Wrapping up the university-proof bike

When I started at the University of Waterloo five years ago, I bought a cheap Supercycle Tempo to use for daily commuting, given that I didn’t want to leave my expensive bicycle parked on campus all day.  I have extensively modified it over the years, aiming to create the perfect university bicycle.  I have now finished my studies, so here is a look back on the life of my primary vehicle over the last five years. Utility As my primary vehicle, this bike has endured all that Canadian weather has to offer, from scorching summers to icy blizzards.  And a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation … Continue reading Wrapping up the university-proof bike

Addressing Region’s concerns about off-street bicycle lanes on University Avenue

The Region of Waterloo is reconstructing University Avenue between Erb Street and Keats Way, and rather than building off-street bicycle paths that would be accessible to people of all ages and cycling ability, staff are recommending on-street painted bicycle lanes.  Let’s take a look at the reasoning behind this decision. In my first post about this project, I responded to the rationale given in the public consultation materials to dismiss “cycle tracks”: that they are expensive and difficult to maintain in winter.  In short, while these are both true about the version of cycle track they considered (immediately adjacent to the … Continue reading Addressing Region’s concerns about off-street bicycle lanes on University Avenue

University Avenue Reconstruction update

Last week, I criticized regional staff’s recommendation of painted on-street bike lanes in the planned reconstruction of Universty Avenue between Erb Street and Keats Way.  The matter was about to go before the Planning and Works committee for approval.

Here is the road cross-section the report recommended:

UniversityWestROW

I attended the P&W Committee meeting to delegate on behalf of TriTAG, a transportation advocacy organization for more balanced and efficient transport in our region.  My main points were:
– The notion that off-street bicycle paths would disrupt the continuity of cycling along the corridor is factually incorrect.
– A fully off-street (i.e. in-boulevard) bicycle path would have neither of the disadvantages staff used to dismiss cycle tracks: it would not be any more expensive than on-street lanes, and it would actually be easier to effectively maintain in winter.

The full text of my delegation is included at the bottom of this post.

Here’s what I had in mind:

UniversityWestTriTAG2

Continue reading “University Avenue Reconstruction update”

Review: A perfect bicycle route in Utrecht

The bicycle route between the inner city of Utrecht, the Netherlands and its outlying university is what I consider to be a perfect bicycle route.  As far as I can tell, it doesn’t have a specific name, but it consists of a bidirectional bicycle path along the east side of Waterlinieweg, Pythagoraslaan and Archimedeslaan.  I’ll call it the Archimedeslaan path, or Archimedespad for short.

For virtual ride along the route, check out the following video by Dutch cycling blogger Mark Wagenbuur.  He starts roughly in the middle of the line on the map above and heads toward point A, which he reaches about 2 minutes in.

This bicycle path is far from exceptional in The Netherlands, I chose it simply because it’s a route I have used several times.  There are countless other routes in the Netherlands that are just as good.

Continue reading “Review: A perfect bicycle route in Utrecht”