Denmark does a lot to prevent accidents involving trucks and cyclists. Still, 2016 set a tragic record as seven cyclists were killed by right-turning trucks. This is a significant increase compared to previous years. So, the Danish Cyclists’ Federation focusses on the problem with a new bus campaign. Despite preventive efforts, seven cyclists died in […]
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Zeeland wil het voorzieningenniveau voor recreatieve fietsers opwaarderen naar 5-sterren niveau. Gemeenten en ondernemers krijgen 50 procent vergoed als ze een aantrekkelijke fietsvoorziening realiseren.
De Fietsersbond gaat zijn verkiezing van Fietsstad aanpassen. Belangrijkste wijzigingen zijn dat alle Nederlandse gemeenten voortaan kans maken op de titel, en dat het publiek een belangrijke stem krijgt in de verkiezing.
Nederlandse fietsers zijn over het algemeen tevreden over de doorgaande fietsroutes. Maar ze zien ook de nodige verbeterpunten.
Most cyclists do it all year around – also in winter. A new study, conducted by the project Go Cycling Denmark, shows that even more cyclists would do it in winter if bike paths were salted, cleared from snow and the lightning were better. The study was conducted among 1001 respondents in the age of 30- 59 whom […]
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Als iedereen in Utrecht de fiets zou laten staan en de auto of het ov zou nemen, zou dat de maatschappij jaarlijks circa 250 miljoen euro kosten.
Today, Chairman of the Cycling Embassy of Denmark (CED) and owner of the consulting company Weinreich Mobility, Marianne Weinreich, speaks at the event “The Bicycle Era – Rethinking Berlin”, presented by ADCF Berlin (the German Cyclists‘ Federation). A bicycle boom in the capital of Germany, Berlin, calls for action so both speakers are giving a […]
The post CED Chairman at event on rethinking Berlin as a bicycle-friendly city appeared first on Cycling Embassy of Denmark.
Een doorrekening van de verkiezingsprogramma’s door het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL) leert dat in ieder geval vijf partijen meer geld willen uittrekken voor de fiets.
De snelle fietsroute tussen Apeldoorn en Epe komt bij voorkeur te liggen op de voormalige spoorlijn tussen deze twee plaatsen. Dat hebben de gemeenten Epe en Apeldoorn deze week besloten.
Andrew Jones MP – the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, with specific responsibility for cycling, spoke (and answered questions at an All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group meeting on Tuesday last week. A video of that meeting was recorded by the APPCG – you can see it here.
The full video is 36 minutes long, but at about the 4:45 mark, Jones has this to say –
One thing I think we do need to do, and that’s change some of the music around the whole sector. At the moment it is I think often quite negative. And I think we need to change that. In fact I am slightly puzzled by people who say that cycling is such fun always seem to have such a negative social profile. Social media sometimes lends itself to that. But we won’t encourage more people to making these choices unless it is a positive choice. And it is a positive choice. It is positive because it is fun. It is good for the environment. It is good for you. There aren’t that many things that are good for you and that are fun, but cycling is one of those things. It also helps tackle congestion within our streets. So the upsides of cycling and walking are just fantastic. So I want this to be a very positive moment. I want the Cycling and Walking Strategy publication to be a bit of a landmark, where we start to see more support going in, but we start to talk about things in a more positive way, and try to encourage people to make that trial if they haven’t been cycling for a while, or to make that switch to a more permanent choice.
These are curious comments. The implication is that if people who have enthusiasm about cycling as a mode of transport somehow fail to be ‘positive’, we won’t ‘encourage more people’ to cycle.
Now I wouldn’t be a cycle campaigner if I didn’t think cycling was a fantastic mode of transport – I am positive about it, in that sense. It’s a straightforward, cheap, fun,fast, and convenient way of getting about, almost certainly the fastest way of getting about in urban areas. It is an enabling mode of transport that will make our lives better.
But that does not mean my enthusiasm will extend to cycling in any conditions; nor does it mean my enthusiasm has to extend to any initiative, from government or otherwise, that alleges to be ‘for’ cycling. Nor does my enthusiasm mean that I won’t be critical about policies that will have negligible effect, or will be useless, or actively harmful.
Equally, I resent the implication that being critical (or ‘negative’) will in some way keep anyone from cycling. There is an overwhelming body of evidence that the main barrier to cycling uptake in Britain is an absence of safe, attractive cycling environments; people do not want to cycle on motor-traffic dominated roads and streets. No amount of sunny ‘positivity’ is going to change this; likewise, no realism about the fact poor cycling environments are a serious barrier to cycling is going to stop people from cycling.
I am more than happy to be positive about policy that will genuinely enable cycling; to be positive about policy that does lead to changes to the way our roads and streets are designed, to allow anyone to cycle. But the blunt reality is that government has a consistent, long track record of failure in this regard, particularly when it comes to leading on the matter of design.
In this regard it is particularly noteworthy that, in the very same APPCG meeting, the Minister described the frankly woeful LTN 2/08 Cycle Infrastructure Design as ‘fit for purpose’. It is nothing of the kind – instead it is out of date, filled with half-hearted (and often mistaken) advice, a document of low horizons and lazy compromises, one that has very little to offer in the way of inclusive design.
In the face of such complacency, negativity is precisely the right response.
A majority around the Danish government has allocated 100 million DKK for promoting cycling in municipalities over a period of two years. The new Cycle Fund is part of an agreement that allocates 762 million DKK for public transport and cycling. “The growing challenges in terms of public health, climate, and congestion increase the need […]
Arriva en Maastricht Bereikbaar presenteren 6 maart een pilot met een fietsdeelsysteem in Maastricht. In eerste instantie komen er 60 fietsen op 6 locaties: de 3 stations van Maastricht, Vrijthof, Markt en het Mosae Forum.
De ‘fiets van de zaak’ was ook in 2016 populair als het gaat om secundaire arbeidsvoorwaarden.
This is your chance to nominate the candidate you think should be honored with the Cycling Embassy of Denmark’s Leadership Award for Cycling Promotion 2017. True to tradition, the CED will award an individual or an organization with our Leadership Award for Cycling Promotion at the Velo-city conference which takes place in Arnhem and Nijmegen, […]
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While there are plenty of honourable exceptions, I think it is fair to say that presenters, journalists and broadcasters in the UK do not do a particularly good job when it comes to covering cycling as a mode of transport.
Some of this might well be down to outright malice, but a large proportion of poor journalism and broadcasting is simply down to laziness and an unwillingness, or inability, to address these issues from someone else’s perspective, or even to think slightly differently.
With that in mind I’ve drawn up a fairly simple list of rules and advice for covering cycling in a sensible, constructive and fair way. There may be others – let me know in the comments – but I think if journalists, broadcasters and presenters are following these rules it’s more than likely they will be doing a good job.
1) Do not use them/they language
By this I mean referring to people who are using a mode of transport as ‘them’ or ‘they’, and everyone else as ‘us’. One example (and this from a BBC radio journalist) –
For starters, this kind of language is incoherent. It makes no sense to divide human beings up by mode of transport when we will all use different modes of transport on a daily basis.
Someone who is cycling at one moment will of course have been walking the same day, and will drive or use public transport. Someone who is on a train or a bus may well have cycled to the station, or to the bus stop. Human beings – all of them – are multi-modal. Referring to ‘cyclists’ in this way is exactly equivalent to asking what it is about ‘trainists’ or ‘busists’ that annoys your audience. If you think that would be deeply silly, then you should reflect on why you think it is acceptable to do so about another mode of transport. Your audience will not divide up neatly into ‘trainists’ and everyone else; nor will it divide up neatly into ‘cyclists’ and everyone else.
But much worse than this incoherence, using this kind of language is divisive and unpleasant. It contains the starting assumption that people cycling aren’t ‘us’; that your audience have some kind of grievance against ‘them’, and indeed that your audience isn’t composed of ‘them’. There is no ‘them’.
2) Do not engage in antagonism; focus on solutions to problems
This kind of antagonistic ‘journalism’ takes many forms when it comes to cycling. It might be of the form above – how do ‘they’ annoy ‘us’. This could be cycling on pavements, or cycling in ‘the middle of the road’, or breaking rules in general. Alternatively it might take the form of a ‘war on the roads’ or ‘who is to blame’ narrative.
As above, this is divisive and unpleasant, but perhaps even worse it is not constructive. Once you’ve written your piece about how cyclists annoy everyone else, or about how there’s ‘a war out there’, or once you’ve decided ‘who is to blame’, everything will carry on as before. Nothing has changed; the same problems still exist, and you’ve done nothing to solve them. In fact, you’ve probably made them even worse, because of the antagonistic way you have framed the debate.
Some examples –
In other words, focus on long-term solutions to problems, rather than the usual merry-go-round of antagonism.
3) Empathise rather than demonise
This flows naturally from the previous two points of advice. Instead of focusing on the behaviour of ‘them’, become one of ‘them’ yourself to understand why people are behaving in a certain way. This might not even involve actually cycling; it merely involves trying to imagine what you would do if you were cycling in a specific context, or if someone you care about was trying to cycle.
4) Don’t generalise from anecdotes
Seeing someone on a bike doing something a bit silly is not a good basis for an entire article about people cycling in general. At all. People do silly things all the time, in all walks of life, using different modes of transport. What you saw was an individual being stupid, not something that was indicative of ‘cyclists” (whoever they are – see point 1) behaviour.
5) Focus on sources of danger, and how that danger should objectively be reduced
Not all road users are equivalent. They do not pose equal amounts of danger to others; consequently they do not share equal responsibility.
That doesn’t mean anyone cycling has no responsibility at all – rather, that the degree of risk posed by different forms of transport should be assessed objectively. This should also mean distinguishing between the degree of risk someone is posing to other people versus the risk someone might be posing to themselves.
If we start looking at risk objectively, then we will come up with constructive, long-term solutions to danger on our roads and streets. (See Point 2). If, for instance, it is allegedly ‘too dangerous’ to cycle around in ordinary clothes (or indeed to walk around in ordinary clothes), then start asking why that should be the case, rather than focusing on the people wearing ordinary clothes and how they are being ‘irresponsible’.
6) Finally, you don’t always need to provide ‘balance’
Not every article or piece about cycling has to present an opposing view. You just need to let the facts speak for themselves; you certainly don’t need to give airtime to an idiot arguing black is white just to ‘even things up’ in the face of those facts.