At War With The Motorist

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Our correspondents' dispatches from the front
Updated: 10 hours 29 min ago

Why doesn’t [population x] cycle?

21 January, 2018 - 17:47

I wrote this thing a year and half ago but never quite got around to shaping it into anything I was quite happy with. Well, since the BBC have come around with yet another “what is stopping women cycling?” story, I figured I’ll never finish it and may as well get rid of it…

Another tweet scrolled past me this evening asking why a segment of the UK population doesn’t cycle.

Is cycling a 'white' thing? Help us find out what stops people from BME groups cycling: Do our survey & pls rtw https://t.co/AhO2P8QWPq

— Life Cycle UK (@LifeCycleUKteam) June 7, 2016

It’s certainly an admirable exercise, trying to address inequalities in access. And there are certainly inequalities to address. But there is little to learn about what the inequalities are, or what the solutions to them might be, by comparing current cycling rates between different populations, or by asking the question “why don’t x cycle?”.

Because it’s not just x who don’t cycle. Black and minority ethnic populations don’t cycle, but neither do white populations. Women don’t cycle, but neither do men. And the number one reason all of these populations don’t cycle is the same.

That’s not in any way to say there aren’t inequalities of access, or to dismiss the additional barriers that women and minorities face, or to belittle the diverse ways that different people and populations can experience the same barriers. Only that when it comes to “why don’t people cycle”, the biggest concerns by far are the same for everyone.

Here is an entirely hypothetical society that we can imagine, with some entirely made up data for different populations in that society:

Compared to population X, 4 times as many population Y cycle. And 3 times as many again population Z cycle. When you only look at the few who currently cycle, these populations look vastly different in their propensity to cycle. But look at the many who aren’t cycling and you see they’re not very different at all. Almost nobody in any of those populations cycles. Clearly they live in an environment which is very hostile to cycling.

Some of the people would never ever cycle, no matter what the environment for it were like. But for the vast majority of people in all demographics, there are circumstances in which they would happily cycle, were the environment different. There are barriers stopping them, but they are only barriers in the context of the prevailing environment.

Indeed, in our hypothetical society, while Xs are currently substantially less likely to cycle than Zs, if you radically change the environment to shift the cut-off point to the left, the proportion of Xs to Zs converges until Xs slightly outnumber Zs.

Perhaps in our hypothetical society, Xs on average actually make more of the types of short journeys to which cycling is inherently the most suitable form of transport — but compared to Zs are typically burdened by this society with other duties, expectations or threats to their safety which make cycling extra unattractive in the prevailing conditions.

Understanding the burdens Xs face may be a worthwhile exercise in itself. But they’re not the answer the question “why don’t x cycle?” — and addressing them alone won’t change the fact that, just like everyone else, they overwhelmingly don’t.

Categories: Views

New road safety campaign calls for greater visibility on the roads

28 October, 2017 - 18:30

As the nights draw in and the clocks go back, it’s time once again for the perennial road safety campaigns to call for cyclists and pedestrians to take their share of responsibility by making sure that they’re visible.

But today I’m delighted to announce another important new road safety campaign.

Because every day when I look around on our streets it is clear to me that it’s not just cyclists and pedestrians who are failing to do their bit by making themselves visible. There is another group of road users who are all too often failing to do their bit.

That’s right, I’m talking about fluorescent yellow illuminated retroflective plastic ‘keep left’ bollards.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

All of these fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollards should have made themselves more visible.

Both of these fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollards should have made themselves more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

These fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollards should have made themselves more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

These illuminated retroreflective bollards should have made themselves more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

These illuminated retroreflective bollards should have made themselves more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

#bollarddown …pretty hard to do, this one #madskillz pic.twitter.com/vqU41EDtzL

— Jitensha Wo°OO°oni (@jitensha_oni) June 9, 2017

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

These fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollards should have made themselves more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

#signtoindicatea #bollarddown down pic.twitter.com/mEDuYw3crI

— Jitensha Wo°OO°oni (@jitensha_oni) May 23, 2017

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

 

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

Stop quoting Tommy Robinson, just reply to him with this gif and he blocks you. Problem solved, he's off your TL 🤷‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/LzBWoG70DQ

— (@z4chary_) June 19, 2017

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

63rd #bollarddown pic.twitter.com/gRihLRPt8M

— Jitensha Wo°OO°oni (@jitensha_oni) July 7, 2017

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

At some point the "road safety" orgs will have to admit that however visible something is, someone will drive into it sooner or later. pic.twitter.com/aRl4jhhWMM

— The Alternative DfT (@AlternativeDfT) July 8, 2017

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

#bollarddown bit more palladian ruins-ish this time pic.twitter.com/65Y9JolAgZ

— Jitensha Wo°OO°oni (@jitensha_oni) March 20, 2016

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

#bollarddown nice bit of ikebora-do as you might say in Japanese. -do as in ド not 道 (hmm, maybe…) pic.twitter.com/rr6HBLphlw

— Jitensha Wo°OO°oni (@jitensha_oni) March 15, 2016

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

‘When I tell you to dump a body in the marsh you dump it in the marsh’ #bollarddown pic.twitter.com/RvLonCJ8Ab

— Jitensha Wo°OO°oni (@jitensha_oni) March 7, 2016

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

#bollarddown and other road guides. nos. 41 and 42 spotted since July 2015 :-O pic.twitter.com/dGC4S1oNAq

— Jitensha Wo°OO°oni (@jitensha_oni) May 21, 2016

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

One of these fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollards should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

#bollarddown 4th or 5th time "since records began" for this one. pic.twitter.com/xtipg3YopV

— Jitensha Wo°OO°oni (@jitensha_oni) June 17, 2016

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

62nd #bollarddown pic.twitter.com/Qivpq0w0vV

— Jitensha Wo°OO°oni (@jitensha_oni) July 5, 2017

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

Hackney Quietway cycle "infrastructure" just weeks after installation #sharetheroad pic.twitter.com/eBYqgSEgQ9

— John Galliver (@jguk) July 27, 2017

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

#bollarddown again pic.twitter.com/isoc2RKbsm

— Jitensha Oni (@jitensha_oni) September 2, 2015

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

@jitensha_oni sorry it's a bit fuzzy pic.twitter.com/KJ328nbQYh

— Stroppycow (@Stroppycow) November 25, 2015

These fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollards should have made themselves more visible.

♫ All I want for Christmas is a #bollarddownpic.twitter.com/M94syUTAww

— Jitensha Oni (@jitensha_oni) December 26, 2015

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

Pretty much a #bollarddown #jauntyangle pic.twitter.com/qV9Fnipwtp

— Jitensha Oni (@jitensha_oni) January 11, 2016

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

I reckon it needed more hi viz pic.twitter.com/QjCaCJurvD

— benjamin dilzraeli (@adventuresofrob) July 18, 2017

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

♫ they like to move it, move it ♫ #bollarddown pic.twitter.com/bBKLnEdWry

— Jitensha Oni (@jitensha_oni) February 19, 2016

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

Saw this last night. Must have been going at quite a speed to get up and over that island. pic.twitter.com/f8fUkv4Pjd

— Lap (@eatmoretoast) February 8, 2016

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

.@TonyHomewood @steinsky this GUY got his angles just perfect! pic.twitter.com/5gPEEUUVbD

— Jono Kenyon (@Jono_Kenyon) January 20, 2016

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

I want to break free, I want to break freeee! Some kind of lack of situational awareness? @steinsky pic.twitter.com/Gviie2OGs2

— Damiano di Cere (@Dominus_Tempori) February 1, 2016

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard still should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

This fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective bollard should have made itself more visible.

It’s time fluorescent yellow illuminated retroreflective plastic ‘keep left’ bollards took their share of responsibility on the roads and made themselves more visible.


Categories: Views