Bike bloggers can be an angry bunch so sometimes compiling the bike blog roundup can be a dispiriting exercise. This week, however, we're determined to start with the good news, so let's all welcome Bristol's new mayor, founder of Sustrans who plans to Groningenise Bristol, and his new cabinet which has just approved the city's 'Democratising Cycling' report - Sam Saunders knows one area where he might make a start after 20 years of stalemate (and not so far away, another long held plan is almost at fruition).
Nor does the good news end there with the London Assembly telling Boris to Go Dutch and cut cycling casualtiesas it looks as if the simplistic safety in numbers myth is finally being laid to rest. The report was widely welcomed - with positive responses from British Cycling through to Cyclists in the City and even the Road Danger Reduction Forum giving it a partial thumbs up. Elsewhere, Cycalogical welcomes plans for a new Super Corridor but keeps the champagne on ice, while the champagne was firmly in the cupboard in Upper Ground where a route that sees 700 cyclists an hour is to close for almost a year and the Vole O'Speed remains pessimistic (oh and if you're all excited about the potential Jubilee foot and bike bridge? Diamond Geezer has a more sobering analysis of that recent story).
But we will not be downhearted in this Road Safety week (anybody notice?) with campaigners from Living Streets to the CTC to the International Transport Federation uniting around calls for 20mph speed limits (that's 30km/h in foreign) - and Copenhagenize releasing a handy shared analysis of all the evidence - something perhaps for the New Zealand Coroner to consider after a black week down under
With Edinburgh one of the few UK cities to sign up to the Charter of Brussels, the good news should continue north of the border yet Kim Harding is left wondering where it all went wrong. Its 'Quality Bike Corridor' fails utterly, littered with parked cars, prompting letters to councillors while the battle for Leith Walk goes on and the face of Edinburgh cycling is not a pretty one. The furore was even enough to alert the English Blogosphere and more importantly, Scotland may miss its climate change targets (nothing to do with its road budget rising 40% in the last five years, surely?)
With the Scottish minister questioned in parliament on cycling, down in London a parliamentary debate got hijacked by the helmet compulsion issue and in Stormont they can't even tackle parking in cycle lanes. In short, here endeth the good news.
Fortunately, the Blogosphere was also full of advice for campaigners this week, from strategies to beat 'bike backlash to tips for bike advocates with some wise words from Our Bicycle Lives. And the last of the Go Dutch conferences was held, this time in Manchester, hopefully energising cycle campaigners and local politicians alike, while the first international Cycle Safety Conference might help bring a little light as well as heat to the cycle safety debate. Meanwhile the consultation exercises continue, with the deadline looming for the All Party group inquiry into cycling, more cycle lanes planned in Greenwich, and a road plan in Barnes that aims to reduce traffic queues without apparently considering walking and cycling at all.
Almost 200 years after the first recorded cycle hatred, there will, at least, be a new offence for drivers who injure but do not kill - something for our shiny new police commissioners to consider? Perhaps the ONE THIRD of scofflaw motorists who admit to using their mobiles at the wheel might be a priority? At least one driver gets a six month ban for a close pass of two cyclists (surely nothing to do with the fact that they were off-duty coppers) while Croydon Cyclist's close pass doesn't result in any action but some progress has been made. Down under, a female cyclist discovers that there are some drivers you wish genuinely hadn't seen you (whatever the state of the so called 'war' on Britain's roads, at least it seems a bit more civilised than in Australia) not something Chester Cycling's safety tips can do much to tackle. Perhaps it's time for all of us to stand up and admit that we're scared.
With census results showing people moving back into city centres, the Urbanist reminds us that high density alone does not make cities more environmentally friendly - instead we have to create environments where there's no excuse not to ride a bike - instead of a place where hardly any children cycle to school. We have to make more of the differences between walking, cycling and driving, consider where the missing links are, find space for cycle parking at our stations, plan ahead when impending construction will block bike lanes. Sometimes national standards can make things work - and sometimes we have to reconsider support for plans which might include better bike infrastructure but which do nothing to challenge car culture. Meanwhile in Cambridge, incomplete cycle routes put people's lives at risks - while in New York, Nimby objections to a pedestrianised plaza may have resulted in a skateboarder's death.
In fact with the yoof of today less likely to drive and bike repair rooms popping up in apartment blocks in Denver, US cities are learning lessons from bike-friendly business districts and using bikes to attract young professionals. But it's not just in the US where cycling has an economic impact from whole new bike-based businesses and London's last full-scale manufacturing site through to bike first aid kits to encourage cycling, and right down to the humble honesty box
It's been a week of travel too - with visits to the bicycle kingdom, to bike- and kid-friendly Montreal, to New York's public art. The Dutch Royal couple visit Istanbul - on bikes, of course - while the Alternative Department for Transport plays happy families in the Netherlands. Spacing Vancouver discusses cycling and walking with Gil Penalosa (and if you read only one thing this week, read that) while Muenchenierung takes inspiration from Naples where they don't mess around closing a single lane on a road - they close all six of them. A French student discovers Bikeland while Cycling Info looks to a bridge in Belgium. Atlantic Cities sees a van transformed into a 'parklet' in San Francisco while Lisbons traffic arteries get transformed into literal ones. And sometimes travel is in the head - with Lovely Bicycle blowing a passing commuter's mind while Copenhagenize discovers that the past can surprise too.
And finally with Christmas looming, what to get for the cyclist who has everything? - not sharrows, certainly. Perhaps some bicycle taxidermy for those N-1 moments, or the greatest safety invention of our age, the media helmet - or even (because bells are so last century) something that makes your bike sound like a horse. Yes, really. And for the motorist in your life? Well, not content with heating their cycle paths, those dastardly Dutch are planning glow in the dark roads. Clearly the demise of the Netherlands as a transport paradise has been somewhat exaggerated after all.