The Great Big After the Votes have been Counted Bike Blog Roundup

The polling stations have closed, the last tweets sent and the votes have been counted - did you 'vote bike'? And now that the results are in - what do they mean? Spokes considers the opportunities in Scotland, and the Election Cycle has set up a solid foundation for cycling in the Northern Ireland assembly. In London, new mayor Sadiq Kahn has made a lot of pledges and may well be better than Boris at least on paper - although the Vole O'Speed detected a lack of real passion and Two Wheels Good had opted for Green. John Dales has some advice for the new mayor while Cardiff by Bike wonders if a mayor for Cardiff would be a gamble worth trying, Bristol Traffic has its own unique take on the mayoral election there and in Cambridge cycling seems surprisingly low on the agenda for the local elections. Whatever the outcome was locally or nationally - we should perhaps be wary of politicians bearing promises, as the mystery of Seattle's ever disappearing bike plan deepens, once the city had won the vote that was supposed to have funded it.

Boris's legacy

With the Cycling Superhighways finally officially opened - something Londoners celebrated in time-honoured fashion - Gilligan cites the outgoing mayor's leadership in getting them built while videos demonstrate their success. For some, it was a chance to look back on the tragedies and campaigning that brought them about with the US Streetblog summarising the road to the superhighways

Of course it's not all sunshine and forgiving kerbs, even in London - one of Boris's last acts was to order a re-do of Old Street junction so it resembles what was actually consulted on, while the Tooley Street contraflow will need to be negotiated with care. Outside London, Manchester's curry mile isn't nearly so impressive (or finished) as London's, with videos showing it southbound and northbound suggesting it will be a mish mash at best.

Growing cycling

Nor is London the only city celebrating cycling success as investment starts to pay off - New York is seeing growth although it needs to invest more in decent infrastructure and make its data more available as it's generated. In Vancouver, as cycling numbers grow it's seeing changes in the types of people cycling. Meanwhile Leicester shows it can also outperform better funded rivals in cycling as well as football. But will the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy help other areas in England do the same, given its disappointing funding? Philip Darnton considers it's still a milestone for cycling while Cycle Bath considers how best to respond to the consultation. North of the border, the new Scottish government has no hope of meeting its Cycling Action Plan goals by 2020 - while across the North Sea, here's what a Dutch cycling plan looks like, for The Hague.

Number crunching

When you look at the data, there's massive potential for cycling if the conditions were there, especially when you add e-bikes into the mix (with Space for Cycling Gosforth giving folk a go and e-bike companies taking a leaf from the car firms' marketing book) - or close a major highway for repairs. Even in polluted cities the health benefits of walking and cycling outweigh the costs - while congestion charging has also had a beneficial effect. Sometimes other numbers tip the balance - like the savings involved in going car free even in an area as poorly served by public transport as Northern Ireland. It helps if you actually count cyclists and pedestrians instead of just cars - but can data like that gathered by Strava really help cities plan routes (or ban bikes from trails) or is its usefulness limited by only being used by a self-selecting minority? At the other end of the cycling spectrum, Irish Cycle considers the numbers for the various Irish bike hire schemes while research in the US mapping bike hire stands against low stress routes shows that many journeys our out of reach for all but the fearless and confident - but if you've got a flexible hire system then stands can quickly be pressed into service to increase coverage.

Bike to work / school/ everywhere day / week / month

With Bike Month starting in the US and Strava promoting tomorrow's bike to work day - do such events really achieve much? They do seem to encourage people to continue cycling - even those who don't necessarily travel to work. Bike to School events should largely be about fun - but it can take just one moany parent to kill off the enthusiasm of the volunteers who make it happen, and largely it's safety or the lack of it that really drives cycling numbers to school. But such evetns can also provide stories to reach and enthuse the 'interested but concerned' - counteracting the propaganda for road widening coming from elsewhere, including our very own MPs calling for removal of traffic controls and increased road capacity

WWJD (What Would Jane Do?)

This week saw the centenary of Jane Jacobs' birth, marked appropriately enough by the opening of a new plaza in San Diego, and a look back at her legacy in Toronto. There was no word on what she might have thought of parking protected bike lanes, as being considered in Dublin, but it seems certain they'd be preferable to parking-destroyed ones, such as New York's Jay Street or Inverness's Huntly St. We're pretty sure she'd agree that ageing well should include streets where older people can cycle and advice allowing roads to be made narrower to make more room for other modes of travel (and allowing water to be cleaned up to boot. In Portland filtered permeability on a bike route is making things more pleasant for those on two wheels while a shocking video from the Netherlands shows separation of modes isn't always the case - sometimes riders do have to share the path ... with sheep.

What won't work

It's fairly clear what won't do much to improve matters - including a bit of sign make it better in Northern Ireland, a mysterious sign making it worse in Lancaster - and bike lanes so daunting they seem designed to discourage cycling or leave cyclists stranded waiting for lights that will never change for them. Crossings on sweeping slip roads will be dangerous without action to slow drivers down - and if you're trying to encourage multi-modal active travel then charging bikes to park and not cars is really not the way to go about it.

Backlash again

Are we bored of the backlash yet? You'd think Woody Allen would at least bring an inventive comic touch to his opposition to bike lanes, but he's parroting the same tired tropes as everyone else, including Ryanair's Michael O'Leary although a cycle path which manages to cause congestion while it's still in the planning stages is a new one on us - Pittsburgh's business leaders seem a little more forward thinking in recognising what bike lanes bring to the city. In Toronto the arguments are so predictable there's a flow chart to counter them, while schools banning biking have lost touch with reality and when we start arguing about who pays for the roads we should remember who damages them too.

Blurring vision zero

Vision Zero has gained popularity in North America in recent years but is it becoming just another set of warm words for politicians to use - or, worse, an excuse for helmet promotion? With a petition for safe passing distances starting to gather momentum, Space for Gosforth considers if such laws do make a difference - while an Australian enquiry into helmet laws comes to a disappointing conclusion despite all the evidence. What may increase safety for cyclists is - perhaps surprisingl - the police stopping cracking down on them while for pedestrians it may be safer not to cross in the marked crossings (if done so with care).

Women and Cycling

Last week saw the second Women and Cycling Conference - with reports from CycleSprog, Cycling UK's Suzanne Forup and Katsdekker, who'd like to see collaboration grow in the future - with or without a natty cycling costume and a thirst for beer. India might not seem a conducive place for women to cycling but there are a few out there - and Pondicherry is apparently the place to go to see them. With Mother's Day last Sunday (everywhere but the UK it seems) Bike Shop Hub looks back at a quietly revolutionary cycling mother in Baton Rouge.

And finally

It struck us this week that we read a lot about what it's like to ride a cargo bike, especially from parents, but hear very little from the actual 'cargo' - fortunately CycleSprog is here to fill that gap