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Victoria remains Canada’s cycling commuter capital, with nearly 6 per cent of residents choosing to ride a bicycle on their daily commute. An additional 10 per cent of Victorians commute by foot.

On the other end of the spectrum, St. John’s and Saint John have the lowest rates of bicycle commuting in Canada, but comparatively high rates of walking to work. Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa have the highest percentage of citizens depending on public transit to get them to work, with more than one in five using those systems.

Across Canada, it’s the cities struggling with congestion the most that are seeing the strongest gains in active transportation. Walking and cycling to work is often seen as a way of avoiding the headaches of public transit and the slow slog of a packed freeway.

Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton and Vancouver all posted gains in active transportation between 2006 and 2011.

Source: 'Canada's commuter cyclist capital is…'

Related: What-happens-when-we-reach-peak-car.

Seen Around (Another) Town: Walking from Brooklyn to NYC across the historic Brooklyn Bridge

Seen Around (Another) Town: Walking from Brooklyn to NYC across the historic Brooklyn Bridge

Seen Around Town: Shadows and light on the Granville Bridge last night

Seen Around Town: Shadows and light on the Granville Bridge last night

If you build a city that is great for an eight-year-old and for an 80-year-old, then you build a city that is going to be great for everybody. They’re like an indicator species. We need to stop building cities as if everybody in them is 30 years old and athletic.

Gil Penalosa, the "pied piper for sustainable transportation," quoted in a Globe & Mail profile. 

Photo: The Atlantic Cities

Seen around town: Another grey, sometimes deluge like day here in Vancouver. In this case, at the City Hall-Broadway subway station.

Seen around town: Another grey, sometimes deluge like day here in Vancouver. In this case, at the City Hall-Broadway subway station.

Seen around town: a bird’s eye view of the Stanley Park seawall this past weekend. The seawall is grade separated with lanes for folks on bikes and foot.

Seen around town: a bird’s eye view of the Stanley Park seawall this past weekend. The seawall is grade separated with lanes for folks on bikes and foot.

Sustainable Communities | ‘Jennifer Keesmaat: Walk to School’ 

From TEDx via YouTube:

Jennifer Keesmaat is an urban planner and Principal at Design Dialog, an integrated planning firm based in Toronto, Ontario. Jennifer’s passion for building sustainable communities is evident in this TEDxRegina talk where she reminds us of a simple yet meaningful pastime — the walk to school. This talk was filmed May 16, 2012 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

It’s worth noting that Keesmaat was recently hired as the new chief planner for the city of Toronto

Related:

For walking is the ultimate “mobile app.” Here are just some of the benefits, physical, cognitive and otherwise, that it bestows: Walking six miles a week was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s (and I’m not just talking about walking in the “Walk to End Alzheimers”); walking can help improve your child’s academic performance; make you smarter; reduce depression; lower blood pressure; even raise one’s self-esteem.” And, most important, though perhaps least appreciated in the modern age, walking is the only travel mode that gets you from Point A to Point B on your own steam, with no additional equipment or fuel required, from the wobbly threshold of toddlerhood to the wobbly cusp of senility.

If walking is a casualty of modern life the world over—the historian Joe Moran estimates, for instance, that in the last quarter century in the U.K., the amount of walking has declined by 25 percent—why then do Americans walk even less than people in other countries? Here we need to look not at pedometers, but at the odometer: We drive more than anyone else in the world. (Hence a joke: In America a pedestrian is someone who has just parked their car.) Statistics on walking are more elusive than those on driving, but from the latter one might infer the former: The National Household Travel Survey shows that the number of vehicle trips a person took and the miles they traveled per day rose from 2.32 trips and 20.64 miles in 1969 to 3.35 and 32.73 in 2001. More time spent driving means less time spent on other activities, including walking. And part of the reason we are driving more is that we are living farther from the places we need to go; to take just one measure, in 1969, roughly half of all children lived a mile or more from their school; by 2001 three out of four did. During that same period, unsurprisingly, the rates of children walking to school dropped from roughly half to approximately 13 percent.

Three paragraphs from writer Tom Vanderbilt’s first article ('The Crisis in American Walking') in a great four-part series for Slate magazine, 'Walking: America's Pedestrian Problem

(Photo credit: The Washington Post via Slate)