The Great Big Trick or Treat Halloween Bike Blog Roundup

We start this Halloween week with the treats - such as this heartwarming tale of a bin-lorry parking lot turned into a proper park (complete with pumpkins) - and some uplifting bike-borne tales of how a bike can help you find love, experience moments of the sublime or just fall in love with autumn from the saddle of a bike. Elsewhere, one fellow-cyclist's act of kindness rescues an otherwise miserable journey home while a good samaritan driver gets a parking ticket cancelled after stopping to help an injured cyclist. Meanwhile London's proposed Garden Bridge could be a real treat if cyclists can use it - something London and other cities learn from New York's High Line Park, while the new CS2 looks like it will be (largely) a treat for cyclists - Diamond Geezer gives it a pedestrian's eye view - but perhaps even he will succumb to two wheels with news that bikes are outselling cars almost everywhere across the EU.

Of course, there were tricks around too - such as the toll car dependency takes on people's health (not to mention the fact that it makes it hard for your driver to get to work). The Urbanist is reminded that there's a section of society that just hates cyclists, however irrationally -or, indeed, rationally - while the incidental cyclist has a scary encounter with a driver who seems to believe that leaving a bike three feet is enough to excuse any manner of dangerous driving.

Meanwhile, with Americans asking whether their neighbourhoods are suitable for trick or treaters, let alone four-year-olds on bikes, the Guardian asked what makes for happy cities (no prizes for guessing bikes feature prominently). Amsterdam's chaotic yet ordered flow offers lessons, and not just about cycling. Kats Dekker pointed out that any street proposal looks great if you magically omit all the cars, while it seems adding a few bikes can sell anything, even an oil pipeline. As Denver becomes the latest city to use bike infrastructure to attract employers, could driverless cars bring about more livable cities by allowing us to cut vehicle capacity? Or do we just need to stop ignoring the data in our traffic predictions and even take advantage of a shrinking population to revive the rustbelt and make our streets more attractive to walk, cycle, and demand treats with menaces? And how about the leafy streets of Pimlico? After all, one advantage of building cycle tracks is getting to know your neighbours which may not go down that well in London (the rest are listed here), while cycle-friendly streets can be an affordable way to complete your city's cycling network.

This week's most delicious treat was the news of Kate Hoey, MP and fulminator against red-light-running cyclists, being caught running a red light, while, less deliciously, our new cycling minister seems to think only motorists should have a say in how 'their' roads are run - while Tory politicians are still banging on about urban flyovers. In Scotland, where Scottish Cycling has come out in support of strict liability, MSPs debated the topic but the minister claims there's no robust evidence in support (beware of politicians demanding studies instead of action...). Darkerside read the transcript so you don't have to, while Pedal on Parliament realised (again) that they just don't get it. Perhaps they should watch out as a hostile local authority administration is replaced by something rather more bike-friendly in New Zealand and Bike Delaware investigates what Newark's Mayoral candidates think about cycling and a Seattle politician discovers he's in favour of a new bike and foot bridge after all. Meanwhile, should bike share schemes be treated like public transport?

Campaigning continues this week as every week, with Rachel Aldred explaining how local campaigns can use LCC policies on acceptable speeds and volume of traffic for local issues, while CycleNation covers the recent East Midlands Cycle forum in Leicester. In Edinburgh, Spokes was seeing double - while Mark Bikes London wonders if you can spot yourself at the Space 4 Cycling ride. Closed roads - or rather 'open streets' - events can build a movement while even Nike's latest ad reclaims the streets for people and a bike friendly brewer takes its festival of cycling nationwide. Inspired by Sadik-Khan, Wheels on the Bike sets out a plan to pedestrianise Clifton while both developers and the council seem interested in improving Lewisham Gateway for cyclists but Manfietso wonders where the ambition is in the West Midlands. Surrey take note, as an ordinance banning organised bike events is defeated by community opposition in Wisconsin, while rather more prosaically, Spokes needs your help keeping track of planning applications. And as American activists ask if they're acting for everyone, regardless of income - something that's been given more prominence of late - in Italy a scheme is giving asylum seekers old bikes to fix up, giving them a skill and a means of transport at the same time.

With the government urged to change its road design rules or risk wasting its cycling investment, a researcher offers tips to make Calgary safer (and not just Calgary). With Rotterdam showing that even the worst Dutch infrastructure can be pretty inspiring, the Cottenham Cyclist wonders if you could - or should - fit a Dutch-style roundabout on a Cambridge ring road, and Bike Delaware explain to their Transport chief what makes a great bike boulevard. If drivers can't even avoid hitting bridges then it will take space not education campaigns to bring about safe cycling - after all, the government recognises that separation is the key to safety (as long as we're talking about trains) while in Edinburgh cyclists could do with a bit more separation from their new trams. In Sheffield, meanwhile, bikes will not be welcome on the new trams - for some ridiculous reasons while it looks like Seattle is planning a trambles of its own.

A couple of stories brought home the human cost of road deaths this week with a mother's powerful words turning a statistic into a person while moving testimony in New York in favour of 20 mph limits reduces one taxi lobbyist to tears and may have brought about a change of heart - but our own justice system still seems institutionally biased against the cyclist. Meanwhile the Road Danger Reduction Forum charts the spread of hi vis in the UK and questions how effective it can be when drivers can't even see where they're going - after all, pedestrians, cyclists and livestock are all just road hazards espeically when they text and ride (that's cyclists, not livestock). TfL's commissioner thinks all bikes should be like Boris Bikes. And while the Dutch may be taking the safety of older riders seriously when it comes to child safety it's Morpeth not Assen that really knows what's what.

We should be sweating the small stuff when it comes to driving offences - and certainly in Seattle bikes AND cars get pulled over for speeding - while the jury is out on whether riding while wearing Google Glass is illegal. While Jon Snow would like to see better-behaved cyclists, in Wisconsin unlit ones get donated lights rather than lectures while Downfader points out that if shared use paths were better signed we wouldn't be accused of riding on the pavement - and nor would we if there were somewhere else to go - or somewhere to park our bikes. Law-abiding drivers have nothing to fear from California's 3-foot passing law while law-breaking cyclists still have some measure of protection in Canada. Road Justice maps police engagement in cycle safety in England and Wales while the police argue for more money if they are to investigate bike crashes properly - but at least the cyclists are spying on themselves which should save some police time...

Some paradoxical questions also emerged this week - such as why drivers don't demand bike lanes? Do people cycle because they're green? If you have no car how can you get out and enjoy the great outdoors? And will the misconceptions about cyclists  ever really go away?

Around the UK, Bristol Council gives the thumbs up to campaigners' cycling network proposals - and some ill-advised parking bays to boot, while Hackney Cycle campaigns asks if a huge roundabout couldn't go back to being a simple cross roads. Could cyclists get their own ring road in Coventry? And in Northampton a disused railway line could become a cycle path.

Further afield, as Portland installs its 100th bike corral and works to reform its bike parking code, and even LA manages a second (although not if it means losing a parking spot), in New York even the possibility is enough to get bike plans blocked. But maybe bike parking is not enough - with Portland cycling numbers stagnating although its cycling culture remains beyond parody. Further south, Bike SD sets a target for Dutch levels of funding and a new councillor gets out there actually painting bike lanes in her district (that machine looks rather fun...) although she'd better look out for whoever painted this sign. The approaching winter is not putting off Chicago's bike share users while the city proposes actually taking pedestrians and cyclists into account during road works. Iowa is looking for input on its new bike plan. Further afield, the Guardian asks what we can learn from Japan's cycling culture - hopefully not the practice of banning employees from cycling to work. In New Zealand, Christchurch releases its ambitious final transport strategy - bikes firmly included, while plans for Dublin also recognise the bike but seem to live in fear of disrupting the cars. And in Adelaide Mikael won't be riding a bike until they reform their magic plastic hat laws.

And finally, with the darkness of winter descending and super storms threatening, even if civilisation collapses altogether - if you've got a bike you can still charge your smart phone, so that's all right then - just remember to use it to keep on blogging ...

Comments


There were some great reads here as well, thanks for sharing.
Megan