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Member since Jul 2008 • Last active Dec 2019

Most recent activity

  • in General
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    North of England Champs in Burnley yesterday. The ground was so bad that less than 20% of the course was rideable unless you're at the top end of the field, in which case you might manage nearly 25%. Lots of sections were taken out so that those at the back end of the field could manage two laps without messing up the timing for the other races. I hope your race had a bit more riding than mine.

  • in General
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    There are people in this world who can hold two viewpoints at the same time. Its OK that you're not one of them although you may not want to hold on to the view that the lack of accountability in transport safety is terrible for too long as there is an election of national importance coming up. Don't worry, you can always return to it later.

    At the moment I am holding the current viewpoints in my head.

    • the lack of accountability in transport safety is terrible
    • Labour are unlikely to command a majority in the upcoming elections so current tactical voting advice is not in my best interests
    • I would quite like a pint of beer
    • Rod Liddle is a cunt

    Thats four whole and seperate but simultaneous viewpoints in my brain at the same time. And I shall weep for there are no more worlds left to conquer.

  • in Improving Public Spaces
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    Sorry Oliver but you are wrong on a few things here.

    'Motor-free', 'car-free', 'fume-free' etc. all work better.

    They don't. We've worked with these before and they carry a certain amount of baggage with them around who uses them and some of the perceptions of what they're taken to imply. In an environment with a broad range of politics, culture and backgrounds they can be toxic to your endeavours and lead to a contagious dismissive attitude. We could very easily grind our plans and proposals to a halt. We knew the risks around use of the term "pedestrianise" and the alternatives available and we had some frank internal discussions about what to use. Sometimes knowing your audience is more important than idealised terminology.

    The associated imagery has been useful too so when we've started to talking to people about this, they've already come to the assumption that bicycle will be included too. You say "they will inevitably not think of shared use and cyclists" but "they" are already proving you wrong. You might want to be careful of that sort of use of "they", it can be quite divisive and tribalistic. You say "it squeezes cyclists out" but despite the risk, we're already working past that.

    Fortunately language isn't the only issue. There's been some important underpinning work around this being a thing that will include cyclists. If we get the management of it right the first time round, that will be a foundation piece.

    road closures

    This is always a problematic, negative idea

    You might think that but again, we're back to knowing our audience and the strong value of calling things what they are. I could say all the stuff you have about modal filters and car-freeness and what I'd get back is withering looks and a telling that I'm closing the road. To some people a road closure is the clear and literal you're looking for. Knowing your audience is almost definitely more important than tickboxing your terminology.

    If retailers are going to be objecting the loudest then we're pretty much home free for a permanent change because they have genuinely been our biggest supporters. Sadly they aren't the loudest objectors so we'll probably have a bit more work to do, not all of it with them though.

    And yes, the deliveries (some) and access to private parking (none on the street we're car freeing) were all scoped out and planned for very early on in the process. As was early discussion with members of the emergency services and making links with the local pan-disability access liaison group.

    Be careful of planning for setbacks and delays. I did and then the Council did a lot of heavy lifting to make things happen quickly. If I'd known that, I would have done things differently.

  • in Improving Public Spaces
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    We've been speaking to her project director Pete Zanzottera. The Active Travel Commissioner's office aren't involved in this but they certainly are aware of it. They're still in the development stage of their programme and we wouldn't want to take funding from that for this necessarily as it isn't strictly about active travel.

    Fortunately Sheffield Council have agreed to pay for the closure and operational side of things.

    I'm hoping Sarah Storey will be able to visit the closure if it doesn't conflict with her racing schedule.

  • in Improving Public Spaces
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    We've been having some success north of of the M25. CycleSheffield have managed to persuade the local council to run a trial pedestrianisation of Division Street, one of the main retail areas in the city centre which still carries traffic.

    Its one of those things that has been asked for before but ended up being pushed aside or filed in the big round file of nice ideas that'll definitely be looked at one day when there's some money just lying around. Back in April, one of our members mocked up an image of what the street could look like as a car free space and it got spread around social media to a fairly good reception. Even after it got picked up by the local newspaper and pushed beyond our usual reach, there was a lot of public support for the idea.

    Back in June we managed to organise a drop in session for businesses to talk about whether this could work for them. Of those that attended, the response was overwhelmingly positive to the point that some of the businesses were wondering how soon the street could be permanently pedestrianised.

    On the back of this we submitted a proposal to the Council to run a trial pedestrianisation on Car Free Day this weekend (21st/22nd September). Disappointingly they rejected the request on the grounds there were already road closures in the city centre for a 10k run and it is the usual student moving in day for students of the two universities in the city. Students at both use accommodation on roads that join on to Division Street. However, after a meeting and some calendar checking they have agreed to a closure of the road on the weekend of 19th/20th October from 10am to 4pm.

    We're being given the road closure as an event for CycleSheffield so we're now busy scrambling around to organise a car free environment for the weekend. Hopefully we're going to be able to log some outcomes which will justify further trials and a pathway to either permanent or regularised pedestrianisation.

    One of the key issues for us is that there has been a very tangible shift in both the public and the political will to try out something different. I suspect that this is broader than just the northern haven of joy that is Sheffield so if any organisations have had something similar as an idea, now could be a very good time to give it a serious go.


  • in Rides & Races
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    I don't think they were to far apart. I'd guess the Doms pull as far as they can and then Thomas to protect Bernal if needed. If they get close enough to the top then a free run for both.

  • in Rides & Races
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    I can only presume that is where Alaphillipe shat the bed when he heard the news.