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Found 5 results

  1. I've always loved PJ O'Rourke It's worth the click, and there is even a Montreal reference http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704050204576218600999993800.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. (Courtesy of CBC News) How about stronger sentences? You get caught you get a huge fine. Second time you get caught your car gets ceased and auctioned off and you lose your license for life. If you ended up killing someone, you die in prison! WELL WILL THIS DAMN PROVINCE AND COUNTRY DO THIS!