'Space for cycling' protest ride 2nd September

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  • Right now, we have an almost negligible amount of infrastructure that is up to Dutch standards, yet cycling is growing and the feedback loop of growing numbers gaining influence and supporting further growth is already operating. Other factors are supporting this growth. I guessed at some a few pages back. Cycle training might be a small contributor (anyone got numbers?) but it is an important one because the approach it teaches spreads beyond those taught, and it's officialness helps legitimise the presence of cyclists on the roads in the minds of everyone who is aware of it.

    And as cycling grows it will gain the political power to demand more infrastructural support, both friendlier roads and segregated routes for those who can't or won't use the roads.

    The kerb nerds seem to have an alternative plan.** You imagine you can achieve sweeping infrastructure changes for the benefit of hordes of future cyclists who don't even know they're cyclists yet, let alone have a political voice. Meanwhile telling lots of people who do cycle that they're doing it wrong and should put their interests behind those of the as-yet unconscious community you claim to be speaking for.** All you have to do is achieve sufficient ideological purity in your faction of a fraction of a minority and the infrastructure fairy with grant all your wishes...

    (And ain't it handy how these future hordes don't yet have a voice to inconveniently dispute your assessment of their best interests?)

    If you believe in segregated cycle paths, campaign positively to get good ones built. If they really are good, then both existing and new cyclists will like them and use them and it will be seen that they are good and they will spread.

    Your're right that it's necessary that the infrastructure support everyone cycling before everyone will cycle, but that's neither sufficient nor relevant to where we are now. Choosing to cycle depends on more than just infrastructure, and right now we just need more cycling of all kinds.

    This is from a few pages back, ignore the name calling, but the bits in bold are still relevant. Everyone keeps talking about these nameless future cyclists who will start riding once the roads are safer, but will they?

    @ad441, I'd rather not give up anything for people who haven't yet made the decision to ride, and may never ride, even if segregation and infrastructure are created..

  • Holy strawman...

    Assumption much?

    Probably fair, but my point was that it does come over that way. I'd rather see motorised traffic calmed to the point where anyone feels comfortable riding in it. But that's unrealistic no matter how much training you receive (and I'm definitely pro training). As far as I can tell, all the evidence suggests that to get mass cycling (which is the actual goal) you need to build decent segregated infrastructure. But this is rejected by many on the idealogical grounds that we shouldn't be second-class road users and that we shouldn't cede our right to use the main highway. I agree with the idealogy, I just don't think it's realistic and it's not actually as important as getting the majority of people onto their bikes for at least some journeys.

  • Probably fair, but my point was that it does come over that way. I'd rather see motorised traffic calmed to the point where anyone feels comfortable riding in it. But that's unrealistic no matter how much training you receive (and I'm definitely pro training).

    It is not unrealistic, it's entirely possible and likely to happen in the future, an example would be the 20mph limit, like in Hackney.

    Tricitybendix hit the nail a while ago by saying that if it's safe and comfortable enough to walk, it's safe enough to cycle.

  • This is from a few pages back, ignore the name calling, but the bits in bold are still relevant. Everyone keeps talking about these nameless future cyclists who will start riding once the roads are safer, but will they?

    @ad441, I'd rather not give up anything for people who haven't yet made the decision to ride, and may never ride, even if segregation and infrastructure are created..

    I'd rather not give up anything either, but I happily would if it was the only way forward. The best solution is to have decent segregated infrastructure and the right to ride on the road. I just wonder how much anti-segregationism is driven by fear of what we might lose. I'm not telling anyone who currently cycles that they are doing it wrong (in fact, I'm not even sure what that means - they're probably doing it very right in the crappy circumstances that we have). I do think it is wrong for them to oppose infrastructure that will encourage current non-cyclists to cycle (and it will) on unrealistic idealogical grounds or because they fear it might change what is currently a tolerable situation only for them.

    Choosing to cycle depends on more than just infrastructure, and right now we just need more cycling of all kinds
    Yup

  • @ad441, I'd rather not give up anything for people who haven't yet made the decision to ride, and may never ride, even if segregation and infrastructure are created..

    I'm not actually seriously suggesting some sort of voluntary withdrawal from the roads in the hope of more people cycling. I'm just saying that if we could magically have Holland or Denmark's cycle culture instead, I'd gladly take it, even though that would entail slower journeys round town for me personally.

    It's not like these countries haven't got traditions of proper road (racing) cycling as well - they just don't mix that up with commuting or going to the shops.

    I don't actually see it ever improving much in the UK, which I find pretty depressing. The angry black/white nature of most discussions on cycle forums isn't going to do anything to help either.

    If you forced me to choose what sort of cycling culture I'd prefer, personally I'd be more inclined to go for somewhere like Italy, which (in my limited experience) doesn't have a great deal of segregated lanes & has plenty of impatient, incompetent drivers, but at the same time has a basic tolerance of cycling that means they'll only pass cyclists when there's plenty of clear space. I suspect the way of achieving this is having generations of people who've cycled at some point in their lives, combined with liability laws that favour the more vulnerable.
    (not going to happen here in my lifetime).

  • Scoble has pointed out the flaws in the Danish model.

    Italy has got to be one of the best places I have cycled in, and yes it is the consideration given to cyclists that makes the difference. This could be achieved here with better legal enforcement and information campaigns. Infrastructure changes are just not going to happen, the lack of available space probably being the main problem, and then the cost implications. I do not oppose good infrastructure, but generally what is built is poorly conceived, frequently inherently dangerous and of negligible benefit. Demanding door to door infrastructure just seems a waste of time. Education and enforcement will make things safer and encourage more people to ride.

  • Infrastructure changes are just not going to happen

    Partly because "cyclists can't make up their mind what they want"

    the lack of available space probably being the main problem

    That objection has been widely rubbished.

    I do not oppose good infrastructure, but generally what **has been **built is poorly conceived, frequently inherently dangerous and of negligible benefit.

    ftfy. Nothing says we have to keep building crap infrastructure.

    Demanding door to door infrastructure just seems a waste of time.

    Nobody demands that. Everyone recognises that all door-to-door routes will at very least have some on-road component and so road conditions will have to be improved for cyclists (20mph limits etc).

    Education and enforcement will make things safer and encourage more people to ride.

    Agreed. Changes on many fronts are needed.

  • ad441, and ffm, I think we need education of motorists, strict liability to be made into law here in the UK and the will to put infrastructure that makes junctions and some one way systems safer.
    But the first two require political will, and a change in the mindset of motorists and the culture of driving, which the majority of people don't seem able to understand or be able to articulate in a way which makes people understand.

    Segregation on the other hand can have money thrown at it, and you can be seen to be making it easier for cyclists, when in fact you are doing not much at all..

  • ad441, and ffm, I think we need education of motorists, strict liability to be made into law here in the UK and the will to put infrastructure that makes junctions and some one way systems safer.

    Zing, my sentiment also.

  • ad441, and ffm, I think we need education of motorists, strict liability to be made into law here in the UK and the will to put infrastructure that makes junctions and some one way systems safer.
    But the first two require political will, and a change in the mindset of motorists and the culture of driving, which the majority of people don't seem able to understand or be able to articulate in a way which makes people understand.

    Agreed.

    Segregation on the other hand can have money thrown at it, and you can be seen to be making it easier for cyclists, when in fact you are doing not much at all.

    If it's bad infrastructure, yes. And this is a real problem because it costs money and annoys people on bikes and in cars. This is a great irony of this debate: we're discussing the benefits of two different approaches when the current policy satisfies neither pro or anti-segregation camp. I think good infrastructure is possible and hugely beneficial on some routes. I also think it's an integral part of encouraging more people to cycle and this will contribute to a positive feedback loop of greater modal share, greater understanding of the needs of cyclists, and better road behaviour from people in cars.

  • This was in the op.

    We need segregated bike lanes like the rest of Europe

    For me there appear to be many better alternatives, education, cultural change, legal enforcement, changes to the law. Whereas the drive just to create segregation means the other changes would become less and less likely.

  • If it's bad infrastructure, yes. And this is a real problem because it costs money and annoys people on bikes and in cars.

    And often takes space away from peds.

    (wrong audience, I know, but I can't help it.)

  • Who then end up walking in the cycle lanes...

  • And often takes space away from peds.

    (wrong audience, I know, but I can't help it.)

    Good point. At the moment there seem to be a few places where more space is quite rightly being given to peds, but the designers seem to be absolutely determined to miss every opportunity to allocate any space to cycling. Even just a little bit at junctions where it would be most valuable in terms of safety. I know Cheapside is one example, I think Russell Square was a missed opportunity as well.

  • Nothing will ever change without Strict Liability, and the CTC & LCC should be campaigning relentlessly for it.
    You can placate the Daily Mail lot by loudly promoting the strict liability for cyclists when they hit pedestrians (which you absolutely would need to do anyway) and you could probably swing the measure past drivers by packaging it up with something tempting so it doesn't feel like "the war on the motorist" - e.g. higher motorway speed limits in return for stricter liability laws.

    Cycling in countries with these laws is a world away from the UK.

  • ... Infrastructure changes are just not going to happen, ...

    Partly because "cyclists can't make up their mind what they want".

    I think you're both wrong*. Historically, lack of political support for cycling is far more due to the money and power behind the motoring, and car ownership being viewed as a progressive thing that many aspired towards, than anything the cycling lobby did.

    Currently, cycling's time has come again. Even if people still aspire to own a car themselves, i think more people would admit it's a good thing that cycling grow. And cycling is growing, in numbers and power, and that growing influence will bring infrastructural change. The variety of ideas about what's wanted will just lead to a variety of things being done.

    (*I think we all agree that there will never be door to door segregated cycle paths for all.)

  • And often takes space away from peds.

    (wrong audience, I know, but I can't help it.)

    v

    Tricitybendix hit the nail a while ago by saying that if it's safe and comfortable enough to walk, it's safe enough to cycle.

  • I was probably not very clear, but full segregated lanes appear very unlikely to me.

    ffm, could you please demonstrate where it has been proven there is adequate space for segregated lanes? The kind of infrastructure referred to in luckyskulls link http://ibikelondon.blogspot.co.uk/2013/1­0/londons-first-truly-super-cycle-highwa­y.html can not happen unless there is already a multi lane road, but these are the minority in London.

  • v

    Not really versus statements, are they? I wasn't saying 'if it's safe and comfortable to walk, it'll still definitely be safe and comfortable to walk if we encourage all the cyclists to share the pavement with them'.

  • I was probably not very clear, but full segregated lanes appear very unlikely to me.

    ffm, could you please demonstrate where it has been proven there is adequate space for segregated lanes? The kind of infrastructure referred to in luckyskulls link http://ibikelondon.blogspot.co.uk/2013/1­0/londons-first-truly-super-cycle-highwa­y.html can not happen unless there is already a multi lane road, but these are the minority in London.

    Here?

  • I don't mean share path, I mean as in motorised traffic looking less overwhelming to cross the street (like Brixton, Blackfriar Bridge etc.).

  • there's a few examples here: http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress...n­dons-streets/

    dunno if that's a total take down though does challenge the view of "London's narrow streets". the most worrying surely is that where roads are wide there are projects that don't do much for cycling, such as Aldgate, Blackfriars Bridge, Broad Lane

  • I'd rather not give up anything either, but I happily would if it was the only way forward. The best solution is to have decent segregated infrastructure and the right to ride on the road. I just wonder how much anti-segregationism is driven by fear of what we might lose. I'm not telling anyone who currently cycles that they are doing it wrong (in fact, I'm not even sure what that means - they're probably doing it very right in the crappy circumstances that we have). I do think it is wrong for them to oppose infrastructure that will encourage current non-cyclists to cycle (and it will) on unrealistic idealogical grounds or because they fear it might change what is currently a tolerable situation only for them.

    Yup

    If there really was an infrastructure fairy who could, at the flick of her magic wand, grant us Dutch standard infrastructure but cost us the right to ride on all roads, and if I was sure that would work well for the majority here in London, then i'd be in favour of that change.

    I'd mourn the end of riding on roads like the A4 and Marleybone Road, which are so much fun when you're in the right mood. But i do believe in the greater good, and i do want parents to let their kids ride to school.

    But...
    I'm not totally convinced that segregated cycle routes are the best possible answer for London. Part of the answer? Sure, but not all of or the most urgent or most important part.

    And what i *really *don't like are people whom, convinced that segregated cycle paths are the whole of the answer, seize on this certainty as an opportunity to indulge in picking on and bullying cyclists who don't agree with them. Both because this is odious behaviour and because it's a stupid plan that won't do anything positive even if they are right.

  • there's a few examples here: http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress...n­dons-streets/

    dunno if that's a total take down though does challenge the view of "London's narrow streets". the most worrying surely is that where roads are wide there are projects that don't do much for cycling, such as Aldgate, Blackfriars Bridge, Broad Lane

    It challenges the view that there are no wide streets in London - it is self-evident that there are.

    What is the question that Borris is answering though?

  • Needlessly agressive cycle campaigners are probably more offputting to newbie cyclists than London traffic. Whatever their opinion.

    They're off-putting, full stop.

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'Space for cycling' protest ride 2nd September

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