Tag-Archive for ◊ Bicycles ◊

Author:
• Wednesday, October 03rd, 2012

Waste reduction week, MontrealEvents in Montreal for Waste Reduction Week, October 15-21:

  • On October 15th, the Coop Maison Verte is offering a workshop that will show you how to make your own household cleaning products. This workshop serves to emphasis Quebec’s official waste reduction week and provides another way for you to save money and reduce your consumption.
  • Sunday, October 21 from 10:00am to 2:00pm (Coop la Maison verte): Used bicycle collection and bicycle mechanics workshop
  • Cyclo Nord-Sud is collecting used bikes to donate to disadvantaged communities in developing countries in order to promote development and combat poverty. Donate your surplus bicycles (20 inches and higher, in a repairable state) to the 4th annual bike collection happening at the Coop La Maison Verte and give your old bike a second life! A donation of $15 per bike is required in order to allow Cyclo Nord-Sud to cover a part of the associated recuperation costs (transport, storage, etc.). In exchange, you’ll receive a tax receipt for the value of your bike and your $15 donation. In light of Quebec’s official waste reduction week, a bike mechanics workshop will be offered simultaneously (free, bring your own bike).
  • Computationis inviting the general public to drop off their unwanted computer equipment for reuse or recycling — free of charge. For larger quantities, organizations and pick-up service or data destruction requirements (such as shredding), please contact Computation.Computation is a computer equipment refurbishing, recycling, and IT service provider serving Canada  coast-to-coast from facilities in Montreal and Toronto since 2001.

    Drop-off is available at:

    • 7080 Alexandra St., Suite 101, from 10:00am until 6:00pm
      Monday through Friday, and Saturday 11:00am until 5:00pm.
Author:
• Thursday, June 07th, 2012

How much would you pay to rent a bicycle for 24 hours from Bixi, the bike sharing service? According to the Bixi customer service manager “Francesco”, $101.50 is an appropriate charge to rent 1 bike for 1 day. That’s right, Bixi charges over $100 to rent a heavy, clunky, 3-speed bike for one day.

That’s what I learned after after inspecting my credit card bill online:

Bixi sucks, misleads consumer

 I then called Bixi to have this clearly outrageous situation corrected. The listed price on every Bixi terminal is $7 for a 24 hour period, or so I thought:

Bixi is expensive

But since I failed to understand their strange rules and pricing scheme, I was charged over $100! This is completely misleading since in big, bold and red letters it says, “24h $7“. According to Bixi, customers are required to return the bike every half an hour, or else face this type of larcenous billing.

To rent a car for 1 day costs about $50, including all taxes and fees. So, why would anyone rent a bike for $100 for one day? It is stupid (or intentionally deceptive) and defeats the purpose of Bixi which I thought was to make the air cleaner and Montreal a more sustainable city.

It’s sad to see these marketing tactics from a company that positions itself as green and sustainable. You expect deceptive pricing from the cable TV company or from a mobile phone company, but Bixi?

So, please learn from my mistake and Bixi’s misleading signs. If you want to rent a bike for any length of time longer than 30 minutes, completely avoid Bixi. For two 1-day rentals you would be better off financially buying a new bike at a department store.

Author:
• Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Investments in bike paths and walk ways pay offSource: DC.StreetsBlog.com

If you ever doubted whether a small investment in biking and walking could have a large impact, here is your proof.

The last transportation law, SAFETEA-LU, provided four communities with four years of funding to build an infrastructure network for nonmotorized transportation (a fancy way of saying “sidewalks and bike paths”). It wasn’t a lot of money — $25 million each to Columbia, Missouri; Marin County, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Sheboygan County, Wisconsin.

The program built 333 miles of on-street biking and walking routes, 23 of off-street facilities, and 5,727 bike parking spaces in the four municipalities — not to mention some outreach and education. Not bad, especially when you consider that $100 million would only buy about five miles of new four-lane highway in an urbanized area…

The FHWA report is full of data showing how a small down payment on active transportation can lead — quickly — to dramatic improvements in air quality, traffic levels, and public health.

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a major supporter of the pilot program, called it a “raging success.”

“These are not all typical, bike-friendly cities,” said Marianne Fowler, RTC’s senior vice president of federal relations. ”These four communities represent a solid cross-section of America. Even in places like Sheboygan, which doesn’t have urban density, has cold winters, and has had almost no experience with biking and walking initiatives in the past, locals have rapidly become champions because they have seen the real-time effects, the actual benefits to their community.”

Fowler went on to say that with the evidence now in black and white before them, Congressional representatives must now recognize that continued investment in walking in biking represents terrific value for American taxpayers.

“The incongruous thing is that Congress, with a simple, low-cost solution to so many transportation problems right here in front of them, can’t see the people for the cars,” she said.

Author:
• Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

On this Earth day, one of the easiest and most fun ways to help Mother Earth is to drive less, walk more and bike more. Yes, it really is that easy and so healthy for us, too. First, moving our bodies is very healthy and second, cars are deadly – for the planet and people.

The car companies, tire companies and gasoline companies don’t want you to know that 1.4 million people die every year from car accidents worldwide. No, that would shatter the glorified, sexy image we have of driving. The truth is, there should be warning labels on cars like the ones on packs of cigarettes – no joke.

To obfuscate the fact that cars are deadly, the auto industry plants  seeds of fear around biking. One way to discourage biking is to promote bike helmets. While a bike helmet seems to make sense at first glance, there is mixed evidence to the efficacy of bike helmets in preventing head injury in adults (for children, there is more evidence that helmets prevent traumatic brain injury). In fact, bike helmets make adults 14% more likely to be involved in an accident.

For an eye opening look at the fear propaganda around bike helmets, see the video below (note how Montreal is on the Top 20 list of most livable cities in the World!).

Source: Lew Rockwell

Some folks believe that not wearing a helmet while cycling or motorcycling is “stupid,” though this comment is actually pretty dumb on its own. The lack of a helmet is not a result, at all, of lacking intelligence, or even common sense. The wearing or non-wearing of a helmet reflects how you comprehend and rate risk.

There is a website called Helmet Freedom: Risk in Perspective, and its motto is “Cycling without helmet laws is safe. Fear is unhealthy.” I like that motto because as much as the fear mongering and obsession with safety is worldwide, in America, the totalitarians-at-large have turned safety fixation into a national pastime.

On TedX Copenhagen, bicycle advocate Mikael Colville-Andersen gave a talk, “Why We Shouldn’t Bike With a Helmet.” In his talk, he discusses the culture of fear that controls the public. He calls it a “pornographic obsession with safety equipment” in a “bubble society.” While the culture of fear ignores facts and science, the fear mongering is big business, and it is lucrative.

Category: Transportation | Tags: ,  | One Comment
Author:
• Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

This is smart policy to plan for the obsolescence of individual fossil fueled vehicles in cities.

My question is: where is the money or planning for bike paths? Also, why will only 40% of new housing be built near public transit? Why not 60% or 80%?

STM Montreal BusSource: Montreal Gazette

The Quebec government has given the green light to a plan that will change the way the Montreal region develops over the next 20 years…

The plan calls for nearly half of all new housing to be built close to transit stations, boosting public transit use to 35 per cent by 2031, up from 25 per cent in 2008, as well as the protection of 17 per cent of the region as natural spaces…

The [plan]  requires 40 per cent of new housing to be built within a kilometre of métro or train stations and 500 metres of a rapid-bus station. To boost transit use, the CMM estimates $23 billion will be needed to create new tramways, rapid-bus lines and métro stations, and improve existing service. The government has already announced $12 billion in public-transit investment, and a CMM committee will study how to finance the other $11 billion…
Author:
• Monday, March 05th, 2012

Another entrepreneurial opportunity to seize upon. This idea comes from Zurich, Switzerland.

Source: Doors of Perception

pedals and soup

One of the green gems in the Zurich ecology scene, Suppen und Pedale (Soup and Pedals) have grown their soup delivery business from 10 litres to a 1000 litres a day.

The two-man enterprise supplies 23 organic shops and bars in the city with 40 different delicious homemade soups with bikes. All green, all local, no additives, no premade in use!

Author:
• Thursday, March 01st, 2012

This may not work for deliveries up the mountain on the Plateau or in Outremont, but it certainly looks like a good idea for the downtown core and Sherbrooke corridor. This could be a great entrepreneurial opportunity.

Electric assisted tricycles that carry cargo…

B-line delivery companySource: B-line

B-Line specializes in sustainable delivery to the urban core. We partner with businesses large and small to take care of their downtown and close-in delivery needs so that they don’t have to deal with the challenges of conventional trucks and vans. This, in turn, creates a more sustainable, livable community for all.

Founded in Portland, OR in February of 2009, B-line has begun to make our mark. Over 10,000 deliveries and 12,000 miles later we have reduced CO2 emissions by an estimated 54,000 pounds, delivered approximately 400,000 pounds of organic produce, provided hours of sustainable, eye-catching advertising for our partners, promoted the greenest beverage launch event to date, and put a smile on thousands of faces who suddenly realize what a tricycle can do.

Author:
• Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Source: Mother Nature Network

By the middle of this century, there will be as many people living in cities worldwide as there are alive on the planet today. Sustainability, then, is first and foremost an urban project, and I’m always a little surprised to find that there’s a lingering divide between hardcore cleantechies and urban design geeks. You still meet renewable energy obsessives who obsess over the next generation of solar technology but have never given much thought to mixed-use development, and there remain complete-street fans and bike-lane zealots unaware that solar power’s now vering on cost-competitive with coal and nuclear. (And don’t get me started on the hardcore climate activists who don’t pay any attention to cities and how they work at all.)

Anyway, for all these reasons and more, I understood immediately why the good folks at TED decided to award their TED Prize to “The City 2.0” – the first time ever the $100,000 award has gone an innovative concept rather than an innovator. “The City 2.0,” the announcement explains, “is the city of the future . . . a future in which more than ten billion people on planet Earth must somehow live sustainably.”

Author:
• Sunday, March 20th, 2011

We hope to see many of you at the Launch party of our Green Neighborhood Plan for Plateau East. Register by April 8th!

Several sites in the Plateau East are working to promote active transportation (walking, cycling and others) and increase the quality of life in the Plateau East.

The Green Neighborhood Plan proposes hundreds of courses of action in order to guide the district and the actors in the progressive development of the Plateau Area Green East.

Discover the upcoming changes for the neighborhood. See how our neighborhood will change!

> Project News: Read the Green Neighborhood Newsletter Plateau East. March 2011


The Green, Active, and Healthy Neighbourhoods project in the Plateau-Est, or Green Plateau-Est, aims to redesign streets and public spaces in order to prioritize walking, cycling, and other modes of active transportation. The project, launched in June 2010, involves a series of participatory activities for citizens during which design solutions for the following priority sites will be proposed and discussed.

> Mont-Royal Avenue East
> Key destinations for neighbourhood youth
> The Masson district
> The STM and Ford district

The project is made up of three phases (Understanding, Exploring, and Deciding). The Green Neighbourhood Plan for the Plateau-Est will be launched in Phase three. The launch is scheduled for mid-april 2011; the exact date will be revealed soon.

Author:
• Monday, October 18th, 2010

Transit Oriented DevelopmentA new way of designing cities – away from the car-dependent suburban model – is urgently needed as gasoline gets more and more expensive. TOD is a fancy way of saying: build housing near public transportation hubs.

Source: Caia Hagel, Future Living, Edition 9

Transit oriented developments (TOD) is not a term in Europe (editor’s note: or North America). Small geographical areas, surplus populations, and the unique opportunity after 1945 to “rebuild a bright new world” has made vertical, multi use, mixed income, train dependent, often architecturally innovative building, a natural phenomenon. A similar phenomenon is true in Asia.

In Australia, the traditional urban organisation has followed the “American Dream” model of the 1950s. That is horizontal sprawl across a vast landscape, resulting today in either leafy suburbs featuring large houses and large cars, two or more to a family, which link them to the city via congested highways; or, more detrimentally, suburb ghettos where poverty and social problems resist growth. The British colony cities of North America, Australia and New Zealand were built around dependence on cars, gasoline and oil, and homogeneity.

But this model is proving itself obsolete. On the one side, long traffic jams and commute time, high oil prices and ecological mandates have made the cost of living of this old model both economically unviable and ecologically unsustainable. On the other, perpetuating isolated pockets of lower income and culturally specific living circumstances isolates an aspect of society that through greater integration can foster movement, interaction, safety and prosperity. So what Europeans and Asians have had to implement to survive population explosion is catching on in Australia as a future thinking model of better living.

TOD is the proposed answer to this. They are multi use, mixed income vertical buildings whose axes are a well serviced rail line and communal green spaces that encourage walking, cycling, community interaction, and diversity.