Ambassador of Urban Cycling: Mikael Colville-Andersen

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Some Canadian cities struggle with bike helmet laws, but one urban cycling expert says helmets have one measurable effect... they discourage cycling by making it seem too dangerous.


Today's guest host was Mike Finnerty.

Part One of The Current

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It's Wednesday, June 27th.

Vancouver is considering a plan to provide affordable housing for its residents.

Currently, it's a bus line to Edmonton.

This is The Current.

Ambassador of Urban Cycling: Mikael Colville-Andersen

Montreal's BIXI public bikeshare program is one of the world's top bike sharing success stories. With more than 5 thousand bikes available at 400 docking stations around the city, we Montrealers love 'em: usage has risen considerably every year. Toronto and London England have installed the same system.

In Vancouver, meantime, the wheels are turning much more slowly. For a city trying to expand its bicycle infrastructure... it seems a share program is a logical next step. But B.C. is one of the few jurisdictions with mandatory bike helmet laws... laws which makes bike sharing more complex.

Ontario's coroner recently warmed up the debate with a report on making cycling safer. One of his recommendations: bike helmets for all. It's a proposition that gets mixed reaction from Montreal's Bixi users.

In Europe, the main bicycle debates have moved on from helmet usage: there are no adult bike helmet laws in any of the big nations.

Could Canada learn from the European experience? Mikael Colville-Andersen was born in Canada... but lives in Copenhagen where he's been called the Ambassador, even the Bieber, of Urban Cycling. He travels around the world advising cities on how to be more bicycle friendly, this week he's in Canada and he joined us from Calgary.

This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath.

Other segments from today's show:

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