First, let's celebrate the latest recognition that we should all be walking or cycling short distances, news that will come as a huge shock to approximately none of this site's readership. The Guardian followed up in some depth, including the killer quote "There are two interventions that we know increase walking and cycling: living in the Netherlands and living in Denmark" which should probably be cut out and stuck on the wall of every planner in the land, although it's more likely they'll just raid the health budget instead, because what it needs is some political will to divert money from cars. Either way Kats Dekker could do with a bit more health and safety while Europeans everywhere could do with a bit more clean air in their, er, air.
It was also a week for gift horses to be given a thorough dental examination, for while some cycling organisations welcomed an extra £20 million quid, the money on examination proved to be baker's crumbs (and is that the first time the CTC and the Vole O'Speed have agreed even partially on anything?). In London, while Boris seems to have ambitious spending plans of his own, Cycalogical reckons the widely praised London Assembly report doesn't have the teeth to acheive anything. Generally, The Alternative DfT gives us all a hard time for not asking for enough - and the Cambridge cyclist wonders if it's time to open up another front.
Partial as they might be, central Government initiatives stand as shining examples compared to the Kafkaesque world of local cycling provision, where an attempt to keep a contraflow lane in Sheffield clear of cabs rapidly descends into a rabbithole of madness and despair. Meanwhile, kids end up catching errant drivers (why just for one week, we cry), Lancaster Dynamo worries that Lancashire council thinks their cycling work is 'done' - without even considering some of their proposals, Leicestershire seems to be positively discouraging cycling, the City of London police let those who turn up set their priorities for law enforcement, Richmond get praised for their cycling provision and Manchester blocks a right of way because the wrong sort were using it. In this respect special mention must go to Edinburgh (where invisible railings get put across bike paths) as consultation opens on the Leith Walk plans that won't do much to make it live up to its name (although instead, perhaps Leith will get its own High Line - and better access to a railway path). In fairness, the madness was not all at LA level - the Highways Agency has its surreal aspects too. On the other hand, Two Wheels Good wonders whether some of Boris's more bonkers ideas weren't in fact a cunning wheeze. Meanwhile, Copenhagen tackles anti-social bike parking with kindness.
As Copenhagenize sets out how to create a bicycle culture by design and Bicycle Dutch considers unravelling rather than separating modes, Pedestrianise London draws up a wishlist for the design guidelines we'd need to start seeing Dutch style infrastructure in the UK - and Kats Dekker illustrates the seven degrees of separation. Miracles of miracles, the latest plans for Bow Roundabout are not actually terrible although only in one direction. Elsewhere another junction review improves things for existing cyclists but doesn't do much to create new ones, a Cambridge redesign does nothing at all, (but at least they don't simply resort to the cyclist dismount sign) and the Times attempts to tackle a roundabout in Brighton. Cycling Dumfries looks how access could be improved to a local school, while Tufton or Death considers T-junctions to improve a dangerous slip road. Proving that we don't always get it wrong, Cycle stuff finds their kind of bikelane and the new Velodrome shows we do get some design right ...
With a BBC documentary on the subject looming, Magnatom points out that there's not really a war on Britain's roads - while the Guardian gets its condemnation in early. War or no war, casualties everywhere are still unacceptably high, with more New Yorkers killed or mained by cars than by guns - and no, simply following the rules won't help. Shortly after proposing a simple change to the law on careless and dangerous driving, Uberuce finds himself picking up the pieces after a Smidsy on his own street. As pedestrians are forced to speed up to get across safely, perhaps some cyclists migh consider slowing down (and sitting up) for safety. And as the Urbanist considers whether Australia's helmet laws should be repealed to save bike share schemes, As Easy as Riding a Bike points out we should all be wearing them - all the time...
Thinking about Cycling considers why it is that those who might benefit most from a form of transport that's almost free are unlikely to cycle, Brooklyn Spoke admires a dignified portrait of an everyday cyclist in New York - and Streetsblog considers how bike share schemes could be made more accessible to everyone.
With the Dutch busy explaining how Manchester should be getting people cyclign to the velodrome, not just in circles around in it, (and Cycle Space daring to tell them to raise their sights, Lancaster Dynamo are left somewhat depressed. If Danish cycling's more your bag, there was a free symposium on getting to Copenhagen - something London Cyclist may or may not want to attend. Meanwhile the Dutch will be wiring up 450 vehicles to study how they interact with pedestrians and cyclists - and the Times discovers that northern cities (well that's a bit foreign, from the South East, anyway) have something to teach London.
While for some Americans public drinking seems as striking as Dutch cycling infrastructure, elsewhere in the US more cities get on with it, with San Diego discovering cycle tracks while Chicago continues to crack on with its buffered bike ways - and even their opponents in New York must eventually finds that reality slaps them in the face. Elsewhere, though, it seems they've taken their pedestrian crossing design from the UK - and even in Portland, you can cycle but you can't recycle on your bike.
Sometimes the view from abroad can be depressing as even countries as car-centric as the US seem intent on racing ahead of the UK, so as a service to our readers we'll remind you that at least you don't live in Toronto, where the mayor was waging war on cycling before he was removed (Streetsblog replays some of his greatest hits) - but then again, even in Toronto they might have removed a bike lane but they've put in a decent separated track - even if Canadian cycling strategies aren't much better than your average UK ones. And at least our advertising standards agency isn't as baffling as the Irish one, nor are our media as hostile as Australia's (no, really). Nor, indeed are our punishment passes as bizarre as Sweden's (oh for a helmet cam ...). And even Copenhagen chooses to waste stupendous amounts of money on a harbour tunnel, when Copenhagenize has so many better ideas instead.
And that's not all the good news stories from this week, with a cyclist heroine saving a woman from the dock and then pedalling off anonymously. In Portland, a scheme lets families sample the cargo-bike lifestyle before making the plunge, and elsewere in the US being paralysed from the waist down doesn't keep Randee Sue from cycling. In Manchester a local paper publishes a pro-cycling letter! while in Ipswich, the bike parking in John Lewis is already overwhelmed! (Oh, okay, we're scraping the barrel here...) but at least there are joys to be had riding home at night. And in a genuine good news story, Kennington People on bikes gets some Kennington kids on bikes to enjoy a little night riding of their own.
And finally, we leave you with the news that you might as well give up blogging now - because whatever you write about the chances are that HG Wells will have thought of it first. After all, haven't cyclists always been the original Invisible Men?