Of a Woonerf, Too Many Signs and Complete Streets

April 15, 2013 Hansonthebike 18

A world without signs? We have one woonerf in Ottawa: part of Cambridge is designated as a woonerf. An ‘erf’ is a somewhat old fashioned Dutch word for the area around the farm house, where chickens roam, the dog guards and the cow explores. ‘Woon’ comes from the verb ‘wonen’, Dutch for ‘to live in a place’. Woon-erf more or [Read more…]

Destination Prince Edward County, Ontario

August 14, 2012 Hansonthebike 4

In terms of cycling, Canada is a hidden gem. In terms of wine, even more so. Tell your relatives back in Holland that you toured Canadian wine country on a bicycle, and they think you are kidding them. Canada: that is polar bears, RV rental in the Rockies, hard working farmers and Dutch Reformed Christians. The folks in Europe don’t [Read more…]

Ottawa: Impressions of Ontario’s First Green Bike Box

July 17, 2012 Hansonthebike 8

Something new appeared on the streets of Ottawa, the very first bike box in Ontario. Earlier I had seen them in Vancouver, but this is an Ontario first and judging by the 50 thumbs up on Citizens for Safe Cycling’s Facebook page, it is solidly approved by cyclists. The green material is similar to the paint used in Laurier and [Read more…]

Ramping up the Ramps

Ottawa City council gets input from several advisory groups (soon to be abandoned apparently) on specific issues. One of those groups is called the Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee aka RCAC. RCAC has 9 members at large and 3 representatives from the cycling community, amongst others the Ottawa Bicycle Club and Citizens for Safe Cycling. This is a valuable channel [Read more…]

bus shelter Rijssen

Rain Sensor for Dutch Cyclists – “Braille” for the Viennese Pedestrian

No more seeking shelter in this bus stop for this Dutch family when rain threatens. Picture: Urban Commuter Ottawa Dutch city of Groningen councillor Karin Dekker activated the first rain sensor in the city with the highest bike modal share in the world. The sensor measures rain and snow. If precipitation is measured, the traffic light cycle changes, so that [Read more…]

Bikeway image by Dennis Leung - Ottawa Citizen

Whoosh!

You probably read already that Ottawa city staff is designing a bike way through the city. Some will argue that it is yet another example of a waste of tax payer’s money (as if $220,000,000 for the Queensway isn’t), but the reality is, that it will be a long term gain. The idea behind a bike way is to create a safe corridor [Read more…]

Halifax Revisited

She is young, she is bright and she is an entrepreneur. Twenty four year old Sarah Craig decided to forego a government career in CO2 calculations (who can blame her?) and decided to start a bike rental shop on the board walk in Halifax. Really, how many people, fresh from university start a bike shop? I decided to visit Sarah [Read more…]

A Bow to Calgary

Last week I spent four days in Calgary. In terms of layout, there are many similarities with Ottawa: our Ottawa River (albeit a tad bigger) is Calgary’s Bow River, the Elbow River meandering from the south is our Rideau River. Ottawa has the Queensway, Calgary has its railway tracks running through down town. (I once spent a few days in [Read more…]