Thursday, February 16, 2012

What does bike helmet law really do?

The latest article by VACC Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows on helmets
Published: February 10, 2012

Having lived for a quarter of a century in the Netherlands – where nobody had ever told me I should wear a helmet when riding my bike – I have an opinion on this, and I’m quite happy to share it with you.
Like any Dutch kid in the ’60s and ’70s, I always just happily pedaled along helmetless, enjoying my freedom and independence, and totally oblivious to the dangers supposedly lurking around every turn in the road. Even now, with so much more traffic on the roads, most Dutch still ride their bikes without wearing helmets.  In fact, as long as you’re not a serious road cyclist going 40 km/h,  you’d look pretty silly wearing one. The Dutch obviously feel quite safe on a bike.

Upcoming South Fraser OnTrax Event / debate on Smart Growth

South Fraser OnTrax would like to invite you to attend a debate on
whether or not Smart Growth principles are needed in the South of the

Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, whose
research has been used by governments worldwide, will be debating
Randal O'Toole who is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and who
has also taught environmental economics at Yale, UC Berkeley, and
Utah State University on the future of land-use and transportation
planning in the South of Fraser. Litman is a strong proponent of
smart growth principals and high-quality public transit while
O’Toole has been an outspoken critic. O’Toole is best known for
being critical of the Portland model of land-use planning and
implementation of light rail. Litman is best known for his research
including the Online TDM [Transportation Demand Management]

OnTrax will be hosting this debate with the support of a City of
Langley grant and this debate will be moderated by Langley Time
editor Frank Buchlotz.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
7pm to 9pm
Fraser River Presentation Theatre
Township of Langley Municipal Hall
20338 65 Avenue
Langley, BC V2Y 3J1

This free event is open to all members of the public, who will have
the chance to hear both sides of the debate and have the opportunity
to question Litman and O’Toole.

Seating is limited and reservations are recommended. Please visit for more information and email to reserve your seat. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

‘Give cyclists safe, separated lanes’

Getting people out their cars and on to their bikes will take more than a thin, white line.
Those bike lanes appeal only to the one per centers, the kamikaze commuters among the two-wheeled crowd who ride regardless of traffic.
Instead, bike lanes should be separated by a curb or barrier so cyclists don’t feel they’re about to be creamed by an approaching SUV or car. Or more traffic-calmed streets should be built where cyclists feel safer.
“We have to start focusing on the largest group of people who want to go on short trips,” said Jackie Chow, with the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition.
The current emphasis on bike lanes for the one per cent of bike commuters labeled as “strong and fearless,” isn’t working right now, she said.
That largest group of potential cyclists is called the “interested and concerned” portion of the general population, about 60 per cent, who would get on a bike, but fear for their lives when they do so.
The labels come from a cycling conference in Portland, Ore., where commuters were divided into four types: “the strong and fearless,” and the enthused and confident, who make up six to seven per cent of cyclists; the majority, 60 per cent, who are “interested but concerned;” and the remaining 30 per cent who’d never get on a bicycle anyways.