By Jessica Allen - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 0 Comments
A handy etiquette guide for a safe and happy summer
Is it just me, or are motorists finally catching on to the finer intricacies of sharing the road with bicycles? In fact, these days, it feels as though cyclists are causing their fellow two-wheeled commuters the majority of grief.
According to a recent story on the Atlantic’s website, that’s because ”bicycling is becoming mainstream.” Numbers are up in Chicago, New York and San Francisco, where “bikes made up 66 per cent of inbound traffic on Market Street in a recent count – and it wasn’t “bike to work day,” when the share rode to 76 percent,” they reported.
With the democratization of the road, author Sarah Goodyear argues, comes a sort of lackadaisical approach by cyclists to the rules. “If every single one of those people got a ticket every time they tried this nonsense,” writes Goodyear of the laws that many cyclists routinely break, “I would be thrilled.”
For the most part, I agree. I’ve been riding my bike to and from work in Toronto for 10 months out of every year since 1998. In those 15 years, I’ve made several observations not only as a cyclist, but also as a motorist and a pedestrian. Here are the top 10 most annoying actions that I witness most days on downtown Toronto roads, followed by handy tips–both decorous and potentially life-saving–to remedy them. The good news is that they’re all so easy to fix, regardless of whether you ride a dirt bike, single-gear, fixed-gear, 10-speed, low-rider or even a mountain bike from 1993 with four-inch-wide tires. Even if you’re a MAMIL (Middle-Aged-Man-in-Lycra), I suspect you’ll glean something here. And I’m sure you’ll be certain to tell me what I left out, right after you get back from your 20-minute bike ride, which took you 25 minutes to get dressed up for (those shorts are capital T Tight!), to the independent coffee shop for a scone and an espresso macchiato.
1. Cyclists: Please don’t wear head phones or talk on your cell phone when riding your bike.
To me, at least, this one seems like such a no-brainer: you know, not operating a vehicle while listening to music via earbuds or headphones, or using one hand to talk on a cell phone. But the number of cyclists I see doing this every day is astounding. Think about it for a second. See? It’s nuts! A fellow bike commuter and colleague told me recently that he’s avoided numerous run-ins with car doors simply by hearing the subtle sound of a door being unlatched. I know Solange is awesome, but would you really want Losing You to be your swan song?
By Emma Teitel - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 5:27 PM - 0 Comments
In order to win the stay Ford’s legal team had to prove that:
1. The case involves a serious question to be tried at appeal.
2. Refusing to grant the stay would cause Ford “irreparable harm.”
3. It is in the public’s best interest to do so.
“We have an elected official and we want to maintain the status quo so that the democratic way is maintained,” said Ford’s lawyer, Alan Lenczner, who looks and sounds a lot like Ron Paul.
By Kaj Hasselriis - Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 7:30 AM - 0 Comments
Paris drivers fight back against the mayor’s war on cars
Every weekday, Juliana Park wakes up in her Paris apartment near leafy Bois de Vincennes park, carries her 10-month-old daughter two blocks to the nearest metro station, drops her at a nanny’s, then heads to work—sometimes by foot, sometimes by bike, but never by car. In fact, the Canadian-born architect is rarely in a car. “You really have no excuse in Paris,” she says.
Park, it seems, is far from the only Parisian going car-free: car use in Paris has dropped 25 per cent in the last 10 years. Bike use, meanwhile, has doubled, and one out of every two trips now happens on foot. Park is glad that, while navigating cobblestone sidewalks, her daughter gets a child’s-eye view of bakeries, crepe stands and schoolchildren on scooters, instead of seeing it all whoosh by from the back seat of a car. “Even though she’s still really young,” says Park, “she’s getting a better sense of her environment.” Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, who has eliminated 23,000 parking spots to make way for bike and bus lanes and built the massively popular Vélib’ bike-sharing network (an idea later copied in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa), is at least partly responsible for Paris’s new, bike-friendly face. But the mayor’s latest plan—to pedestrianize a section of the Seine riverbank—is causing a powerful lobby group, 40 millions d’automobilistes, to fight back. “We can no sooner eliminate cars from Paris roads than empty the Seine of water,” says executive director Pierre Chasseray. “Delanoë is living a fantasy.” Continue…
By Nancy Macdonald - Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 11:00 AM - 0 Comments
Drivers ignore painted lanes for cyclists. Vancouver decided there was only one way to fix that problem.
Separated bike lanes are every cyclist’s dream. And when a single weekend in May left five cyclists dead in a series of accidents in Ontario and Quebec, many Canadians—non-cyclists, too—alighted on the idea.
Vancouver is going a long way toward bringing the two groups together by keeping them apart: it’s creating a protected bike network that makes it safer and easier to cycle the city core. This fall, the city is adding a two-way, bikes-only, separated roadway along Hornby Street, running north-south through the downtown.
It joins another separated bike route that bisects the city east-west along Dunsmuir Street. They meet new, protected bike lanes on two of the busiest downtown entry points: the Burrard Street bridge and the Dunsmuir viaduct. By late fall, cyclists will be able to enter and ride downtown without having to wrangle for space with a car—and vice versa. The network went up over the past 12 months, as city engineers quietly stole a lane (sometimes two) from drivers with every new leg.