the Great Big You've Been Trumped Bike Blog Roundup

Well, there was no question what was going to be the biggest story this week in non-bike news but Trump's election set off plenty of ripples in the bike blogging world, with Bike Silicon Valley finding it's more important than ever for campaigns to build equality into their work and Bike Portland pointing out that this makes the US national bike summit more vital than ever. To be fair, not even Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein of the Greens had had much to say about cycling during the campaign - although Hillary Clinton had a decent track record on cycling. For the rest of the bike blogging world there was a recognition that just keeping on pedalling wouldn't really help much - but it would help restore a sense of agency in a world that seems spinning out of control.

Infrastructure, Infrastructure, Infrastructure

One thing that has got campaigners interested is the new president elect's emphasis on infrastructure although if his pick for transport is anything to go by it doesn't look as if that means bike lanes - if anything it will mean more roads and more sprawl. This is a shame because the American Journal of Public Health has strongly endorsed cycling infrastructure - as long as it's the right kind - and if anyone should understand the benefits of walking and cycling investment, it should be a real-estate developer like Donald Trump.

Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, the Ministry for Infrastructure has released a strategy aiming for 1,000 km of greenways across the province - although Belfast still needs to build more bridges and fewer walls. In London, the gaps in the superhighway will be closed but there's still no sign of a walkign and cycling commissioner, while in San Francisco, voters have endorsed investment in bike lanes but not the money needed to pay for them.

A better class of politics

Donald Trump's election does at least serve to put the Scottish government's policies into perspective, while recent bike returnee, MP Chi Onwurah seizes the chance to see conditions in Namibia by bike rather than from an air conditioned bus and Vince Cable lends his support to a petition against a cycling ban in parts of Bushy Park. Unfortunately, Bristol's mayor doesn't seem to understand that walking and cycling are just as important for fairness and tackling congestion as public transport although in Ontaria, cycling is seen as part of the solution to climate change, while in Europe, the sports cycling bodies back the ECF's call for an EU cycle strategy.

Enabling vs encouragement

Of course, far too many strategies fall back on encouraging cycling rather than enabling it - nice as a £250 tax break for cycling to work would be. Events like public transport strikes can get more people riding bikes but they also bring more aggro from drivers on the road.

And then there's just plain discouragement - there may not be a vast media conspiracy against cycling, but that doesn't stop fears and misinformation from spreading against greenway projects. Nor does it stop you from being a slow moving vehicle who drivers perceive as in the way (a bit of creative shouting can help relieve the negative emotions as a result). And too many disparate and non-transparent voices for cycling at a national level may not help make the case for cycling with central government

Safety in numbers

An interesting analysis of regional safety data seemed to show more evidence for the safety in numbers effect - the Urbanist looks in more detail at what the mechanisms might be behind it, while the Bristol Cycle Campaign considers the trends for Bristol - and Leeds is proposing a segregated bike lane and Copenhagen style junctions to tackle a particular accident black spot. A study in Toronto considers just what the potential numbers for cycling could be given the trips already made - while in Pittsburgh fairly low levels of car ownership may be part of the reason for relatively high cycling and walking rates to work.

Safety through other means was on some minds - such as bringing the ban on non direct-vision lorries forward before there's another horribly needless cyclist's death. Or then again we could just continue to educate cyclists (and pedestrians) to wear hi vis even though it doesn't appear to have any objective effect, with a little extra harassment of those who aren't just biking in black but biking while black thrown in for good measure.

Sign make it better

We haven't had a good 'sign make it better' in ages, and then Sheffield comes up with a cracker while drivers in San Francisco appear to be confused about how best to drive around new cycling infrastructure - but then again a strategically placed traffic cone would appear to be worth a thousand words. In Lancaster, the new Bay Gateway route seems to be being ignored by cyclists who perhaps can't believe that it genuinely offers a good and continuous route so they're cycling down what looks like a bike lane on the scary looking parallel road. And in New York it's more a case of app make it better as users can report parking on bike lanes - but actually enforcing it will be the real test - or physical protection from being parked on.

Consultation watch

Such details are often best picked up at the design stage, which makes responding to consultations all the more important - this weeks' crop includes Richmond consulting over Quiet Way 1, a survey for London towpath users, and a segregated cycle route in Derby, while plans to humanise the Taff Embankment (as well as mitigate flooding) won't do much good if it's still a rat-run for drivers. And if you're wondering what the point is, Kingston's completed mini holland route is miles better than what was originally consulted on, while hopefully, the massively positive response in favour of the trial arrangements in Tavistock Place will make it harder to ignore. Meanwhile in New York, residents and businesses are turning out to help imagine 14th St as a 'peopleway' while Dandyhorse talks to one of the people behind these sorts of plans, at the Copenhagenize design consultancy.

Going Dutch

Or you could just ask the Dutch - they're famously blunt so any visiting bike ambassadors won't mince their words when they consider your city's finest cycling infrastructure - and of course you need to pick them up from the airport by bike and six years on, a return Dutch visitor can at least be shown how far Ottawa has come. Of course, although sustainable safety does go a long way to deliver safety for all road users - even on main roads you'd never want to go near on a bike - the Dutch can still mess up infrastructure projects as Murphy's law's writ runs everywhere. And things could still be improved with research into what infrastructure cargo bike users prefer - and an important reminder that subjective safety has to be considered for everyone and that includes visually impaired people who want to get to the bus stop just as much (if not more) as it includes cyclists.

Reasons to be cheerful

We always like to end these roundups on a positive note - and it seems more important this week than ever, so let's cheer the massive turnout in support of Bearsway with cyclists stretching as far as the eye could see and sending a powerful message to local and national politicians alike. The new cycle tracks on John Dobson Street improve conditions for both cyclists and pedestrians while Toronto's Bloor St bike lane has already brought more cyclists, especially women. In Portland, after some persistent digging, it turns out there's actually no reason why a bridge can't have room for bike lanes. The latest climate conference has brought Africa's first bike share scheme to the streets of Marrakech, while for a young refugee in the UK a bike brings more than just a means of transport, it brings empowerment. When you're a new mum, and back at work, cycling the commute, however few the miles, can be essential to one's peace of mind. And we end with an oldie but a goody - Streetfilm's short about Colombia's Ciclovia, the most influental of them all.