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Flo, your guide to the green light

BicycleDutch - 22 May, 2017 - 23:01
An extra cherry on an already delicious cake. That is possibly how you could best describe Flo; a new system in the Netherlands that informs people whether they can catch … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Hoe druk mag het zijn op het fietspad?

Fietsberaad - 22 May, 2017 - 01:00

Nederlanders zijn wel gewend aan drukke fietspaden. Maar nu het steeds drukker wordt, rijst de vraag tot welk niveau een fietser het nog aangenaam fietsen vindt? Nieuw onderzoek moet daar uitsluitsel over geven.

Categories: News

E-fietsers raken vaker ernstig gewond na fietsongeval

Fietsberaad - 19 May, 2017 - 01:00

E-fietsers die op de spoedeisende hulp belanden blijken vaker ernstige gewond dan gewone fietsers. Maar ze zijn ook vaak ouder en fietsen meer.  

Categories: News

Driverless Cars and the Trolley Problem

John Adams - 18 May, 2017 - 09:50

The “Trolley Problem” is a long pondered ethical thought experiment; it is an intellectual exercise devised to highlight the moral conflicts that can arise in the making of decisions involving inescapable loss of life. Here is how Wikipedia presents it:

“A runaway trolley is barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track. You have two options:

  1. Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track.
  2. Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person (in some versions, a friend or family member).

Which is the most ethical choice?”

This thought experiment created by moral philosophers, now features frequently as a real problem in discussions about driverless cars. In its new form the trolley becomes a driverless car and the role of the man at the switch is assigned to the programmer of the algorithm that governs the car.

This modern version is presented in an MIT Technology Review article on driverless cars and reads like this:

“How should the [driverless] car be programmed to act in the event of an unavoidable accident? Should it minimize the loss of life, even if it means sacrificing the occupants, or should it protect the occupants at all costs? Should it choose between these extremes at random?”

In “The social dilemma of autonomous vehicles” Bonnefon et al subject these questions to questionnaire analysis. “Distributing harm” they explain, “is a decision that is universally considered to fall within the moral domain. Accordingly, the algorithms that control AVs will need to embed moral principles guiding their decisions in situations of unavoidable harm.” These guiding principles, in a democracy, should reflect societal values – otherwise known as public opinion. To find these values they conducted six questionnaire surveys. Here is what they found:

“Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) should reduce traffic accidents, but they will sometimes have to choose between two evils – for example, running over pedestrians or sacrificing itself and its passenger to save them. Defining the algorithms that will help AVs make these moral decisions is a formidable challenge. We found that participants to six studies approved of utilitarian AVs (that sacrifice their passengers for the greater good), and would like others to buy them, but they would, themselves, prefer to ride in AVs that protect their passengers at all costs. They would disapprove of enforcing utilitarian AVs, and would be less willing to buy such a regulated AV. Accordingly, regulating for utilitarian algorithms may paradoxically increase casualties by postponing the adoption of a safer technology.”

Two problems with the Trolley Problem

  1. The interviewees in the Bonnefon study were offered an unrealistic choice. They were presented with the Trolley Problem as a real problem – one in which they, as car occupants, had to decide which road user should die. But as Andrew Chatham , a principal engineer on the Google driverless project observed: “The main thing to keep in mind is that we have yet to encounter one of these problems,” he said. “In all of our journeys, we have never been in a situation where you have to pick between the baby stroller or the grandmother. … It takes some of the intellectual intrigue out of the problem, but the answer is almost always ‘slam on the brakes … So it would need to be a pretty extreme situation before that becomes anything other than the correct answer.”
  2. But more importantly, the Bonefon study, and all other invocations of the Trolley Problem that I can find, reveal a profoundly biased view of the role that driverless cars might play in future urban transport systems.

In my last post  I looked at the influential role played by public opinion in determining who should have priority on the road. The book I was reviewing, Fighting Traffic, explored how “public” opinion on this issue was formed, and how the triumph of “Motordom” secured dominance for the motorist over vulnerable road users – pedestrians and cyclists – with whom they had previously shared the road. This battle, between cars and vulnerable road users, is about to be reignited by driverless cars – or maybe it’s been already lost.

The MIT review and the Bonnefon study referred to above are representative of everything I can find on the Internet about the problems that driverless cars might have in sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists. All of the questions put to the survey groups in the Bonefort study invited them to assume they were answering the survey questions as drivers or car passengers. For example: “Participants did not think that AVs should sacrifice their passenger when only one pedestrian could be saved.” The views of the singular pedestrian, or cyclist were not solicited.

It was presumed that the societal values that should be programmed into the algorithms of driverless cars would be exclusively the values of the people in the cars. I can find no examples of the application of the Trolley Problem that acknowledge the existence of the concerns of vulnerable road users, or of policies and programmes being pursued to encourage more walking and cycling.

At present Google advertises the extreme deference with which its cars can respond to vulnerable road users. The most famous example is in this TED Talk video of a woman in an electric wheelchair trying to chase a duck off the road in Mountain View California; this can be seen in the video about 11 minutes in. All the impressive examples of deference to vulnerable road users shown in the video are displayed on roads with very few of them. How will the Google car address the problem of deferential paralysis  [1] in dense urban areas with large numbers of pedestrians and cyclists? This is a question yet to be answered.

[1] Driverless Cars and the Sacred Cow Problem, published in mangled version in City Metric, 5 September 2016.

Categories: Views

Gelderland hoger gewaardeerd door recreatieve fietser

Fietsberaad - 17 May, 2017 - 01:00

Friesland, Drenthe, Overijssel, Gelderland en Zeeland zijn de provincies die het recreatieve fietsen het beste op orde hebben. Noord-Holland en Zuid-Holland blijven wat achter.

Categories: News

King to open Velo-City and other news

BicycleDutch - 15 May, 2017 - 23:01
Three short news items in this no-post week. Royal Opening of Velo-City 2017 The King of the Netherlands will open the Velo-City cycling conference on Tuesday 13th June next, in … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

‘Vonkjes’ markeren fietspad onvoldoende

Fietsberaad - 15 May, 2017 - 10:02

Oplichtende stippen als nachtmarkering voldoen in de praktijk niet.

Categories: News

Monteurs met bakfiets in Utrechtse binnenstad

Fietsberaad - 15 May, 2017 - 01:00

Monteurs van Coca-Cola, Douwe Egberts en KPN gaan hun klanten in de binnenstad van Utrecht bezoeken met een elektrische bakfiets. 

Categories: News

Fighting Traffic: the next battle

John Adams - 13 May, 2017 - 13:30
Amazon Review Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City, by Peter D Norton 5 out of 5 stars      9 May 2017

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Fighting traffic is an instructive account of the social reconstruction of American cities that led to their domination by motordom – the powerful collective of interests dedicated clearing a path for the car. The most important period in the rise of motordom was the 1920s. Norton charts this transformation in terms of the insults that the competitors for road space traded with each other: motorists became “joy riders”, “road hogs” and “speed demons”, and their machines “juggernauts” and “death cars”, while pedestrians became “jaywalkers” and street cars became “traffic obstructions”. Norton explains how the road hogs won, how roads that were previously shared spaces were taken over by the car.
He attributes this victory to motordom’s awareness of the importance of shaping attitudes, the impressive resources that they had available to apply to this task, and their ultimate success in establishing that urban roads were, almost exclusively, for cars. By 1930 the battle had been won: “most street users agreed that most streets were chiefly motor thoroughfares.”
“Motordom”, Norton notes, “had effective rhetorical weapons, growing national organization, a favourable political climate, substantial wealth, and the sympathy of a growing minority of city motorists. By 1930, with these assets, motordom had redefined city streets.”
This is how he accounts for the dramatic change in attitudes, over a short space of time, about who should have the right of way on American streets: “From American ideals of political and economic freedom, motordom fashioned the rhetorical lever it needed. In these terms, motorists, though a minority, had rights that protected their choice of mode from intrusive restrictions. Their driving also constituted a demand for street space, which, like other demands in a free market, was not a matter for expert scrutiny.”
Norton’s account is not of mere historical interest. Today the five most valuable companies in the world – Apple, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook – plus Tesla and Uber and all the major traditional car manufacturers, are promoting driverless cars. And they promise to reopen the argument over who should have the right of way on city streets.
They boast that their cars will able to respond with extreme deference to all pedestrians, cyclists and children encountered in the street, thereby liberating them to enjoy their pre-motordom freedom to venture safely into the road. But they concede that if this freedom were widely exercised in dense urban areas motor traffic would grind to a halt. So, who will command the streets in dense urban areas? The promoters of driverless cars are also the world’s preeminent shapers of public opinion.
PS A sixth star for clear and persuasive writing.
Categories: Views

Vlaanderen kiest voor okerkleurige fietssugestiestroken

Fietsberaad - 12 May, 2017 - 10:51

Er is een nieuwe versie van het Vlaamse Vademecum Fietsvoorzieningen dat onder meer wordt gebruikt door het Vlaams Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer bij investeringen in nieuwe fietsinfrastructuur.

Categories: News

Koning opent Velo-city 2017

Fietsberaad - 11 May, 2017 - 18:36

Koning Alexander opent 13 juni 2017 in Nijmegen Velo-city 2017. Het meerdaagse congres wordt georganiseerd door de steden Arnhem en Nijmegen in samenwerking met de European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) en de provincie Gelderland.

Categories: News

A continuum of mobility

As Easy As Riding A Bike - 10 May, 2017 - 10:49

The way debates around the division of space in urban areas are framed – how much space we should allocate to private motor traffic, to public transport, to walking, and to cycling – presents walking as an ‘essential’ mode, one that all of us engage in, while by contrast cycling is almost always an optional extra, something that’s nice to have, but not all that important.

For example, we wouldn’t dream of building a new road scheme without footways that are suitable for the children or the elderly to use – or without footways altogether – yet it’s extraordinarily common for new schemes not to bother including any cycling infrastructure at all, even in places where cycling is already a relatively established mode of transport, despite the conditions.

A brand new road scheme in Westminster, London. No cycle space included.

What this means in practical terms is that cycling as a practical transport option is limited to the small proportion of the population willing to cycle in motor traffic-dominated environments, further reinforcing the impression that cycling is something that does not need to be designed for, because very few people are using cycles to get about. It’s a vicious circle.

Depressingly these assumptions are built into Transport for London’s latest Healthy Streets guidance – it is only ‘walking’ that needs diverse representation, and needs to include people with disabilities, without any mention of cycling under ‘all walks of life’.

From TfL’s Healthy Streets

But when we look at places where cycling has been designed for, where it is as just as much an integral part of highway design as footways, we see that, in reality, cycling infrastructure coexists alongside walking infrastructure as part of a continuum of mobility.

The combined ‘walking and cycling’ space in the Netherlands is really just one space – a space for human-scale transport, conveniently subdivided according to speed, with humans travelling at under 4mph using one part of it, and humans travelling faster than 4mph using the other part of it.

Footway and cycleway combined is just space for human-scale mobility, divided according to speed

In Britain, save for a handful of locations, we don’t have this ‘expanded’ space. We have slow, footway space, and we have fast, motor traffic-dominated space. People in wheelchairs and on mobility scooters, and people with mobility issues in general, face a stark choice – they either have to adapt to traveling like pedestrians, or they have to try and cope in motor traffic-dominated environments. Their options have been limited.

We also lumber what little cycling infrastructure we have with what I would call ‘able-bodied’ barriers – impediments designed to slow fast, able-bodied cyclists, but that disproportionately impede (or thwart entirely) people with disabilities, or who are less able-bodied. This includes things like the vicious speed humps appearing in the Royal Parks in London, as well as zig-zag barriers and gates – both things that don’t do a great deal to slow down your average, able-bodied cyclist, but represent serious obstacles to those with disabilities.

Able-bodied people can easily slalom through bollard forests like this, without losing much speed. But they are a serious obstacle – even a total barrier – to many other people

So rather than seeing walking as something innate, that everyone does, with cycling just as a hobby or an optional extra – a mode of transport that people don’t have to use, and from which they could switch to other modes if they find it too difficult – we should start removing the distinction between those two modes altogether, and treating them with equal importance.

To British ears this might sound ridiculous – how on earth could you suggest ‘cyclists’ should be treated with equal importance to frail, elderly people, or disabled people, who can’t possibly cycle!  We even see letters written to newspapers claiming that the interests of the elderly and the disabled are being trampled over by ‘the cycling lobby’. But ‘cycling’ is only seen as impossible or impractical to British people because we have designed it out of our roads and streets, and because we have a very limited view of who can actually benefit from cycling, and from cycling infrastructure. As Isabelle Clement points out, this is entirely backward.

Take the Alinker – a Dutch vehicle designed to assist people who have difficulty walking.

Is this cycling? Is it walking? I’m not really sure. In reality it’s a bit of a combination of the two, a wheeled vehicle that allows people to ‘walk’ along at cycling speeds. It’s really quite wonderful to watch, but it’s hard to imagine where this kind of vehicle would work in Britain. It’s probably a bit too fast for use on the pavement, yet at the same time I can’t really imagine many elderly or disabled people venturing onto British roads on an Alinker. Yet in the Netherlands it’s quite obvious where it would go; on the cycling infrastructure. This is just one example of why we should accord equal importance to ‘cycling’ infrastructure as to walking infrastructure.

It’s also very easy to forget that cycling itself is actually a mobility aid, much the same as an Alinker.

The idea that for some cycling is easier than walking is going to be a big mental leap for some opponents. #E17 https://t.co/wKODSpaVkR

— We Support WF MH (@WeSupportWFMH) September 17, 2016

My grandmother – who has had both her hip joints replaced, in her late 70s – was cycling until she was 89, making the one mile trip to the farm shop down the road, a distance she would struggle to cover on foot. (She has unfortunately now had to give up cycling because she can’t dismount quickly enough when she encounters a difficult situation). Cycling made her life easier, and this is undoubtedly the case for countless other frail, elderly people in Britain – cycling could be making their lives easier too, but we haven’t designed our environment to allow it, resting on lazy and tired assumptions that cycling is only for the fit and able-bodied. Yet spend just a couple of days in the Netherlands and you will see elderly people – who are often carrying with them visual evidence of how they might struggle to walk – happily cycling about, still retaining independent mobility into old age.

And this isn’t just true for the elderly – it’s true for people who have illnesses, like Parkinson’s Disease.

Or people with other kinds of physical impairment.

This disabled Dutch government minister cycles. Her walking aid strapped on to the back: @StripyMoggie pic.twitter.com/XzuEcXWTnH

— Borghert Borghmans (@StripyMoggie) February 22, 2017

The only reason we believe that cycling is simply not possible for disabled people is because we have designed that kind of cycling out of our roads and streets. In reality cycling is just as possible – if not more possible – than other forms of active travel for disabled people. Cycling is easier than walking for many people, and ‘cycles’ for them are a mobility aid, just as much as a wheelchair, or a mobility scooter, or a strollers. We just have a narrow view of their potential, basing it only the kinds of cycling that we see on a day-to-day basis, not on the kind of cycling that is possible.

Great vols induction session today @BritishCycling @Eng_Dis_Sport @lakedistrictnpa @GetYrselfActive @SuperheroTri pic.twitter.com/kLW24EByOg

— Cycling Projects (@CyclingProjects) April 24, 2017

Here's a rather wonderful sight; one I saw yesterday, while strolling around @noordinarypark with @RantyHighwayman pic.twitter.com/MaMvkYbbjr

— John Dales (@johnstreetdales) April 19, 2017

And even for those people who apparently look like ‘normal ‘cyclists, their disability may not even be apparent. Cycling – wonderfully – allows them to travel around like everyone else.

The moment finally came, the one I dreaded, the one where someone saw me taking my bike off my bike rack, parked in a handicapped spot, and assumed I was faking to reap special benefits.

“That’s disabled parking,” a dry stick of a man whined, keeping the world safe from miscreants one comment at a time. “I know,” I answered, although I wish I had said, “you would make a lousy detective.”

From time to time stories of people scamming handicapped parking privileges make the news. Law enforcement checks permit numbers against records, and levy hefty fines.

Born with a congenital spinal defect, but looking and feeling more or less able-bodied until a few years ago, age and mileage have conspired to make me what I think of as ably-disabled.

Disabled enough to have lost my ability to walk or stand without provoking nerve compression, but able enough to ride a bike. Go figure. It has to do with shifting the load off lower lumbar vertebrae. My bike, unbeknownst to most people, serves as an assistive device. I ride, but also use the bike as a rolling cane — a fancy two-wheeled walker.

Already, 15% of disabled Londoners cycle, only slightly less than the 18% of non-disabled Londoners who cycle. And in the UK’s most cycle-friendly city, 25% of disabled people are cycling to work. But this could obviously be higher. The potential for cycling to assist in helping disabled people gain more mobility is huge. 19% of UK people have a disability, and mobility impairment is most commonly experienced impairment – 57% of all disabled people. We should be designing environments that work for these people, whether their preferred mobility aid is a cycle of some form, or a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair, or even an Alinker. And that means building what is conventionally called ‘cycling infrastructure’ but in reality is just human-scale mobility space, separated from slower-moving space.

This definitely is not about walking vs. cycling, but about creating space for a variety of forms of mobility that transcends that distinction, separating only according to speed. Rather than seeing walking as innate, and cycling as just a hobby, we have a continuum of mobility – just different forms of human-powered mobility that should all be accorded equal importance, and designed for appropriately.

A still from Enjoy the View’s Tweed Run 2017 video

 

 


Categories: Views

Haagsche stadsfiets wordt ingezet voor Parkeer + Fiets

Fietsberaad - 10 May, 2017 - 01:00

Het bedrijf dat de Haagsche stadsfiets vorig jaar introduceerde, gaat ook Parkeer + Fietsvoorzieningen rond de stad opzetten.

Categories: News

Arrogance of Space - Copenhagen - Hans Christian Andersen Boulevard

Copenhagenize - 9 May, 2017 - 14:28

The City of Copenhagen released its latest mode share data yesterday and the numbers look fantastic.
62% of residents in the City ride a bicycle daily to work or education. 21% take public transport, be it bus, metro or train. Only 9% drive a car - even though car ownership is around 25%. Basically, 91% of our citizens DON'T drive a car - here in one of the richest countries in the world. All good, right?


You would think so, but even Copenhagen suffers from a serious case of Arrogance of Space. We took a section of Hans Christian Andersen Boulevard - the 1950s urban planning travesty that carves the Danish capital in two - and did a quick arrogance of space analysis.

It's the busiest street in the Kingdom with between 50,000 - 60,000 cars a day roaring past, most of them firmly in the "parasite" category. These are not people who live in the municipality and who therefore do not pay for the road space that we provide them. There has been talk for years of burying this street and reclaiming the space it occupies. While not a bad idea - albeit an expensive one - it wouldn't remove the cars from the city, since they would pop up out of the tunnel at some point.

As you can see on the graph, a whopping 64% of the transport space in Copenhagen is allocated to cars - both car lanes and curb parking. This is most apparent at the location we are looking at here.


When we map out the space allocated for cyclists, it looks like this. There are 26,400 cyclists along the boulevard on weekdays, according to the latest count in September 2016. Add to that around 10,000 who merely cross the boulevard from the side streets. Certainly not one of the busiest bicycle streets in Copenhagen but the numbers are respectable. On the map you can see how the infrastructure is part of a cohesive network.


Here is a snapshot of one light cycle in the morning rush hour from this location.


Here are the maps for the space occupied by bus lanes or trains, at left, and the space allocated to pedestrians, including squares. The trains are not relevant for this exercise, as they disappear underground, but buses are a key transport form on this corridor. 360 of them roll past between 7 AM and 7 PM. With an average capacity of 50 passengers, that would add 18,000 people moving back and forth along this stretch. And yet there is a severe lack of dedicated space for them.


Out of interest, here is a map of the "shared space". Not the classic and cute "shared space" that works in small, rural towns and residential neighbourhoods but merely parts of the transport area without separation.


What IS relevant is this. The amount of urban space given over to motorised vehicles. Most of it handed free to motorists who do not pay taxes in this municipality. Motorists, it is worth mentioning, already have it easy in Denmark. It's cheaper to buy a car today than during the oil crises in the 1970s and the same applies to gas, rendering the tax on cars here rather irrelevant. In addition, a resident's parking permit only costs around 750 DKK (€100) per year - despite the fact that a parking costs the city - and the taxpayers - around 50,000 DKK (€6,600).


Here is the complete map with all the transport forms together. The Arrogance of Space is clearly visible.

There is a total disconnect between how Copenhageners get around and how the space is divided up. This is not urban democracy on this boulevard at all. It is the same car-centric dictatorship that so many other cities in the world suffer under. Yes, it is safe to cycle along this stretch, on separated cycle tracks. But this is not transport democracy. This is not the Copenhagen that inspires so many people around the world.


If we valued public space in an economic sense as much as we value real estate value - instead of a massive majority subsidizing the transport habits of the few, we would be much better off. Here is just one idea of how to reallocate the space more intelligently.

We would be more rational and this city would be not only healthier and more dynamic - it would be the leader that it should be.

See more articles about Arrogance of Space with this tag.Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.
Categories: Views

Improving Active Travel in Canberra

BicycleDutch - 8 May, 2017 - 23:01
During my recent trip to Australia I stayed all of 30 hours in Canberra. A short, but at the same time very rich visit. I met many interesting people from … Continue reading →
Categories: Views

Engelse studie: fietsen naar het werk vermindert risico op hartkwalen en kanker

Fietsberaad - 8 May, 2017 - 01:00

Een nieuwe Engelse studie onder meer dan een kwart miljoen forensen van de universiteit van Glasgow laat overtuigend zien dat fietsen bijdraagt aan een goede gezondheid.

Categories: News

Elektrische fiets voor veel forenzen Groningen goed alternatief

Fietsberaad - 5 May, 2017 - 01:00

Met een elektrische fiets kom je verder. Hoe dat er in de praktijk uit kan zien, laten twee kaarten zien die het bereik aangeven van de e-fiets rond Groningen.

Categories: News

In favour of cycling

As Easy As Riding A Bike - 4 May, 2017 - 14:51

It is very easy to be ‘in favour of cycling’ or ‘in favour of more cycling’ in some form or another. We can all make statements about how wonderful cycling is for health, for the environment, for congestion, for reducing pollution, and how we would all like to see more of it. Nice, non-contentious words.

However, it is much less easy to translate these kinds of blanket statements of endorsement into action – being in support of specific policy to enable cycling. Very often when you scratch a ‘cycling endorser’ who only talks in generalities you will find someone who isn’t actually all that bothered about cycling at all, especially when it conflicts with their preconceived ideas about how roads and streets should be designed, and should function.

Perhaps one of the most extreme and obvious examples of this phenomenon is the curious ‘StopCS11’ campaign. Committed to preventing the building of any meaningful cycling infrastructure as part of ‘Superhighway 11’ in London, StopCS11 simultaneously maintained they were ‘in favour of cycling’.

In favour of cycling; just not in favour of doing anything to make it a viable mode of transport.

Naturally, this is precisely the kind of rhetoric that is attractive to politicians who are actually opposed to cycling infrastructure. SNP politicians in Bearsden, for instance. Magnatom has done a great job dissecting their statement on the Bearsway cycle route. The SNP is of course supportive of ‘policies and measures to get people across the whole local authority getting more active’ and wants to ‘encourage walking and cycling to school by identifying safe routes’ while ‘encouraging motorists to use other forms of transport’. Who wouldn’t be in favour of that!

But will all that support and encouragement translate into getting behind a scheme that will actually enable active travel – allowing kids to cycle to school, and making cycling a viable alternative for people who are currently using their car?

“The SNP overwhelmingly supports residents cycling, but rather across the whole of East Dunbartonshire, instead of one single route, which looks doomed to fail at significant cost to the public.”

No. The SNP is in favour of ‘supporting’ cycling everywhere in East Dunbartonshire, except – by sheer, unfortunate coincidence – for the one road where meaningful cycling infrastructure is actually being proposed.

To be clear, you can’t be ‘in favour of cycling’ if you stand opposed to schemes that will actually enable it. No amount of positive noise about encouragement, training, persuasion, ‘identifying routes’ somewhere else, or ‘considering other options’ can mask that. If you can’t back specific schemes, and can only talk in generalities, then it’s pretty obvious what your support actually amounts to.

Much the same applies to people who resort to talk of favouring ‘incremental change’ when they make their opposition to road space reallocation in favour of cycling. Whether it’s a complaint about boldness, or about small, allegedly more cost-effective measures being better, or the usefulness of other initiatives, none of these vague endorsements of different kinds of interventions or approaches will alter the fact that you don’t particularly like cycling infrastructure, and indeed that you don’t think schemes like the new protected cycleways in central London should have been built in the first place.

In an on-line discussion with a journalist who has a particular stock in trade writing about how cycling in London is dominated by middle-class men, I found a curious reluctance to actually endorse the new cycling infrastructure in London that is actually enabling cycling for everyone. Indeed, pointing out how cycling is a minority pursuit while simultaneously refusing to acknowledge that cycling infrastructure is the best way of addressing that inequality of use is perverse, especially when you can’t come up with any answers about how you would enable women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities to cycle on hostile roads in the absence of that new cycling infrastructure.

Young kids cycling back to Tower Hamlets on Upper Thames Street. They would not be doing this without cycling infrastructure that separates them from the HGVs in the background.

The real test of being ‘in favour’ of cycling isn’t words, or pointing to other initiatives, or arguing that enabling cycling is ‘complex’ – it is supporting on-the-ground changes that make cycling an attractive, safe and easy option for everyone. If you can’t do that, and talk in generalities instead of endorsing specific physical interventions, then you’re not ‘in favour’ at all.


Categories: Views

Dutch/Danish workshop on the challenges of autonomous cars

Cycling Embassy of Denmark - 4 May, 2017 - 09:05

On June 12, the Cycling Embassy of Denmark will be co-hosting a workshop for Dutch and Danish decision makers and experts as a prelude to the Velo-city 2017 conference in Arnhem-Nijmegen. The workshop is a joint event organised by the CED, the Danish Embassy in the Netherlands, the Dutch Embassy in Denmark, and the Dutch […]

The post Dutch/Danish workshop on the challenges of autonomous cars appeared first on Cycling Embassy of Denmark.

Categories: News

Geavanceerde regenradar helpt ook fietsers

Fietsberaad - 4 May, 2017 - 01:00

Rotterdam gaat de verzamelde gegevens van het gemeentelijk Regenradar-systeem toegankelijker maken. Met de gegevens kunnen bijvoorbeeld verkeersinformatiesystemen proactief inspelen op extreme weersomstandigheden.

Categories: News

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