Well, we were hoping to be done with the bad news last week, but unfortunately this week was bookended by more high-profile cyclists' deaths. It started with two cyclists killed on a fund raising ride from Lands End to John O'Groats - highlighting the dangers to long-distance cyclists in the UK, who often end up on roads that are more hostile than motorways. And it ended with the first death of a Boris Bike rider - the third death on a so called superhighway where paint on the road has been mistaken for infrastructure and proposals to improve the junction have been rejected as not good enough - with plans for further down the road looking even more lethal. With the UK seemingly bucking the trend on cycling safety - and the trends in London just as bad, Dead Dog Blog doesn't want to hear another politician say that 'one fatality is too many' - she wants to see action. Perhaps they could start with Lewisham
Despite this week's bad news, bike share schemes are generally safe, with New York's scheme the latest to conform to the trend, which hasn't stopped the helmet debate from raging on, with a John Pucher quote taken way out of context to fuel the fire. In fact bike share schemes are now the fastest-growing mode of transport. New York's scheme is also wildly popular - even among republicans and movie stars while in Chicago, poorer neighbourhoods are worried they'll get left behind. Crowize Vienna looks at the history of bikeshare in Vienna while in Washington, the bikeshare scheme is transforming the way women think about bikes and how they use them.
As bikes become more visible, As Easy as Riding a Bike considers the argument that we're our own worst enemy - or as a Toronto politician puts it, idiots, while Rachel Aldred considers the implications of stigma. In Manchester the police are cracking down while in Washington, vigilantes are actively patrolling the bike paths for law breakers, and in Dallas the police end up killing the cyclist they're pursuing for not wearing a helmet. In both Toronto and New York it's often bad design that leads to scofflaw behaviour. And the other road users seemed eager to join in the fun this week with drivers breaking every rule in the book, including pretending to be cyclists, passengers pushing cyclists off their bikes, pedestrians commiting 'hit and walks' and even kids apparently attempting a garrotting.
After all that, you might wonder why people cycle at all, and yet they do: Bike Portland considers what's behind the city's bike boom - not just bike lanes but events like Pedalpalooza. With Ride London bridge too far for Cycalogical, with all of the disruption and none of the fun of a closed roads event, in New York, Central Park is to close to cars for the summer while Vancouver gets the car-free Sundays bug - and the 4th July makes for an unofficial Ciclovia in Washington DC. Here in the UK it's still fear of traffic that keeps people off bikes - assuming they're telling the whole truth. In the US, approval for bike lanes are still high - but if you want to bring equity to cycle campaigning you need to build relationships and listen to communities (even the most unlikely ones) not just put in infrastructure.
Video of the week came via David Hembrow and then everyone else, as Bicycle Dutch considered cycling with babies and kids of all ages. This might be something we'd see more of if the school drop off was truly banned - the ETA considers the issue while Cycle Sprog wished we didn't need special bike to school events - but did enjoy a mass closed road family cycle event all the same. Bike Peace NY has a charming photo essay exploring the delight of a new child's bike while Cycle Sheffield's new president Josie Dew considers keeping kids cycling as they grow older. It may even be working, as US 20-somethings still turn away from cars in the US although the rest of the world hasn't yet got the memo - and neither have the funding bodies. And there's a darker side to getting your kids out on bikes - with one little girl traumatised by witnessing a collision on her way to school - and a teenage boy killed while riding with his girlfriend in California - chivalrously taking the outside to protect her from traffic.
And so the campaigning continues - just don't end up one of the cycling pharisees. The Cambridge cyclist considering what he'd like to see from the local cycling summit & now waiting to see if the council have listened. Leeds Cycling campaign are developing a vision for cycling for Leeds while John Usher supports the Bristol one. The Portland BTA advise on how to prioritise bike projects while Illinois starts consuting on its first ever state bike plan.
Which could, as we never tire of saying, be good for business - not to mention the health service. Dallas is now looking at requiring businesses to provide cycle parking - while one large employer is seeing the benefits of encouraging more cycle commuting. In New York, it's calculated that driving a car into Manhattan costs $160 - what a congestion charge that would be - and parking takes up a monstrous amount of space, while on a smaller scale, Green Dad wonders if it's time to give Musselburgh back to its people (or just put in more parking)?
As the Ranty Highwayman has fun playing at the new TfL trials of infrastructure, the Swedes are experimenting with softer tarmac and the people of Denver get to try out a pop-up protected bike lane but only for a short while. In Bethnal Green they have at least discovered that bike tracks are better without parking meters in the middle of them. London's new planner for cycling makes all the right noises while War on the Motorist takes a look at the sort of junctions that will have to be tackled. Dave McCraw waves a not particularly fond farewell to Edinburgh's so-called 'quality bike corridor' while both an Australian town and Inverness decide it's too hard to make life safer and easier for pedestrians and put some signs up instead.
Elsewhere in the UK, the Scottish government discovers that moving the goal posts may mean you end up scoring an own goal while in Aberdeen cyclists are told to consider their options as a popular path is closes, although none of them look that good. In Northern Ireland, Lovely Bike considers the lessons of rural roads - although sadly that's not always the experience in the rest of the UK. In Twickenham, a proposal for a new bridge might transform the town centre for cycling and walking - but there's very little progress towards going Dutch. In Cambridgeshire, proposals for the A14 don't look good for cyclists, while everywhere else potholes are proving lethal. In London, the police are to step up enforcement of ASLs while in Devon and Cornwall they're told to stop assuming cyclists are at fault. And as Bristol Traffic continues to admire Brent's creative approach to pavement parking, Islington does get a bit more paint on the road.
Further afield, Dublin's plans for a new track are likely to give segregated approaches a bad name - although at least a cycle-path barrier has been removed. A London visitor to Houten is struck by its eerie silence while a NewCycling member enjoys the facilities in Enschede. A Copenhagen visitor explores what a google image search tells you about the human face of a city - while the city itself may get a bicycle street. Cycling Christchurch gets a first look at a new parking-protected track while the CAA considers what would make a suburb safe for cycling. In Capetown the cycle lanes are to go green while a traveller catches the bikeable bug in Thailand. Cycling Missy asks if Montreal is the new face of North American cities - with some small steps and little changes making life better in LA. In Chicago, cyclists need protection while in Portland the lanes are getting widened. Sadly, Delaware still needs a monument for fallen cyclists while the killing off of a big highway project has also meant the end of some good schemes too. Portland to Portland make it to Chicago - and then get yelled at in New Jersey while a return visit to Washington shows progress is being made there.
With the One Show looking at Going Dutch, Cab Davidson was astounded to find himself approving of the programme. Elswhere, though, the media continued in its usual form with an innocuous column about a 'bike date' stirring up the haters, and The Wash Cycle finding it difficult to spot the fake quotes from the genuine anti-bike ranting. Still, at least the Toronto Star is even handed: it's perfectly happy to blame pedestrians too.
And finally, I leave you with a glimpse of the new Popemobile - and we look forward to reading Pope Francis's resulting (inevitable) bike blog.