Countdown to Velo-city 2012: Can Vancouver Copenhagenize? Countdown to Velo-city 2012: Sticks, Carrots and Tambourines

By Sarah Ripplinger

Andreas Rohl, the City of Copenhagen’s bicycle program manager, will be speaking at a Simon Fraser University (SFU) City Program Lecture tonight (June 4, 2012). Sticks, Carrots and Tambourines: Actively Learning from Copenhagen’s Transport Successes will also feature Momentum publisher Tania Lo.

The first of a two-part series, this event looks at some of the transportation lessons that the City of Vancouver can learn from Copenhagen. Part two of the series will be featured as part of the Velo-city Global conference and will take place on June 28, 2012.

Rohl will describe his experience working as the bicycle program manager for the City of Copenhagen, along with his knowledge of cycling infrastructure projects, cost-benefit analysis, cycling education and promotion campaigns. Rohl’s work has focused on bicycle policies and strategies to improve conditions for cycling in Copenhagen. And he recently was part of the team that completed Copenhagen’s bicycle strategy and the city’s design guidelines for cycling on roads.

Rohl recently joined Urban Systems Ltd. – a multi-disciplinary consulting firm in Western Canada – for a temporary term in their Metro Vancouver office. During his term, he will be participating in a range of active transportation projects throughout Western Canada, including the development of an Active Transportation Master Plan for the City of Vancouver.

Tonight’s talk is sponsored by Urban Systems, the City of Vancouver, TransLink and the SFU City Program.

Event Details

Monday, June 4, 7 p.m.

SFU Vancouver (Harbour Centre), 515 West Hastings St, Vancouver

Admission is free but reservations are required. Reserve at

Topics that will be covered at the event include:

* What can Vancouver learn from Copenhagen as Vancouver updates its Transportation 2040 Plan?

* How is cycling in Copenhagen integrated with walking, transit and land use planning?

* How is cycling and walking in Copenhagen creating healthier residents and supporting their economy?

* How did Copenhagen get to where is it now with more than a third of trips to work and school by bike?

* How is cycling currently promoted there, through infrastructure and social marketing?

Velo-city Global 2012 is expected to host over 1,000 delegates from around the world. The conference will be held June 26 -29 at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Center Hotel, accessible by the new Hornby Street separated bike lanes.

Visit to register now.

Check back to the Countdown to Velo-city 2012 blog each week for updates on the conference, its speakers and the people on the attendance list.

Originally published on

Jarvis Street Bike Lanes Under Threat

By Sarah Ripplinger

Cyclists pedaling along one side of the Jarvis Street bike lanes.

TORONTO, ON – Toronto City Council will debate and vote for or against a motion to remove the painted bike lanes along Jarvis Street next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Jarvis Street Bike Lanes Could Cease to Exist

The motion could mean the removal of the lanes, located on either side of the north-south running street, that have seen a three-fold increase in bike traffic since their creation almost a year ago.

The Toronto Public Works and Infrastructure Committee started the action by voting 4-2 in favor of removing the Jarvis bike lanes at a recent meeting. The final decision will be up to city council, which is heavily divided on the issue.

Before the lanes were created, about 290 cyclists in total biked along Jarvis Street on weekdays during the peak eight hours of the day. Since the creation of the bike lanes, that number has jumped to an average of 890 cyclists over an eight-hour peak period – a 300 percent increase.

The Toronto Cyclists Union has launched a Save Jarvis! campaign in the hopes of preserving the lanes. Dave Meslin, founder of the Toronto Cyclists Union, tweeted that he has “been involved with bike activism for 14 yrs. Without doubt, this has been the worst day I’ve ever seen… TO’s cyclists just got run over by amalgamation. Suburban councillors have declared a War on the Bike.”

Mayor Rob Ford has been notoriously anti-bike, notably stating that “roads are built for buses, cars and trucks, not for people on bikes.”

Those against the lanes say they slow down traffic and would be better suited to a less arterial route.

A report by council staff shows that car traffic has remained the same – about 13,000 vehicles over an eight-hour period – since the lanes were established last July.

The other argument may have some merit. If Mayor Rob Ford does plan on implementing a bike plan that includes separated bike lanes on Sherbourne Street, which runs parallel to Jarvis Street.

Even if that was to come to pass, though, the lanes along Jarvis would continue to serve as an alternate route for cyclists. Certainly, closing them down before an alternative was made available would be premature.

What do you think? Share your thoughts on the Jarvis Street bike lanes debate by commenting below.

Originally published on