Archive for the ‘Velo Politico’ Category

mayor car company envelope


coderre laurier

The current mayor of Montreal is a lot like many other North American mayors. He dreams of cutting ribbons on new stadiums. He likes to get his picture taken doing charity events. And he is at the front lines of stalling and incompetently building bicycle infrastructure as slowly as possible, and building expensive car infrastructure to bankrupt the state.

Above is a protected bike lane that our car-mayor halted after a few meters because it would displace a couple dozen parking spots. So, a compromise was made, and a sidewalk was eliminated (in a popular city park) so that the cars could continue to chew  up the landscape next to a main north-south bicycle artery. The result is as crooked as… you can finish the sentence.

Our mayor certainly isn’t alone. Like many of our recent mayors, he’s got lots of connections to people in many well-oiled places, and he thus prefers pitching P.R. curve-balls from the side of his mouth when it comes to changing transportation habits. Evidence that there’s more fast money in bribes from industry than there is in creating positive change.


zombie cars eat L.A.


LA parking crater

A new study in the Journal of the American Planning Association estimates that in 2010 there were approximately 18.6 million parking spaces in Los Angeles County. That’s about 3.3 spaces, or 1,000 square feet, per vehicle—literally more space for each car than for each person in the county. The authors also note that the amount of parking has continued to grow over the years, from around 2.5 million spaces in 1930, to 12 million in 1970, to 18.6 million in 2010. That data is over 5 years old, so don’t be surprised if we’re approaching the 19 million mark by now.

It seems logical that the way to reduce car congestion is to widen roads and build more parking. But this is exactly what Los Angeles has been doing for the last 50 years, and the results are: Los Angeles is 70% asphalt, and totally congested!

But one more tragic result of accomodating the car (instead of humans) is the illustration above courtesy of Better Institutions. The city-for-the-car is a dysfunctional moonscape with a massive parking crater where its heart ought to be.

helmets are for driving and walking




photo source: Scrape TV

A recent blog article by Howie Chong mentions that there is much more statistical justification for making  helmets mandatory for car drivers and passengers than for bicycles (if safety is the concern), and that pedestrians have as much chance of sustaining head injuries as cyclists do. The article (link below) goes on to describe how a cyclist wearing a helmet actually may increase the danger of an accident with an automobile.


Risk of head injury per million hours travelled

  • Cyclist  –  0.41
  • Pedestrian  –  0.80
  • Motor vehicle occupant  –  0.46
  • Motorcyclist  –  7.66

Source: Why It Makes Sense to Bike Without a Helmet

who pays for our roads?



from :

bikes are outselling cars in Europe


bike chart

On Friday, National Public Radio published an analysis of vehicle sales in 27 European Union member states showing that bicycles outsold cars in every single country except Belgium and Luxembourg.

from Co-exist

anti-bicycle policies cause protests in Calcutta


Cyclists protest against a ban on bikes
on Calcutta main roads

3 October 2013 Last updated at 18:17 BST

I want to cycle

Cyclists, activists and environmentalists have staged demonstrations in the Indian city of Calcutta to protest against the local government’s decision to ban cycling on key roads in the city.

Authorities say the ruling – which also applies to hand carts and other non-motorised vehicles – will help reduce traffic in the city’s congested streets.


the science of running red lights


Finally, a peer-reviewed paper explores the perfectly natural behavior of cyclists who treat red lights and stop signs like yield signs, continuing through intersections after checking for oncoming traffic from all sides.

Andrew Priest at Cycling and the Police examines this paradigm-shattering research:

Often when the subject of cycling comes up over the dinner table the subject of cyclists running lights is soon raised. I often find this rather amusing as last time I checked I thought we had red light cameras in place; you know those expensive fancy cameras to capture evil cyclists running red lights right? Nope, sorry they are there because of you and me as motorists. Yep it is our driving which puts others at serious risk of injury or worse death, not because a cyclist runs a red light. An issue that is so bad we have to have cameras in place and in my experience not enough cameras given the new world view that “orange is green.” So maybe it is time for some reflection before we blame those evil cyclists yet again.

All that said, researchers at the Monash University Accident Research Centre have undertaken research to shed some insights into cyclists’ decisions to run red lights and have a published a paper sharing their findings.

(continued at Cycling and the Police blog)

bicycle culture TEDx speech


les vélos prennent le pouvoir… a Copenhague


student video: cycling sucks


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