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Making Sure Nobody Walks or Bikes 30

Photo courtesy of Who Killed the Electric Car I spotted this billboard while watching Who Killed the Electric Car the other day. I couldn’t find a better quality photo of it, so I captured a screenshot from the movie. The tongue-in-cheek billboard reads “Making sure nobody walks in L.A.”. Although catchy and probably effective for ...

Bicycle Infrastructure Is Good For Business 13

Montreal bike infrastructure – by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country A common misconception in North America is that businesses will suffer if we remove on-street surface parking and replace it with widened sidewalks or bicycle infrastructure. Car-addicted societies have a tendency to believe that people in cars spend more money than people who ...

Rush Hour in Toronto At –11 Celsius 19

Toronto commuters – March 29th, 2011 – by James Schwartz / The Urban Country I snapped the above photo on my phone during my morning commute to a client office yesterday morning. It wasn’t the shot I was looking for, but I love it no less. The shot I was looking for showed 18 bicyclists ...

Bicycle Infrastructure Pessimism in North America 8

Separated bike lane in China (2010). Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country Only in countries without an established bicycle culture would you have bicycling advocates who would lobby *against* bicycle infrastructure because they feel our culture is so dismissive of bicycles as a legitimate means of transportation that it’s impossible for the ...

Online Guide For Safe Bicycle Facilities 4

Last week at the National Bike Summit in Washington DC, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) released its new online Urban Bikeway Design Guide. The bikeway design guide is an online resource providing cities with solutions to create complete streets that provide enhanced safety for bicyclists. The design guide was unveiled by NYC ...

Snow Traffic-Calming Measures 6

Photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country Sometimes the best traffic engineering ideas are the ones that appear naturally. While visiting a client yesterday, I encountered this pile of snow that was blocking the entire right lane of this street (as you can see in the photo above). The only traffic calming measure ...

McGill’s Bicycle Ban & Pedestrian Fear 31

Photo “Message to McGill University cyclists” courtesy of Polly Peterson  Trying to make sense of the phenomenon of pedestrians’ fear of bicycles in North America. In May 2010, McGill University in downtown Montreal became a car-free pedestrian-only zone. The eradication of automobiles on the school campus was a great step forward, but like most progress ...

Tensions Escalating in New York City 7

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country The City of New York has had tremendous success in the last 4 years of building a network of bicycle infrastructure to improve safety and comfort for New Yorkers to use bicycles as transportation. These policies, spearheaded by NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and ...

NYC Snowstorm Aftermath, Deliveryman Hit-and-Run 4

All Photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country This past weekend I took a trip down to New York City with a few friends. More than a foot of snow was dumped down on the city the day before our arrival. Given that we are now in the middle of a similar snowstorm ...

Ghettoize Me, Please 11

All Photos by Marc van Woudenberg / Amsterdamize In an article in yesterday’s Ottawa Citizen entitled “We’re not all hard-core cyclists”, writer Kate Jaimet explains that a proposal to invest in physically separated bicycle infrastructure in Ottawa is at risk of being quashed by a group of vehicular “hard-core” cyclists. Vehicular cyclists are against bicycle ...