Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dreaming on 8th Street

Dreaming on 8th Street (Traverse City, MI) Underutilized Parking Lane
Originally uploaded by MyWheelsareTurning

Friday, October 22, 2010

With Love From Baltimore

In the middle of the night, on Monday, July the 26th (or more correctly, the morning of the 27th) a group of activist artists made a bold statement on the streets of Baltimore. They left behind a bike lane, stencil art, and their manifesto which reads:

"The Guerrilla Bike Lane arose from a desire to express ourselves and our passion for an escalating need to reduce the use of fossil fuels. We seek to promote and establish fair and safe riding conditions for cyclists in Baltimore. The intention of our guerrilla artwork is to educate the public using environmentally friendly and creative means in a non-aggressive way. We hope this will serve as a catalyst for people to see and build the community within the city, to consciously take action instead of settling for an inactive way of life."

Where will the GBL gang strike next? Only time will tell.

Fine Vimeo Video here: http://vimeo.com/14125301

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Toronto's First Bike Boxes - By Urban Repair Squad

Cyclometer says: Bike Boxes for the Harbord- Hoskin and College Bicycle Lanes
Weather permitting, the installation of Toronto’s first Bike boxes (PDF) are scheduled to begin Monday October 4th. Bike boxes are a pavement marking that designates a space for cyclists to wait in front of cars at a red light, and to proceed first when the light turns green. The new design treatment will be evaluated for use in the future at other intersections across the City. Bike boxes are scheduled to be installed this year, at the following locations:

Harbord-Hoskin and St George (north, south, east and west bound)
Hoskin and Queens Park Crescent (eastbound)
Harbord and Spadina (east and westbound)
College and Spadina (east and westbound)
College and St George-Beverley (north, south, east and west bound)

Note Bene: The claim that these are the 'first' is of course inaccurate.
The city removed the actual first bike boxes installed by the Urban Repair Squad Harbord and Bathurst (Oct. 2008) 9 (photo below)

With Love From Missoula (Montana)

Activists paint sharrows in multiple colours on a very dangerous road section in Missoula.

Aurash of DoTank drawing a 'sharrow'

Long Island New York

The Macdonell Sharrows

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Another Toronto First - Two-way Sharrows

Graphic from the Urban Repair Squad Manual


BlogTO http://www.blogto.com/city/2010/10/two-way_sharrows_appear_on_macdonell_avenue/

Torontoist http://torontoist.com/2010/10/macdonnell_gets_two-way_sharrows_on_the_sly.php#comments


First Colour Bike Lane (Bloor)
First Rush Hour Sharrows
First Humanist Sharrow Design
First Toronto Bike Boxes
First Bike Friendly TTC signage
First Bicycle and Pedestrian City Logo
First Toronto Art Crosswalk
First Pothole Warning System
First Missing Bike Lane Design
First Two-way Sharrows

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

With Love From Halifax

Photo by Emma Feltes

New Urban Repair Squad paints up Halifax! Fine work!

More info on Spacing Halifax

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hallam Sharrows in Dandyhorse Magazine

New Issue October 2010. Dandyhorse.com USR Hallam Sharows (2008)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Update: http://dandyhorsemagazine.com/blog/2014/03/28/harbord-street-bike-lane-upgrades-city-announces-new-plans/

New Stencil by URS Toronto

Harbord Street.
In sets of three. Time to fill in the gap in this bike lane and stop putting business interests ahead of public safety.

Photo by Rick Conroy.

GOOD Magazine

Monday, August 23, 2010


Originally uploaded by Martinho
Carlton and Parliament


Art By Jordan Seiler

Originally uploaded by Martinho

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Hallam Sharrows. Better Late Than Never?

After promising Sharrows for Hallam in the fall of 2007 the city finally installed them earlier this week. Almost three years after the fact! Talk about slow.

You can still see the sharrow painted by URS in the early spring of 2008!  The paint crew must have wondered what these were doing there ... (grin)
As it turns out the city does not need council approval for putting in sharrows so one has to wonder what took so long.

In any case, the URS sharrows on Hallam were never removed and likely represent one of the longest lasting examples of DIY cycling infra-structure in the world.

The banner photos above is a Hallam Sharrow.

Monday, August 16, 2010

2010 Blackout Anniversary Party

Blackout Party 2010 from Tino on Vimeo.
In memory of Ryan Carriere, killed at the intersection Oct. 21, 2005.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

OURS Victoria Strikes Again

Guerrilla street painters struck on Cook Street this week, were “sharrows” briefly appeared between Fairfield Road and Southgate Street, but were immediately painted over by city of Victoria crews.

The sharrows — shared-use arrows reminding drivers to share road space in areas too narrow for full bike lanes — were painted by Victoria’s Other Urban Repair Squad, which describes itself as a “collective of bike advocates, commuter cyclists and active community members.”

The group said in a news release that the Cook Street sharrows were the fourth attempt to increase cycling security in Greater Victoria.

Sharrows painted earlier this year on Lansdowne Road have not been removed, but last year, two sets of markings on Hillside Avenue were immediately painted over as city staff said they were confusing and could be dangerous. Sharrows are used in some cities, but are not approved in Greater Victoria.
© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Laying It Down In Brasil

URS Crosswalk Design From Brasil

Lives at stake.

Inspired by URS

by Pia Blumenthal (NYC) | Text by Laura Kiniry (GOOD)

The View From The West Coast

OURS strikes for their one year anniversary
by the Other Urban Repair Squad
Coast Salish Territories - Victoria's Other Urban Repair Squad (O.U.R.S) struck once again on Monday July 19, painting sharrows on one of the most unsafe cycling roads in Victoria on Cook Street between Fairfield and Southgate.

"Sharrows" aim to increase driver awareness of bicycles

One year ago, they came out for the first time painting sharrows on Hillside Avenue, a heavy traffic corridor with no bike lane and used by both cyclists and cars. Monday July 19th was OURS fourth attempt to increase the cycling security and bike friendliness of greater Victoria.

OURS, a collective of bike advocates, commuter cyclists and active community members, argue that sharrows are an excellent way to increase bike visibility and promote sharing the road. Facing the reality of many unsafe biking areas in Victoria and the slow bureaucratic system in place, OURS has decided to help the community by painting sharrows themselves based on the recommended design and dimension standards.

Sharrows are not a replacement for lanes but they indicate major bike routes and are accepted by the Transportation Association of Canada as a minimum safety standard.

"They are perfect for Victoria with its narrow roads and tight budget," says OURS spokeperson, Yukon Duit. Sharrows are short for "Shared Use Arrow". They are bicycle-and-chevron markings indicating a shared use lane. The markings are used in cities across North America and Europe on roadways that cannot incorporate a full bike lane.
"Our sharrows [on cook] got painted over by the city of Victoria crew before morning traffic could enjoy the safety of a real bike friendly city!" says Duit. Saanich municipality, on the other hand, has left the sharrows done by OURS over a month ago, which is greatly appreciated by the cyclist community. "I was always afraid to bike to school before, but seeing the sharrows on the road has helped me know that cars pay attention to me on my bike" says Eva Moores-Afetly yesterday when OURS interviewed random cyclists that biked using the sharrows on their way past Camosun College.

Sharrows are used by cities in Australia, France, Germany, Switizerland, UK and the US. The Toronto Urban Repair Squad (URS) has been more creative even than OURS Victoria, using pink paint and drawing their own bike symbols with square wheels and funky bike designs. Toronto has also left the sharrows up. "The point is visibility and sending the message to drivers that the streets are to be shared," Carey Tive of URS said, reminding us that Canadian citizens have a strong history of being active

These actions are being taken because of the slow response to make cycling in the city safer and more friendly. Montreal boasts 2400 + kms of trails and a budget of more than $134 million dedicated for bike infrastructure. With 27k of Lochside trail and 55k of Galloping Goose trail, Victoria, is left in the dust even with their tilte of Cycling Capital of Canada. "The greater Victoria has been creating positive changes for the cycling community over the last decade and it is important to acknowledge what's been done, but OURS wants more and the cycling community deserved sharrows and inner-urban areas to be on the agenda too." says Duit. "The focus needs to change from costly road expansions like bike lanes to effective alternatives such as sharrows".

OURS is not only putting words into action but is also doing it quickly and cheap. "Cook Street got done in fifteen minutes and with about ten dollars worth of paint," says Duit. With that type of efficiency, Victoria might even want to consider contracting OURS for their future cycling safety marking!

So far OURS 4-City 0...the match is still on!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Awesome O.U.R.S. (Victoria) Strikes Again (Press Release)

‘Other Urban Repair Squad’ (O.U.R.S.) Hits Victoria Again:
Cycling Activists Paint “Guerrilla Sharrows” in Response to Slow Expansion of Bike Lanes
(Lansdowne Road between Richmond Road and Foul Bay roads)

June 24, 2010 - Coast Salish Territories, Victoria –Victoria’s Other Urban Repair Squad (O.U.R.S) has painted more “sharrows” along a busy commuter route in Victoria. The markings run along a street linking downtown and Camosun and University of Victoria campuses.

"It's been nearly a year since we painted the sharrows on Hillside and there's been no action at all from the CRD in terms of providing more bike lanes," says Yukon Duit, spokesperson for the group. The Hillside sharrows were subsequently painted over by City workers last July.

Sharrows – short for “Shared Use Arrow” – are bicycle-and-chevron markings indicating a shared use lane. The markings are used in cities across North America and Europe on roadways that are too narrow to incorporate a full bike lane.

Sharrows were adopted last year by the Transportation Association of Canada, which approves standards and guidelines for road design and markings across Canada. The markings have not been officially adopted by any of the municipalities in the CRD, although they are used to designate major bike routes in many other cities in Canada - most notably in Montreal and Vancouver.

"It’s clear that despite touting Victoria as the cycling capital of Canada, the CRD and the City do not see cycling infrastructure as a priority,” states Duit. “None of the City of Victoria’s $189-million 2010 budget has been allocated to the Sustainability Department, yet nearly $69-million will be spent repairing major vehicular roadways into the city and $3-million will be spent on automobile parkades.”

The City of Victoria 2009-2028 Capital Plan Project Budget allocates $2-million for a bike lane along Yates from Government to Wharf. Duit, however, says that the funds are misdirected.

“That’s a lot of money to spend on one block – and a lane on a downtown commercial block does not do much to support commuter cycling,” notes Duit. Alternatively, bike lanes along the Hillside-Lansdowne corridor would encourage cycling among the University of Victoria and Camosun College communities which see over 34,000 students and 5,000 faculty and staff accessing the campuses during the school year. Studies have shown that the biggest barrier to getting more people on bicycles is the perception of danger on the road due to inadequate cycling infrastructure.

The sharrows were painted 2 weeks ago. “I feel much safer having [the sharrows] there,“ says commuter cyclist Idid Itoo. “Cars and trucks are definitely responding differently, and giving me more space on the road.”

"We know from our experience that painting bike lanes is cheap. You can buy a lot of paint with $2-million, so we thought we'd show the CRD how it's done. Again," says Duit. “For its part, the City is making decisions in the dark, without the input of the cycling community, and at a snail’s pace” claims Duit, pointing to the shutting down of the City of Victoria Cycling Advisory Committee nearly two years ago.

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 people to reclaim ownership and stewardship of urban spaces by constructing urban infrastructure through direct action.

For more information:
To receive more info on the whereabouts of the new sharrows or to see photos email: oursvictoria@graffiti.net

O.U.R.S. Victoria media (2010)

O.U.R.S Victoria media (2009):
http://www.mondaymag.com/articles/entry/to-diy-or-not-to-diy/food-and-life/ http://www.timescolonist.com/travel/Sharrows+need+official http://www.timescolonist.com/news/City+crews+obliterate+guerrilla+road+marks http://www.timescolonist.com/travel/City+erases+more+bike+sharrows+Hillside http://www.timescolonist.com/travel/Cycling+activists+leading

An earlier report by City of Victoria Councillor John Luton on the success of sharrows in Montreal:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Brazil 2 X 1 North Korea - Cidade Universitária bridge, Sao Paulo

With Love From Lyon, France

Lots of people gathered on that peculiar Saturday afternoon (may 29) with the motto « draw yourself the bike lane you always asked for ». Indeed, bikers associations have been asking for real bike-lane planning in Lyon for years without being even heard. The existing bike lanes are ageing (pictograms disappearing...), mysteriously stop at dangerous crossroads, do not cross over bridges (there are many in Lyon), are not connected etc.

Despite, the major is boasting about “Lyon being a great biking city”.
Obviously, he has never tried biking around... This symbolic action was an attempt to draw everybody's attention and to show it is possible (and quite easy !) to create bike lanes. If we can do it, the city can surely do so...

The action was repeated the following Saturday to create bike lanes against the traffic in one-way streets in Lyon city centre. The city centre is a 30 km/h speed limit zone and all one-way streets should be opened to two-way traffic for bikes (as allowed by regulation). But once again, the municipality does not seem ready to move on. The action demonstrated the feasibility of such an urban
development... Let's hope it will inspire our city council !
Links: http://velorutionlyon.free.fr/article.php3?id_article=292

Sunday, May 30, 2010

URS In The Toronto Star

As the Star’s Robyn Doolittle reported in June, 2007, a group of activists calling themselves the Other Urban Repair Squad began putting unofficial — and illegal; they could have been arrested — bicycle lanes on city streets, using hot pink paint.
It was a protest against the city’s years-behind-schedule program to expand bike lanes. The painting had to be done during the rush hour, the only time cars wouldn’t be parked where the bike lane would be.
Doolittle accompanied the squad on one foray along Bloor St. She wrote, "Commuters instinctively take their positions, and bikes head right for the new lane as drivers dutifully merge left."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

ATSA - Change (Toronto Free Gallery)

ATSA is Proud to present CHANGE at the TORONTO FREE GALLERY! Closing Saturday, July 24, 2010.

CHANGE, is ATSA’s complete body of work together in one location, enabling the visitor to discover or rediscover this socially engaged collective through an appreciation of its overall output.

FROM $2 TO $2,000!
CHANGE, a retrospective of ATSA’s work coupled with an intervention on marketing, all at a “store” near you!
CHANGE, a platform for reexamining the major societal issues covered by ATSA: wealth and resource distribution; rampant consumerism; stewardship of our natural, built and intangible heritage; addiction to fossil fuels; violence toward children; globalization; and more.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Crossing the bridge

One of the main challenges faced by daily bicyclist's in Sao Paulo is crossing the bridges over Pinheiros and Tiete rivers.

Last sunday, Urban Repair folks painted more than 40 sharrows in Cidade Universitária bridge, warning drivers about the existence of bikes on the road that connects Pinheiros neighborhood and Sao Paulo University (USP).

The painting happend just after a solidarity gathering for a young bicyclist hit by a car in a street close to the bridge. Relatives of the young Tomas said the accident was not driver's fault.

The repair men and women painted "Devagar Vidas" on the ground, highlighting the importance of lower speeds in the city. Photos: aline / macacoveio

Thursday, April 29, 2010

With Love From L.A.'s Dept of D.I.Y.

Operation Caelia Shortface from The Dept of D.I.Y. on Vimeo.
Close to 1000 signs were posted ... totally amazing!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Different Path - HotDocs May 7 at the Royal | International Premiere

"Have you noticed that communities have been replaced by commutes, and pedestrians by parking lots? A handful of activists, sick of living in a car culture, decide to mobilize against automobiles. Seniors on scooters in Seattle, clown cyclists in Toronto, kayak commuters in New York and Portugal unite! Demanding sidewalks, curbs, and car-free days, protesters plan parties and absurdist actions to persuade others to join the revolution. They amuse in an effort to raise awareness about mobility issues. Richard and Cleta create a DIY scooter lane, while Michael dresses up the Klownen Führer. A lack of access to safe walkways and bike lanes has trapped large portions of the population, but since when does not being a driver equate to not being a citizen? Streets may have become the domain of cars, but they were originally intended for people. The time has come to take them back." - Angie Driscoll

Fri, May 07 7:15 pm | The Royal

Sun, May 09 6:30 pm | The Cumberland 3
Official website: thirtymilesfromanywhere.com
Official trailer: Trailer | Director(s) : Monteith McCollum

Friday, April 16, 2010

City of Toronto Announces Bike Boxes Pilot Project (Maybe)

Too bad they had to take this one out.
Toronto's First Bike Box was installed by URS in 2008.
Let's see if they actually paint them.

In any case, why wait?

News story

Sunday, April 11, 2010

With Love From Bratislava

Cykloguerilla Manifesto - Bratislava, Slovakia

We have had enough! To hell with the Mayor, who doesn't treat cyclists as full-fledged citizens. To hell with the City's and the city districts' administration who have been inactive in marking new biking lanes in the city. Initiative is in our hands now. The City hasn't been able to provide us with the working system of bike lanes in the past 20 years, so we are going to mark them ourselves. End to the ignorance of bike traffic, we want to travel safely in the city.

Who are we?

We are the people, who want to disburden the jammed roads and therefore we use mostly a bicycle to travel. We are not against the car traffic, but alone we don't find it sustainable - drivers see that everyday stuck in the traffic jams. We think bicycle is an ideal vehicle for a city - it's fast (door-to-door speed), amphibious (it can use roads and paths where roads are dangerous) and ecological.

What do we want?

We want bike lanes in the city that will serve for the safe bike traffic. The city bike lanes are not those recreational (e.g. embankment by the Danube river) - those serve for sports and to the tourists over the weekends, definitely not to day-to-day traffic to work or just to a café. Neither those amputated stumps leading from nowhere to nowhere (e.g. Trencianska street) are bike lanes - those are just the lame attempts of City administration to check off some activity.

What we do?

We show the City administration that marking the bike lanes is easy - a can of spray, a template and a little bit of common sense is enough (they haven't found it at Mayor's office in 20 years).



More photos here
Cykloguerrilla Blog
(translated from Slovak via Google Translate)