Well. It's been quite a week, in London anyway, which began with both Cyclists in the City and the LCC welcoming much of the proposed CS2 extension. Even the Alternative Department for Transport had some good words to say about it - although they couldn't help improving it a little, while the Ranty Highwayman urged everyone to support the plan, despite some of its flaws. And the good news didn't stop there, with Camden Council proposing what might be the best cycling scheme to be built in the UK, in Royal College Street; Matthew Butt also approved. And as we were getting over that, in shock news, TfL announced that it had listened to all the feedback it had got and was abandoning its plans for the Lambeth Bridge North roundabout and will be trialling a Dutch design ... in Berkshire. Even Greenwich has managed to see some Olympic legacy (if only a bit of cycle parking) although its proposed 'Go Dutch' scheme seems to have gone AWOL now that Boris has been safely re-elected. Meanwhile a cyclist who got knocked off her bike has finally won her campaign for a safer layout - and plans to thank the council with cake (is the lack of cake where we've been going wrong all these years?) while even Bristol Traffic finds themselves supporting a council proposal.
Elsewhere the good news continued, with businesses in Portland actively lobbying for protected bike lanes - and even Memphis looking to bikes for economic salvation. In a sight to gladden everyone's heart, New York turns parking meters into bike racks (though not as cheery as these ones) while the mayor announces the planned restoration of a car-free bridge - no wonder Chicago activists still look enviously to the east, although the surprise bike success story in the US may well be Washington DC. While a bike lane is rejected because it would cause a 'traffic nightmare', Walk Eagle Rock discovers that a temporary lane closure causes no trouble at all (funny that). Meanwhile in Europe, bike advocates and the industry discover they are stronger together
Still, let's not get too carried away, and there's nothing like a quick round up of what local authorities are up to to dampen the spirits, with Richmond missing an opportunity to put walking and cycling first. Meanwhile Cambridge creeps towards a 20 mph zone at considerably lower speed than that. In Sheffield, despite several commitments, no cycle audits of schemes are being carried out (which may explain this sort of thing). Manchester's Cycle Hub appears to be missing the point somewhat, while Kennington People on Bikes wonders how well your council did at encouraging people to drive more this Christmas and the Leith Walk saga trundles on. No wonder cycling can feel a little lonely in places (well, Haslemere anyway).
It's not just on the Cycling Embassy blog that local transport officers are revealing all - a Calgary planner recalls his struggles back in the 80s - perhaps it's time for power sharing in place making to become the norm. Starting perhaps with the Elephant and Castle roundabout, which Cycling Dutch contrasted with its Dutch equivalent, while Copenhagenize dug up an old comparison of British, Danish and German postwar cycling policy. In fact, planning and wider issues seemed to be on people's minds this week. Bikeminded asked what would help make Kensington and Chelsea a better biking borough while Midlothian residents are asked to provide details of local cycling problems. Karl McCracken admires Whitley Bay's traffic-free network and wonders why they couldn't accommodate bikes (perhaps because of a nineteenth century hangover from when bikes were the fastest thing on the roads). Dead Dog Blog looks back at a long ago failed road protest and realises she was right to fight while Cyclestuff finds a city being reclaimed by people. NIGreenways suggests 13 simple ways to improve cycling in Northern Ireland - where a showpiece bridge gets Manifietso thinking - and in Washington there are suggestions on how to further connect up the cycling network. Pedestrianise London considers what makes cycling so attractive in the Netherlands (like being overtaken in a car by a bike) while LAStreetsBlog (and half the bike blogosphere) encounters a dramatic case for protected bike lanes. Sexify Bikes points out how closed roads can really be open while As Easy as Riding a Bike considers whether they discriminate against the disabled. With Bristol's new mayor calling for an overarching transport authority, in Brooklyn some residents complain at lack of consultation. Portland debates low car apartments - and even LA is urged to move on from its car-centric past
With an Australian academic arguing that promoting cycling infrastructure was sexist, which was a new one on us, this powerful plea for the freedom for women to ride bikes in Pakistan becomes all the more of a must read. Or perhaps this - an older woman's perspective on cycling on our own streets. Help my Chain came off takes to confronting bad drivers - in the politest possible way. Less seriously, Woman on a Wheel seeks bike-borne fairy godmothers while Two Wheels and a Lady adopts cycle chic-ish, and Bikeyface ditches the Muppet skin boots and learns to wrap up properly warm.
"If a problem happens again and again it is not an accident, it is homicide." Chafe City pulls no punches on the death of a 14 year old killed riding to school, while in London no action is taken on a hit and run because all those CCTV cameras turn out to be about traffic flow not crime prevention. In the Czech Republic, rising cycling levels don't lead to safety in numbers as infrastructure fails to keep up - perhaps this EU-wide initiative for 20 mph / 30 kmh limits is needed? Cycling in Auckland finds that it's three and a half times more dangerous than driving - While the Strong Towns network considers the accident records of 'stroads'.
Perhaps that last could be a contender for the 2012 Cycling Science award - while the Guardian bike blog might deserve one for audacity for daring to make a nuanced argument about hi-vis on the internet (they'll be wading into the h***** debate next). Also in the spirit of enquiry, Tejvan asks his readers what blog articles they prefer while Bike hub considers whether coffee isn't the real cycling drug of choice. Cyclist.ie looks beyond the headlines and discovers that cycling levels among kids are actually down - while in the UK children are less independently mobile than ever.
Meanwhile out there on the mean streets, in the ultimate hit and run someone drives off with their victim's bike still stuck to their car grille - while the world's stupidest (or most audacious) bike thief eludes capture in Philadelphia - and the world's least observant driver turns up in Cambridge. And finally, need a pedal-powered way to explore abandoned railways? What do you mean you thought that's what bikes were for?
We'll be back with more good news (we hope) - and no doubt more reinventions of the wheel - next week...