The Great Big Bike to School Bike Blog Roundup

Perhaps it was the end of the Easter holidays or the belated arrival of spring, but cycling in school, and to school seemed to be on people's minds this week. British Cycling is campaigning to put cycling on the national curriculum - Manc Bike Mummy is little sceptical - while the Guardian Bike Blog wonders how we can get more kids cycling to school. Kats Dekker thinks we should fix the environment first and Magnatom, looking at his own kids, thinks cycling should be made inclusive, not exclusive. Dead Dog Blog has some idea why parents might not be that keen, and with an Edinburgh school seemingly encouraging inactive travel wonders whether parents need to get organised - but at least some Cardiff schools seem to be making headway. Elsewhere, Ottawa has no plans to put actual bike lanes on a bike route - and it's not just the little kids, the BMX-ers want safe places to cycle too, while Dutch teenagers might get smart handlebars to make it safer as the text and ride...

With both Southampton and Manchester planning what is described as a 'Dutch-style junction' - and Lambeth makes do with a road named after a Dutchman - Bicycle Dutch warns us not to be fooled by cheap imitations. As Chicago takes a step towards Copenhagen style grade-separated cycle tracks (not to be mistaken for mad elevated cycleways) Velomondial points out that a Danish bicycle highway looks very like what the Dutch just call a cycle track. Two posts today on that other Dutch design, shared space considered the propaganda versus the reality and reminded us that just because something looks good doesn't mean it's good design. But we did learn this week that the Dutch also have a 'dual network', just in case Dutch cyclists want to take the long way round...

One novel idea doing the rounds this week was subsidising people to ride - giving them cargo bikes in Nantes, or electric folders in Oregon - or perhaps cheap membership of car clubs and the Brompton Dock scheme. After all it costs a lot less to create 2000 new bike commuters than 2000 new light rail users (and they're faster too). Bikes pay their way in other ways - with one entrepreneur in California investing near a new bikeway, and cyclists in the UK putting in way more in VAT than we ever get out in cycle funding.

Policy was making the blogs elsewhere, with Boris's latest strategy (and his headgear) still being chewed over. Cyclists in the City reports on Gilligan's speech to the LCC policy forum while Rachel Aldred takes a step back and considers the wider issues and Dave Horton takes a long view. Chester Cycling asks if we need a policy of transport diversity while in Edinburgh, politicians are urged to wake up to the reality of declining car use and Two Wheels Good looks at how attitudes to driving in London have changed in just a few years - time to stop balancing road use and actually put walkers and cyclists first? Afer all, car-centric transport planning acually lets everyone down, not just cyclists.

With a Toronto columnist whipping up the bikelash, despited all the myths being well and truly discredited Cycle Space asks if we need to politician-proof our bike plans. In the US, where the controversy over one cycle track rages on, voters actually turned down state and federal money to build bike lanes. Certainly a toxic mix of race and class can derail or delay well-meaning but badly explained plans - the Green Lane project is offering a leadership summit to help avoid these problems.

Of course, in the UK, we'd need some actual bike investment before we can suffer a bikelash, although cycle parking is becoming over subscribed in the City of London (perhaps some temporary parking might be the answer), the Two Tunnels route continues to win plaudits and in Richmond campaigning pays off with a much improved plan for Twickenham while Sheffield is to get cycle audits of new road plans (confident cyclists should just man up and use the road though). Derby cyclists are urged to show up and be counted at the opening of new cycle park at the station - while Ely reads through the local election manifestos so you don't have to. Birmingham plans a cycle revolution. Bus drivers are to get better training to deal with bikes, while Edinburgh wins more funding for its network of off-road paths. Elsewhere, the Highlands Council plan for cycling are more hype than substance - while new road plans threaten Inverness's leisure areas. In Cambridge, an unsatisfactory junction design might be an opportunity for advance green lights

Hmm, it's not exactly city changing, is it? Perhaps we need a team of cycling architects to cross the continent to see how things are done in the US - although when it comes to making livable streets, Portland is only just getting started. As San Diegans debate creating a cycle network using quiet back streets versus making the main roads safe to ride, Biking In LA gives us a typical Thursday in California (is it wrong that we mostly just enjoy the blue Californian skies in that video?) and Flying Pigeon finds some nice featrues in Pasadena. Washington DC starts the slow process of planning more bike lanes while in New Zealand, Christchurch starts creating some - and Brooklyn Spoke gets a first glimpse of New York's bike share scheme. Closer to home, Kevin Mayne samples Paris in the spring(ish) - on a Velib, naturally, while Chafe City goes undercover to a different world, the wierd world of car forums

As one high profile death made the front pages, another woman was killed by a lorry in London prompting calls for a rush hour ban. The husband of another woman calls for the motoris who killed his wife to be spared jail - but to lose his licence for good, as it is revealed that this was the second death he'd caused. Another lorry driver denies racing for a bacon sandwich before hitting a cyclist - and a jury fails to reach a verdict but at least in LA a hit and run killer gets five years (and the road furniture is fighting back). In Bristol, Sam Saunders takes a look at the road safety figures and finds more questions than answers while Tales from the Sharrows wonders why you need to be smart to do something as simple as cross the street. Another bike tragedy prompts Woman on a Wheel to consider how cyclists worldwide take action around cyclists' deaths.

We're grateful to the Bike League for the information that in the US, April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month (presumably all the others are just distracted driving months. Certainly the driver who nearly knocked the police borough commander off his bike should have been paying more attention (that's one way to get your bike lanes enforced) - while perhaps the officer in question should consider wearing one of these - it might be more effective than the CPS (meanwhile in the US the Department of Transport announces zero tolerance over disrespect for cyclists). If you've ever wondered how drivers get off after knocking down cyclists, Magnatom has the answer - but Bristol Traffic is feeling a bit persecuted. Two European countries revise their national highway codes in the opposite direction while Tokyo scraps a bicycle speed limit and Maryland kicks a mandatory helmet law into the long grass - good news, as helmet laws allow decision makers to ignore the need for safe environments

There have been a few nice stories on cycling for everyone this week - from a bike borne day out for the residents of a Copenhagen care home to a track for disabled cyclists near Inverness. Plus a plea to stop hating on e-bikes for those who need a little hand - and for those who need a much bigger hand, a nifty way to get your bike onto a train.

And finally - if you've made it all the way to the end of this monster blog roundup? You can thank your bike for that too.

We'll be back with another attention-span busting roundup next week...


I've seen it used in both senses here, but maybe not always correctly (it was really just a feeble attempt to link the two posts together though)

AKA TownMouse

To be fair both the article you link to and the people who are quoted in it (and then the commenters) seem to use the term (I think) incorrectly.

Plus I'm all for linguistic evolution but there's so much room for confusion when discussing something like cycle infra.  So many poorly defined terms (cycle paths/lanes/ways/etc, and "shared space" - who's sharing with who?).  A lot of time and energy gets wasted with mixed messages and bad translations.  I think the Embassy should set the standard! Does it have a glossary?

Minor criticism aside I should take the opportunity to say how much I enjoy the roundup, which generally keeps me up far too late on a Sunday night. :)