The Great Big Let's All Get the Economy Moving Bike Blog Roundup

With conference season past and more austerity on the way, where else should we turn to but cycling to save us all? After all the evidence is stacking up that bike lanes on busy streets are good for business - if only because you're not trapped in your car and can go shopping. And it's not just consumers: numbers of UK made bikes have almost doubled recently and the electric bike market is growing fast (perhaps that's what will finally make us a nation of cyclists?) which makes a change from pawn shops and payday lending. In the US, it's bikes leading Detroit's rebirth while cars and congestion are just costing it money - although at least it's exporting its mistakes to China, too - while a look at Europe's long distance networks shows why communities should be fighting to be on them - just one reason why cycling infrastructure is the best value for money of any infrastructure project (and *ahem* it has other intangible benefits too). At the very least, bikes are a handy advertising hoarding - and a ready source of cash to the cops as well as the thieves.

With one woman biking her way out of unemployment with a bike boutique (or 'women's empowerment center' apparently), do we need some women's specific bike shops? Or do we just need to rage more (fair warning: "if you're the easily offended type best be heading over to one of the blogs about how to bicycle and look pretty at the same time.")? Or is it that we need more women at the decision-making table (like this one maybe)? Answers on a (pink, polka-dotted) postcard please.

Meanwhile last week didn't see the back of all those consultation exercises - although there may be some signs of hope: in Southwark and the City of London for example, and even in Twickenham where a decision on removing the bike lanes has been postponed while in Northamptonshire the council announces a reasonably ambitious cycling strategy. In Brent, however, a scheme is making things worse for cycling while at Lambeth Bridge, Cycalogical detects a bit of a 70s revival (and not in a good way) while Kennington People on Bikes discovers there's loads of capacity on the bridge itself, it's just all in the passenger seats of cars. Freewheeler takes a look at the latest Crown Prosecution Service consultation on drivers who kill while discussion continues on closing Broadway Market to cars.

Sometimes, among the many vulnerable people killed by cars in this country one case stands out - and this week it was the five-year-old killed at the Elephant and Castle - something for which both the government and Transport for London must bear some of the blame. No wonder it takes a huge effort to get kids to walk even a kilometre to school (perhaps they just need Walkability training) - or that Chafe City is willing to take any measure to keep her daughter safe - or parents in New York fight to make a whole borough safer for their kids to cycle to school.

One death that brought just as much attention at the time was Deep Lee's - yet one year on the promised consultation has yet to materialise - despite injuries at that junction having been increasing for years. The Road Danger Reduction Forum looks in detail at progress on London's Cyclist Safety Action Plan. Elsewhere, the magnificently focused Tufton or Death gets the brush off from the Highways Agency on the grounds that there haven't been enough accidents on the slip road in question while Manc Bike Mummy wonders if we've become blind to how dangerously potholed our roads are (or are just too preoccupied trying to avoid them). As one victim's family forgives the driver who crushed their relative and spares him prison, another driver shows no forgiveness at all after a pebble strikes his wing mirror and a hapless American school bus driver encounters an enraged Royal Marine after knocking his mate off his bike. No wonder bicycle collidees are getting their own support group (in California, where else?). Meanwhile for the rest of us, in the absence of the fabled safety in numbers, training helps us tame the traffic - but even an experienced trainer notes, it's no substitute for proper segregation.

Which neatly brings us to the excellent news of the CTC's announcement of support for segregation but not 'farcilities' (along with the rest of us ...). Next stop, perhaps to join these lucky people on a Hembrow study tour - to look at sustainable safety in action? Or they could check out this guide to becoming a cycling mecca (do it like the Dutch and Danes, basically, and not, say, like whatever some of Mr Hembrow's more misguided readers may think) .After all, in Chicago, local politicians are coming back from Copenhagen all fired up and already planning improvements for their ward (rain-sensitive traffic lights, anyone?). Astoundingly, you see, it turns out that making your community bike friendly actually increases cycling faster than not. Or alternatively we could continue to fail to listen to what the real experts have to say, keep putting bike lanes in the door zone (in Chicago, but you see it every day in this country) and build suicidal contraflow lanes and then make them even worse.

Further afield, Cyclavias bring people onto the streets in LA and Atlanta. Tel Aviv signs up to the Charter of Brussels with a target of 15% of journeys by bike (in actual Brussels, it looks like internal red tape is the biggest barrier to more EU officials cycling ... who would ever have guessed that?) - part of getting the mix right as this nice little film shows. In Detroit they're putting the bikes below the roads while in London they seem to be hatching ever more inventive schemes for putting them above them. Meanwhile Moscow inches towards bike friendliness as a radio DJ attempts to dismantle Sydney's attempts to improve its infrastructure.

With Cycling Auckland arguing that normalising cycling is the crucial 'third leg' to rebuilding cycling in a city, Cycling Info considers why cycling rates vary so much across England - history, culture, or geography? Certainly Cambridge is not just ahead but streets ahead of everywhere else - although in Oxford, in some places and times, bikes are dominant too (they still have to mix it with buses though). With a million more people cycling regularly, are we entering another golden age? Or will we continue to be considered 'proper weirdos', something I'm not convinced such things as Tweed rides, splendid though they may be, do much to counter.

On the political front, Magnatom is writing to his MSPs - while a bit of that extra £6 million is to go to revamping one key bike route at least. In Northern Ireland, politicians don't even pretend to care much about cyclists' concerns. In the US, Taking the Lane takes a look at the issue which really matters for the US election - bikes (oh, and on the subject of voting - please give Wheels for Wellbeing your support). In the US, campaigners discover it's sometimes more effective to just go ahead and do it themselves - perhaps with the help of these handy modular roll-your-own instant bike paths. From Denmark, of course.

Bike blogs wouldn't be bike blogs without the statutory helmet post - and for those whose preferred headgear is a tin hat, here's the motoring lobby's support for bike helmets in full.

And finally - ever wondered what the first open source project was? Wonder no more.

We'll be back with more austerity-busting links for you next week - just watch this space.