Sunday, December 27, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

URS X The City of Curitiba

In 2007' World Carfree Day, more than 50 bicyclist's painted the first bike lane of Curitiba (Brazil). Three of them were arrested and accused of "environmental crime". The City decided to charge them in 3.000 reais (around 1.500 us dollars).

After some unsuccessfull appeals to the courts and directly to the Mayor, they decided to pay the bill and then charge the City for not following the Brazilian Traffic Code, that says that every city has to build infrastructure for bicyclists. Some fundraising events happened and the next chapter of the brave Curitiba Repair Squad X The Autocratic City battle has just begun.

More information (in portuguese) here and here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

CCA 'Actions' Exhibition Photos

Photos by Yvonne. This show is touring in the US now at the Graham Foundation, Chicago. Pictured URS Video 'Le Depart', Pink Bike Lane Stencil and Bike Lane Crapet by take the Tooker. Photo essay by Martin Reis/CCA

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Slow Down! People's Lives At Stake.

After Fernando Couto was killed by a bus in Sao Paulo on October 26 local activists and the bus drivers union got together to install a warning message designed to calm traffic at the site of the collision. Inspiring.
Photos by William Cruz: Link

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Next Day In Brooklyn

The Guerrilla Bike Lane is still there on Bedford. (photo via Flickr)

More News Stories

Funeral Procession Dec. 13 Video
Naked Protest Ride Dec. 19

Friday, December 4, 2009

Urban Repair Squad Photos on the TTC!

Contacting Toronto: What's Your Revolution | Contact 2009 Photography Festival

Projects will play on the Onestop TTC screens, cycling every 10 minutes all day, for the month of May.

Contacting Toronto is an annual, open-call photography exhibition on the Onestop network of over 270 TTC screens. It offers artists and photographers an audience of 1.3 million people a day in over 50 stations.

What’s Your Revolution? is curated by Sharon Switzer and co-produced by Onestop Media Group and Art for Commuters.

A schedule of when each project is screening will be posted here at the end of April. The works will also be available here for viewing, so you can watch the ones you loved again, or catch the ones you missed. Online schedule

Some Sample images

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Guerrilla Bike Lanes on Oak Street

Guerrilla Bike Lanes on Oak Street
Cargado originalmente por houze

San Fransisco, July 2009

Then in 2012, came the bike lane.

Friday, November 6, 2009

New Photo of URS (Toronto)

From the Bloor West Rush Hour Bike Lane installation in 2007.

Photo by Michael D'Amico. "Brave, very brave."

Friday, October 9, 2009

10 Years Ago: Bike Lane Installed During Bike Summer (SF)

 Jym Dyer writes:
 "Earlier guerilla bike lane activity, Bike Summer 1999. This lane was installed in the middle of the night on Fell Street, extending from Scott to Baker, thereby connecting the Wiggle to the Golden Gate Park Panhandle. It immediately attracted bicyclists -- I counted 100 the next day -- but the city removed the lines within a week. This is now an official city bike lane..."
 Photo by Dan Kliman

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

'Actions' Exhibition Goes To Chicago

Opening October 16, 2009 Graham Foundation, Chicago
Original Exhibition Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), Montreal
Curated by Mirko Zardini and Giovanna Borasi
An exploration of how everyday human actions can animate and influence the perception and experience of contemporary cities. Seemingly common activities such as gardening, recycling, playing, and walking are pushed beyond their usual definition by the international architects, artists, and collectives featured in the exhibition. Their experimental interactions with the urban environment show the potential of a new level of participation by city residents.
Photo: Urban Repair Squad 'Rush Hour Bike Lane' on Bloor Street West, Toronto (2007).

Review in Time Out Chicago

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Big Parade & LA's Dept. of DIY (Make Your Own Park)

THE ORIGINAL BIG PARADE was a two-day public walk that took place in Los Angeles in July, 2009. It covered 40 miles and more than 100 public stairways, beginning downtown, starting at the historic Angel's Flight stairway, passing dozens of landmarks, and ending at the Hollywood Sign. More than 200 people joined the parade for segments ranging from just one or two miles to a full day - or more (nine people finished the whole thing.) The original Big Parade website, with maps, routes, cultural links info, is right here. The parade was an assemblage of more than 20 individual stairway routes. Look for them here, as well as a return to scheduled public walks in mid-September. Picture: Steve Matsuda.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Before And After

A River Runs Through It installation on Crawford Street just south of Dundas West

Thursday, September 3, 2009

DIY Urban Repair Squads Worldwide (Article)

Photo: O.U.R.S. Victoria, BC

OURS is part of an international network with groups across North and South America and Europe.

“The Urban Repair Squads encourage citizens to reclaim stewardship of their cities through direct action,” says Duit. “The point of tapping in to that network is to show we’re not just flying solo here. There are people all over the world working on similar things.”

Full Article in Monday Magazine, Victoria

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

URS - The Movie 'Le Départ'

Official Selections
New York Bicycle Film Festival
Toronto Bicycle Film Festival
Montreal Bicycle Film Festival
Featured in the Exhibition 'Actions'
at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal

Friday, August 21, 2009

URS Film at Toronto Bicycle Film Festival

Come see it on the big screen.
So good!

Toronto August 22th

Also in Victoria at VeloVictoria
August 21st

Thursday, August 20, 2009

URS Handywork Seven Months Later ...

Photo by Val Dodge/Torontoist, August 2009

He writes:
"At the entrance to the station (Kennedy), the handiwork of the Urban Repair Squad is as fresh as the day it was installed seven months ago."

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sixth Anniversary of the Blackout Video

Sixth Anniversary Blackout Party Toronto from Tino on Vimeo.
August the 14th, 2009. Torontonians enjoyed a street celebration to commemorate the big blackout of 2003 on Ossington Avenue.

The street was filled with happiness and live music. After a procession north to Dundas street, local activist group the Public Squares installed Praça Portugal | Portugal Square in honour of the local Portuguese community.
Then they turned off the street lights and we all danced.
A night to remember.

Friday, August 14, 2009

New Portugal Square - 2009 Blackout Party

More photos here LINK

Sixth Anniversary... so much fun!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Easter Present Update - "Live Green" Toronto? Not really

On April 10, URS redesigned the old city logo along the Gardiner Expressway and installed it. This design was in place over the Easter holiday and removed by the city the week after. On April 20. I noticed a new logo had been installed: 'Live Green'. Right.

Yesterday, I noticed the logo had been changed again: "Let's go the Ex." (The 'Ex' - Canadian National Exhibtion)
Well. You get the idea.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bicycling Magazine Article Online!

The Illegal but highly effective DIY Bike Lane
(July 2009)

Included in this issue is a fabulous feature article by Dan Koeppel plus a write-up by Laura Kiniry about all things Urban Repair worldwide.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

O.U.R.S. Victoria, B.C. & The BIG Sharrows Caper

Other Urban Repair Squad¹ (O.U.R.S.) Hits Victoria:
Cycling Activists Take to Streets Over Slow Expansion of Bike Lanes

Monday, July 6/09 ­ Hot on the heels of the public launch of the CRD¹s Regional Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan initiative on June 16th, a group of cycling activists are ³painting the streets white² with a series of guerrilla bicycle lanes. Last weekend, the Other Urban Repair Squad (O.U.R.S) Victoria painted ³sharrows² along Hillside Avenue between Quadra and Cook. Sharrows - short for ³Shared Use Arrow² - are a bicycle-and-chevron marking indicating a shared use lane. The markings are used in cities across North America and Europe along roadways that are too narrow to incorporate a full bike lane.

The group¹s spokesperson Yukon Duit says that ³Sharrows are like coming in 4th place in the Olympics - they¹re not a replacement for bike lanes, but they¹re a pedal in the right direction.²

The group installed sharrows rather than bike lanes to draw attention to the range of markings that can be used to encourage both motorists and cyclists to position themselves safely on the road. Sharrows were recently adopted by the Transportation Association of Canada, the body that approves standards and guidelines for road design and markings across Canada.

The CRD has hired Alta Planning and Design, one of the leading alternative transportation consultants in North America, to headthe Regional Pedestrian and Cycling Master Plan project. The Plan involves a significant public consultation component and will be finalized in 2010. This is the first time all 13 municipalities will work together to develop an alternative transportation plan. Victoria has the highest share of commuter cyclists in Canada and among the highest across North America. Nearly 8 percent of Victoria commuter traffic during rush hour is made up of cyclists.

"The CRD Plan is a great initiative,² said Duit, ³But only if it is met with actual dollars when it¹s launched in 2010.² Overlapping jurisdictions and bureaucratic inertia have meant that the region as a whole has been slow to implement sustainable solutions to encourage widespread commuter cycling. For example, commitments outlined in the 1995 City of Victoria Master Bike Plan will likely not be met by that plan¹s deadline next year.

As of Monday afternoon city crews had covered the markings with grey paint. ³It¹s a shame that the City couldn¹t wait a few days to see how people reacted to the markings,² says Duit, adding that sharrows do not disrupt the flow of traffic but instead remind motorists and cyclists to safely share the road. The group plans to install more sharrows throughout the summer.

O.U.R.S Victoria is part of a larger international network of Urban Repair Squads across North America, Europe and South America that encourages citizens to reclaim ownership and stewardship of urban space and actively construct a positive future of urban infrastructure through direct action.

Portland recently installed two-lane bike lanes in some areas of that city to accommodate the multitude of cyclists. ³This is what the future of urban transportation infrastructure in the CRD should look like,² says Duit. ³The creation of bike friendly roads to encourage and support cycling.²

For more images of Hillside sharrows email
Sharrows: San Francisco¹s Share Lane Pavement Markings: Improving Bicycle Safety
(first report on sharrow use in North America)
O.U.R.S. Victoria

Newspaper Articles

Letters to the Editor
Sharrows improve cyclists' safety
Times Colonist, July 19, 2009
Re: "Sharrows need official OK," July 14.
I was disappointed to read a statement in Tuesday's Times Colonist that the cyclist activists who painted "guerrilla sharrows" on Hillside have "little regard for the rights of others." Whose rights are violated by painting sharrows on a street? And whose rights need to be protected on busy roads like Hillside?

Urban planners know that sharrows are an effective reminder to drivers that cyclists have a right to be on the road. Sharrows have been adopted by the Transportation Association of Canada and used on other roads in the Capital Regional District such as Finlayson and Royal Oak Drive. There is no reason why drivers would understand the meaning of an "official" sharrow on Finlayson or Royal Oak, but not an identical-looking "guerrilla" sharrow on Hillside.

As a cyclist who commutes along Hillside several times a week, I am frustrated with waiting for the city to make my safety a priority. I would like to thank the midnight painters for sending a clear message to the city that the time for making our roads safe for cyclists is now.

Tamara Herman, Victoria

Sharrows simply a useful reminder
A recent editorial criticized activists for painting sharrows on Hillside Avenue. It mentioned that the activists have “little regard for the rights of others.” What rights are being infringed — the right not to be reminded that drivers must equitably share the road with cyclists?

OURS is protecting the rights of cyclists in situations where the city refuses to do so. Cyclists are allowed to bike on Hillside, and yet are often put in mortal danger by inconsiderate drivers. Cyclists’ rights to security of person as guaranteed under the Charter of Rights of Freedoms are being undermined by lack of action by the city.

OURS is rightfully (and legally) taking matters into its own hands. Sharrows are a reminder that drivers need to share the street with bicyclists. Should the city also perhaps crack down on people placing “slow down” signs on the boulevard in front of their house — these too are unsanctioned reminders that drivers should obey the law.

Patrick Hayes, Victoria

City of Victoria councillors should see this action of painting "sharrows" for what it is: Pushing the agenda for more safe bike lanes and shared lanes in Victoria. The efforts of the OURS group should be applauded, especially by cycling advocate and councillor John Luton, who instead suggested these activists may be "anarchists who ride bikes." That's absurd.

OURS and the city are on the same side. Don't make this a battle. See it as a push to speed up the process of making this beautiful city safer for cyclists.

Ellen Reynolds, Victoria