Commission, did not return calls yesterday. Merchants say they are pleased the city is spending money to beautify the area, but say the timing is bad, coming after a summer in which they had to contend both with construction on a new Concordia business school and jackhammers installing a bike path along de Maisonneuve's south side. The bike path is completed, but cyclists, pedestrians and motorists have an obstacle course of four construction sites to negotiate just to cross the street. A southbound lane of Guy is closed from de Maisonneuve to Ste. Catherine St. while crews working on Concordia's new John Molson School of Business building, as is part of de Maisonneuve west of Guy. The north side of de Maisonneuve between Mackay and Guy Sts. is also blocked by traffic cones and trailers, which are used by construction foremen as offices. "It's slushy and dirty and it hasn't been cleaned up in ages," said Melissa Ajamian, 21, who lives on St. Mathieu St. "You used to be able to just walk through this area, but now it's very difficult." Sylvain Ducas, the city's project manager of Place Bethune, said it will take two years to complete the work on the square. "We could have done it in one year, but we need to keep the street open," Ducas said. "I'm sure the merchants will agree with that."
  6. Publié: 2015-08-24 Canadian Press Newswire Skyward growth CHICAGO _ On an abandoned Chicago railway line cutting between the treetops, bike commuters zip by walkers and joggers, all traversing a ribbon of concrete undulating through a lush landscape where clattering freight cars once ferried everything from coal to furniture. This relic of the city's industrial past is now a vision of its future. Chicago and cities throughout the country are transforming hulking pieces of obsolete infrastructure into useful _ even inspiring _ amenities: In this case, a park in the sky that doubles as an alternative transportation corridor. Since opening in June, the nearly three-mile elevated path, called the Bloomingdale Trail, has changed how residents move through a section of Chicago's northwest side that in many places is starved of parks and inviting pathways for pedestrians and bikes. ``This trail opened up a lot of opportunity for me,'' said Luke Young, a 30-year-old web developer who now bikes the 10 miles to his job downtown instead of taking the train; it takes roughly the same time. Moving by bike, though, is more fun and a way to relieve stress, he said before tearing down a ramp that links the trail to Milwaukee Avenue, a busy thoroughfare popular with cyclists. ``This is really an innovative park for a resurgent city and it's an example of the way cities are coming back to life in the U.S.,'' said Ed McMahon, a senior fellow at the non-profit Urban Land Institute in Washington. After decades of decline, American cities are getting creative in rolling out new green spaces to sell their brand. With little real estate to expand on, McMahon said, cities are turning instead to the wreckage of past eras: old rail yards, landfills, utility corridors and riverfront areas cut off by freeways. Dallas built a deck over a freeway to create Klyde Warren Park. Virginia Beach, Virginia, turned a landfill into an expanse of lakes, hills, playgrounds and a skate park that it playfully calls Mount Trashmore. Savannah, Georgia, buried a parking garage to restore one of the original town squares laid out in the 1700s. Elevated rail lines especially have beckoned, tapping into utopian visions of parks and pathways in the sky. There's Manhattan's High Line and Paris' Promenade Plantee. But the Bloomingdale Trail pushes into new territory: It's longer, allows bikes and links a string of ground-level parks. The park and trail system is known collectively as The 606 _ a reference to the first three digits of the city's zip codes. Its linear shape extends access to a huge number of people across four neighbourhoods. The 17-foot-high rail embankment, once a physical dividing line, is now a connector and a gathering place for communities as diverse as Humboldt Park, the centre of the Puerto Rican community, and Bucktown, a recently gentrified neighbourhood that's home to cool cafes and doggy daycare centres. But some neighbourhood groups fear it could push lower-income residents out by contributing to rising property values, rents and property taxes. City leaders say they want to prevent that. ``How are working families going to be able to enjoy this trail and also be able to afford living where they're living?'' said Juan Carlos Linares, director of the Latin United Community Housing Association. On a hot August morning, bikers shot up and down The 606, office IDs fluttering, GoPro cameras mounted to helmets, earbuds piping in the tunes, as they zoomed to jobs, meetings and construction sites. In the glow of sunrise, joggers and moms with strollers glided along a narrow, rubbery strip along either side. An older man buzzed by in an electric wheelchair. Dina Petrakis, a 57-year-old remodeling consultant, biked with her tiny dog, Lucy, poking its head out of a shoulder satchel. Petrakis mainly uses the trail to get to yoga class. ``I used to have to drive because you can't really ride your bike over there. Streets are too busy,'' she said. Designers carved pleasing dips and curves into the path. Short gravel side loops take walkers into shady tree-filled groves. The embankment widens in places into spacious overlooks. The western trailhead includes a spiraling earthwork in the design of an ancient solar observatory, and there are plans for a skate park and art installations. The safety of the trail got Jim Trainor back on the bike that he'd ditched after his wife got hit by a car door while cycling. Now, the 54-year-old professor of animation at The Art Institute of Chicago rides every morning for exercise and serenity. ``It's kind of a godsend for me,'' he said. Follow Jason Keyser on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jkeyser1
  7. 10 things you can do in Montreal but not Toronto Toronto Star lists Jul 03, 2009 04:30 AM 1. Bring your own wine without being charged a ridiculous corkage fee that defeats the whole purpose. ok jusqu'à maintenant 2. Rent a bicycle from the public bike system, Bixi, and ride some of the most extensive bike paths anywhere. ok 3. Take St. Lawrence Market and Kensington Market combined, double their size, and enjoy the spacious Marché Jean-Talon. encore que le St.Lawrence Market est sympathique 4. Sit and stew at a red light, unable to turn right, because it's against the law. As a pedestrian, dodge traffic as unsympathetic drivers get a jump on the green light. Je trouve que la réputation des conducteurs montréalais est exagérée. La cohabitation piétons / automobilistes se passe plutôt bien, en général 5. Find a strip bar with very little effort, often in your own neighbourhood. bon, là j'imagine que c'est parce qu'ils sont très visibles au centre-ville. Parce qu'ailleurs, il n'y en a pas tant que ça, tout de même 6. Drink beer at a major festival without being corralled into a beer garden. oh yeah, tout à fait vrai 7. Live in a world rich with Quebec TV shows, Quebec films, Quebec musicians and stars, and a media that believes, in a twist on the old saying, "If it doesn't bleed Quebec, it doesn't lead." mmm... c'est plus que le peu de vedettes canadian qu'il y a ne nous intéresse pas 8. See people wearing crampons to navigate treacherous, ice-covered sidewalks in winter . . . and legitimately fear being killed by snow removal equipment. Bof. Est-ce tellement mieux à Toronto? 9. Hear separatist extremists attempt to drown out an English band at a Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day concert, or hint at violence if the Battle of the Plains of Abraham is re-created. il oublie de mentionner que la réaction contre le banissement des groupes anglos a été presque unanime. Pour la bataille des Plaines d'Abraham, par contre, je crois qu'il a raison. Je trouve que les autorités ont vite plié devant la "menace" de quelques extrémistes... On s'en serait foutu un peu, non? 10. Watch a hefty extra chunk of your tax dollars disappear into provincial government coffers. C'est de moins en moins vrai. Les familles sont avantagées au Québec au niveau fiscal. Les célibataires et couples sans enfants le sont en Ontario. - Andrew Chung quand même intéressant de voir Montréal d'un point de vue extérieur
  8. Imaginez la Scène, 3 voies, la 1ere pour tourner à Gauche, celle du centre pour aller tout droit et la dernière pour tourner à droite. Le cycliste qui veux allez à gauche devrait logiquement se placer entre la 1ere et la 2e voie. Malheureusement c'est rarement le cas et plu souvent qu'autre chose, les cyclistes, ne font pas leur stop ou leur lumières ici à Montréal. Voilà qu'à Portland ils sont en trian d'essayer un projet pilote pour les cycliste qui suivent les règles. qu'en pensez vous. Sources: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/03/portlands_bike_boxes.php After recognizing the economic benefits of creating a network of bike paths on city streets, Portland, Oregon has unveiled a new traffic tool designed to ensure cyclists' safety in the city. The bike box is a bright green rectangle painted onto asphalt at intersections and reserved exclusively for bikes. By moving car traffic back several feet from intersections, space is created for bikers at the front of the line, giving them visibility and a measure of priority while waiting at streetlights. The bike box was created as a response to traffic accidents involving right-turning cars running over cyclists, known as a "right hook" accident. The bike box is meant to give bikers greater visibility by positioning them directly in front of waiting cars. Green-colored bike paths will also lead to intersections, and right turns will not be allowed during red lights. Oregon law requires cars to yield to bikes in bike lanes. The bike boxes are being installed at 14 particularly accident-prone intersections, and the city plans to monitor the intersections to see how the bike boxes affecting cyclist safety. An educational campaign, including signs and billboards, is also planned. For a first look at pictures of Portland's new bike boxes, check out this link at BikePortland.org. Also, check out the City of Portland's brochure explaining the bike box here.
  9. Une autre idée de Sir Branson. Un taxi Moto qui évite le traffic de Londre d'une façon assez réussi. À Montréal? http://www.virginlimobike.com
  10. The automatic Bike Dispenser -- like PEZ but good for you Posted Aug 15th 2007 9:41AM by Thomas Ricker Filed under: Transportation For those not familiar with portable-urban travel: that's a bicycle. In fact, it's one of several bicycles wedged inside this "Bike Dispenser" created by the Dutch-based (of course) design agency, Springtime. The concept has actually been floating around since 2005 in The Netherlands but it recently won the Spark Design & Architecture Award causing the world to take notice. The idea here is to offer these RFID-tagged bikes to riders in cities supporting bike rental or bike exchange programs. The garages then, would be conveniently scattered around places like train stations and tourist hot-spots to automagically dispense your new ride. This automated system has completed a pilot and is now being worked into the national OV-fiets (public transport bicycle) service in Holland which rents a bicycle for € 2.75 ($3.71) per 20 hours. Unfortunately, the Bike Dispenser relies upon a uniform bicycle design leaving it helpless to relieve the crushing mass of "parked" bicycles seen in Amsterdam and like-minded cities across Europe and Asia. Still, as a quick and dirty, eco-transport solution in-a-box, what's not to like?
  11. Un article intéressant de la Gazette (que je trouve d'ailleurs riche en contenue local, architectural et urbanistique). L'urbaniste et architecte danois Jan Gelh y va de quelques propositions intéressantes (qui feront plus plaisir à Étienne qu'à Malek, je soupçonne... ), que je partage tout à fait. Je les ai mises en gras. Green Life Column: Put cyclists in the driver's seat A city that does everything it can to invite people to walk or bicycle is vibrant, healthy and more sustainable - and yes, we can do that here By Michelle Lalonde, The Gazette The key to making Montreal a more economically vibrant, healthy, safe and attractive city is for city planners and politicians to focus on making it "irresistible" for people to get out of their cars and onto bicycles, public transit and their own two feet. That is the view of Jan Gehl, a world-renowned Danish architect and urban design consultant, who spoke recently to a packed lecture hall at McGill University about the importance of designing people-oriented, rather than car-oriented, cities. "In a people-oriented city, we do everything we can to invite people to walk or bicycle as much as possible in the course of their daily doings," said Gehl, with careful emphasis on the word "invite." Gehl comes from Copenhagen, a city where only 30 per cent of residents drive to work or school and 37 per cent cycle, 28 per cent take public transit, five per cent walk. The life work of Gehl has been to research and document the incremental changes that have brought about Copenhagen's transformation from a car-oriented city in the 1960s to one of the most bike-able cities in the world today. He has been hired by dozens of cities around the world, including Melbourne, Australia, and most recently, New York, to advise them on how to do what Copenhagen did (but faster). City planners panicked back in the 1950s and '60s, Gehl says, when cars started to invade city streets. Traffic departments set about figuring out how to make cars move smoothly through cities and park easily, but forgot about all the other ways people might want to use public space. "For 50 years, the purpose of the city has been to make the cars happy, when they are moving and when they are parked. We have done our planning as if there are no other important issues in the city," he said. Back in 1966, around the time Amsterdam started introducing pedestrian streets, Gehl decided what was needed was meticulous study of how people use urban spaces. His research showed that measures to make people safer and happier on their feet or on two wheels improved the economy and the vibrancy of city life. For example, he was able to show that four times as many people come to Copenhagen's downtown now than 20 years ago, and that removing one parking space resulted in two well-used café seats, a measure of the vibrancy of the downtown core. So how did Copenhagen do it? Yes, there were measures to discourage driving, such as a gradual reduction in parking spaces, about three per cent per year. But the main tactic, Gehl said, was just making the city a very pleasant place to be on foot or bicycle. Main streets were closed to car traffic. Sidewalk cafés sprouted everywhere. Multi-lane streets were reduced in width so that sidewalks could be widened, medians added and trees planted. A seamless network of bike paths was established, separated from the parked cars and sidewalks by curbs. Special lights were installed at intersections, giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists. Bike routes were painted a brilliant blue at intersections to remind motorists to expect cyclists. And the cyclists came, in droves. (To get an idea of what Copenhagen's streets are like now, check out a promotional music video made for the city of Copenhagen's bicycle department at http://vimeo.com/4208874.) But surely none of this could possibly work in Montreal, naysayers will argue. What about Montreal's winters? And what about our love for driving fast and ignoring the rules of the road? "I've never worked in a city where somebody didn't take me aside to say, 'Jan, this is all very nice, but here we have a specific culture, because of the climate (or whatever else) we have a car culture,' " Gehl said. But even in cities like Melbourne, which Gehl noted was exactly like most North American cities just a few years ago, big changes have been possible. With wider sidewalks, better street furniture and lighting, more shade trees, etc., that city was able to bump its downtown residential population from 1,000 to 10,000 residents in just over 10 years (1993 to 2004). Imagine what could happen to Old Montreal, or Griffintown, if Montreal followed Gehl's advice? Gehl was in Montreal only for a few days, and at first, he was not impressed. "I had the feeling of a city that has stood mainly still for 30 years. At some point in the '60s or '70s, the parking lots were all laid out, and streets filled with traffic and the widths of the sidewalk were decided and they just kept it like that." But after a closer look, Gehl had this to say: "The more I see of this city, the more I realize that much has been done. I have seen more cyclists here than any other city in North America." Gehl was impressed with Montreal's bike routes, but said they should be between the sidewalks and the parking lanes, not next to moving traffic. The parked cars should protect the cyclists from moving traffic, he said, not the other way around. And Montreal's new Bixi short-term bike rental service is a good way to "get the bike culture rolling." But he said the city should make streets like The Main and Ste. Catherine two-directional, and remove a couple of lanes from larger streets to make room for medians, bike lanes, trees and wider sidewalks. Montreal seems to be moving in the right direction, Gehr said, but much more can be done. "We have to see the city as existing not to make cars happy, but to make people happy. The people in the cars can be happy, too; they just might not be able to drive so fast." And when they get out of their cars, he added, they could enjoy a more attractive, livelier, safer, healthier, more sustainable city.
  12. Aller voir la petite vidéo, un beau concept à découvrir http://blogues.lapresse.ca/massicotte/2014/08/11/voici-le-velo-de-ville-du-futur-en-vente-des-lan-prochain/ Lundi 11 août 2014 | Mise en ligne à 16h19 | Voici le vélo de ville du futur… en vente dès l’an prochain Décidément, le développement d’un concept de vélo urbain demeure une passionnante mission sans fin. Et quand des designers et des fabricants de vélo s’y mettent sérieusement, ça donne des résultats intéressants. Sous l’élan de gros joueurs commerciaux comme Levi’s (les jeans!) et Fuji (les vélos), le concours The Bike Design Project a mis en compétition cinq équipes de talent, de cinq villes américaines où le vélo est bien présent, avec comme défi de produire l’ultime bécane utilitaire urbaine. À Chicago, New York, Portland, San Francisco et Seattle, une firme de design et un fabricant de vélos avaient donc à unir leur vision pour plaire aux cyclistes… et au public. Le vélo DENNY de Teague et Sizemore Bicycle. Photo Sizemore.com Le vélo DENNY de Teague et Sizemore Bicycle. Photo Sizemore.com En effet, c’est le résultat d’un vote sur le Web — qui a attiré 136 000 internautes — qui a permis récemment de déterminer le vainqueur, soit le vélo DENNY de Teague et de Sizemore Bicycle (vidéo ci-dessus). Pour l’équipe gagnante basée à Seattle, l’honneur est grand alors que sa monture sera commercialisée en 2015 par Fuji. Car c’était là l’un des enjeux de la compétition: arriver à innover et à créer le vélo de ville du futur, mais le faire de manière réaliste pour une mise en production rapide. Pour le moins que l’on puisse dire, le DENNY se démarque avec son cadre unique, son guidon qui se transforme en cadenas, et son système d’éclairage et de signalisation intégré. Côté mécanique, le vélo est propulsé par courroie et il possède une assistance électrique rechargeable intégrée au moyeu avant. Mais prenez le temps d’aller voir également les quatre autres créations. Elles valent toutes le détour et démontrent le sérieux de la compétition. Et tant qu’à y être, je vais me montrer un peu chauvin et ajouter un vélo urbain hors compétition à admirer… Si vous l’aviez ratée sur le blogue plein air précédemment, La Machine d’Érick Desforges, étudiant finissant en Design Industriel, et Christian Brault, gérant-acheteur du département vélo à la boutique Le Yéti, à Montréal, aurait certainement bien parue au Bike Design Project. N’est-ce pas?
  13. Inspiré par Peekay et la superbe journée d'hier, j'ai fait un petit tour des chantiers au centre-ville. Faut aller sur youtube et mettre ça en pleine résolution (1080p) et full screen!! [video=youtube;NSr-DvPPzYQ]
  14. Source copenhagenize.com I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Or maybe a big one. In the race for reestablishing the bicycle as a feasible, accepted and respected form of transport, many cities are keen to bang their drums to show off their bicycle goodness. All of the noise is good noise - every bike lane, bike rack, lowered speed limit, et al are great news and important for the symbolism of cementing the bicycle on the urban landscape. The secret is this. There is a city in North America that is steadily working towards planting bicycle seeds. I often see internet lists about the most bicycle friendly cities in North America and just as often this city isn't on them. Which is wrong. The reason is a cultural one. English North America looks in the mirror when measuring itself. Europe is another planet and measuring yourself up against the bicycle boom in cities like Paris, Seville and Barcelona won't let you top any bicycle traffic lists. Fair enough. Compare yourself with other cities in your region and measure your progress. Nothing wrong with that. This secret city, despite being firmly placed on the North American continent, still gets ignored and overlooked. (No, it's not Portland) It's in a region that doesn't speak an English dialect. (No, it's not Wisconsin) A region that has its own unique cultural heritage and identity. (No, it's not Alberta) This city, and region, don't figure in the daily consciousness of most North Americans because they're just too damned "foreign". Ish. But I was there very recently and I was amazed with what I saw. And I've seen stuff. I saw the most impressive bicycle rush hour one afternoon. More impressive and with greater numbers than anywhere else in North America. By far. I saw more separated bicycle infrastructure in this city than anywhere else in North America. One of the cycle tracks dates from 1986! Beat that. You can't. Sure, many of the cycle tracks are on-street bi-directional ones, which we threw out of our Best Practice in Denmark a couple of decades ago, but they area there and they are used and they are a good start. I rode on a cycle track that features 9000 daily cyclists. And this is nothing new for them. I stayed in a borough in the city - one of the highest-density areas in North America - that has one of the lowest car-ownership rates in North America and that can boast a modal split for bicycles of over 9%. City-wide it's at about 2.3%, just so you know. This borough showed me that bicycle culture is alive and well and that focusing solely on bicycle commuting doesn't get you anywhere. The bicycle can get you to work and back, sure, but it about making the bicycle a part of your daily life. There are, after all, schools to drop off at, shops to shop at, cafés to sip at, cinemas to be entertained at, and so on. This city is a role model for a continent. It can teach lessons worth learning if there were people from other cities willing to learn. It has the country's largest cyclist organisation who have been representing Citizen Cyclists for 40 years. I ate at their café, too! How cool is that. I had lunch with the Mayor of the aforementioned borough and saw in his eyes the kind of visionary politician that every city should have. A man who dares to believe that his vision of his city's future can be achieved and who isn't afraid to suddenly change a busy street to one-way for cars and put in bicycle lanes in both directions on either side of said street. I felt his passion and was charged by it. This is a city that can put on two bike rides / events in three days, organised by the aforementioned cyclists organisation. The first one drew 17,000 people on bicycles for an evening ride. The next one drew 25,000 for a 50 km tour of the city. Read those numbers again. 17,000 on a Friday evening. Then 25,000 on the Sunday. This is a city that fascinates me. Not only for what it is doing for bicycle traffic and culture but for it's stunning liveable-ness. I live in what is regarded as one of the world's most liveable cities. I can go to other like-minded cities and feel at home. Then I land in this city and wonder how the hell they do it. How the hell it many neighbourhoods are lightyears ahead of Copenhagen, Amsterdam and anywhere else in the way the streets are used by people. For all the talk of Liveable Streets, this city lives the dream. Walking the walk and talking the talk. I am simply obsessed by this. I simply need to find out, in detail, how it can be. I want the recipe. I'm willing to bust my ass to find it, write it down, absorb it. I want to be taught. I'm still working on my love affair with their french fries served with gravy and cheese curds, but I have seen North America's promised land. I've been to the mountaintop (and rode up and down their mountain and hills on a three-speed upright bike... easy) and I've seen down the other side. Every waking moment... okay, that's an exaggeration... I'm thinking about returning. To experience, to learn, to soak up their the city's vibe.
  15. http://inhabitat.com/skye-halifax-green-skyscrapers-to-be-the-tallest-towers-in-nova-scotia/
  16. Un autre article flatteur du NYTimes. Ça devient presque lassant.... http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/travel/15hours.html + des photos de Mtl. Nice. http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/08/15/travel/36HOURSMONTREAL-9.html
  17. http://sustainablecitiescollective.com/city-life/324311/montreal-je-tadore Montréal, je t'adore 10 years ago, I went to Montreal for the first time on a whim. I was 20 years old, living in Ottawa and working for the Canadian government when I had just found out that my mother had breast cancer. Right after I received this upsetting news, a French Canadian guy - who I’d only met a few weeks earlier - invited me to hang out with him in Montreal. I was in such an emotional state that I decided to risk it and go spend time with someone I barely knew and have him show me his city. From that day forward, I fell madly in love with Montreal (not the boy, though - we remained friends and thankfully my mom recovered from cancer shortly after). I have gone back every few years since then, including spending three weeks in a French immersion program, just a few years after my first visit. When I returned to the city last week with my husband and son, I was reminded why I love Montreal. Here are my ten favourite things - in no particular order - about North America’s coolest city. Bikes - Montreal was one of the first cities in North America to establish a public bike sharing system with its Bixi bikes. The system was launched on May 12, 2009, and currently has 450 stations around Montreal’s central core. The city has embraced bike lanes and bike infrastructure ever since. It’s King/de la Commune station, with 110 docking points, is the biggest bike sharing station in North America. You will find people of all ages and backgrounds on bikes…like this guy:image Street art - Montreal is home to many talented street artists - and it shows, especially around the Plateau/Mont Royal area, which is bursting with colourful, impressive street murals. The city supports these artists through the recently launched MURAL festival. It is a free art festival that aims to celebrate urban art and graffiti painting, sculpture and installations, dance, music, film, and performance. The second edition took place in June on the famous Boulevard Saint-Laurent. Each festival brings new street murals to the neighbourhood. I could write a whole post on Montreal street art (and I probably will).image Advanced walk signals - In some Montreal intersections, pedestrians actually get to proceed on a green light BEFORE cars! A brilliant show of respect for people and a great way to promote safe walkable cities. Babies - I noticed everyone loves babies in Montreal. In Vancouver, people without children tend to avoid eye contact with me/pretend I don’t exist. In Montreal, everyone smiles and wants to help you when you have a child- from grandmas to young male hipsters. In all of the restaurants we went to, people never seemed to mind if my son was fussy or needed tending to. One male server even offered to watch him while my husband and I shopped on St.Denis Street. I’m pretty sure he was joking, but he mentioned that he also has children (and he was under 30). Maybe it is because Quebec’s fertility rate is higher than the Canadian average, but there appeared to be a lot of young families there. Public spaces - Montreal has many fun, creative public spaces - parklets, green laneways, urban forests, public swings, and as I mentioned before, spectacular street art. Here is a shipping container converted into a pleasant seating area:image Festivals and Culture - I remember when I was staying in Montreal for a French immersion program, it was July and the streets were constantly being closed off for some big party, complete with concerts, fireworks, outdoor movies, fashion shows, drum circles and more - Tam Tam at Mont Royal, The Indy, The Festival du Mode et Design, The Comedy Festival, The Festival du Jazz. Of course at the time I found this amazing, because festivals of this scale were so rare in my hometown of Vancouver. We may finally be catching up, but nobody throws a party like Montreal. Whimsy - When I walk around Montreal, I don’t see a city of monotonous glass towers. There are little bits of whimsy all around, like purple accents on heritage buildings, a bold red staircase on a rowhome, street trees made of ribbon, amusing murals, and even garbage cans made to look like maple syrup containers. Montrealers definitely have a sense of fun.image Mid rise buildings/row homes - You can walk down some streets in Montreal and forget you are in a city. I loved getting off the main roads and finding myself on a quiet street surrounded by lush trees and row homes, very much like New York. The city also seems to prefer mid-rise buildings to high-rise towers. Bilingualism and Multiculturalism: Montreal is one of the rare cities where people speak two languages - French and English - and that is a beautiful thing. To be able to walk into a store or restaurant and have the option of being served in French, English, or a bit of both, is a treat for me as I continue to work on improving my French skills. The city is also home to many different ethnicities - from Portuguese to Chinese to Italian and Haitian. On my last visit, I loved spending time in Little Portugal on upper St Laurent St, where I bought a lucky Portuguese rooster and ate an enormous roast chicken sandwich and egg tart. Style: Many Canadian clothing brands got their start in Montreal, such as Jacob and Le Chateau, and the city is home to several clothing designers and manufacturers. Montrealers have a sense of style that is bold and eclectic. This makes for great shopping (especially around the Mont Royal area) and people watching. As one Montrealer states: In Montreal, dressing in what makes you feel awesome and sexy, no matter how outlandish, is just a normal part of life. Thinking of cutting off the arms of an old fur coat and wearing them as legwarmers? Great idea! Want to max out the use of your Dracula Halloween costume by rocking a floor-length cape year-round? By all means, please do! You can understand why Cirque du Soleil had to come from Quebec and nowhere else. Walkable. Bikeable. Hip. Fun. Stylish. Edgy. If I haven’t already convinced you of Montreal’s effortless cool and fun-loving ways, you should go and see for yourself why it’s one of the best cities in the world.
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