The Great Big is it Getting Better or Worse Blog Round-up

We kick off this week with the news that a few people are riding bikes in Surrey, which should be good news, but isn't apparently. Amazingly the police can't regulate people riding bikes on the open road, which is what people in the home counties want. Some perspective would be helpful, but of course that would mean the BBC couldn't run angry debates on the issue.

In Edinburgh the tram tracks are continuing to cause chaos, as people crash with predictable regularity. But at least the issue is making cyclists and taxi drivers work together, to highlight the problems with the road layouts (did anyone tell the taxi drivers they might get fined?). Perhaps they could team up to deal with Edinburgh's 'quality bike corridor'... The Dutch know how do things properly, as we see in more Streetfilms productions, firstly a short film of a David Hembrow study tour, and with more anecdotes from Amsterdam. New Dutch flyovers may make driving easier, but they make cycling a lot easier too. Dutch aldermen are receiving free bikes to help them cut down on taxi costs - many are riding already, of course, just like everyone else.

E-bike versions of the Boris Bikes are soon coming to hilly Haringey, but are they a good idea? In principle, yes, although we still need to make the roads attractive. That means we need infrastructure to power the cycling revolution - and we really should start with the junctions first. Belgian roundabouts might not have any rules, but Belgians who have just started cycling in London certainly don't find it an improvement. Maybe mass cycling could solve capacity issues on London's buses - and there's a nice review of the developments in London over the summer.

It's all the more clear that - surprise, surprise - blue paint is not enough, and Superhighway 2 remains a scary place. Morality is taking a back seat when it comes to cycle deaths and injuries, and there could be more embarrassing revelations to come for Transport for London. This thorough analysis of cycling casualties makes for grim reading. It looks like we might be starting to get better provision on the extension to Stratford, but there are negative noises from the Mayor about designing properly elsewhere in London. Kensington and Chelsea aren't helping, given that they appear to be blocking a Superhighway in their borough, and the changes to one of London's deadliest junctions continue to be criticised.

New York continues to build new cycle tracks (with benefits for pedestrians too), while Seattle are also installing bike infrastructure on their busiest streets. There's evidently stiff competition amongst U.S. cities, as Chicago steps up its claim to be the country's No.2 Cycling City, while Atlanta is poised to go big for cycling. This might have something to do with women being on a roll in cycle campaigning, or maybe we're waking up to the fact that for the price of a mile of highway, you can get a bike-friendly city - and remember, cycling speeds up the pace of your city. Just another reason why we need more cycle lanes.

We have to be honest about the wrinkles of cycling, but at the same time we need to reassure those that worry about us. That's difficult when there are people who want to make a point with 1000kg; it's hard not to think that the news about others might be about us one day, especially when the parents write things that are as heartbreaking as this, or this. Maybe we just need to break some laws to stay safe. Good advice can help, even if we have to write it ourselves in response to silly opinion pieces. News items were dissected both in Cambridge, and across the Atlantic in New York (tip - if you're reporting on alleged traffic chaos, make sure the streets you're reporting from are... actually chaotic.) We could just stop trying to be nice, and carry on yelling - we even stay militant when we're forced to become pedestrians. Maybe that's because aliens would probably think that cars are the dominant species on earth.

There's some interesting analysis of why Millennials might be biking more, and driving less - although we shouldn't get carried away and confuse high bicycle counts with high modal shares. Space for Cycling is now firmly on the agenda in London, and Rachel Aldred has some useful tips about how to put it into practice. Richmond LCC have also suggested what their cycling strategy should look like. The reallocation of road space is opposed in Portland, and the language of whether streets are really 'open' or 'closed' is analysed by Brooklyn Spoke.

Hallowe'en coincided with October's Critical Mass, which was spooky in London and horrifying in Manchester; Kats Dekker is certainly horrified by plans for a new development in Newcastle. Now the nights are closing in, there are useful tips on lighting, and while we featured luminous bike paths in Cambridge last week, Portland are turning to solar-powered LEDs to illuminate their bike lanes. San Francisco is yet another city that's now receiving a hire bike scheme, while here in the UK we have proposals for pedestrianising the Clifton Triangle in Bristol, and flood alleviation work could improve cycling in Inverness.

Naturally Cycling has been quiet recently, so it's reassuring to know that life in the saddle goes on - maybe she's been combining cycling with a social life. You can keep cycling to a ripe old age - even winning races on heavy steel tourers - so the benefits are obvious, not least defusing the obesity time bomb.  

And finally, you may have noticed it's been a bit windy. It doesn't stop the Dutch, and fallen trees don't stop Britons cycling either, although it seems that while you can get past obstructions, it wasn't much sharing the roads with motorists. Swings and roundabouts...