Transportation Master Plan Goes To City Council on Monday

You can submit a delegation to the City Clerk by mid Thursday this week, then appear before City Council on Monday after 5:30pm if you’d like to support cycling plans laid out in the Transportation Master Plan (TMP). Bike Regina has long been consulted during the years-long formation of the TMP. As we’ve noted in previous communication with the City of Regina, more needs to be done now to build safe cycling infrastructure for the people of Regina. Council implementing the TMP could be a step toward that construction.

Improve Infrastructure To Improve Safety

Bike helmets can make roads more dangerous for cyclists, says Bike Regina

While the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) is calling for the province to implement a mandatory bike helmet law, Bike Regina states that such a law could do more to reduce cyclist safety than help it.

“It is not something we support outright. We support helmets if people feel they need them,” said Luke Nichols, vice-president of communications for Bike Regina. “Research shows that helmet laws don’t increase safety. They can actually reduce the safety of cyclists.”

According to the SMA, 700 young people are hospitalized in Canada each year from bike-related injuries. A total of 20 die and 50 are disabled. Currently, Saskatchewan and Quebec have no provincial law for bike helmets. Cities can also implement their own helmet bylaw, something Regina has not done to this point.

A New England Journal of Medicine study found that riders with helmets reduced the risk of head injuries by 85 per cent. Conversely, an article published in the New York Times reported that the rate of bicycle head injuries, while less severe, had increased 51 per cent from 1991 to 2001, a timeframe in which bike helmets were mandatory. In the same timeframe, bike use was actually decreasing. One reason for this comes down to the drivers of vehicles.

“Studies have shown that when people wear bike helmets, cars pass closer to them, rather than leave them extra space,” Nichols said.

A University of Bath study showed that when overtaking cyclists, drivers gave helmeted cyclists much less space than those without helmets. On average, drivers passed helmeted cyclists 8.5 centimetres closer than non-helmeted cyclists.

Read the rest, at the Leader-Post.

Wascana Freewheelers events

We’d like you to know about what our friends at Wascana Freewheelers are doing too.

Wascana Freewheelers Bicycle Touring Club
Also on Facebook
Chili Night Kick Off
April 23, 5:00 pm
Cathedral Community Centre
Come for chili, information, meeting new people, door prizes.

We are a recreational club. We like biking, eating, camping, common
adventures, new people.

Coming in May:
Wednesday Night Rides (from legislature, 1 – 1&1/2 hours, ends with coffee or ice cream. All rides have leaders and “sweeps” so no one is ever alone at the back. Great for learning to ride with group.

Weekend Rides – progressive supper, Lumsden for brunch, Kronau for ice cream, Spoke-n-Spa around Moose Jaw, Gone with the Wind ride, camping tours, self-supported tour along highway 22 in Alberta

Education – CanBike Safe Urban Cycling (18 hours) in May, for  anyone who rides on streets
– Adult learn to ride (1/2 day, for
adults who’ve never ridden a bike) in June
– Learn to Tour (carry all camping/gear
on bike) through out June (club has starter gear)

Bike Shop Challenges Council To Bike Through Summer

“I offered to equip city council with bikes for the summer, to be returned on Aug. 31,” Vandelinden said.

So far, only Coun. Andrew Stevens has contacted him back about the challenge.

Stevens currently spends most of his time biking or riding transit to commute, and is up for the challenge and hopes others take it on as well.

Read More at Leader-Post:

Council challenged to bike through the summer

City Council’s Mouth And Money Don’t Align

When it comes to cycling accessibility and options, Regina is one of the worst cities in the Prairie provinces, according to Luke Nichols with Bike Regina.

“I would rate Regina as poor,” Nichols said. “Since the official community plan was passed about three or four years ago, we have implemented one block of cycling infrastructure. That is it. That is the extent of what the city has done.”

Compared to other Prairie cities, Regina seems to lag behind. Saskatoon has an extensive cycling network in development and has implemented protected bike lanes for cyclists in the city. Calgary currently has more than 550 kilometres of pathways and 260 kilometres of on-street bicycle routes.

“Broken down, we have a multi-use pathway system that is 41 kilometres, and it extends throughout the city,” said Geoff Brown, manager of infrastructure planning branch. “As well, we have 21 kilometres of bike lanes.”

Nichols contends that with more bike lanes, more residents would start cycling through the city, creating greater use and need for bike lanes.

“The official community plan found 65 per cent of people were looking to cycle but were scared due to lack of infrastructure,” Nichols said.

Read the rest, at The Leader-Post.