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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 ...

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 ...

Anonymous Thank You Letter For Bicyclists 5

Photo courtesy of Tom Polarbear / TorontoCranks Earlier this week, random people on bicycles in Toronto received a thank you letter from an anonymous lady. On the outside of the letter was written “Thank YOU ($ gift inside)”. The lucky bicyclists opened the envelope only to find a $5 bill along with a typed letter ...

Shopping Cart Bicycle Trailers 12

Photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country I frequently pass by these homemade shopping cart bicycle trailers here in Toronto. What a great way to recycle old shopping carts, while increasing the load capacity on your bicycle at a very low cost. These particular bike trailers were spotted at Bathurst and Richmond – ...

Bicycle Infrastructure Ignorance 62

Photo of Vancouver’s Hornby St Bike Lanes courtesy of Paul Krueger An article in the Toronto Star newspaper yesterday brought to light a plan to bring a modest segregated bicycle network in Toronto’s downtown core. This news would have been significant even with Toronto’s previous mayor, the “bike-friendly” David Miller. What makes this news drastically ...

2010: Year In Review 6

Photo “Heels and Wind Chill –16” courtesy of Mikael Colville-Andersen  To close out 2010, I carried on the annual tradition of compiling a video from the various footage I took on my camera throughout the year. To stay on topic for The Urban Country, this year’s video is less personal/sentimental and more related to bicycling ...

Why Not Aim For Zero Deaths? 11

Photo “Pet Peeve” courtesy of Paul Oka A recent Streetsblog article highlights the fact that too many drivers who kill pedestrians and bicyclists are still getting off without charges – despite improvements to laws to hold drivers accountable for their carelessness and negligence. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 5,500 people were killed last ...

Thousands of Bicyclists Snub Toronto’s New Mayor 3

Photo courtesy of Aviva Cohen for The Urban Country In the face of a new mayor who is intent on removing existing on-street bike lanes in Toronto, more than 19,162 people defy him by riding into downtown core every day. The number comes from an unprecedented study by the City of Toronto to count the ...

Dreaming of Segregated Bicycle Facilities 6

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country In bike-unfriendly cities all over the world, politicians slap some paint down on the streets to carve out some space for bicycles so they can claim “mission accomplished” – as if painted bike lanes are the “be-all end-all” answer to urban bicycling. Unfortunately, most of these ...

Stifling Urban Bicycling 8

All photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country This website normally focuses on the positive things happening around the world with respect to improving conditions for urban bicycling. This post however is going to focus on the negative aspects that we see in many North American cities that end up stifling urban bicycling. ...