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Recent Blog Entries: Cycling

But everyone wants a car….

January 1, 2015 By Debra Efroymson Children, Cycling, Livable Cities, Public Spaces, Public Transit, Socializing, Urban Planning, Walking Post a comment!

Many people think it's crazy to advocate for car-free cities or even neighbourhoods, but what about the craziness of trying to accommodate cars in cities and thus sacrificing so much else that is important?

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Victory on two wheels

December 27, 2014 By Debra Efroymson Cycling, Dhaka, Livable Cities Post a comment!

Cycling has great potential in a megacity like Dhaka, a potential that suddenly becomes visible when thousands of people join a group ride.

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More time, better lives

July 25, 2014 By Debra Efroymson Cycling, Livable Cities, Walking Post a comment!

It is a common complaint that there never seem to be enough hours in the day for all we need, much less wish, to do. We spend too much time running around in a flurry, not enough time relaxing. We become more and more dependent on processed food and restaurant meals since we don’t have time to shop, cook, and clean. Yet the average Canadian adult watches…

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The futility of nagging

July 21, 2014 By Debra Efroymson Cycling, Exercise, Livable Cities, Walking Post a comment!

One of my more futile hobbies is trying to convince my friends to get more exercise: go for a walk at the beach or in the park, I plead. Their excuses are creative and inexhaustible. They have no comfortable shoes, their mother is ill, they are awaiting an important visit, they are recovering from a hard week at work. But as we continue to talk, I realize that they…

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Promoting liveable cities in India

July 6, 2014 By Debra Efroymson Cycling, Livable Cities, Walking Post a comment!

Cities in India and around the world are undergoing similar changes. A growth in motorized vehicles contributes to pollution and traffic congestion, which makes moving about, and even breathing, more difficult and dangerous. Parks and other green spaces are disappearing due to development pressures. As a result, many children do not have access to the places and opportunities that are critical for their physical and mental development. As bad…

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City cyclists

March 24, 2014 By Debra Efroymson Cycling, Dhaka, Urban Planning Post a comment!

On 28 February, I joined the first bike ride of a new cycling group in Dhaka, organized by Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust. We’ve been doing informal group rides since 2004, but this is the start of a more serious effort. The first step was to find a name. I confess I rather leaned towards Bike Bums or I Like Bike, but we settled for City Cyclists,…

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Could children once again cycle to school in Bangalore, India?

December 10, 2013 By Debra Efroymson Children, Cycling, Public Transit Post a comment!

In cities around the world, people comment on the dramatic change in the way kids go to school in just one generation. Adults remember walking and cycling, but would never allow their own children to travel that way. India is no exception. But how do children feel about that change? As staff at the NGO ESAF visited school after school in Bangalore to talk to children about how they…

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August 27, 2013 By Debra Efroymson Cycling, Socializing Post a comment!

One of my colleagues in Hanoi, when she returns from work in the evening, takes her child for a short walk partway around a pond near her home. They stop at a small open area where parents and grandparents take small children to play. Her boy happily plays with the other children. The place is too small to offer many activities, so older children ride bicycles or skate around…

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The windshield perspective

June 19, 2013 By Debra Efroymson Cycling, Public Transit Post a comment!

“That place is inaccessible; there’s no parking.” “It’s impossible to get anywhere with all those people haphazardly crossing the street.” “Cyclists are a real menace on the road.” “Those buses really block the way.” Such statements are an example of what is known as “the windshield perspective”: the way we see things from behind the…

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Bicycles rising

March 3, 2013 Cycling, Dhaka Post a comment!

For years I’ve had trouble with the idea of promoting cycling in Dhaka, since one would seem to have to be suicidal to attempt it other than on holidays. However, on my recent trip to this megacity, it is impossible not to notice the tremendous increase in cycling. It is far from being a dominant mode of transport (unless you count the three-wheeled bicycle, otherwise known as…

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