Pre-cycle campaigning note

I’m part way through writing a post about my thoughts on taking up cycle campaigning (whatever that might be), but some things have come up today that I want to note more immediately.

First off, here’s a post from a guy I’ve recently come across, which:

  • contains some great cycling photos!
  • poses an interesting question about cycle lanes.

I’ve commented with some of my own thoughts, copied here for reference:

Are dedicated bike lanes protecting you from cagers or treating cyclists as 2nd class road users?

I don’t really get why people debate this. It’s pretty simple as I see it:

1) There are bad (narrow) integrated cycle lanes. These are generally too narrow as to be dangerous (the car thinks that everything that’s not the cycle lane is theirs).
2) There are integrated cycle lanes in silly places that cars are allowed to park in (wishing I had photos of Uxbridge Road in Shepherds Bush, London, to demonstrate this)
3) There are good integrated cycle lanes
4) There are (at least) two types of cyclist.
a) those that can usefully and safely use segregated cycle lanes/shared pedestrain paths – usually people who want to easily and safely get from A to B, or families on outings
b) those serious MTB’ers or road bike riders who aren’t going anywhere, but who want to ride fast and hard – it’s usually not appropriate for these people (I include myself among them) to be on a segregated lane with other, slower, cyclists.

– Integrated cycle lanes are good if they’re well designed, which is not always the case; badly designed cycle lanes do treat cyclists badly.
– Segregated cycle lanes are good, but not for everyone
– Cyclists should be allowed to use or not use special cycle lanes as they see fit. If they choose not to use them it’s at the risk of the cyclist.

Is any of that debatable?

The response from the blog author goes:

Looking at much of the provision we have, I’d say no: local authorities generally go for option 1.

To which I think:

Hah! Agreed. -)

Many cycle lanes are token gestures to cyclists rather than being of any real benefit. My home town (Swindon) has some good segregated lanes shared with pedestrians, which I use on my daily commute, and some good shared bus lanes that let cyclists take some nice quiet shortcuts. But the on-road stuff may as well not be there.

Maybe I’ll try and get some photos – once the snow has gone and we can see the lines again.

The debate, in my opinion, needs to be how we get from a state where cycling is for the minority and therefore funding is low, to a state where cycling is popular, and funding increases…

or possibly:

from a state where funding is low and so cycling is for the minority, to a state where funding increases, raising popularity.

Chicken? Egg?


There’s also some interesting cycle-related “Bad Science” in the Guardian today.

As for me, I’ve not been on the bike this week due to the snow…but that’s a whole other story.