Regulator unmoved by study showing trucks can be made safer for cyclists

Source: Globe & Mail, November 14, 2011

It’s a debate that’s gone on for years: Should truck drivers be forced to install side guards to help prevent pedestrians and cyclists from being crushed under their rear wheels? To families and friends of the victims, it’s a life-saving measure, a position reinforced after the tragic death of a cyclist in Toronto last week. But the trucking industry and the federal transportation regulator argue the evidence of the side-guard’s effectiveness isn’t clear. The debate moves to Ottawa on Monday when opposition MP Olivia Chow will press the government to make the protection mandatory on trucks across the country. A report from 2010, commissioned by Transport Canada and made available to The Globe and Mail, shows that since the introduction of guards on the side of most trucks in Europe in the late 1980s, the number of cyclists and pedestrians killed or seriously wounded in crashes with large vehicles has dropped. More


More hens, please

Source: Daily Gleaner, Nov 1, 2011

The sky has not fallen, Chicken Little. It was last March when chickens were the topic of conversation in Fredericton - specifically the keeping of chickens in urban coops in the backyards of residents. Residents Hazel Richardson and Philias Cyr had each applied for a one-year temporary use variance to keep three egg-laying hens in their backyards, and it was up to the Planning Advisory Committee to make the decision. The PAC seemed cautious, but curious and willing to entertain the request. Some neighbours were OK with the whole venture, while others wrote letters of protest and attended the PAC meeting to voice their concerns. One neighbour was so concerned she put her house up for sale and subsequently sold it. In the end, the PAC approved the requests, the hens moved in, and more than six months later, a lot of eggs have been cracked, but the sky has not fallen. In fact, PAC members, during their yearly tour of approved projects, visited Ms. Richardson's coop last week and found that everything was in order - no complaints, no odour, no noise. Happy hens, happy neighbours, happy family, lots of delicious, fresh eggs, and happy gardeners who collect the droppings for their plants. This is a success story, and we want to say thank you to the PAC for giving this venture a chance, and to Ms. Richardson and Mr. Cyr for the courage to take on this experiment and make it work. More