The Great Big Lord Buckethead for Prime Minister Bike Blog Roundup

We were hoping this would be the last election-focused bike blog round up for a while, but as the election news unfolds, there was only one standout cycling candidate in this general election, with his policy of free bikes for all, especially after Jeremy Corbyn ruined his reputation with the more hardcore cycling demographic by revealing he only has two bikes and considers that to be an extravagance. There were a few last minute roundups of candidates' statements in North West Hampshire and Bath - and pleasingly some of the most prominent anti-cycling MPs will be getting on their bikes to look for new jobs this week - but the main focus now will be on the implications of a hung parliament and possibly even a fresh election. In that case Labour could do more to court young voters with more emphasis on cycling, Wolmar argues - and all of us (not just mountain bikers) need to get out and vote. Again ...

Paying the piper

As Bristol Cycling unpicks just who pays for our roads and the costs traffic impose, Streetsblog unpicks the myth that congestion is essentially self-correcting, because of the externalities it imposes. Meanwhile, Wisconsin Bike Federation asks how the state should pay for cycling and whether it should follow Oregon's idea of a bicycle tax, albeit now watered down (of course there's still $900m to widen highways without any talk of a car tax ...). As California's Active Transportation Project looks for shovel ready projects to fund, Denver is cutting cycling and walking infrastructure from its transport bond plans.

Slow down, you move too fast

With Vision Zero now becoming a common goal, do we also need a Slow Cities movement, to reap the sometimes unexpected benefits of slower traffic speeds? One benefit of a common consensus that 30mph traffic does not belong on residential streets is that we can avoid traffic calming and the dreaded speed cushions. Fortunately, in Scotland at least there is such a move if prospect so please do go and support it.

Datafication special

as the University of Brighton seeks a researcher to help bring big data into cycling policy, the successful candidate will be able to get their hands on all sorts of data from Cycle Streets' new bikedata site. Meanwhile Bikefast have been adding more information on bike flows at one of Belfast's busiest bike spots, even if it's got nothing on the busiest bikeway in the Netherlands, if not the world ...

Network effect

Putting data to good use, People for Bike have been combining Open Street Map and stress-levels data to analyse cities' bike networks - with Streetsblog Chicago considering why the city did so poorly and how it could change. With Enfield's infrastructure half built, Subversivite contrasts the 'cycology' of riding with safe infrastructure and without - but ultimately even the keenest cyclists will vote with their feet if they live too far from the bike network. Some cities are (slowly) closing the gaps in their networks with New York's Second Avenue and Columbus Circle slated for improvement, while Bethesda's bike network plan actually gets improved between proposal and approval. In Auckland, it's best to go for the direct route when linking a cycleway to the centre - and the city takes another step towards creating a complete loop around the city centre, while in Ireland, it's the country's greenways that seem to be leading the way. In general though, progress is far too slow - so how can the process of building better streets be speeded up?

Closed roads and open streets

Of course, on of the fastest ways to create a safe cycling network is just to remove the cars, whether as part of roadworks, in which case it can be an opportunity to change behaviour, or making a closure permanent with rather awesome results for cycling and walking. The real value of events like CicLAvia is changing the way we view our streets - and when the road closed is an urban motorway the effect can be eye-opening; no wonder motorists aren't keen. Two cities are closing elevated highways - but will New York just create another hostile road instead? And what can Akron do with the 30 acres of land that a freeway takes up now?

Sadly, all too often when there are road closures it's the pedestrians and cyclists who suffer - it would help if councils could get simple things like the signage right rather than putting it in bikes' way.

Cycling for all

One community with one of the best segregated cycle networks in America is, surprisingly enough in Florida - where it was actually built for golf carts - but it does go to show that building for human-scale transport doesn't just make life easier for those who can cycle. A survey finds minority communities in the US want sociable cycling and secure parking (not a trivial issue - the loss of a family bike can be a huge blow especially where kids have special needs) as well as the separated infrastructure that people of all backgrounds see as being safe. Yet kids still have to go and testify in support of safe routes to school in Oregon - even though the plans don't go anything like far enough for a real school cycling network. And as one study finds that over-cautious medical advice is putting some women off cycling while pregnant, Daisy Narayan considers what it means to be a woman leader, especially in a male-dominated world like transport

Design issues

For some reason, we focus on San Francisco this week, where we get a Dutch-eye view of the city's cycling infrastructure (they don't mince their words, those Dutchies) although the city's rapidly-built parking-protected bike lanes seem to be bedding in fairly well with plans for more at the design stage. The city is also struggling to make old tram tracks safe for cycling, in a dilemma that will be familiar elsewhere. Meanwhile in London TfL is working to ensure the latest anti-terrorism measures don't end up putting cyclists in more danger from traffic, while in Dublin plans for a segregated cycle route are being blocked by other plans for bus rapid transit - although that doesn't explain why there's no proper space for cycling on the city's outer ring road, despite it being a busy route for school children. And in Philadelphia, failing to include a budget for lighting means a key bike commuter bridge gets closed at dusk, which rather destroys its effectiveness.

Health and Safety

As the Vision Zero network absorbs the lessons from the Vision Zero conference in New York, it's somewhat eye-opening to learn that some places need to legislate just to be allowed to use speed cameras on hazardous roads. Here in the UK, Greater Manchester Police have streamlined their procedures for reporting dangerous driving, making at least one blogger very happy - while iPhone users will soon be able to tell their phone not to distract them while they're driving. Or not, of course. Meanwhile - to put this into perspective - CZ is suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude six years after a crash that could have been life-altering or even fatal.

More bikelash?

Meanwhile as plans for Old Street roundabout improvements get further delayed, the cycle tracks we have are being targeted by saboteurs or even removed altogether on spurious fire safety grounds. However, it wasn't all bad news on the bike lash front - a local paper report on who is to blame for traffic congestion generates some light along with the heat - and a local Fox News channel actually produces a fair and balanced segment on bike lanes.

It's good to share

The rise of the Chinese dockingless bike share systems continues to attract attention - with territorial disputes breaking out in Bath, and China itself drawing up regulations to get on top of the issues. Seattle hopes that similar schemes could solve its own bike share dilemma but if something looks to be too good to be true then it usually is.


Creating change

As Better Streets for Enfield gets its 'asks' together and Irish cyclists are urged to act for space for cycling, Broken Spoke Coop considers what will help change the world why we work for better streets. For some, creating an extra half a million regular cyclists has to be a start - for others riding naked is a powerful way to change hearts and minds. In Pennsylvania, could a bumper sticker raise awareness of the state's 4-foot passing law? And in Glasgow, could an internet forum help build a community for change? In Vancouver, the cargo bike championships give people a chance to see the capability these bikes have first hand while in Hartford Connecticut you won't be left stranded by a mechanical issue, if that was what kept you from cycling before.

Bike make it better

When it comes to clean air, the government's plan needs much more emphasis on walking and cycling if it's to make any real difference - even if not actually on bikes that can clean the air of particulates as you ride - while the best way to hit those recommended exercise targets is getting a bike. In Canada, a daycare's school run is transformed by a bike bus that does so much more than get the kids to nursery. And while we've all been very hot on sending bikes to Africa, now Africa wants to send bikes to us - eat your heart out, Elephant Bikes.

What I did on my holidays

As the visit-the-Netherlands season gets into full swing you can now guide yourself round all the high spots of Utrecht, and Dutch cycling, freeing up the Dutch cycling experts to visit Kyrgyzstan and consider its potential. In Canada, is Ottawa challenging Montreal as Canada's best cycling city? Paris may be chaotic but it's worth braving its streets by bike to experience it as never before - you'll just have to learn to swear in French, that's all. Bike Love Jones finds suburban sterility is wearing her down with its sheer scale. And for two epic trips you won't ever forget, how about cycling the solar eclipse in the US - or an epic bikepacking tour in Rwanda as that country builds a bottom-up tourist industry around cycling.

Vehicle of the future?

And finally, as bloggers still consider the implications of the autonomous car - what if the vehicle of the future was already here?