The Great Big Spookily Reminiscent Bike Blog Roundup

It is, of course, Halloween, and that means that the fun stuff people are getting up to on cycles - including Halloween Kidical Mass rides, embracing the darkness in Dumfries  or plugging mud in Portland - is accompanied as always by campaigns urging people on foot and on bike to 'be seen', or focusing on 'the visibility' of pedestrians. The most rational approach to seasonal change - one which is unfortunately rarely used - is to ask drivers themselves to be careful, and also (given we can't control the seasons) to design safety into our roads and streets.

Perhaps some reflection on what your 'safety campaign' is actually trying to achieve, and how to make it a success, would also be helpful. Halloween is - funnily enough - a good time to check how child-friendly your neighbourhood is too. Meanwhile seasonal fog is a reminder that British towns and cities are really much more friendly, both in terms of climate and geography, to cycling than North American ones.

A fair share

What really is 'a fair share' when it comes to paying for roads and streets? Certainly the M25 once symbolised freedom and prosperity, but that dream seems to have died - maybe it's time to rethink our transport priorities. Naturally when it comes investment in cycling, we can expect the Dutch to make us jealous, with Groningen boasting of a per capita spend of €85 per year - but Utrecht leads the way with nearly €600 to be spent on cycling per head of population between now and 2018.


West Midlands Police have announced that third-party footage submitted to them has already led to 78 prosecutions for close passing. Unfortunately across Britain depleted road traffic police means it is harder than ever to catch and penalise mobile phone use, while in Ireland police priorities are clear, with only 16 drivers given points for driving in cycle lanes over the last two years (unlike Philadelphia where this issue does appear to be being taken seriously). But at least this isn't as bad as New York, where the police are to be going so far as to break the law themselves. It would also be helpful if magistrates don't appear to have a clear bias against cycling.

Consultation Shmonsultation

Westminster Council are apparently ignoring safety concerns, principally by separating out cycle-specific responses to their consultation on Baker Street and then suggesting majority support. Meanwhile in Cambridge some residents really don't want any cycling infrastructure in their area, but at least they aren't (yet) going as far as objectors to CS11 in London, and spreading tacks on the road.

Unfortunately what could have been a promising route in Auckland has been watered down, following public consultation and the Polmadie Bridge in Glasgow has been closed to walking and cycling - and it really needs to be reopened. Portland has also recently lost a car-free cycle route, and Magnatom didn't get much of an answer to his questions about why the Bears Way cycle route is not being extended.

Cycling delivery by the Department for Transport is apparently being delayed by horse riders' demands that horses are accommodated on cycling infrastructure.  Finally, if you have some time, Katja Leyendecker would be grateful if you could help her with some surveys, and Londoners might also want to fill in this - seasonally-important - survey on keeping Victoria Park open for cycling beyond the hours of darkness.

Accommodating cycling

It seems that both in cities with cycling infrastructure and without it, it's quicker to cycle than drive - so maybe those cycle lanes aren't such a 'lunatic' idea after all? Cycle Stuff has headed to the Embankment to look at the cycling infrastructure that's causing all the fuss.

'Blue maps' might be a useful way to visualise areas of your town or city where cycling infrastructure could be built in a politically neutral way - that is, without affecting drivers, while green maps show where cycling is currently possible (and where connections will be needed). But please don't just put cycling on bridges up in the sky - there's often plenty of road space at ground level that can be used for all kinds of different things, especially if we focus on prioritising that space for the modes of transport we want to see. There's also huge potential for converting Northern Ireland's abandoned railways into functioning, popular Greenways. And on the subject of building for cycling, the Space4Cycling campaign is making a comeback, and is starting to hit the road around the country.  


Gerritsen Avenue in New York is finally getting a protected cycle lane, but only after a teenager was killed while cycling earlier this year. Cycling is up in the city, but there is still obviously a long way to go. It's a very small change, but could make a difference - a bill to allow people cycling to get a brief head start at signalised junctions. Edinburgh wants to cut bus lanes back to peak times only, potentially putting people cycling at risk - but, long term, combining cycling and buses together in lanes is definitely not the answer.

And across the United States a staggering 35,000 people are still killed every year on the roads, with 1,343 people injured walking in cycling in New York in September alone. The state of Oregon has, however, announced plans to bring the number of deaths within its borders down to zero, within twenty years - the question is whether they will be able to follow through.

Sadly here in the UK there has been a cycling death in London, one that was foreseen by cycling campaigners - there is a vigil for the victim this evening, on the same day that  another cycling death in the capital has been reported.

Bike share

Could your town or city benefit from a bike share scheme? There's now a handy guide to help you find out. The bike share scheme in Washington is thriving, and there's evidence that bike share can help to reduce inequality, especially with easier access and reduced fares and monthly charging - but unfortunately the bike hire stations in Dublin will be closed for long periods for events. Abellio (a Dutch company!) don't seem to be faring too well either when it comes to bike hire at train stations. And if you don't need to hire a bike (because you have your own!) tips on keeping it safe and secure like these from Cardiff by Bike are always helpful.


To nobody's great surprise, a new study has found that the UK is doing very little to support cycling in old age. Meanwhile a visiting Dutch student takes a rational look at the problems and dangers involved in cycling on Newcastle's roads, while Katja Leyendecker returns the favour by examining Bremen's cycling infrastructure.

It's not only people cycling who will be at risk of being bullied on the road - self-driving cars will apparently face exactly the same problem, even through they could potentially prevent serious collisions like this one.

And Finally

While riding a bike is its own form of mindfulness - it's not complicated, just go out and ride - this week's standout post was from Mark Wagenbuur, paying moving tribute to his father, who died recently, and recounting his life in motion.