The Great Big Wouldn't it Be Nice Bike Blog Roundup

No prizes for guessing what this week's big story was, with the Nice Way Code being launched to universal derision - even one of its backers gave it a pretty lukewarm endorsement as the campaign rushed to explain themselves and Sustrans described it as a reimagining of the Highway Code. The person behind the on again, off again twitter parody account explained their actions (and for once, I would urge you to read the comments as some of the people behind the campaign itself join in the discussion). With Scotland demanding action not words, CycleLaw Scotland were unconvinced, Dead Dog Blog thought it was neither nice nor effective, Magnatom found it just wrong and WiSoB was reminded it was all part of the Cycling Inaction Plan for Scotland - while, powerfully, Lynne McNicoll reminded us of the real cost of cycling deaths. The derision spread south of the border with As Easy as Riding a Bike detecting a worrying attitude behind it, Cambridge Cyclist thinking it must have looked good from behind a windscreen - perhaps backed up when Arnold Clark Group joined in the debate. Manc Bike Mummy examines the parallel with drink driving campaigns, As Easy As Riding a Bike (again!) wonders where the research is and from South Tyneside, Gazza was also unimpressed.

Asking people to be nice is as old as the hills and some unrelated American blogs thrashed out the same issues, with Albert McWilliams wondering if people were really arguing FOR hitting people with their cars while Cycling South Bay gives a sweary response to the whole idea that we just have to behave and everyone will get along - or maybe stop wearing helmet cameras, dressing like a normal person and learning how to yell properly - or perhaps getting a share the road number plate and driving instead like a normal person.

While Glasgow's cycling Tsar proved that not all Scottish politicians are completely clueless, Eric Pickles seemed eager to prove English politicians are, allowing parking on double yellows in order to save the high street - the Ranty Highwayman just can't help rising to it - who knows, perhaps beer helmets genuinely will become policy next.

Elsewhere with closed street events like Sky Rides showing the suppressed demand there is for cycling (even in the Netherlands, New cycling reflects on a nice day out but wonders what real impact it will have. In New York Summer Streets transforms a traffic tunnel into a work of art. Thousands turned out for Ride London but the Vole O'Speed wonders how most of them got there - with difficulty if they came from Greenwich or Putney, anyway.

That suppressed demand might be reflected in the latest travel figures with cycling up - at least among MAMILS - the only form of transport that's true for (so where's the increased investment then?). Sustrans suggests that the number of people is actually static while Ely Cycling looks at the real reason why working women are too busy to cycle - trapped by roads they can't ride on. Thinking About Cycling considers how time trialling has kept bikes on otherwise practically uncyclable roads while Two Wheels Good wonders if we should be more supportive of sports events. And while cycling is inching up, walking is in decline except where cities have made an effort to cater for it - sound familiar, anyone? Meanwhile, US bloggers continue to document the shift away from car dependency (with some surprising cities leading the charge), and suburbs declining, and empty rush-hour streets - perhaps in part because of the rise and rise of the protected bike lane across North America. While a video from the 50s shows that even the Netherlands has a way to go before regaining peak cycling, even in car clogged Rome a visionary mayor is freeing the Coliseum of cars. In Canada doctors weigh in on the need for active travel, Australia quantifies the benefits of every bike commute and the Irish find commuting rates double after a national challenge scheme.

So what of London, set to become a paradise for cycling (if only there was room), where the Boris bikes have clocked up 22m hires and the mayor is quick to suggest solutions to everyone else? It's all stil a bit of a work in progress, and, given a blank slate, lots of cash and Olympic funding and what do we get? The usual rubbish (even in Bristol) - and that's why you need to be at the Space4Cycling ride on the 2nd September. Cyclelist reports on the London Cycling Summit while organiser Peter Murray talks to the LCC about the American revolution. South of the river, Kingston's 'mini-Holland' bids is to include a 'superskyway' while plans for Walton on Thames will bring bikes into conflcit with pedestrians although a notorious rat run should soon be closed - something the Alternative Department for Transport would like to see in Lambeth.

Elsewhere the battle against the forces of unreason goes on with a path in Coventry closed because people were using it, plans for bike lanes watered down on the grounds they might encourage bikes, and cycle parking you're not allowed to park in (paging Eric Pickles...). As Wisconsin Republicans battle roundabouts, possibly on the grounds they're a bit foreign, the Seattle Bike Blog recalls a decades old fight against what is now the pride of the city. Traffik in Tooting wonders why people are fighting to maintain a too-narrow segregated path when a better route entirely would be the solution, Bristol Traffic welcomes the start of the bikelash in Clifton. Even in Cambridge, motorised traffic is still being prioritised while in LA an otherwise progressive businessman has been battling against bikes and loses a customer. But with even the Wall Street Journal welcoming the way a bike path makes a neighbourhood feel like a neighbourhood, it's sometimes the poorest neighbourhoods that welcome them (and need them) most. And yes, that includes the drivers.

It's worth remembering that you need to think about the quality of bike routes as much as their quantity - and fortunately help is at hand with the launch of Streetmix a nifty tool to help you remix your street - and perhaps John Dales's guide to Machiavellian street design from the Street Talks archive. Oli Davey takes a traffic engineer's view of cycling in Amsterdam, while Cycling in Christchurch takes a detailed look at the city's first cycleway ten years on. In Chicago they're considering shared space - although perhaps pedestrianised streets would be more appropriate. And in Seattle they've brought out a video guide to the two-stage turn - perhaps a sign that it isn't quite self-explanatory

Meanwhile, the collisions go on with a woman killed at an accident black spot in Manchester and a cyclist critically injured by a bus in Oxford Street - while if you've been knocked down by a young drunk driver in Bromley you might want to get in touch with the police. Drawing Rings quantifies the costs of all casualties, borough by borough, and a constuction firm offers road safety cycle training to its truck drivers. By contrast note how the authorities in Portland respond to a dangerous road - while in Maryland they work to get the roads ready for more cycling before the bike share bikes arrive - now there's a novel idea. While Cycling in Dublin points out it's still safer to cycle in the UK than it is to drive in France, Chafe City would still rather face the dangers of cycling in traffic than drive, even when taking her chances with a gas leak sometimes feels safer. Chris Oliver would just like to have to treat fewer injured cyclists. And with the police and media quick to assign blame even before an investigation has started, Streetsblog wonders if large trucking companies are even complying with the law restricting their access to city streets.

In the world of politics, local or otherwise, Pedal on Parliment looks at a much bandied around figure while in the US an attempt to cut cycle funding is postponed after opposition. In Leicester a bike tour with a local councillor leads to encouraging news but a closer look at local democracy in Greenwich - where personal vendetta might cost the council millions in cycling investment - is not a pretty sight. As the US Bike League helps campaigners make the most of participatory budgeting, in Sheffield advice is needed on the council's inquiry into cycling. And your help is needed: the LCC is looking for people to come forward while in Scotland the CTC is seeking more women at the top. Sometimes you just need to do it the old-fashioned way with a door to door petition civilising a local rat run (for just £10,000, take note). Elsewhere campaigners meet with the Police and Crime Commissioners to press for justice - while Leeds will be hosting the joint CTC and Cycle Nation conference and the Greater Manchester Cycle Campaign report back from the fourth annual 20mph conference. As eight more streets in the City of London go two-way for cycling, in Coventry there's no exemption for bikes in new one ways - and Tufton or Death hits a dead end. But it's not all bad news, with a Dutch-style bike rental scheme to come to the Northern Rail area.

Further afield, the Dutch experiment with safer bollards and improve their bike parking - while Dublin cyclists have to improvise their own - and New Cycling reports back from Assen and Drenthe. The German Catholic Church tries to ride the bike boom. As Washington starts to transform a bridge to make it safer for cycling, Flying Pigeon LA would just like one that doesn't dump cyclists and pedestrians into the middle of four lanes of traffic. Hush Magazine considers why Vancouver doesn't yet cut it as a cycling city while Modal Mom considers the practicality of riding a Dutch Bike in Ottawa and Lady Fleur gets sneak preview of San Francisco's new bike share bikes. Amtrack has had to add more bike capacity on its trains - one small step towards intermodality. Streetblog delves into the data emerging from Chicago's bike share - while Indianapolis - a city with petrol in its veins - has shown the way with its cultural bike trail. And in Auckland, they've been sweating the small stuff and looking at where cycling is growing.

Now normally we have just one 'and finally' story - but in the spirit of the week, we thought we'd be nice and give you more cheerful stories: from kiddical mass and cupcakes to a bicycle borne love story in Atlanta, a thoughtful birthday gift (or possibly an expensive white elephant...), a pedal-powered water pump, a girl at ease among traffic and what must surely be a machine for generating happiness - not to mention this beautiful reminder of the freedom a bicycle can bring to anyone

Now go out and spread peace and happiness where ever you ride ... and come back safe next week


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