This week started with the government's funding announcement (or reannouncement) of not much more than the axed Cycling England was spending, or, to put it in context about one roundabout. The Guardian considers the cycling revolution 'barely begun' while Christian Wolmar felt it was 'dishonest spin' and LCC that it was well below the levels needed. That said, for the places that did get the cash there might be enough to make some difference - although the money for the National Parks shouldn't all go on leisure trails - or 'cyclists dismount' signs. Both Ely and Witney wonder when they'll see any investment and while Sheffield didn't even bid it will at least be seeing some Peak District routes including one that volunteers have been pressing for since 2005 while Leicester missed out on the cash but the council may pick up some of the slack anyway. Leeds and Bradford are to be linked by a 23km Cycle Superhighway, Cambridge will get £8.2 million and Newcastle has to get it right this time - and almost lost in the excitement was a scheme to promote walking and cycling to school as well.
Some bloggers noted the political language changing but others that without decent design standards - indeed ones that aren't going backwards and proper coordination we could end up with more rubbish, while there are better ways to make funding effective. Which all makes the Get Britain Cycling debate as important as ever - even though the petition seems to have stalled. Whether you're going or not you can at least have bought the t-shirt (or if you're riding in Manchester something red for Jaye) - or maybe just remind your politicians that you're not a cyclist, you're a voter.
With the revamped Royal College street being unveiled as an example of "going Dutch", the Alternative DfT wasnt convinced - and David Hembrow pointed out how to do bus stops properly (and it looks as if Canada is experimenting with 'going British'. Althouhg Cambridge cyclists are to get a five-second head start at a dangerous junction, a first in the UK, in the rest of the UK, cyclists can only dream of facilities as good as Royal College street, with the Edinburgh family network to be mainly shared use pavements and half a mile of badly implemented infrastructure kills an otherwise attractive route, while in Southhampton planned bike lanes are downgraded to a shared use path, in Belfast a shortened bus lane leaves cyclists worse off, in small-town Britain bikes have to share with smokers and in Durham cyclists' needs are ignored altogether. Still, at least nobody's built a wall across a bike lane, or at least not yet.
Could we do any better? Well Streetmix is one handy tool that is already getting some use in the real world. Elsewhere, design students are let loose on a city for a summer - perhaps one outcome would be to make it more child friendly - or a place where people can be car free. As Copenhagenize looks at how cycling was retrofitted onto Norrebrogade (or rather returned to it), in New York, the City bikes are beginning to open people's eyes to how unfriendly the city is for bikes. But perhaps, the real design leaders will end up being those cities with nothing to lose? With Drawing Rings looking at how far out of their way cyclists will go to avoid a nasty road, Gehl Architects considers how your commute could be more like a tea ceremony.
From the sublime of the tea ceremony to the ridiculous of the Nice Way Code, aka 'the Scottish government's own racist van', which shows how cyclists are just being treated like a special interest group, prompting a (mostly) driver to wonder when she's going to be told not to run red lights. With the anti-pavement cycling ads being put up next to nasty pinch points, and the latest newspaper adverts basically giving cyclists the finger, Helen Blackman didn't want to add to their misery but had to write while Green Dad wonders why they don't fix the roads first. Pedal on Parliament (and many others) tried a reasoned approach while Kim Harding fills in some of the background and the controversy even reaches LA. With complaints going in to the Advertising Standards Authority, you do wonder what the Irish equivalent might have made of it - or indeed of this Australian car ad. Perhaps Scotland's cyclists would be better off just buying one of these jerseys instead? Or just hoping that 20 mph zones really will go Scotland wide.
With Dead Dog Blog wondering where all the militant pedestrians are, Streetmix is at least making sure its pavements are inclusive. Living Streets finds itself agreeing with Eric Pickles while Cambridge Cyclist asks what it would take to get pavement parking properly enforced - Pedestrian Liberation wonders why pavement cyclists are regularly demonised and fined while pavement parkers (and hence drivers) seem to get off scot free. With another shared route rapidly becoming the victim of its own success, Joe Dunckley looks at the problem of Wandsworth Common's shared paths and realises the problem is the roads around - bikes need to be treated as bikes not cars or pedestrians - although sometimes some of the protection pedestrians enjoy could be helpful for those on two wheels.
With Andrew Gilligan wondering if we need to talk about safety in differene ways, an interesting piece in the Green Lanes blog suggested we should stop talking about safety and look at comfort instead - after all, the main selling point of a restaurant isn't how few people get food poisoning there. Cycling Republic suggests we should stop thinking about the war and just ride safely, while the New Statesman captures the daily encounters with death every London cyclists will recognise, although Claudia Pritchard still won't be taking her headphones out. Meanwhile there's still no good solution to one common cycling hazard, the tram track, although Zurich cyclists seem to manage around them.
As the tweet and run case reaches the courts, another young driver in America discovers the perils of boasting about his antics on Twitter. In Cambridgeshire, a Chinese man discovers the true Olympic spirit when he is stopped by the police for not breaking the law - perhaps now they can get him for middle-lane hogging. While the NYPD continue to target cyclists and ignore motorists, the Met Police are at least trying to be even handed although Croydon Cyclist wonders what took them so long - and the Dutch decide to bribe the speeders (at least with cash for the community) instead. And with many welcoming higher fines for inconsiderate driving, Tejvan is personally trying to let small transgressions go, while Beyond the Kerb wonders just what drivers have to do to be taken off the road permanently
Meanwhile the Strict Liability debate rages on, with the Edinburgh Bike Coop signing up in support - and even Malta considering the issue. California considers a whole raft of cycling legislation while in San Francisco, it's possilble that 'crossbikes' could make some terrifying intersections feel a little safer.
The bike retail trade have noticed that more cycling is good for business - just look at Berlin - and it's not just bike shops that benefit - lemonade stands do pretty well to, as do civil engineers. Certainly, trying too hard to attract cars could drive away your bike-and-foot borne customers who are anyway benefiting society - oh, and cleverer too. Certainly Vancouver's companies are waking up to the awesomeness of bikes, even when they're not keeping streets clean or saving lives in Africa.
A week after the Women on a Roll report was published, Ladu Fleur is grateful for some hard numbers to back up what she already knew, like the importance of bike lanes and how adding children into the mix makes them even more crucial (not to mention selling us stuff we actually want). Quite apart from anything else, it's crucial for women's health.
With the Urbanist asking how cycling can win a bigger share of city travel, the Wash Cycle considers the difficulties of working out mode share in the first place while even Private Eye has noticed the strange way the DfT has with numbers - at least when it comes to forecasting traffic while back in the real world, it's the need to keep those (possibly imaginary vehicles) moving that has compromised a cycle route in Newcastle.
Elsewhere, Lewisham cyclists commemorate an old friend while in Islington after months of hounding, some cycle stands are installed - perhaps they need an audit from Cycle Hoop. In Coventry new one-way streets still don't exempt cyclists - and until bikes and public transport are properly integrated it will always be a weak link in the transport infrastructure - easier just to cycle the whole way instead.
As America considers how things are changing with cycling getting bigger and broader the time, it also celebrates its 500th Complete Streets policy - including one that was intended to be temporary but was too popular to be dismantled. Safer cyclign shouldn't bypass poorer neighbourhoods and nor should it be confined to just one community. As the New York Mayoral election seems to be running on bikes as much as anything, some candidates clearly haven't read the polls. And although the first family have taken to two wheels there are still some dinosaurs lurking out there, mostly in Highways departments.
As Chicago plans to extend its bikeshare, it and Copenhagen are more similar than you might think. In California, South Pasadena is quietly building itself a bike revolution while Bike SD meets the man behind the CicloSDia and Seattle embraces Park(ing) Day. As Americans discover how to ride like the Dutch, parts of Davis could almost be in the Netherlands (but with better weather) - although in Washington the great god of parking still trumps the need for safer cycle tracks.
With Bike Delaware slipping over the border to see the future of cycling - after all Ottawa's been doing Ciclovias since 1970 - in Calgary cyclists will have to wait a while for their bridges to be replaced after flooding. In New Zealand, Professor John Parkin has some lessons to take home to London from Christchurch, where a pilot bike share scheme will be starting with the council. Closer to home, VeloMondial has this lovely film comparing London to Amsterdam, while Dave Warnock is just enjoying some everyday sights in the Netherlands, and some American visitors just have to give cycling a try. New Cycling reports on the joy of Barcelona while Oslo wants some ideas to improve its cycling share. Does it not have any bike bloggers? I'm sure they'll have something to say
We'll be back, with more questions than answers, next week.