Views

The connection between walkability and high cycle use

As Easy As Riding A Bike - 20 May, 2014 - 12:47

Figures for cycling in Bruges are a little hard to come by, but from this Fietsberaad document [pdf], cycling in the city seems to form between 15-20% of all trips.

It’s certainly the most ‘Dutch’ place I’ve visited outside of the Netherlands, in terms of the amount of cycling, and the types of people riding bikes – broadly, a representative cross-section of the population at large. It’s also a very walkable city. It feels safe and comfortable, and easy to get about on foot.

I think this connection between walkability and high cycling levels is more general. I found Strasbourg to be a very pleasant city to walk around – this is a city that has some of the highest levels of cycle use in France.

And of course Dutch towns and cities – with their high cycling levels – are almost always a joy to walk around, compared to their UK equivalents.

I don’t necessarily think there’s any causal connection here, but certainly there are reasons why having a high cycling modal share makes it easier to walk around cities.

Principally, it means that fewer trips are being made by car, which has several obvious advantages for those walking. It’s just easier to cross the road when there are fewer cars and more bikes. Bikes are far smaller, they travel more slowly, and the person on them has an interest in avoiding you.

A street with a high volume of people cycling. If these people were travelling by car, the street would be practically impossible to cross without traffic controls

Similarly, with high levels of cycling use, and low levels of motor vehicle use, the need for traffic control at junctions becomes unnecessary. That means no push buttons to cross roads, or multiple staggered crossings. Junctions are easy to walk across. The level of signalisation in Dutch towns and cities is far, far lower than in Britain, even in places with high levels of ‘traffic’.

Less directly, towns and cities with high levels of cycling are safer for pedestrians (there are simply fewer motor vehicles which have the potential to harm you), and they are also more attractive, and quieter.

We need to move beyond the notion that cycling is something antagonistic to walking – something ‘extra’ that needs to be accommodated in the streetscape alongside walking and driving – and realise that it is a crucial way of improving the experience of walking itself.


Categories: Views

The connection between walkability and high cycle use

As Easy As Riding A Bike - 20 May, 2014 - 12:47

Figures for cycling in Bruges are a little hard to come by, but from this Fietsberaad document [pdf], cycling in the city seems to form between 15-20% of all trips.

It’s certainly the most ‘Dutch’ place I’ve visited outside of the Netherlands, in terms of the amount of cycling, and the types of people riding bikes – broadly, a representative cross-section of the population at large. It’s also a very walkable city. It feels safe and comfortable, and easy to get about on foot.

I think this connection between walkability and high cycling levels is more general. I found Strasbourg to be a very pleasant city to walk around – this is a city that has some of the highest levels of cycle use in France.

 

 

And of course Dutch towns and cities – with their high cycling levels – are almost always a joy to walk around, compared to their UK equivalents.

 

I don’t necessarily think there’s any causal connection here, but certainly there are reasons why having a high cycling modal share makes it easier to walk around cities.

Principally, it means that fewer trips are being made by car, which has several obvious advantages for those walking. It’s just easier to cross the road when there are fewer cars and more bikes. Bikes are far smaller, they travel more slowly, and the person on them has an interest in avoiding you.

A street with a high volume of people cycling. If these people were travelling by car, the street would be practically impossible to cross without traffic controls

Similarly, with high levels of cycling use, and low levels of motor vehicle use, the need for traffic control at junctions becomes unnecessary. That means no push buttons to cross roads, or multiple staggered crossings. Junctions are easy to walk across. The level of signalisation in Dutch towns and cities is far, far lower than in Britain, even in places with high levels of ‘traffic’.

Less directly, towns and cities with high levels of cycling are safer for pedestrians (there are simply fewer motor vehicles which have the potential to harm you), and they are also more attractive, and quieter.

We need to move beyond the notion that cycling is something antagonistic to walking – something ‘extra’ that needs to be accommodated in the streetscape alongside walking and driving – and realise that it is a crucial way of improving the experience of walking itself.

 


Categories: Views

Well done London! From the Big Ride to the streets where you live: space4cycling WILL make a difference

ibikelondon - 19 May, 2014 - 08:30



London Cycling Campaign's staff and hundreds of volunteers should be feeling extremely proud of themselves.  Not only did they present an impeccably organised family friendly "Big Ride" on Saturday pushing politicians to sign up to their space4cycling campaign, they've already procured pre-election promises from Councillors who will have the power to change the streets where you live.


London bathed in gloriously warm sunshine on Saturday, bringing cyclists out on to the streets in their thousands ready to have a good time, to enjoy their capital city, but to present a serious message too.  Whereas Park Lane usually drowns in the roar of motor traffic, the start of the Big Ride resounded to the tinkling of bells, music, chants and Mexican Waves.


The ride snaked past Hyde Park Corner, the Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Downing Street before meeting this year's Tweed Run cycling in the opposite direction on Parliament Square.  On Embankment the ride took a good half hour to pass me by as I took photos; estimates on turn out range between 5,000 and 7,500 cyclists and there were countless children there enjoying streets they wouldn't usually be able to ride on.  ITV and BBC news cameras rolled, whilst journalists scribbled from the sidelines.








London Cycling Campaign Chief Executive Ashok Sinha said, “We owe a debt of gratitude to the thousands who joined us today on our Space for Cycling Big Ride, helping to send a powerful message to London's politicians. Our city and borough leaders can be in no doubt as to the hunger there is from ordinary Londoners for streets that are safe and inviting for everyone to cycle."

As a direct result of the space4cycling campaign, all of the Councillors who will be elected in Hackney have pledged to implement the specific cycling demands in their area (which range from building quieter back routes right up to the removal of a gyratory system.)





In a very impressive show of support for cycling, every Green Party local Council candidate has signed up implement space4cycling pledges (840 candidates in 32 London boroughs) and the leader of the Green Party, Natalie Ben, joined the ride.

100% of Labour candidates in Croydon, Hackney, Hammersmith, Fulham, Lambeth and Sutton have signed up, 100% of Lib Dems in Hackney and Southwark, and 100% of Conservatives in Hackney, Bermondsey and Merton.  

Over 75,000 emails have been sent to prospective Councillors, putting the space4cycling agenda firmly in the centre of the battle for votes, with over a third of London's local election candidates agreeing to demands.

These people will be elected meaning there will be pre-election promises to be implemented; promises of slower speeds, safer cycling routes and space4cycling where you live.

Sadly only 0.2% of UKIP candidates have agreed to support the campaign, whilst none of the Christian Alliance Party's candidates have signed up at all.







But on Saturday little could dampen the spirits of the cyclists on the Big Ride.  The scores of children who came along showed who we are campaigning for, whilst a cyclist fatality in Elephant and Castle last week and a serious injury suffered by a cyclist in Shoreditch on Saturday morning itself showed why the message for a safer more liveable city is more important than ever.

It's not too late to add your voice of support: email your candidates here.

Did you enjoy the Big Ride?  The logistics cost the London Cycling Campaign - a charity - a lot of money.  If you had a good time and felt proud to be part of something making a difference on Saturday, please consider making a donation online here.  For the price of a cup of coffee you can help ensure events like this can happen again in the future.

More photos can be found on the London Cycling Campaign website here, as well as the BBC news report here and ITV's touching coverage of the recent death at Elephant and Castle here. Jason's Onion Bag blog has some great photos and snippets of speeches from all of the politicians who spoke at the Finish Line Rally here.  With space4cycling rides taking place across the UK, Bike Biz has the low down on protest rides elsewhere here.
Share |
Categories: Views

A temporary signalled crossing for cyclists (Road works vs. the Dutch cyclist)

A View from the Cycle Path - 16 May, 2014 - 20:42
Where cycling is at a high level, chances can't be taken with what would happen if cyclists were redirected from safe and direct cycle-paths onto busy unpleasant roads. The result could be a catastrophic change in how people travel. Cycling is very fragile. If people have unpleasant experiences when cycling, they are likely to give up and make their future journeys by a different mode. This David Hembrowhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/14543024940730663645noreply@blogger.com0http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2014/05/a-temporary-signalled-crossing-for.html
Categories: Views

5 Top Tips for rocking the Big Ride!

ibikelondon - 15 May, 2014 - 08:30

Just days before London goes to the polls to elect hundreds of new local Councillors, thousands of cyclists will descend on central London this Saturday to take part in the space4cycling Big Ride.

The family-friendly fun ride with a serious message will snake its way through traffic-free streets, passing some of our capital's most famous landmarks along the way.  But this colourful carnival of cycles has a serious message, too: those who are elected to run 70% of our streets must make them safe and convenient to cycle upon.  The Big Ride is the culmination of a campaign that has asked thousands of prospective Councillors to sign up to creating space for cycling where they will rule.  It's not too late to ask yours, and takes just a few seconds.

So how do you survive a bike ride through Central London with thousands of other people?  Just follow our 5 Top Tips for Rocking the Big Ride!


1.  Grab your family and friends! Bring as many people with you as you can; your Nan, your Mum, that nice Mr Jerrico from the corner shop down the road... Come one, come all!  They'll thank you for a fun, free, smile-filled day out and in return you get a pack of willing volunteers to carry all of your stuff for you (See Tip Number 2, below)
2.  Prepare for all meteorological eventualities!It's London, it's spring, anything could happen!  You'll need to pack for all weathers: I'm thinking sun cream and rain coats, umbrellas and shades.  In all seriousness, check the weather before you depart and bring lots of layers with you; you might get quite warm riding to the event, but there may be a bit of waiting round in the open air at the start of the event where you are likely to cool down very quickly.  Bring plenty of clothes with you to keep your kids warm too.  If you're wondering how you're going to carry all this stuff, that's what the funny shaped rack on the back of your bike is for. Haven't got a rack? Talk to someone who has. "Well hello Mr Jerrico, I'm so glad you came!"


3.  Fill your tank with fuel!Hungry cyclists are unhappy cyclists.  Hungry child cyclists are even worse.  Eat like a pro before you leave (I believe Sir Bradley Wiggins is partial to a Full English Breakfast) and bring plenty of sugary treats for along the way, too.  If you haven't ridden for a while you'll be surprised how hungry it makes you feel and trust me, fighting with several thousand other cyclists in a central London Pret-A-Manger over the last remaining flapjack is not a good look.


4.  Let the [bike] train take the strain!Daunted by the prospect of riding to and from the ride with your family and friends?  Don't be!  Did you know you can take your bike on the Docklands Light Railway, the London Overground and also all of these sections of the tube network?  Better still, London Cycling Campaign volunteers are running a host of free escorted "feeder rides" to get you smoothly to the event - they're great fun and there's nothing like the experience of setting off in a big group of your neighbours and other local riders.  Here's a list of the feeder rides location and a map.

5. Make some noise!Your favourite bike blogger (that's me, in case you were wondering) will be on the start line stage playing bike-related tunes, interviewing participants and generally doing his best to whip you all in to a frenzy.  But once you're past the bank of speakers, mass cycle rides can feel eerily quiet.  A nice shiny bell or some lovely big hooters can brighten up any ride, but why stop there?  Bring whistles, rattles and a host of witty campaign slogans to chant.  Or why not strap your iPod speakers to your bike, make up a cycling song playlist and have yourself a rolling disco?  Let's not be too English about this and make sure it's a real party, and London's knows why we are riding!

So decorate your bikes, make some signs, get dressed up in the space4cycling colours of red and white and see you there!

The space4cycling Big Ride will gather on London's Park Lane from 11AM, setting off at exactly midday on Saturday 17th May, ending by Temple Station on the Embankment.  Everything you need to know about Saturday's ride is over on the London Cycling Campaign website. 
All above photos by Ben Broomfield and James Perrin via the London Cycling Campaign, used with thanks. 
Share |
Categories: Views

How come there are no pot holes in the Netherlands?

BicycleDutch - 14 May, 2014 - 23:01
“How come there are no pot holes in the Netherlands?“ Every time I show Dutch infrastructure to foreign guests that question keeps coming back. And it’s not just people with … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

How come there are no pot holes in the Netherlands?

BicycleDutch - 14 May, 2014 - 23:01
“How come there are no pot holes in the Netherlands?“ Every time I show Dutch infrastructure to foreign guests that question keeps coming back. And it’s not just people with … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Pages

Subscribe to Cycling Embassy of Great Britain aggregator - Views