The Great Big Too Busy Cycling Bike Blog Roundup

A sunny summer week, combined with some sort of a football tournament, meant a quietish week this week, with many people apparently too busy riding to blog except in Leeds (but then again, have you seen Leeds?) But summer also means bike events and protests so a few people dragged themselves indoors long enough to write up everything from Edinburgh's Naked(ish) bike ride and free (clothed) breakfast to Belfast's Fred Festival ride - all in the name of making cycling safer, at least if you believe in safety in numbers (discuss, tediously and at length, in the comments). More are planned - from the world's most tedious 50 miler to draw attention to the tooth-grinding experience of cycling in Newcastle, to the much more fun-sounding cycle cash mob in Palmers Green: shopping for cycle lanes. Going against the flow, CycleHack was aiming to keep some dedicated cyclists indoors on a sunny weekend long enough to thrash out some ideas for better cycling - Bikeable Jo can't believe it's come up so fast. Further afield, Minneapolis cyclists get to try a pop-up protected junction while rain doesn't stop play on a Portland pop-up popcorn plaza. Atlanta will be reclaiming a historic street for the people for two days - while in Copenhagen, people can't wait to use their new elevated bike track so they don't.

Cycling for everyone

When the weather is glorious, it's only fair that everyone should be able to cycle - including kids, with 99% of parents agreeing that cycling is important for their children. And yet even an experienced cycling mother has to go to huge lengths to make cycling with her precious baby feel anything like safe, while a close call with his seven-year-old finally convinces Simon Nurse of the value of separation - so please don't blame School Run Mum if she resorts to the car sometimes. Off road cycle routes might seem like the way to go - but not if they have been turned into impenetrable obstacle courses for all but the most conventional bikes - or force you to cross the road in dangerous places. As academics study the impact of cycling using a Seattle bike train, kids in suburban Kansas City would like to get out more but have nowhere to go. And it's not just kids - older people are driving the growth in cycling in the US. Nor should we forget the need to make our cities fit for dogs to cycle...

Consultation watch

Not all bike bloggers were out on their bikes - a dedicated few were still looking at various consultations with the Tottenham Court Road scheme attracting the most attention. Both Cyclists in the City and ibikelondon offer qualified if disappointed support, while Rachel Aldred finds she cannot and offers some alternatives. The Vole O'Speed argues that it's traffic removal and increased cycle permeability that's needed, not knee-jerk removal of gyratory systems. Elsewhere, the LCC reviews the London Cycle Safety Action Plan while Kennington People on Bikes will be reading the London Cycle Design Standards with children's needs in mind. Away from London, Cambridge responds to the A14 consultation, Cycling Dumfries finds not much to frighten the horses (or indeed protect them) in Transport Scotland's trunk road 20mph pilots, and SPT's response to the Glasgow City Centre Transport Strategy leaves Car Sick Glasgow in despair. Further afield, New Zealand's draft transport policy doesn't even support its own aspirations, while California bike organisations can't agree over protected bike ways.

As others do it

There were as usual plenty of bloggers looking at ways cities could grow cycling, from 10 easy ways to make your city more friendly to bikes (but how bad does your city have to be for roundabouts to be an improvement?) to six steps to make Portland more like Copenhagen - and six lessons for campaigners from San Francisco. The Dutch, of course, are still forging ahead, and the Dutch Cycling Embassy is being relaunched - while Montreal celebrates its 30-year head start on the rest of North America and time is getting tight for Newcastle's Cycle City Ambition Grant (and Car Sick Glasgow is simply astounded that Glasgow has won not one but two awards for cycling). Streets MN charts the steady growth of Minneapolis's bike ways while San Diego has built almost 40 miles of buffered bike lanes in a year, and is now moving on to bike tracks, as is Pittsburgh and Portland. Memphis makes a temporary road closure permanent while Auckland cycling organisations have their eye on a disused piece of motorway infrastructure - and Cycle Christchurch admires Adelaide's laneways. As Chicago tries to keep track of its growing cycle numbers, a Transport for London official makes a plea for a cycle demand forecasting handbook - perhaps looking at where place ranks among the worst cities for driving would form a good rule of thumb?

Including women

It's hard to grow cycling if you're excluding 50% of the population from the debate - including the online conversation. Reporting back from the Women's Cycle Forum, Sara Dorman found that the participants didn't want to be sidelined while Bex found a general desire for the whole thing to be made safer, damnit - so not very different from most men, then, while Play on Pedals considered the parents' perspective. Across the Atlantic, the Bird Wheel looks at the history of the US equivalent while five thirty-eight sums up the reasons behind the continuing gender gap in US bike share schemes - while I think women everywhere can agree that this is not the answer.

Is it good to share?

The continuing debate on shared use in all its forms continued, with Bicycle Dutch looking at a scheme where shared space does work in the Netherlands and Ranty Highwayman looking at (among other things) one which works in the UK - the common theme in both being the lack of much traffic, unlike the much touted Poynton (for once, it's worth reading the comments on that post). When it comes to sharing with pedestrians, Pedaller would like what Cambridge has while Dave McCraw argues shared routes can work although Crafty Bike Girl does not agree - although if we must share, then please use your bell, and there's really no point separating if you then squeeze bikes and pedestrians through the same chicane - or sticking up a 'strictly no cycling' sign. In Belfast, the city's best cycle facility soon descends into compromise and outright lunacy. In LA, a shared bike and bus lane feels like a victory - although sharing with buses really isn't that fun even for the buses. Meanwhile, the evidence for separate cycle tracks continues to accumulate - BTA Oregon offers a good summary of the advantages while People for Bikes is offering webinars on funding and designing protected bike lanes

Or just good to bike share?

With Bath and Oxford relaunching their struggling bike share schemes, and Indianapolis promoting its scheme with some sporting star power, the grand-daddy of them all, Vélib, continues to set itself apart from the rest by not only launching a kids' version but managing to turn a profit. Meanwhile, last week's paper on bike share injury statistics continues to generate more heat than light with one of the authors proving to have cried wolf before while the drop in injuries overall just looks too good to be true.

Politics as usual

As MPs and peers take their annual bike ride the cycling Jim finds nothing has changed among the politicians (it might help if cyclists could refrain from colliding with MPs). At least the leader of Manchester council knows the quickest way around town - you have to wonder why anyone drives, frankly - whereas Eric Pickles continues to get it wrong on parking, seemingly based on emotion rather than evidence - which won't make life any easier for Sheffield's cyclists. As the magnificently focused Tufton or Death inches forward on a dangerous slip road, politicians in LA are still citing 'safety' as a reason for blocking bike lanes. Even putting up some signs on America's (almost) traffic-free coast to coast route is problematic for American politicians who fear federal encroachment - so Bike Delaware urges cyclists to show some gratitude to heir representatives for fully funding proposed cycle projects in their state.

Building a legacy

With the World Cup rumbling on, Cycalogical asks if Brazil will see a better cycling infrastructure legacy than London ever did from the Olympics - while Glasgow decides to close some of its legacy routes for the duration of the games - and in Lancashire it seems the only option is to celebrate the arrival of the Tour de France by car - where you will at least be protected from all that dangerous bunting.

Media matters

With nominations opening for the Cycling Media awards (and where's the category for 'best bike blog roundup', that's what we want to know), it was no surprise that the mainstream media, well, Wired Magazine, suddenly discovered the iron law of induced demand followed by the joys of the protected junction. No prizes on offer for the BBC who have found a new villain in the mobility scooter - nor for the Irish Times who's negativity is putting the Dublin Quays project at risk.

Legal matters

As UK judges seemingly wilfully misinterpret the sentencing guidelines, a German court rules that cycling without a helmet is not negligence - and a US court awards a cyclist $2.4million after a dooring. Stop Killing Cyclists petitions Boris to enforce laws on London's lethal lorries - while Isolate Cyclist takes issue with some campaigners emphasis on a 3-foot passing law as the answer to everything.

Safety first

Meanwhile, the roads continue to be dangerous places for everyone - even if you're just laying flowers at the scene of a death or stopping to help a cyclist. In LA, aweekend of memorial events highlights cyclists' continuing vulnerability - while in Vauxhall it emerges that Tafsir Butt's family had pleaded with him not to use the gyratory where he was killed. And for narrow winding rural roads, US authorities are trialling radar detection to warn motorists of cyclists on the road ahead.

And finally

OK, we were going to use this link to round off but actually, chaps, don't click on it after all - this one is much much nicer.