The Great Big No Sh*t Sherlock Bike Blog Roundup

This week's big blog story comes from across the Atlantic, when People for Bikes released the first major US study on protected bike lanes and the US bike bloggers fell on it like seagulls fighting over a chip (seagulls may be on our mind as it was the Cycling Embassy AGM in Brighton this weekend - hence the late running of this blog roundup). Amazingly, the study found that the lanes are proving a success for users and non-users alike and have increased ridership by up to 171%, wherever they are (even in Australia), although Chicago's walkers and drivers are less enthused, that they are particularly popular among the 'interested but concerned' and young people and that they are safe even at intersections - but even the best lanes can't walk on water or, indeed, protect you in the event of a sharknado. Copenhagenize sounds a warning on bi-directional tracks, while Treehugger considers the all-important question of what to call them and People for Bikes discovers that when it comes to parking, you just can't please some people even if the track creates more parking rather than takes it away (or they just park on it anyway). And as Commute By Bike wonders if we really needed a study to tell us all that, the city of Boise, Idaho demonstrates some people do - while in Toronto they appear to have created one by mistake. Elsewhere, they are appearing in Adelaide, San Francisco struggles to get it right and Ottawa is still messing around with sharrows while in New York Vision Zero has to include protected bike lanes

Other studies

That wasn't the only study bloggers were looking at this week: elsewhere in the US it was found that the more corrupt a state the more money it was likely to spend on road building (interesting in light of our own government's plans) - and that poorer neighbourhoods weren't getting their concerns heard about transport decisions. We learned that texting and driving was even more dangerous than drink driving - and the high cost in the US of the annual road death toll. Australia considered the impact of its helmet laws - and the lessons of that and other factors for bike share schemes. And on a much smaller scale, Downfader tries to gauge why Southampton drivers stick to their cars - while in Tuscon they're looking at where all the tram track crashes are and who is affected.

Safety otherwise

Hopefully the research in the US will serve to accelerate the UK's glacial progress towards segregated infrastructure - but meanwhile, with cyclists still being killed at dangerous junctions, urgent action is needed at Vauxhall and at Elephant and Castle, without using excuses about the need for consultation to get in the way. There's certainly no sense of urgency in Europe over introducing safer lorry designs - but are there other ways to make them less deadly? Meanwhile, the CTC suggests that better law enforcement might tackle perceptions of danger in cycling, convening an expert panel debate on sentencing on the auspicious date of Friday 13th while the Road Justice parliamentary group has also been launched. The Road Danger Reduction Forum provides some examples of why enforcement is needed while Cambridge police seem to be concentrating on the wrong target; perhaps they could learn something from the Japanese. Meanwhile, one cyclists discovers how quickly you go from bloodied cyclist to 'bloody cyclist' even in the eyes of those there to help - while elsewhere in the US, residents have resorted to guilt trips to slow rat-running motorists.

Designing in cycling, or not

Meanwhile, a trip down the A5 shows how the UK continues to prioritise through traffic over any real sense of place or safe cycling. We have missed the opportunity to show real vision for Gosforth High Street - although we could have some lovely sparkly bike paths. Sometimes we manage to squeeze in cycling at the last minute - and sometimes we just have to hope that our cycle friendly borough will sort out an obvious gap in the nework. For those who like their blog posts technical, CycaLogical looks in detail at the traffic signs consultation while Ranty Highwayman explains how parking restrictions don't have to mean loads of paint on the road. And if you do suffer from some of the more adventurous type of infrastructure, at least it gives you a challenge to tackle on your commute.

Bringing about mass cycling

In the words of the immortal Freewheeler, vehicular cycling won't bring about mass cycling, which is fortunate because it would be a nightmare if it did, but could it be that Croydon is about to witness a cycling revolution? Further north, although East Dunbartonshire is showing some vision, neighbouring Glasgow is still rolling out the same old rubbish - well, almost - despite its desire for a lasting Commonwealth Games legacy - Magnatom finds the reasons why people are signing his petition are illuminating. A Newcastle campaigner hears some ambitious messages at the Leeds Space for Cycling campaigners' workshop while back home NewCycling present their message on design and planning while Lancaster campaigners are focusing on a key priority route.


Further afield, Washington DC's new transport plan is actually pretty ambitious and might even include congestion charging. In Portland, campaigners are urged to look beyond infrastructure and start to talk about people instead while a Danish-American finds Seattle has a long way to go before it rivals Copenhagen. Philadelphia campaigners explain how to get a pedestrian plaza in your city - and how much it will cost. Leipzig is making small but significant changes in favour of cycling, while even Vienna gets things right occasionally. And in the Netherlands, another bog-standard town to town bike path is rolled out with very little fanfare...

Celebrating cycling


With the summer getting into its stride in the northern hemisphere at least, it's time for bike fun of all sorts from the newcomer Edinburgh Festival of Cycling by way of Belfast's Fred Festival celebrating ordinary cycling - and the grand-daddy of them all, Portland's Pedalpalooza. In Bolton the Sky ride is brilliant but what about the other 364 days of the year? And as ever, the world naked bike ride brings out the haters while at least making any other cycling event appear mainstream by comparison...

Celebrating diversity


Part of the EdFoC is the Women's Cycle Forum, a chance for women cyclists to speak in all their diversity while talking about biking mamas might help change the record on the cycle debate. Yorkshire welcomes the Tour de France with a bike-created artwork celebrating the freedom cycling gave women even if to the untutored eye it looks like a picture of Angelina Ballerina, while at least in the sporting world businesses have woken up to the women's market. Seattle hopes that bike share will close the city's gender gap while the bike league is giving mini grants to women's cycling organisations while considers the breakdown of its posts by gender and how it can increase its own diversity. And looking at diversity in other ways, Cyclicious considers how Texas police target those guilty of biking while black while The Guardian meets the Muslim cyclists riding for peace from Glasgow to London - we do hope they don't end up shedding one stereotype for another...

Road rage and other afflictions

Of course, even cyclists can succumb to road rage so channel it into something positive - or at least be kind, even to the salmon - indeed, even to the mopeds facing banishment from Amsterdam's bike paths; sometimes a glimpse of life from the other side can engender some sympathy. Why is it that what some people see as normal appears to others as bullying? Perhaps it's all to do with how much TV you watch? And if you do fall victim to a road rage attack, whether by a hair-salon destroying driver or an off-duty policeman, here is some legal advice or in extremis some self-defence moves 1901 stylee.

Minding the business

There was more bikenomics evidence this week, with one business finding that bike lanes they had fought against actually benefited them, once things had settled down, while a business-friendly mattress store agrees and one business owner in Seattle presses the city to sort out the crashes he's sick of witnessing out of his front door. In the same city, an iconic new cycling and walking bridge might revive a local mall - while in the UK, could it be that supermarkets are so rubbish at cycle parking not because they're ignoring us, but because they fear us. With bike share schemes spreading wider, could bike shops be the biggest casualty? Certainly there's one business that the DC bike share isn't encouraging.

Faster than a speeding chicken

Surprising statistic of the week goes to ibikelondon for revealing the fact that London traffic is outpaced by poultry so you'd be better off cycling. That said, it turns out it's actually more pleasant to drive at 20mph. Sadly there's still no real stigma to speeding, despite its dangers. And finally, the weak connection to current events award is split evenly between Momentum Mag for its article on what the World Cup means for cycling in Brazil and the Wash Cycle for discovering how bikes were involved in D-Day. Next time you're tempted to talk about a war on the roads, remember that.