Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Column: Only cars are not allowed on new path along Lougheed

Here's HUB's November cycling column in The News:

Published: November 15, 2013 7:00 AM

It continues to amaze me how some vocal bike lane opponents continue to be adamant that people on bikes do not deserve a safe place to ride.

The most common reason is that “they don’t pay for the roads." Don’t they? Actually, most cycling is done on municipal roads, which are mostly paid for through property taxes. Whether you bike or drive, you pay property taxes if you own a home, and if you rent, your share of the property taxes are included in that.

Recently there have been some articles and letters in our local papers about the “astronomical cost of the bike lanes” along Lougheed Highway between 216th and Laity streets.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

NACTO Urban Street Design Guide and Bikeways Design Guide

It's great to read and hear about all the wonderful changes that are happening in cities around North America now that city engineers and planners are realizing that if we continue to design our cities for cars, we just keep getting more cars, and livability will worsen in many ways as a consequence. We now see many municipalities improving their streets to make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and hopefully this will quickly lead to improved (perceived) safety, and more and more people choosing active transportation instead of the car for at least some of their daily trips.

The provincial and federal guidelines and standards that engineers here in Canada adhere to are unfortunately not quite keeping up with this revolution. Recently the (U.S.) National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has published the Urban Street Design Guide, after publication in 2011 of the Bikeways Design Guide. These documents are tremendously valuable for cycling advocates and transportation engineers alike, since they contain information and examples of best practices from all over the world, so that the wheel does not need to be re-invented anymore. Of course, every road/street/intersection is unique and common sense and experience and insight of road users should still play a significant role in improving the design in each situation.

This past week, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (ABPB) and NACTO provided a free webinar on the Urban Street Design Guide, of which a recording is now available for viewing: go to the APBP home page and click into the NACTO screen.

The APBP site presently offers a discount on the print version of the Urban Street Design Guide until the end of May 2014, and the Bikeway Design Guide can be purchased here.

Here are again the links for the on-line version of both documents:
Urban Street Design Guide
Bikeways Design Guide