Just back from a great fireworks show on the banks of the Thames! I love New Years Eve…such a great celebration of humanity and a wonderful reminder of the fact that we can achieve so much if we work together!
Best wishes for the new year to all of you!
A great short read for a Monday afternoon lunchbreak! Its got great facts and stats on safety, numbers cycling etc!
People are safer and feel safer in traffic
There has been a marked increase in the perceived safety from 51 % in 2008 to 67 % in 2010, thereby reversing an otherwise clear downward trend in cyclists’ sense of safety since 1996. Today only 5 % of city cyclists respond that they feel very unsafe. At the same time the level of cyclist safety is historically high: 92 seriously injured cyclists in 2010 as against 252 in 1996. This positive trend is due to an organized effort to improve safety and security in traffic. Advanced stop lines and more and wider cycle tracks have made cycling in traffic safer and more secure. However, a continued, intensified effort is necessary if we are to achieve our goal that 80 % of city cyclists shall feel safe in traffic by 2015.
Almost everybody cycles
84 % of Copenhagen residents have access to a bicycle and 68 % cycle at least once a week. Even among those who cite the car or public transport as their primary transport mode, 15 % cycle at least once a week.
As many as 50 % of Copenhagen residents who work or study in Copenhagen cycle to their workplace or educational institution.
Photo courtesy of Cyclehoop
Another of Cyclehoop’s products (see previous post) and my favourite! It converts a normal car space into a bicycle parking bay for 10 bicycles. Its car shape acts as a barrier, protecting the parked bicycles from cars! In my opinion it also makes a clear statement about the efficiency of cycling in cities and makes a bold and fun reclaim of space for other modes of transport! Fingers crossed for a wide roll out!
When a negative event leads to a positive outcome!
A disenchanted architect called Anthony Lau invented Cyclehoop after his bike was nicked in London! I think they are amazing! A quick, easy and cheap way to retrofit London with bicycle spaces! Many London and other county boroughs are now installing them (I spotted one around the corner from me)!
Picture courtesy of Guardian Newspapers
Cool! Come on UK…we could so do this! A tax break/ income supplement for cycling!
Reuters reports -
Getting paid for going to work may sound too good to be true, but it’s part of an increasingly popular scheme for commuters across Europe.
Employers in Belgium, the Netherlands and other European countries are rewarding staff if they come to work on a bicycle, paying them for every kilometer they cycle, all in an effort to promote environmentalism, not to mention a healthier lifestyle.
Photo: Carlton Reid
An interesting, passionate and honest piece from Dave Horton, a sociologist working at Lancaster University’s Environment Centre and currently working on the Understanding Walking and Cycling project (which I have posted on recently).
Initially the article starts out with a pretty glum but unsurprising update on the current state of cycling in the UK. Horton comments that after significant research the main findings of his research indicate that….
the vast majority of people never willingly cycle journeys which they could otherwise make by car. Richer people tend to ‘get’ cycling, but do it mainly for pleasure and mainly off the road. Poorer people tend not to get cycling, though some still ride out of necessity, on the footway. Nowhere across our research exercise did we find a culture of normalised, everyday urban cycling.
Horton goes on to argue that in order to make mass cycling in the UK a reality and reach a level of cycling comparable to say, Copenhagen, cycle advocates need to listen to what people say is dissuading them from cycling, accept those points and develop one confident and united way forward. Without having ‘our own house in order’ as Horton states, we can’t hope to influence politicians or transport policy.
Unsurprisingly, his research has identified that the main thing preventing cycling in the UK is a fear of traffic! He argues that we need to create separated cycle infrastructure to protect cyclists and encourage and facilitate cycling.
I have to say that I agree completely with him. Having been to Copenhagen and observed their cycle infrastructure and experienced first hand the kind of mass cycling that we here in the UK only dream of, I am convinced that highly visible and protected cycle routes on main roads and at junctions are a must!
I simply have too much experience of spending time with too many people, of too many different kinds, all of whom clearly won’t be moved onto a bike under currently prevailing cycling conditions. The sheer weight of evidence that most people will not ride a bike on busy roads is unambiguous and uncompromising.
We need radically to restructure our urban mobility systems in ways which will get people out of their cars and make them cycle. Half of the infrastructural change required is underway – the push for a maximum speed limit of 20 mph on residential streets is gaining momentum. But the other half of the key infrastructural change required needs a similar push, and this push should be for very high quality and continuous segregated cycling infrastructure on our biggest and busiest urban roads, the kind of roads on which almost everyone today refuses to cycle.
The task might seem enormous, even impossible. But it’s not. Think about how things change. Our research has made very clear the normality among a large proportion of the population of using a car for short journeys. But this normality has been produced over only the last fifty or sixty years. We used to travel differently, and we will do so again.