The Great Big Spoiled Ballot Bike Blog Roundup

Reading the papers this week, it seems as if the only people who actually cared about the PCC elections were the cyclists, with Chester Cycling, Andrew Reeves-Hall, the Leicester Cycle Campaign and Cambridge Cycling all questioning their candidates and Sustrans even releasing a manifesto - and after the Welsh Police showed what they could do when they put their minds to it, perhaps they have a point (and maybe if they'd put this sort of response in their manifestos we'd all have voted). Meanwhile Bristol Cars has a look at some of the candidates for mayor and like what they see - although we suspect they wouldn't approve of the winner. Less glamorously (if that can be imagined), Lancaster Dynamo as still chasing their councillors about the A6 while, with signs of slow progress in Twickenham, the People's Front of Richmond writes an open letter to Richmond's cabinet asking them to stop making it a thoroughfare to everywhere else but there.

No PCC elections in Scotland, but there was a visit from the Love Cycling, Go Dutch rolling conference bandwagon, which was welcomed even by the (Scottish) Sun and got Cycling Dumfries thinking. It was also the opportunity for Edinburgh to announce its new 'Quality Bike Corridor' which was greeted with less than universal acclaim, although the Times seemed reasonably keen and Spokes felt that, flawed though it is, it is contributing to continuing rises in the city's bike counts. Unfortunately, this was the same week we learned that the plans for Leith Walk have gone backwards - while Jim Orr thinks other councils should follow Edinburgh's example, we wonder whether they mightn't also look to East Lothian, as it bans cars around schools.

Today marks World Remembrance Day for Traffic Victims - as marked by both Pedal on Parliament and Kim Harding. Coincidentally or not, I Cycle Liverpool chose to mark the act of a kind stranger comforting a dying woman - and Bicycles in Motion considerd Sofoklis, killed in Bethnal Green last week. All the more power, then, to Peace Cycling and her campaign to get Britain cycling despite her own nasty accident - as well as the petition for safer roads at the Elephant and Castle, trying to salvage something positive from a terrible series of tragedies. What a contrast to (those whose six-year-olds like reading blog roundups might want to direct their eyes away from the next few links) a monstrously ill-judged cycle safey campaign which took victim blaming to a new level triggering a brief but ferocious blog backlash and set a new world record for getting from offence to abject apology. Would that all the other haters could be dealt with so quickly, as Carlton Reid asks why it is so widespread and vitriolic

Some give as good as they get, of course. Ibikelondon feels heads must roll over Blackfriars, while Cyclists in the city is shocked at the safety audit recommendations. Cycalogical has a damning look at the whole TfL review process, while the Cycling Silk finds the plans for the latest Superhighway are the worst of all worlds. Charlie of Kennington People on Bikes gets his response to the Waterloo Imax roundabout in at the last minute, and if you wonder whether all this consulting is having any effect, Rachel Aldred looks at the report into the A24 consultation and finds they've made some changes, though not necessarily for the better. I Cycle Liverpool says everything they couldn't squeeze in at the latest Cycle Forum while Tufton or Death discovers he is not alone in his concerns - and that the slip road in question is even more dangerous than he thought. With more consultations in the offing, some roads remain a death trap even for the most experienced cyclists. Perhaps instead of consulting, they should look at the evidence to see what works - or at least try things out on this bicycle simulator (video) for testing junctions.

One particular consultation attracted the most attention this week: the proposed increased speed limit for HGVs, possibly inspired by this particular folly. British Cycling reacts angrily while Cycling info has the novel idea of just enforcing the limit (and just in case we needed any reminder, here's a vivid example of why trucks are such a danger)

A visit to the ice rink gives Kennington People on Bikes some food for thought on sharing space while the Alternative DfT explains why it will never work. Reminding us that sometimes the boot is on the other foot, Cycling Info considers the two times he's been knocked off his bike by pedestrians. As Easy as Riding a Bike points out we have to adapt the environment, not just narrowly focus on keeping cyclists safe - or to put it more succinctly, hope not cope.

All of which requires making space for bikes, a cause urged by an unlikely champion. And some space does seem to be forthcoming with a new bike and footbridge planned (as long as Boris doesn't turn it into another cablecar), plus a 'super corridor' through Central London - although beware London cycle infrastructure bearing that prefix. Elsewhere, a plans for a Coventry network emerge, although  Mad Cycle Lanes of Manchester dissects another section of the Trans Pennine Trail, a dedicated space for bikes and walkers that isn't much of an advertisment for the concept.

None of this comes free, of course, and fresh from the Scots Go Dutch conference, Alison Johnstone MSP looks at where the money might come from. In Lambeth developers are to be levied for it - while Boris Bike users are also being squeezed. Could it be the financial impact of all that free cycling that makes Transport for London so scared of it? Or perhaps we just need to put Cycling England on our Christmas list (or more than 0.7% of the transport budget).

Meanwhile the short days and dark nights feed the ongoing hi-vis debate with Ian Walker attempting to cast some light on Smidsy while even Halfords suggests it's time to move on. The Dutch get bike light campaigning right, and if the bikelight fairy hasn't visited you yet, perhaps this crowdfunded project might help.

Cyclists weren't the only thing suffering poor visibility this week, with a spate of disappearing cycle lanes in Nottingham and Toronto while Lewisham loses its planned superhighway on the grounds it's too difficult and a Chicago street doesn't get a protected bike lane because the street's a foot too narrow. Meanwhile, Belfast cracks down on bikes in its bin lanes and those visiting the shiny new Cycle Hub in Manchester are expected to disappear round the back... oh, the irony

And speaking of ironic, with the 'pope of urban cycling' feted from Chicago to Ottawa, and its cyclists praised for their fabulous good looks we ask whether the time might come when we need to Copenhagenize Copenhagen (still at least it narrowly avoided being Glasgowized).

Further afield, the New York Times discovers infrastructure and another expat in the Netherlands discovers the joy of the bike. As Bangkok considers what it would take to make Bangkok a city of cycling, Woman on a Wheel discovers there are lessons to be learned (and fun to be had) from Asia - where bikes and trucks have an unusual relationship. In Auckland they catch up with slower speeds while in Chicago one blogger considers a radical proposal for the Loop.

We leave you with some questions to ponder - such as why does every city suddenly want a High Line park? If you're a woman on wheels have you taken the pledge? Can a city have too many cyclists? Will we get an unexpected health bonus from the Olympics? Do you really need a folding bike? And finally - is this the ultimate in N+1?

Check in to see if we've any answers next week.