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Leaders Should Learn from Copenhagen 7

Photo courtesy of Rob Inh00d  The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen has ended – and not surprisingly it lacks a binding agreement between the parties. This conference was particularly significant because it was identified by the 2007 Bali Road Map as the point ...

Toronto Yearns for Bicycle Superhighway 8

Photo and video by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country On October 30 2009, the first section of the West Toronto Rail Path officially opened. A 2.1KM stretch from Cariboo Ave. in the north to Dundas St. West in the south, the rail path provides cyclists an automobile and traffic light-free route. Although a ...

A Cycling Revolution With Mikael Colville-Andersen 2

Mikael Colville-Andersen is no stranger to the spotlight. Colville-Andersen is the founder of Copenhagen Cycle Chic – a hugely popular blog that profiles stylish female cyclists who take to the streets in Copenhagen. Colville-Andersen has become somewhat of a worldwide ambassador of a cycling movement that is captivating much of the western world. This man ...

BIXI is ready for Toronto, is Toronto ready for BIXI? 16

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country The BIXI system is coming to Toronto – and I can hardly contain my excitement. If you haven’t already heard, BIXI is Montreal’s bicycle-sharing program which was inaugurated on May 11th, 2009. It cost $15 million dollars to start and began with 300 stations around downtown ...

Australia Got it Wrong – Time to Roll Back the Clock? 21

Photo courtesy of Matthew Knott Australia enacted its mandatory bicycle helmet law for all riders in 1991. Cycling participation dropped 30-40% after the law was enacted while other nations have enjoyed an increase in cycling during the same period. Head injuries and concussions by cyclists were declining prior to to the helmet law and continued ...

Barriers to Cycling: Debunking the Myths 68

Photo courtesy of sindändùne Cycling is a great way to get around. It’s healthy, efficient, fun and sustainable. As such I’m always perplexed when people in North America find every excuse to avoid utilitarian cycling. It’s not necessarily that people here are inherently lazy; in fact in many cases it’s on the contrary – many ...

Living a Comfortable Urban Life Sans Automobile 4

All photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country  In 2006 there were around 250 million automobiles in the United States. That is an average of about one car for every 1.2 people. Worldwide there were 590 million cars in 2002, or an average of about 1 car for every 10 people. As the ...

Cyclists Paving the Way for Ungrateful Drivers 23

Photo by earcos / Flickr Sitting at a red light, a car driver yells out his window “Excuse me, is this the bicycle lane?”. The cyclist passively shrugs and slowly rolls his bike closer to the curb. The light turns green and the driver stomps on the gas pedal flying past the cyclist with less ...

Bicycles and Sidewalks Can Get Along 2

Bicycles and sidewalks can (and do) get along well together. All it takes is a little bit of common sense, etiquette and mutual respect. Two very unfortunate incidents in Toronto have provoked additional tension between drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Two months ago I would have thought it absurd that tensions could escalate in a city ...

BIXI: Montreal’s Bicycle Sharing System 13

What do you get when you combine ‘bicycle’ with ‘taxi’? In Montreal they call it ‘BIXI’ and aside from a few technical glitches, the program has been a smashing success since it launched on May 12th, 2009. I arrived in Montreal on Wednesday after paddling for 11 days from Toronto. I spent the next 4 ...