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Roads Weren’t Built For Cars 20

Drawing from The Great Bicycle Protest of 1896” by Hank Chapot We have all heard the tall tale that roads were built for cars, so bicycles and pedestrians have no place on our streets. Perpetuating this myth might help some motorists sleep better at night to think that they have an exclusive, god-given right to ...

Once Upon a Car Ownership: 8 Months Later 59

Infinity MPG t-shirt by Noisebot (don’t worry, I’m not getting any kickbacks if you buy this t-shirt) I had owned a car for most of my adult life – ever since I acquired my driver’s permit in 1996. After moving to Toronto in 2002, my car mostly sat in the garage collecting dust, but conveniently ...

“The Fixer” Not Fixing Anything 29

Photo of a cyclist passing the photographer who was probably blocking the right lane. Photo by Jack Lakey / Toronto Star Below is an open letter from me to a Toronto Star writer Jack Lakey, who calls himself “The Fixer” because he fixes things that are “broken in your neighbourhood”. The Fixer recently wrote an ...

Our Backwards Approach to Road Safety 29

A family in Copenhagen by MarkA / RateMyVelo.com English-speaking countries generally take a backwards approach to improving road safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Instead of addressing the root causes of danger, politicians implement band-aid solutions that ignore the root cause in the name of maintaining unimpeded traffic flow for motor vehicles. In most cases, motor ...

Creating Grace & Beauty Through The Bicycle 7

Drawing of Bicycling Advocate James Schwartz by Michael Rubbo Riding an upright bicycle (or sit-up bicycle) is the key to spreading urban bicycling. That’s what Mike Rubbo believes anyway, and we here at The Urban Country have to agree that the style of bicycle one chooses is as important as anything else to making urban ...

Do-It-Yourself Neighbourhood Bike Share 17

Do-it-yourself bike share – Photo by Xander / 416CycleStyle.com You won’t find BIXI bike sharing in his neck of the woods. In fact, BIXI may never cover his west Toronto neighbourhood. Instead of waiting, ‘Xander from 416CycleStyle.com set-up his own DIY community bike share system in his neighbourhood to provide his neighbours bicycles for hire: ...

No Cars. No Traffic Signals. No Deaths. 78

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country Are car-free liveable communities the way of the future? On Friday I posted a video highlighting how most Toronto Cyclists are considerate of others and are just trying to get to their destination in an imperfect city with streets and laws that were designed for automobiles. ...

Toronto Cyclists Are Selfish And Rude? 55

Being considerate – whether on a bicycle, in a motor car, or on your feet – is important to improving conditions on our shared streets. Treat others as you would like to be treated. If we all lived by that golden rule, our streets would be a much more pleasant place to be. Instead of ...

Technology Instead of Laws to Improve Safety 29

Google self-driving car on display – photo by Mac Morrison The powerful 2008 documentary film Zeitgeist 2: Addendum suggests that our monetary system based on fractional reserves is the fundamental root cause of all of our social ills in our present day society. Part III of the film focuses on the use of technology to ...

Positive Shift in the UK? 23

Photo courtesy of Yoav Lerman on Flickr Statistics coming out of the UK tell a somewhat positive story about bicycling in that country. Things are moving slowly to be sure, but the statistics indicate that the shift is at least in the right direction, as more and more people are realizing the benefits of using ...