TransForm in the Field: “Cycling in the Winter City” – Webinar Hosted by Dr. Raktim Mitra & Tamara Nahal

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TransForm in the Field: “Cycling in the Winter City” – Webinar Hosted by Dr. Raktim Mitra & Tamara Nahal

Blog Post By:

Patrick Yutiga

Webinar Hosted by:

Dr. Raktim Mitra & Tamara Nahal

Our co-director Dr. Raktim Mitra, and TransForm Lab Alumni, Tamara Nahal, recently hosted a webinar and talk for Akureyri University in Iceland, focusing on cycling in winter cities. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Dr. Raktim Mitra highlighted the significance of cycling as a means of providing "Basic Mobility" - cycling is an equitable means of transportation that can provide mobility for people from all backgrounds and income groups.
  • Dr. Mitra also highlighted the use of the StudentMoveTO survey data for this study and key factors found that were significant in enabling students to cycle to campus or not. This included:
    • Socio-Demographics
    • Trip Characteristics
    • Neighbourhood Environment Characteristics
    • Personal Preferences and Attitudes
    • A key takeaway was that access to good infrastructure, and those in more established neighbourhoods are more likely to cycle throughout the year.
    • Tamara Nahal, TransForm Lab Alumni and Community Engagement Manager for Cycle Toronto spoke about cycling advocacy, and what measures can be done to improve winter cycling conditions and cultures.
    • Tamara brought forward several important and impactful initiatives and solutions to mitigate the challenges of cycling in the winter, such as snow removal, or brush, beet juice and brine as snow clearing methods.

    • Audience Members had several interesting questions for Dr. Mitra & Tamara. Here are some of the questions and responses:.
      • One major barrier to cycling is the physical strain of the activity itself. How do you respond to such challenges? Tamara noted that electric assist e-bikes are the way to, especially in traversing challenging topographies. Additionally, having a good bicycle gear range and help. Dr, Mitra noted that planners and institutions can coordinate together to become "Providers of Mobility" by integrating mobility hubs with bikeshare and e-scooter options.
      • What is the best way to lobby the government for cycling investment? Dr. Mitra noted that for massive regional-scale cycling initiatives to gain traction and become reality, there must be willingness from upper levels of government, and support from lower levels such as municipalities. Tamara noted that a good method for lobbying is building a coalition of like-minded groups that have a wide audience with strong reach, and having a strong case for justificaiton.
      • Neighbourhood Environment Characteristics
      • Personal Preferences and Attitudes

      TransForm Lab woud like to thank Akureyri University for the opportunity to come speak to its faculty and students.

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