Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pottery Road Before & After Re-design

P1130605 by Martinho

Giant SLOW stencil installed by URS earlier in the spring works better in terms slowing down traffic speeds just before the busy Don Valley Trail crossing.

Below is the current design as it is today.

Urban Repair Squad 'Le Depart'

This video was created by Streets are for People! in honour of activist group the Urban Repair Squad. Directed by Michael Louis Johnson, the film played on the small screen (a vintage TV set) as part of the Creative Activism exhibit at the Toronto Free Gallery, the Actions exhibit at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the Graham Foundation in Chicago and currently at CMAV in Toulouse. The short film enjoyed it's big screen debut in New York City 2009 Bicycle Film Festival (BFF) plus the Toronto & Montreal BFF. The film was also shown at the Portland Filmed by Bike Festival in 2010 and currently at the SPUR Urban Center

Story & gags....Shamez Amlani, Michael Louis Johnson
Art Direction....Kelsey Carriere
Cast: Michael Louis Johnson, Shamez Amlani, Martin ReisKelsey Carriere, 
Colin Bryden and Szuszanna Garay
Producer: Martin Reis
Camera....Lisa Logan
Editor....Michael Louis Johnson
Director...Michael Louis Johnson
Music: Life of Crime by Michael Louis Johnson, performed by the New Kings.
Length: 4:42
Year: 2008

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spotted tonight at the corner of Dundas West and Sterling. The intersection where Jenna Morrison lost her life on Monday. It should be noted that these stencil were NOT done by the Urban Repair Squad nor the City of Toronto. But very effective nonetheless. Amazing what some cardboard and $10 of spray paint can do.

A few days later, URS added these designs.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


"The anti-dote to people not wanting progress is to make progress." -David Deutsch

Saturday, October 15, 2011

This Space Available Documentary

'PublicAdCampaign is excited to announce the world premier of the full length documentary film This Space Available, on November 5th at 7pm. The film investigates the topic of Visual Pollution in our global community through the eyes of industry insiders, governmental agencies and public activists like myself. While I have yet to see the film myself, I expect the film to be an even handed account of this pressing global issue meant to spur debate on the topic and build a critical platform on which further discussion can occur. There will be a Q&A after the screening for anyone who would like to discuss the issue further with the participants and film makers. 

To purchase tickets for the This Space Available premier at the DOC NYC fest at the IFC theater on 11-05-11, please visit the DOC NYC website [HERE].' 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sao Paulo Bikecapetas

Including many views of URS chapter Sao Paulo's work; Bicycle and Slow (Devagar Vidas) Stencils.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lego My Bike Lane

Dupont Street Toronto.


Lego my bike lane! 

This morning Toronto's Urban Repair Squad (URS) got down to fixing the city's broken infrastructure once again. The City's recent and mind-boggling financial investment in the removal of cycling safety infrastructure motivated the anonymous group of urban citizens to bring their construction kits to the corner of Dupont Street and Lansdowne Avenue. Goal: To repair damage done to the Dupont bicycle lane three weeks prior. Is Dupont Street a throughway for all urban commuters to traverse the East and West parameters of the city? The Urban Repair Squad thinks so. Streets need to work for everyone, not just cars. Commuters on bicycles continue to use Dupont as their necessary travel route to work, eat, and play. But, their infrastructure needs are being pulled out from under their... wheels. Urban Repair Squad holds true to a vision of a fairer city that adapts to the diversity of our citizens' transportation choices. In response to the removal of the Dupont lanes, for the duration of this morning's rush hour, the squad re-installed a more flexible, modular system of bike lane infrastructure. This installation is proof that building a safe cycling infrastructure is really just child's play.
This action was done in solidarity with cyclists who use Birchmount and Pharmacy, whose bike lane's are being removed as we write.
Councillor Ana Bailao's response to proposed removal, posted July 22, 2011:

Spotted: NOW Magazine Oct. 13, 2011

More photos:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pissoir Publique

P1100675 by Martinho
P1100675, a photo by Martinho on Flickr.
Installation during Nuit Blanche 2011 Toronto. Urban Repair Squad and volunteers install a public toilet at Queen & Lisgar. "The merchants and residents of Ossington Village thanks you for peeing on these doors instead of peeing on our doors." Sponsored by French wine company Piat D'Or.

Friday, September 30, 2011

An Artist Quoted

"Sometimes you have to fight danger with danger." - Roadsworth, on the perceived dangers of painting artwork onto public roads. Toronto, Sept. 28, 2011.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Traverse City Michigan

8th Street "Share the Road" DIY Sharrows after city refuses to accommodate cyclists with a bike lane.

With Love From Anchorage, Alaska

DIY bike lane by bikesunite
DIY bike lane, a photo by bikesunite on Flickr.

Monday, August 1, 2011

With Love from Montreal

Photo By Hamish Wilson

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Coletivo Camina, Haz Ciudad (Walk, Make Your City Collective)

COLECTIVO CAMINA, HAZ CIUDAD in Mexico City, DF decided that this roadway needed safer access for pedestrians. So they installed it. Although their work was painted over, the city agreed with their vision and installed a separated space for pedestrians and cyclists. Great work. More of their excellent work can be found here: (in Spanish) Via Sustainable Cities

Friday, June 3, 2011

200 Billboards Replaced With Art In Montreal

Installation by Justseeds

See all the amazing art here

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Street Lego

Toronto, Bloor and Lansdowne May 1, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Painting A DIY Bike Lane Mexican Style

More info: Translation (via Google): 3. April 2011
male citizen bicycle paths
Mexico's middle class organized sichper Twitter, umVerkehrspolitik and change society
.................................................. ................................
In Mexico, citizens create
on your own bike paths. It
is not just about security, they
also set a sign against
the authoritarian authorities.
.................................................. ................................
Matt Knecht, Guadalajara
9 Clock 40: The civil disobedience be-
begins to country of late,
rested for it. Joy Nu ~ no, 27, Video
designer, is now site manager
in Mexico's second largest city, Guadalajara
Lajara: "The road is 9 meters wide.
Right and left, we zwacken each 1.20
Meters for the bikes off to a length
of three kilometers, "he exclaims.
The 30-member troupe invites the
Material for the "bourgeois-Velo
away from, "as they call their project.
Huge template in the form of
Bikes, paint buckets and homemade
Street signs. The group includes
Students as well as employees and
Self-employed. Each raises so much money in
his hat as he can to the vice-
charged 600 francs material costs
. Cover Together they finally lift-
Lich an adventurous companions of
the loading area, a supercharged
and gun-tipped loads
velo. In the sweaty three-
Man operation can thus be an almost
straight line on the road spray.
More deaths than in the drug war
10 Clock 05: The main working unit
Jesus Soto, 26 - a Blackberry.
The computer specialist is now com-
munikationschef. He sent first
Photos about Twitter and Facebook. Re-
porter of local and national media
, hurry. "This action is completely
illegal, "Soto dictated into the microphone.
"I am involved because our authorities
the incapable. We make it
in the pillory. "Mexico's road
transport more than 17 000 persons die
. NEN That's more deaths than in Dro-
genkrieg. It hits the poor most,
the foot or by bicycle to move-
gene, because otherwise afford
can. Mexican cities are only
Cars built, the city of Guadalajara
jara. "Our cities are a mirror
of Mexico's inequality, "laments Soto.
10 Clock 30: The activists impose
The new speed limit. "30 km / h»
is now in huge letters on
the roadway. Felipe Madrigal, 36;
Main job is playing medic, police officer
and directs the traffic to its
brush be around friends. In his
Spare time he is white bikes at Gua-
dalajaras street lamps, each a
Memorial for a transport-geto
ended cyclists. Since August 2009
Madrigal has 49 white-on bikes
hanged. "Welcome to the Third
World, "says the medic with cynicism.
"If you have a car, are you who.
If not, you're worth nothing. "Ge-
build the bike trail for the poor.
But those who build it to include
Mexico's increasingly self-conscious
Educated middle class. Many of them
have studied in foreign countries.In Canada
or in Europe, they have seen that
the bike is not just for poor wretch
is. But in Mexico, they are faced with
an authoritarian policy face
referring in particular to the rich upper-
layer of the country-oriented. The
Fight for bike paths, they look so
as a struggle for more Bürgerbeteili-
tion."The debate is only the traffic
Pretext, "says one."The issue is
the democratization of Mexico, our
Weapons are Facebook and Twitter. "
11 Clock 10: Twitter is over 60 re-
actions received.Most for-
Biking trails but also outside her house.
In Guadalajara, the congestion around the
brush activists always be chaotic
shear.But the state can not be
look.There are only two possibilities for him
possibilities: either in front of the Ka-
mera with police violence against the activi-
Visten proceed.Or action to
. Accept
Presence of the Minister
12 Clock 10: Diego Monraz, transport
Ministers of the member state of Jalisco, he-
appears to be an obviously designed for
procured this performance cycle.He is
for transport planning in Guadalajara
jara responsible.Monraz shows up as
foxy politicians and praises the
"Exceptional civic commit-
management ".The Minister promised the
Bike trail to legalize retroactively,
three days later what he does.
13 clock: the tweets go to
Hundreds.For all of Mexico meet
Congratulations to the political he-
successful one.Citizens in three cities to ask
for technical assistance, and they want
a bourgeois construct bike trail.
The strategist of the action muses:
"We can mitregieren.The Politi-
ker it increasingly difficult for us to
. Pass »
But the joy over the success
lasts briefly.The next day comes
in Guadalajara, another cyclist
killed.A bus rolled over a
31-year-old man when turning.About
Facebook ambulance calls his Madrigal
To friends to him by hanging
the next white bikes to accom-
ten. It is the fiftieth.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Installed Jan 26, 2009 - Still There May 4, 2011

Installed Jan 26, 2009 by Martinho

May 4, 2011 Photo
The Bike-Friendly TTC Signage designed by URS at Spadina Station. 
2009 Installation at 70 TTC Subway stations.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Radical cyclists peddle sharrow agenda in Victoria

In the middle of the night, with no warning at all, pedestrian infrastructure was savagely attacked by a gang of bike riding anarchists known to authorities only as the Other Urban Repair Squad (OURS). Shunning reason and civilization, these brutes painted another round in the series of sharrows marring our streets since 2009.

Or not.

Maybe a group of concerned citizens got together and decided to take up arms (read: paint) in the name of improving local cycling amenities. You figure it out.

Sharrows are road markings indicating a shared-use lane where roads are too narrow to incorporate a bike lane. OURS has been painting these markings around the capital since 2009, focusing on high-traffic areas with little existing bicycle infrastructure.

Yukon Duit, spokesperson for OURS says the group is painting sharrows to highlight the gap between car and bike infrastructure upgrading and maintenance in the capital.

“We’re talking about bike lanes that just disappear into the ether in the middle of a route. Imagine if these were vehicle routes — we would never do that to cars.”

According to councillor John Luton, due process — meaning engineers, studies, and consultation — is still what’s needed. OURS, in contrast, is undemocratic and unsafe. “I want this decision made by professionals, not by the self-appointed vanguard of cyclist’s interests,” Luton says.

Or maybe not.

“This is exactly what democracy looks like. It’s engaged citizens helping to shape the public sphere,” says Duit. “The City of Victoria collapsed its one formal group for cyclists to have their voice, so there’s no longer a direct route for cyclists to communicate our needs to the city.” As far as Duit is concerned, OURS is filling that void.

While the group doesn’t necessarily adhere to Transportation Authority guidelines when applying sharrows, Duit says that’s not the idea.

“Our point is not that we’re using the exact materials and spacing,” Duit says. “Our point is that the city should be doing it. This is the next best thing while we wait for the city and the region to take action. Of course the city is going to do a better job — that’s the whole point.”

In the end, while the goals of activists, radicals and officials (in this case, anyway) appear to coincide, debate over method may still doom future sharrows to less-than-legal status. M

Monday, April 11, 2011

Urban Repair Squad at CCA Actions Exhibtion in 2010

Archive Page From The Canadian Centre For Architecture

Saturday, April 2, 2011

MaSAT - Madrid Street Advertising Takeover

This original action was later expanded to liberate 106 billboards in Madrid on March 30th, 2011.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

O.U.R.S. Victoria Opens Urban Repair Season With Style


VICTORIA’S ‘Other Urban Repair Squad’ (O.U.R.S.) STRIKES Again:
Cycling Activists Paint “Guerrilla Sharrows” to launch spring cycling season

March 22, 2011 - Coast Salish Territories, Victoria –
Victoria’s celebrated Other Urban Repair Squad (O.U.R.S) has painted more
“sharrows” along a busy commuter route in Victoria. The markings run
along Lansdowne Road, which links downtown with the Camosun and
University of Victoria campuses.

"Now that it's spring more folks will be riding their bikes to work
and school,” says Yukon Duit, spokesperson for the group. “We do our
nighttime urban repair work because of a simple wish to get more
people out of their cars and onto their bikes. We’d like to kick off
the cycling season on a safe note, and let cyclists know that even
though the City has forgotten about their infrastructure needs, we

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.

It's been nearly a year since guerrilla sharrows were painted on
different sections of Hillside and Lansdowne - an area of town which
many cyclists agree should have more bike lanes connecting to the
downtown core. Yet, neither the CRD nor the Cities of Saanich and
Victoria have responded with any further developments.

Another set of guerrilla sharrows running along Lansdowne in front of
Camosun College were left untouched by the City of the Saanich – a
progressive move that was applauded by the cycling community.

"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
Region and City 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 three years ago.

Each year there are 1,300 crashes involving cyclists in British
Columbia, and on average, 10 people are killed. When car and bicycle
collide, the cyclist invariably loses.

“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” said Eva Moores-Afely when OURS interviewed random cyclists that
used the sharrows on their commute to Camosun College last year.

"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 was allocated to the Sustainability Department, yet nearly
$69-million was spent repairing major vehicular roadways into the city
and $3-million was spent on automobile parkades.”

“The City and the Region needs to put their money where their mouth
is, and do more to support commuter cycling,” notes Duit. 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.

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.

To receive more info or to see high resolution photos email:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Macdonell Sharrows Redux

P1030476, originally uploaded by Martinho.

The URS sharrows painted over by city workers last fall have resurfaced on Macdonell. Here is what they like before:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Answer To Rob Ford's 'War On Graffiti'

Urban Repair Squad in April 2009 took a different approach at the same location.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

'Questions On Harbord Linger'

Harbord Street with parking on the right side instead of a continuous bike lane into the University of Toronto. The bright yellow stencil by the Urban Repair Squad resurfaces after being painted over with tar by city workers last fall.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


More info: CMAV

Centre Méridional de l'Architecture et de la Ville

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Shop with Self-managed Architecture, Noise Fridge, Coloco, Ctrl + Z, The Shed Vertical, Didattica, Encore Heureux Exyzt, Muf, Raumlabor, Recetas Urbanas, SYN-atelier urban exploration, Urban Repair Squad, J. Graham and T. Jusczyk, JP Ganem, Mossop + Michaels architects, G. Lang, AC Work, Office for Unsolicited Architecture (OAU), Mr. Rakowitz, playspace Foundation

Exhibition developed and presented by the Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Architecture de Toulouse in partnership with AERA, with the kind cooperation of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), Montreal Scientific commissioner Enrico Chapel, architect, teacher.

The exhibition presents a selection of urban situations which are defined at the crossroads architecture, art and politics: reversible and temporary buildings, plant, scenes, art, participative, gardens, play areas, informal settlements which are built ... or "self-build 'next steps of DIY', low-tech and ready-mades. The aim is to question their use value and symbolic value. To what extent these various situations they promote constructive appropriation of urban space and participation unscheduled fate of contemporary cities?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sao Paulo: Cyclists Square Fifth Anniversary

Five years ago, cycling activists claimed a small square in central Sao Paulo for all cyclists.
The rest is history.

Friday, January 28, 2011

URS Goes To France (Toulouse)

Photographs and video of the work by URS will be on display in the upcoming exhibition at the Centre Méridional de l’Architecture et de la Ville, Toulouse, France.

The exhibition will open on February 26 and will run until 28 May, 2011. The exhibition deals with unexpected urban inter-ventions and urban actions, and 
is titled: Urbanités inattendues. Actions architecturales en ville.