The Great Big Picking on Pickles Bike Blog Roundup

We'll turn to Mr Pickles in a moment, but before we start a reminder that today is the Get Britain Cycling debate and we hope that everyone who can will be turning out to ask for space for cycling this evening. Of course given the government has already responded to the report in a fairly dismissive manner it may be a futile gesture - certainly the Guardian counsels despair although the CTC gives the government response a cautious welcome while the Road Danger Reduction Forum, having gone through it in some detail concludes that in fact tonight's debate should really be about motorists.

Meanwhile, Eric Pickles has been making waves by criticising 'anti-car' Cambridge for prioritising the choices of 'the elite'. Manifietso counters that at least Cambridge offers a choice - while Cambridge Cyclists wonders if Pickles is talking about the same Cambridge he cycles as he's not seeing much prioritising of the bike. As Easy As Riding a Bike points out Pickles misses the real clutter on our streets, the LCC thinks he should look to what really regenerates town centres, Pedestrian Liberation points out not even the motoring lobby agrees with him - and even Richard Branson would prefer to see more filtered permeability. If only we didn't have such a scientifically illiterate government, then we might get politicians who recognise you shouldn't destroy your tax base to keep on accommodating traffic.

With Angela Merkel opening the Eurobike show, the ECF asking why don't they invest more in it? Solihull cyclist asks what it will take to get a real cycling revolution - not asking for crumbs from the table argues Jim Davis, while the Cycling Front wonders who the CTC represent these days. In Austria, a bike lobby forms to scrutinise politicians' policies while Ely Cycling has made a start looking into their by-election candidtes - and SERA launches a Labour for Cycling campaign. Will it make a difference? Certainly the Seattle Bike blog notices some interesting correlations between mayoral primary votes and cycling rates...

But perhaps what we should be doing is campaigning for children not for cycling - certainly our kids aren't just getting fat, they're unhappy too. When what people really care about is getting their kids safely to school without having to worry about maps like this, we shouldn't ignore the main thing that enables kids to cycle to school - safer roads and paths.

And if they won't think of the children, perhaps the economic case will help - like this US town that thrived after it rejected a plan to widen its main street and narrowed it instead - Strong Towns explains how streets can create value whereas roads destroy it. Streetsblog looks at what happened to Cincinnati after the 'highway bomb' hit it - and Rochester is looking to remove part of an urban highway that's strangling its centre. And although bike businesses should apparently pray for fine weather not bike lanes one Birmingham business finds the benefits of getting its employees to cycle, one way or another. The Invisible Visible man looks at the value of economic incentives in getting taxi drivers to drive more safely - while New Cycling and Spokes consider the incentives of a little thank you for cyclists - it's got to be better than lecturing them

With the Transport Planner asking if we should be building our cities around driverless cars, or just put 20s planning back in its box, Baldcyclist returns to his home town of Livingston, a place that really was built around people - even though people walk more there, rather than cycle. Streetfilms visit Montreal and finds car-free streets and bustling bikes and an intersection that's been transformed into a wonderful space for people. With the Urban Times considering whether Mikael Colville-Andersen is the new Jane Jacobs, Transitized considers how to rebalance a busy street for bikes in Chicago, while a rare trip in a car reminds one cyclist why the cars are winning in Brisbane.

Meanwhile this was the week when TfL added the 'London confusing mess' to the lexicon of turns across traffic - fortunately a someone was on hand to immortalise the moment when David Hembrow realises the true horror of bike infrastructure design in the UK which leaves bikes going round in circles - the LCC criticises the detail while welcoming the approach in principle - while Mark Wagenbuur just shows us what it really means to send bicycles round in circles on the beautiful Hovenring at night.

In fact, this week was all about the details, with the Ranty Higwayman uncovering the beauty of kerbs while the Not the Morpeth Herald tries to unpick the complex question of when a cycle track is not a cycle track (when it's an advisory cycle track, apparently, whatever that is - still at least it isn't as complicated as US bike signal activation symbol regulations. No, really, it's interesting). As Copenhagenize examines the little details that make cycling work better, the CTC hopes that TfL's infrastructure trials could mean we finally get some decent infrastructure built, while Manifietso sums up everything that's wrong with UK cycling in slightly more than the advertised one photo. Psychobikeology looks at the seductive charms of shared space. And lest you think that all this kerb-nerdery is trivial, one novice cyclist reminds us that ultimately what matters is the right conditions to enable beginners to ride - and that includes during road works. And that means not rendering cycle paths unusable, basically, like this one with its pointless gates and this one which has helpfully been blocked off by Costa Coffee. That's one cafe stop cyclists won't be making...

Meanwhile, bike share schemes continue to sweep the US with the latest launched in San Francisco, a low cost version for apartment buldings designed in Portland and usage growing fast in Arlington - but also crashes. This might be due to the joys of the bike share pub crawl - or Chicago's alleged army of homicidal pavement-riding octogenarians (you go, Grandma).

Those octogenarian scofflaws might have a point as the Calgary Herals finds out riding like a jerk does actually get you there faster (but you'll be a sweaty mess). In Vienna, closing a road to cars paradoxically brings cyclists into conflict with pedestrians because of a lack of alternative routes - while a similar problem leaves Tower Hamelts looking for alternatives to canal towpaths. In Christchurch it seems the earthquake has helped to normalise pavement cycling - while Shaun Jacobsen tries talking to those poor drivers who seem so desperate to communicate with him

This week's unavoidable helmet row was brought to you courtesy of Laura Trott - you hope for her own sake she has a pair of flame-retardent overalls as Kevin Hickman wades in as does Magnatom. Cycling South Tyne responds with a probably pointless helmet poll while Vancouver has a valiant attempt at making a bike share scheme work with a compulsory helmet law.

Reminding us of the real cost of dangerous roads, Lynne McNicoll is determined her stepson shouldn't remain a name on a file while the Manchester Critical Mass turns red in memory of Jaye. In Oregon, an anonymous householder puts up a home-made road safety initiative after losing two pets - while Atlantic Cities publicises one simple trick to save a cyclist's life (there's no word on whether it also gets rid of belly fat) - and in San Diego a bus operator cracks down on its drivers using electronic devices at the wheel; astoundingly it turns out they needed to be told - no wonder Kats Dekker doesn't want to share. As one LA cyclist gets back on his bike after a hit and run, minus one leg, the Wisconsin Bike Federation reminds you what to do if you're hit by a truck - and that rural roads can be lethal too. And while the mainstream media is beginning to get the message on bike safety at last, there's also a subtler message about relative safety and the benefits of an active life

Of ourse it would help if the police had their priorities right - or even believed their own colleagues when it came to prosecuting drivers - it doesn't bode well for California's three-foot passing law even if it ever does get passed.

Back here in the UK, cycle commuting is climbing in Edinburgh - hopefully to be helped by a planned city-wide 20mph limit but it's driving that's on the rise elsewhere in Scotland. Bristol Cycling Campaign puts the hours in to get signatures on its petition - while Cycling Dumfries thinks strategically. Simon Geller askes what North Yorkshire is really doing to promote cycling while in London the Community Cycling Fund will be opening for applications this week. Mr Happy Cyclist is happy with an improvement to a dangerous sweeping junction even if it might have been unintentionalwhile one cyclist attempts to undo all the benefits of cycling by demanding his rights to a happy meal on two wheels.

Further afield Ontario gets a cycling strategy while Chicago continues to think big even when it comes to small changes with more buffered bikeways going in at a rate of knots - by the time it takes San Diego to clear away a fallen tree, Chicago's probably done another mile or two, let alone the time it takes Auckland to put in a small bike bypass. A visit to a prairie town gives Ellie Blue hope for small town riding while Bike Delaware brings back lessons from Budapest. Numbers are rising on the bike counter in San Francisco while further south in LA, bike stands are being grubbed up to make way for parking meters (and how come the parking meters get a roof and the bike parking doesn't anyway?). Both Cycling in Dublin and I Bike TO discover the joy of creating fantasy bike lanes in Streetmix. And in the Netherlands, bike schools empower immigrant women

And finally, in what's been a relatively quiet week, is this Britain's youngest bike blogger? We hope for many more words from Emma - and everyone - in next week's roundup.