The Great Big Putting the 'Miss' in Near Miss Bike Blog Roundup

This week the Near Miss project learned that Miss (and Mrs and Ms) Cyclist was more likely to report harassment from cars while cycling than Mr Cyclist, although this may be down to slower speeds rather than anything to do with gender - or perhaps it is about the bike too. Regardless of the reason, harassment is somthing that more segregation and closing rat runs will help to solve (having some police armed with this gadget might help too) and they will also send out a very different signal from those currently sent out by our roads and streets. For some women, the harassment doesn't stop when you enter a bike shop - although probably not this one - while bike marketing in Berlin at least seems designed to actively repel women rather than encourage them, although in the UK women have been signing up for Strava in increasing numbers. Meanwhile even the 'soccer moms' want bike lanes because they're about better cities, not about bikes - which is all the more reason for women AND men to take up the challenge to help build a better world.

Building better cities

In light of the fact that bikes in the 19th century were (apparently) responsible for feminism and widening the human gene pool, it should come as no surprise that in this century they can merely reap huge economic benefits for cities that invest in them - even the much derided ASL proves to be the most logical use of road space for a busy junction - but simply airbrushing traffic out of your visualisations isn't going to achieve much. Google may have a long way to go before its driverless cars take over our cities, but it does understand that paying to build parking lots for employees is a waste of money compared with developing a vision for the roads that will enable them to cycle instead, while Minneapolis starts to recognise that apartment buildings near public transport need less parking space - helping improve the city's density. Other companies are learning the benefits of cargo bikes for the last mile although presumably that's not when they attempt to use any of the UK's standard infrastructure. Both Toronto and Portland have learned this week that that if you build it, they will come (and if you don't, they won't) but Toronto has missed an opportunity to really transform its city centre. In Pennsylvania there are hidden financial barriers to building bike lanes in suburban roads. Elsewhere Birmingham is using bike hubs and free bikes to help transform its poorest neighbourhoods while Slow Roll Chicago is helping spread the use of the Divvy bike share among poorer people.

Making the right change

Investment is one thing, investing in the right thing is another - we shouldn't be copying the latest Dutch designs until their safety has been proven, although don't expect either engineers or some campaigners to heed that advice. With research suggesting that wider streets are more dangerous in cities across the world, Bike Portland wonders if it's Seattle's narrow streets that make its greenways work - possibly a lesson for Auckland now that it can allow two-way cycling on one-way streets.

While Oregon considers raised cycle tracks, Copenhagen style, in Glasgow, the latest cycle route seems to be more some sort of a trial of light segregation methods than any attempt to build a coherent route -hopefully they will also learn from Manchester where the bollards that protect the islands that replaced the armadillos are themselves being replaced - perhaps they should be using Seattle's folding ones. With Austin planning two more protected junctions, Inland Fiets wonders if being 'forced' to make a two stage turn is actually a problem for protected intersections - it certainly sounds easier than squeezing between two sets of railings in Edinburgh or waiting for months for Melbourne to get beyond considering how the lighting phasing might be altered at a dangerous junction, although at least in London the wait for the lights themselves to change might not be so long. Seattle bike blog takes a block by block look at a planed bikeway extension, while Modal Mom would just like to be able to get on and off the cycle path, preferably near a train station.

One step forward ...

... and one step back is the usual mode of transport for most cycle campaigning - and this week was not much different, with Sheffield cyclists having to campaign hard to postpone a decision to spend cycle money earmarked for infrastructure on public art instead. Meanwhile in London, consultation responses seem to have triggered some improvements for Hackney's Cycle Superhighway but not enough, while despite some segregated provision plans for Old Street roundabout still don't go far enough - and there's still time to respond on the quietway through Lambeth. Glasgow's Strategic Cycle Plan is studiously short on detail even of where the projected routes will be let alone what they will look like - the brand new provision for the new hospital doesn't bode well though. The great and the good are happy to come out on bikes for the Parliamentary bike ride to the Dutch embassy, which is probably the nearest we'll get to going Dutch as long as the minister insists it's up to local authorities how infrastructure is designed. So lots more shared use paths without lights but with barriers that are only accessible to a small proportion of the potential cycling population. Things were looking more positive in Dublin with plans to all but eliminate private cars in the city centre, though the devil will be in the detail even as the city reopens its plans for the Liffey cycle route.

Numbers in safety

With an 'Alton Towers' happening unreported every day on the UK's roads, Boris pledges to halve casualties on London's roads by 2020 (hopefully not by forcing bikes off the road) while the Irish Road Safety Authority seems to have a poor understanding of statistics if its bike week survey is anything to go by. In the US, the one number that really counts for road safety is the zero in Vision Zero, an idea People for Bikes are learning more about. Unfortunately it's not reached every city with San Diego politicians agreeing that doing a bike route properly is the right thing to do and yet continuing to treat vulnerable people as an inconvenience to businesses, while Wisconsin is busy repealing the complete streets law that might have prevented recent cycling deaths - although in St. Louis the death of a cyclist leads to calls for Vision Zero to be adopted there. In London a sixth die-in is held for a cyclist killed by a lorry while in Toronto an architect is remembered with a ghost bike and a memorial ride - and perhaps a review of the lack of stop signs at the junction where he was killed. If kids aren't safe from cars even inside buildings, perhaps it's the design of the road the drivers are careening off, not massive bollards that are the answer - or maybe bribing everyone to obey the law (except the state governor - or his driver) might work.

Campaigning news

We might not be making much visible progress but it's nice to see some recognition for senior campaigners - and you never know, maybe the Queen will call Roger's bluff and offer him decent cycle funding instead of his gong. Wlsewhere, bloggers were digesting events from last week: such as clues for effective campaigning from Andrew Gilligan's words and the real implications of the DfT clawing back spending on cycling. Or we could just get naked and ride our bikes - or naked-ish - it seems even the World Naked Bike Ride can't part all London cyclists from their hi vis while in Pittsburgh they keep their pants on. We can all complain about the effectiveness of our local or national campaigns but if you don't show up to meetings yourself you get the results you deserve - that's where the compromises are forged which end up with the sort of infrastructure we all like to complain about. And in Denmark, families build a ridiculously short cycle track as a publicity stunt to campaign for a real one (in the UK that would *be* the cycle track, of course).


Despite the fact that it should be long dead, New York's bikelash is still staggering along which might be why bike lanes are being replaced by sharrows or not being upgraded or even repainted when streets are repaved - compare and contrast with Seattle where protected bike lanes are popping up as part of routine maintenance, something that parking worries have scuppered in St. Paul. Sometimes bikelash takes a nasty turn with tacks being spread at cycling events and even outside people's front doors. It might help if pedestrians and bikes weren't so crammed together they need elaborate behaviour guides - or it we could change the language and imagery around cycling and cyclists (although once the Daily Mail discovers this then there'll be no stopping its anti-bike sentiment). On the positive side, however, even the bikelash suffers from backlash with anti-bike board members ousted in one Portland suburb.

Summer holiday planning...

Anyone planning a summer bike holiday had plenty of food for thought this week, with the US Bike League adding 26 more bike friendly communities to its list - here's what it means for officials and campaigners in Louisville and Memphis. And while scoring just 32% doesn't seem immediately all that bike friendly, it is at least a bit more transparent than the much-touted Copenhagenize index released last week. While Florida cyclists may have much to envy even of cities elswhere in the US, sunshine and a planned $50m long distance bike network might make it an attractive summer destination for cyclists, while in Birmingham (Alabama), they will be launching the first American e-bike bike share. In Europe, visiting a city entirely without cars (but also without bicycles) shows how dependent we've actually become on motorised vehicles. Velo City showed Nantes as a city in transition while outside the very city centre Moscow has a very long way to go to become cycle friendly. In Germany (where summer brings out unexpected cyclists, though it's not perfect, Munster demonstrates many of the same facilities as the Dutch use - and in fact some of the Hague's doorzone bikelanes are a bit worrying for those cycling with small children (a ride to the beach is a relative doddle though) - but the Dutch aren't resting on their laurels, especially when it comes to bike parking. And if you get bored of cycling and need a little summer reading this tome should help you refute the transport myths you'll encounter on your return from holiday.

Having a bit of fun

Finally, there was a little time for fun this week - with helmet cams being used for more than just filming confrontations with raging van drivers but producing portraits of a cycling city. Even in a city like Belfast there are unimagined positives to cycling to work - while exam-going students add a touch of cycle chic to Oxford's streets and Portland plans to add a bit of creativity to its own.


Summer holiday planning with bike is an adventurous idea. Summer is an ideal time to plan such activities. It is true that we are dependent on motorised vehicles. It should be avoided to reduce health and environmental hazards. luton airport parking meet and greet.