A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘bicycles

[URBAN NOTE] Nine Montréal links

  • The 9th floor restaurant at the Montréal Eaton’s looks like an architectural delight. CBC reports.
  • This bike repair shop in Greenfield Park looks cool. CBC repors.
  • I quite like the idea behind this rooftop garden in Saint-Henri. CBC reports.
  • Is building a baseball stadium for Montréal after the Expos went going to be as much of an issue, and in the same ways, as building a hockey stadium after the Nordiques was for Québec City? CTV News reports.
  • Renovictions are almost always a bad thing. CTV News reports.
  • A cooperative of artisans has banded together to operate a storefront location in Saint-Denis that none could afford individually. CTV News reports.
  • Amherst Street has been renamed Atateken, as part of reconciliation with indigenous peoples. CBC reports.
  • The plight of homeless indigenous people around Cabot Square is desperate. CBC reports.
  • La Presse notes a sharp fall in attendance at the Grande Bibliothèque over the past decade, a consequence of cutbacks.

[URBAN NOTE] Five city links: Fredericton, Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Riga

  • The city of Fredericton hopes a new strategy to attracting international migration to the New Brunswick capital will help its grow its population by 25 thousand. Global News reports.
  • Guardian Cities notes the controversy in Amsterdam as users of moped find themselves being pushed from using bike lanes.
  • Guardian Cities looks at how many in Athens think the city might do well to unbury the rivers covered under concrete and construction in the second half of the 20th century.
  • The Sagrada Familia, after more than 130 years of construction, has finally received a permit for construction from Barcelona city authorities. Global News reports.
  • Evan Gershkovich at the Moscow Times reports on how the recent ousting of the mayor of the Latvian capital of Riga for corruption is also seem through a lens of ethnic conflict.

[NEWS] Five sci-tech links: laufmaschine, rocket scavenging, seasteading, Jasons, Moon

  • CityLab reports on a replica of a remarkable proto-bicycle, the laufmaschine, first built in 1815 in response to the climate catastrophe of Mount Tambora.
  • This Wired feature looking at how northern Russians scavenged and reused rocket components launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome is evocative.
  • Seasteading, it turns out, is something that should not be undertaken in waters already claimed by a sovereign power. The National Post reports.
  • The Jasons, a think tank of prominent scientists on contract with the Pentagon for decades, are looking for new backers after their contract’s end. NPR reports.
  • Nicole Javorsky reports at CityLab on remarkable efforts to try to seriously plan the design of an outpost on the Moon.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: Justin Haynes, TTC streetcars, bike lanes, Scarborough, students

  • At NOW Toronto, Rebecca Campbell pays tribute to her friend, and collaborator, the activist Justin Haynes.
  • Transit Toronto notes the four generations of TTC streetcars on display in the Beaches Easter Parade tomorrow.
  • NOW Toronto criticizes the politics of bike lanes in Toronto.
  • NOW Toronto noted how badly Scarborough will be served by the Doug Ford subway plans.
  • Happily, Toronto is one of the top cities for students in the world. blogTO reports.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes new evidence that the Pathfinder probe landed, on Mars, on the shores of an ancient sea.
  • The Crux reports on tholins, the organic chemicals that are possible predecessors to life, now found in abundance throughout the outer Solar System.
  • D-Brief reports on the hard work that has demonstrated some meteorites which recently fell in Turkey trace their origins to Vesta.
  • Colby King at the Everyday Sociology Blog explores sociologist Eric Klinenberg’s concept of social infrastructure, the public spaces we use.
  • Far Outliers reports on a Honolulu bus announcement in Yapese, a Micronesian language spoken by immigrants in Hawai’i.
  • JSTOR Daily considers the import of the autobiography of Catherine the Great.
  • Language Hat reports, with skepticism, on the idea of “f” and “v” as sounds being products of the post-Neolithic technological revolution.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen is critical of the idea of limiting the number of children one has in a time of climate change.
  • Jim Belshaw at Personal Reflections reflects on death, close at hand and in New Zealand.
  • Strange Company reports on the mysterious disappearance, somewhere in Anatolia, of American cyclist Frank Lenz in 1892, and its wider consequences.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel identifies five types of cosmic events capable of triggering mass extinctions on Earth.
  • Towleroad reports on the frustration of many J.K. Rowling fans with the author’s continuing identification of queer histories for characters that are never made explicit in books or movies.
  • Window on Eurasia has a skeptical report about a Russian government plan to recruit Russophones in neighbouring countries as immigrants.
  • Arnold Zwicky explores themes of shipwrecks and of being shipwrecked.

[NEWS] Five First Nations links: Assembly of First Nations, Hurons, British Columbia, Mayans, Navajo

  • The Discourse makes the suggestion that opening up elections of the Assembly of First Nations to all people of official status would be a great advance for democracy.
  • Le Devoir reports on archeological explorations of L’Ancienne-Lorette, an ancient Huron settlement now in the middle of Quebec City.
  • An ancient First Nations settlement in British Columbia is set to become a classroom for future generations. The National Post reports.
  • Open Democracy notes how Mayan women in Central America fight to get recognized as creators of indigenous goods, and compensated accordingly.
  • The New Yorker explores the extreme cyclists of the Navajo Nation, for whom their sport is a way to engage with their ancient homeland.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: CNE photos, bike lanes, ward boundaries, Kent Monkman, skyline

  • Olivia Bednar at NOW Toronto reports on a new photo exhibit examining the history of the CNE, and examines five photos particularly.
  • The Toronto bike lane strategy is falling behind schedule, activists report over at the Toronto Star.
  • Shawn Micallef notes the new political alliances being forged in Toronto by the shift in ward boundaries, over at the Toronto Star.
  • Olivia Bednar at NOW Toronto reports on an upcoming exhibit of the art of Kent Monkman, this September at the Project Gallery.
  • Urban Toronto contrasts two photos of the downtown Toronto skyline from Kensington Market, taken from the same point in 2013 and 2018, here.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • blogTO notes the legalization of Uber in Toronto and reports on city council’s approval of Bloor Street bike lanes.
  • In a very personal essay, the Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly explains why she does not celebrate Mother’s Day.
  • D-Brief notes research into whether bears are put off by drones.
  • Dangerous Minds looks at Japanese pop star Kahimi Karie.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that the governor of North Carolina said he might be looking for a new job.
  • Language Hat notes multilingual libraries. (Toronto has quite a few, of course.)
  • The LRB Blog tackles the question of Labour anti-Semitism.
  • The Map Room Blog shares maps of Canadian wildfires.
  • Peter Watts posts some evocative art.
  • The Planetary Society Blog shares images of Mars’ giant volcanos.
  • Window on Eurasia notes declining social mobility in Russia.

[URBAN NOTE] “Five Things You Need to Know about the Bloor Bike Lanes”

At Torontoist, Jacob Lorinc blogs about the apparently controversial Bloor Street West bike lanes.

There’s a development in the seemingly endless battle for bike lanes on Bloor Street, and it comes in the form of a City Council vote next month. If approved, temporary bike lanes will dawn the Annex-Bloor region, running between Shaw Street and Avenue Road this summer.

The project, however, is no more than a pilot—as mayor John Tory has strongly emphasized as a condition of his support—and is aimed at evaluating the impacts of cycling infrastructure along the downtown thoroughfare. As such, the pilot project is subject to removal if the lanes are deemed detrimental to the flow of traffic.

[. . .]

1. The pilot project does not have the committee’s approval.

Members of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee met on April 25 to vote on the proposed pilot project. The project was supported by Councillor Anthony Perruzza (Ward 8, York West) and Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32, Beaches-East York), but rejected by commiteee chair Jaye Robinson (Ward 25, Don Valley West) and Councillor Stephen Holyday (Ward 3, Etobicoke Centre). Due to the split decision, the proposal will head to Council without the approval of the committee.

2. The pilot project does, however, have the approval of others.

Despite the stalemate, some of the city’s loudest proponents of the issue lie outside of the committee. Councillors Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina) and Joe Cressy (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina), whose wards fall within large stretches of the proposed pilot, have previously joined forces to promote the bike lanes, and recently hosted a public rally prior to the committee vote. Mayor John Tory has also given his support for the pilot project—“pilot project, underlined twice, it’s a pilot project,” he emphasizes—so long as the project is studied “carefully from every single standpoint.” Beyond the legislators, 96 per cent of cyclists and 85 per cent of pedestrians have voiced support for the bike lanes, while 46 per cent of motorists think the project is a good idea.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 3, 2016 at 7:48 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “The Bloor Bike Lanes Pilot Should Be a Council No-Brainer. Here’s Why It’s Not.”

Torontoist’s Daren Foster writes about the controversy behind bike lanes on Bloor Street West.

In his closing remarks on the proposed Bloor Street bike lane pilot project on April 25, Public Works and Infrastructure Committee member and Councillor Stephen Holyday (Ward 3, Etobicoke Centre) suggested that cycling advocates were “trying to build a wall” around downtown—to keep certain people out, I guess. People like Councillor Holyday, who clearly wasn’t on board with the proposal.

As a fortification, might I suggest, this wall has been something of a bust. A tunnel burrows right beneath it, bringing undesirables from all four corners of the city directly within its confines every three to five minutes during peak times. It’s so porous that it can’t even keep the likes of Holyday from a successful incursion to set up shop right in the heart of things at Queen and Bay.

There really should have been little to no debate about this 2.5 kilometre bike lane pilot project running along Bloor Street West from Shaw Street to Avenue Road. It had overwhelming support from local residents and businesses. The two city councillors representing the wards the project would run through, Joe Cressy and Mike Layton (Ward 19 and 20, the Trinity-Spadinas), were big proponents. This should have been a slam dunk.

But that’s not how things work here, not in Toronto, not for more than five years now. Change, especially when it comes to allocating road space, must always be challenged, contested. Drivers’ time is the most valuable time. A three- or six-minute delay while behind the wheel of a car is like 45 minutes stuck on a bus. You just don’t mess around with drivers and their cars without expecting serious pushback.

That driving might not even be negatively affected, as study after study shows of places that have provided more room to other road users, did not faze pro-car skeptics. The most succinctly dismissive was former chief of staff for Rob Ford, Mark Towhey. When confronted on social media with this possibility, he simply and succinctly responded, “Bullshit”.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 28, 2016 at 3:41 pm