The Great Big What Katie Did Next Blog Roundup

The big news this week was the launch of Pedal on Parliament 2015 with a lovely video, Katie Cycles to School. Of course, there's a serious message behind the video; about opportunities for children to cycle, and for everyone else - and what a difference that would make. It's going to be a great day out - be there if you can!


International Women's Day at the weekend saw a flurry of posts on the topic of women, and cycling. Kats Dekker argued convincingly that cycling is an inherently female mode of transport, while Bicycle Dutch showed us where to aim for. In Manchester the CTC are looking forward to the launch of 'Girls Go Better By Bike', and there's a workshop too. It will come as no surprise that suffragettes rode bikes - Cyclelicious takes a look at the extraordinary story of Frances Willard, and Bikeleague have a compilation post of the women who forged a path towards gender equity in cycling. Streetsblog presented research on diversity and bike lanes - race, ethnicity and class - while Ladyfleur reported on a bicycle movement powered by wine, women and chocolate. Finally there's the fascinating story of Annie Cohen Kopchovsky, who cycled alone around the world - in 1894 - to show that women are the equal of men - that of Kittie Kox and Maria Ward, and biographies of contemporary women at the forefront of cycle campaigning since the 1970s. Cycling 'has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world'.


The Dutch are updating their CROW manual, and Herbert Tiemens - who is taking part in writing the new guidance - has some background. If you want to learn more about Dutch design, well, this year, there's a summer school on urban planning and cycle infrastructure. And if summer's not your thing, Bicycle Dutch has the second part of his report from the Winter Cycling Congress. The Dutch approach also neatly demonstrates how walking and cycling don't need to be put into conflict - removing unnecessary traffic lights helps too.

Copenhagenize argues that walking and cycling bridges should deal first with functionality, and calls for an end to 'squiggletecture', and if you really want to depress yourself, NI Greenways takes a detailed look at the dreadful designs being produced for one of Belfast's busiest junctions. How about infrastructure old and new? Great Gas Beetle finds some old infrastructure in Sheffield, and muses about how it could be improved, while Veenendaal shows how a new town can have cycling designed into it. The Ranty Highwayman examined the ins and outs (literally) of access control barriers, and it turns out the cycle tracks can fit quite neatly with storm water drains.


The CTC produced a handy summary of the responses from the main political parties on their cycling commitments, and the City Fix gave us six key ideas to boost cycling in cities. If that's not enough, the Danish experts also have advice on what will get more people cycling, everyday. It's all a question of priorities, really - spending the money where it matters. Perhaps we should be concentrating on main roads, given the alarming impact on the health of young children of pollution here.

Will the bicycle network in Tokyo finally start being developed in a coordinated way? Toky Bike hopes so. Meanwhile People for Bikes are measuring how America rides. The conclusion seems to be not regularly, at all - while 100 million cycle every year, very few make it a habit. There might be some lessons from history - what does the film Breakaway tell us about 1970s American attitudes to cycling? And indeed what of the post-1970s Bike Boom more generally?


There was an interesting examination of the fall, and rise, of cycling in London, and what might be behind it, from London Reconnections. The Space4Cycling campaign is certainly playing a part, and it's won a prestigious award (again). But don't get your hopes up just yet, because London is still very far behind where it needs to be. While improvements are starting to appear in the city, it's not all plain sailing, either on Bow Road, or in Richmond, or in central London, where Quietway routes won't make much of a difference if they don't deal with the hard bits. Will Superhighway 1 make the grade?


While there was a lorry safety debate in the House of Lords, the 'Cyclists Stay Back' sticker fiasco rumbles on, and Volvo - who happen to be lobbying against safer lorry design - have an 'interesting' app that involves pushing cyclists out of the way. It's high time for Vision Zero in London, argues Christian Wolmar, but unfortunately it seems that comedians are in charge of setting road safety priorities in Richmond. There are lessons from Vancouver's failed helmet law for California - or indeed anywhere else - that is thinking of following suit, and Bike Portland examines what it really means when lawmakers 'just want to start a conversation' about road safety. Maybe they could start by discussing justice, New York-style - including issuing out of thin air for people cycling legally. Dr Hutch also discovers that having a frothing lunatic following you around in a car is actually a good safety device.

Progress in the UK?

A visit to Oxford gets Happy Cyclist musing what's required to get people cycling, and although the city has won more Cycle City Ambition money, campaigners claim it is going to be misspent. Oxford in particular provides a template argument for why the 'dual network' approach to cycling provision is fatally flawed. In Cambridgeshire, meanwhile, there's support for the A10 cycle corridor from many local businesses.

Although it's pretty direEdinburgh dominates cycling to work rates in Scotland - suggesting other towns and cities have plenty of catching up to do, and cycling Dumfries plan to show their councillors exactly what's required. Pleasingly Darlington councillors have decided they shouldn't punish the majority for the actions of a few, and have decided against a bike ban in the town centre; Croydon is following suit, allowing people cycling to use the town's main pedestrianised shopping street.

Is common sense breaking out? Not everywhere, as a 4-year-old is threatened with her bike being confiscated for riding on the pavement - and there are (much) worse uses of pavements out there. There's a plea to the users of helmet cameras to change the language they use - less 'justice league' please - while Joe Parker wonders why taxis and people cycling shouldn't be natural allies. Maybe if taxi drivers are promising to cycle around the Elephant & Castle to experience cycling on British city streets, there will be some progress.

And finally...

Perhaps cycling can cure all the world's ills, although Bike Snob takes, well, a more measured view.

While a bicycle is the perfect mode of transport to make a pilgrimage, and even for plumbers who wish to be more punctual, it seems that even the motor industry have realised that the bike is the solution in busier areas too, as Ford launch their own range of bikes, apparently 'last mile' solutions for streets clogged with motor traffic

Now all that remains is for the motor industry to start building bike lanes to use them on...



Another great round up, Thanks Mark!