Welcome to the last CEoGB Bike blog round up of the year as we’ll be taking a bit of a Christmas break for the next fortnight. We start with what we hope will be the last protest of the year, the King’s Cross Xmas Vigil to remember with their friends and families the 16 cyclists who have been killed on the capital’s roads this year – an issue that’s even made it to the print Guardian . Mark from ibikelondon explains why it’s needed and Caroline Russell of Highbury on Foot explains why she will be joining the vigil too. it’s not just London, either – Glasgow police appeal for witnesses after a cyclist dies in a hit and run accident
While you’ve got your diaries out – don’t forget next January’s Edinburgh demonstration against the Scottish budget, organised by Stop Climate Chaos – MSPs have been supporting Spokes in their budget battle in Scotland but this is likely a debate that will go down to the wire.
TfL can’t put a lane in where Deep Lee died – because it would cause traffic queues – but it’s okay because they have pie charts to show how they’re meeting their safety targets. (and meanwhile, Utrecht digs up a dual carriageway and turns it into a canal). And as Kings Cross environment reports, they’d like her ghost bike removed – and you can read the interview with her boyfriend in full here .
We shouldn’t forget though that it’s not just people on bikes who are suffering. Although much was made of changes at Blackfriars Bridge being to handle increased pedestrian flow, the main crossing is actually being removed, giving it the potential to be London’s next accident blackspot as people sprint across anyway. The truth is, cyclists and pedestrians are as different as cyclists and drivers so their needs are different as the Vole o’speed explains – but that doesn’t explain why pedestrianised high streets in the UK ban bikes – but sometimes not buses…
Elsewhere it looks as if road designs being made better for pedestrians at the expense of turning cyclists into mobile traffic calming devices – or perhaps, sadly, the bike is simply being forgotten. Which is short sighted for, if we all cycled like the Danes Europe would be well on the way to meeting its targets for transport related emissions reductions (we assume this means not just cycling, but cycling dressed like this). This got widely picked up, not least over in the US, where the main reaction seemed to be why aren’t those crrrazy Dutch people wearing helmets? sigh.
If YOU had a bunch of TfL planners and engineers in a room, what would you say to them? Londonneur gave them this excellent video and wants to know why cyclists don’t get a seat at the table. We shouldn’t forget, though that traffic engineers are human too as Sam Schwartz laments. Perhaps we should cheer him up with these planning and urban design cartoons (no wait, come back, they’re funny!). Or just let the cyclists design road signs…
Back to politics, specifically in London, where Dave Hill questions Boris’s commitment to London’s Cycling revolution – as does Jenny Jones – who, as she writes in road.cc, has taken the unusual step for a politician of actually checking some facts (other mayoral candidates are available). Big Smoke reports that the London Assembly members finally managed to stay in long enough to vote for a cycle safety review – Two Wheels and Beyond has the details of the motion Kulveer Ranger, Boris’s director for the Environment blogs about what he’ll be doing about cyclists’ safety – ‘a safety review of every major planned scheme on their roads and every junction on the cycle superhighways’ which should lead ‘to a step change in the way engineers think when planning road layouts. Historically our roads have been designed with motorists in mind. But that must change’ – something Cyclists in the City cautiously welcomes, as do we. Maybe it will lead to an end to smothering traffic flow (bike and pedestrian traffic flow, that is) and cycle lanes that lead you straight into a lorry’s blind spot – or perhaps it will mean just more blue paint and pictures of bicycles to raise awareness . Meanwhile, perhaps all this ‘smoothing traffic flow’ will come to seem irrelevant as traffic declines for the third year in a row – though tell that to this government as the Campaign for Better transport laments 18 new roads (11 of them bypasses) getting funding
But never mind all that, it’s almost Christmas, as MCRCycling reminds us, and as Christmas seems to be all about shopping, what better time for a report on the High Street urging free parking for all (but, er, more pleasant environments to shop in. So maybe not stuck beside a queue of cars trying to find a free place to park). And the downside of all those people driving to the town centre to shop? Lovely Bike warns of the perils of cycling during the Christmas shopping period While Bikeyface turns it into a competitive sport Christmas is my bitch!
Correlation is not causation BUT have a look at the Treehugger graph of the day and come up with a better explanation … and, showing that we like to have it both ways (the furious blog posts pointing this out do wonders for our traffic), Karl McCracken looks at the other cycling safety graph – do bike helmets make cycling more dangerous? And speaking of safety, Richmond Cycling Campaign gets told that campaining to improve safety is counter-productive by its own borough cycling champion – no wonder, given the borough’s fine cycling facilities
Magnatom looks at his most popular video – among drivers who hate cyclists who seem to like torturing themselves by watching his films. They might benefit from Dave Moulton’s top tips for drivers ‘Avoid hitting cyclists by simply going around them’. Meanwhile Mikael cuts up his driving licence in protest at speed limits – too high speed limits, that is – and the Cottenham Cyclist lures another coworker onto two wheels
Ever wondered what vehicular cyclists’ problem is? Brown Girl in the Lane thinks she knows the answer
Thieves get inventive (and dangerous) on the Bath-Bristol cycle path according to Avon and Somerset police while Tlatet discovers that, as far as Sport England is concerned, he no longer cycles At least he’s not wrecking his knees – in fact to the contrary
And finally, we leave you on an uplifting note with this fantastic story about one of next year’s Olympic torch bearers – 92, and if one comment on the article is anything to go by, still pedalling.
That’s it for 2011. It’s been an eye opener doing these blog roundups every week. We’ll be keeping an eye out for the best of the festive posts (although please dont ALL tweet that you got Bromptons in your stockings because it makes some of us jealous) and we’ll be back for a rip-roaring cycle campaigning year in 2012.