The Great Big I Can't Get No Priority Blog Roundup

After a two week absence, the Blog Roundup is back, and no surprises for guessing the big theme of recent days - it's the Leeds-Bradford 'Superhighway', one particular junction of which has been examined in detail by the Alternative Department for Transport. Responses were summarised by, to which City Connect themselves responded. It turns out that neither the local cycle campaignnor CTC or Sustrans, approved the plans for this junction, and also that there were plenty of alternative ways of designing this junction more safely. Again City Connect responded, and again these claims were forensically examined - the outcome isn't pretty. Finally, there was a slightly different perspective on the issue from Ranty Highwayman, who points out that engineers are rarely in full control of the schemes they have been told to deliver - it's those pesky politicians and accountants who lie behind the problems.

A different - and more general - kind of priority was examined by Rachel Aldred, first in the form of an alternate reality though experiment, and then in terms of how cycle priority should fit within the existing car priority system. Further north, there are also lack of priority concerns for Magnatom.

Making the case for cycling

There are some helpful tips here for making the case for bicycle infrastructure, in the face of councillors trying to water it down; things might get a little easier (maybe) in the UK now that over a sixth of the current House of Commons strongly supports cycling. The Invisible Visible Man wonders why progressives - who should be at the forefront of pushing for more cycling - often seem so reluctant to do so; but thankfully seven U.S. city leaders have grasped the massive benefits that will flow from increased cycling levels, something Scotland's Transport Minister could think about. Of course successfully making the case is largely thanks to bicycle advocates - Bike Portland investigates how they are made.

Baking in infrastructure

Some more good news from the U.S. - protected bike lanes now feature in new federal guidance - official recognition, which will really represent a big boost for this kind of design. The U.S. also seems to be embracing the benefits of the floating bus stop, while San Francisco is able to celebrate new protected lanes. Here's a run-down of the current top twenty U.S. cities for cycling, and a Streetfilm on the slightly unexpected success of cycling in Philadelphia.

There are plenty of reasons to bake in cycling infrastructure into new projects, particularly the fact that it costs society six times more if people drive, than cycle (and that's one of the reasons why bikes shouldn't be taxed and licensed). Sadly the message doesn't seem to be getting through, however - as a $3m dollar project to raise a bridge a few inches for trucks can't seem to afford a footway. Of course in the Netherlands excellent infrastructure continues to be built without the Dutch appearing to bat an eyelid, while Berlin (like Britain) all too often has to make to do with pretend infrastructure, rather than the kind of design that is suitable for everyone. Bicycle infrastructure shouldn't be a barrier to disabled people - quite the opposite, but unfortunately Bike Week's idea of 'everyday cycling' doesn't appear to include everyone.

Quick (and not so quick) fixes

Richmond Cycle Campaign argue that allowing two-way cycling on one-way streets represents a quick and easy win. Would it also be sensible to make cycling legal on some (lightly used) suburban footways, while waiting for proper infrastructure to be built? Meanwhile Portland have had the bright idea of trialling the removal of a car lane, replacing it with space for walking and cycling. More permanently (hopefully) the first sections of new protected infrastructure are starting to appear in London; let's hope they get the visual priority right. And speaking of priority, the Tiger crossing is now up and running in Hackney. But sharrows, on the other hand, fail to convince Sally Hinchcliffe as a useful intervention.


It looks like Dave Warnock's been on a (big!) sabbatical tour, while I Do Not Despair has managed a Mur Tour in Belgium - and there are hills of doom in Germany too. Bike Snob takes the easier option, stylishly engaging in multi-modal touring by Brompton (and train). John O'Groats to Lands End is obviously a more substantial undertaking, but a bicycle is also perfect for short trips to look at birds (just watch out for the big junctions and the floods). And wherever or whatever you are doing on a bike - don't forget to stop and look every so often.


There was a dispiriting Friday Feeling for Beyond the Kerb, made up of lethally close passes, all the more worrying because we all know sometimes people simply don't come home when they've been riding their bikesThe time-consuming nature of navigating by bike when you know there will be 'difficult' sections where you will face danger was also captured brilliantly by Beyond the Kerb.

Chris Boardman has repeated his calls for a system of presumed liability to be introduced in Britain, but an (ahem) expert economist doesn't agree. Perhaps all parties need to take a closer look at what presumed liability can and can't achieve.

The perplexing way danger on our roads is viewed featured on a good number of blogs - TraffikinTooting wondered why there was such a difference in the Met's attitude on crime, while the Road Danger Reduction Forum looked at the strange language of crashes. Indeed - crash your car into a baby's cot (inside a house) - and it's apparently not a problem. Meanwhile it seems that 'scofflaw pedestrians' are a serious issue in New York, including 89-year-olds being blamed for their deaths due to (allegedly) crossing roads a few feet away from where they were supposed to. A die-in has made news in Portland, but Japan is attempting to 'scare children straight' by exposing them to simulated crashes.

Growth in cycling (or lack of it)

The ECF have produced their 'cycling barometer' (which should probably be taken with a pinch of salt). And while Odense appears to have justifiably won an award, there are five reasons why Dublin shouldn't be included on any 'best cycling city' list. David Hembrow gets statistical to examine how much the Dutch (and other nations) really cycle, while Can't Stand Up For Falling Down examines what lessons can be drawn from Copenhagen.

Back in blighty, although we are apparently cycling a bit more, at Britain's current miserable rate of growth it will take fifty years to even double our very low rates of cycling. We certainly need some tips on how to design cycling into cities that forgot cycling. New York's parks might be all set to go car-free in the near future, which is handy, as it's hard to create a sense of place if you're not going to deal with motor traffic.

Business as usual

As always with improving conditions for cycling, it's usually a question of priorities - in Toronto it's obviously easier to block a bike lane than a car lane. Meanwhile Manchester has managed to quietly destroy some cycle tracks, while Sheffield has £160,000 to spend on public art, but apparently doesn't have enough money to finish a cycle route.

There's some new infrastructure for the Inverness Campus - some of it good, some of it bad - and bus lane confusion continues in Edinburgh. Will Westminster manage to come up with a decent solution for cycling at Cambridge Circus? Meanwhile a protest to illustrate the unsuitability of a cycle route to school experiences… a collision.

Cycling accessories

It might be surprisingly easy to cycle barefoot, or in minimalists shoes, and party dresses seem to work well with cycling too. Naturally cycling with babies and toddlers isn't a problem either if the environment is safe. Bicycle bells are fun, even if they might sometimes precipitate an anti-cycling rant - best advice would be to coast away from that kind of discussion. A different (but equally useful) kind of accessory might be this app for reporting badly parked cars; maybe with good car parking standards this would be less of a problem in the first place.

And finally

You must watch this beautiful meditation on life, death, and cycling. That is all.


Cycling in a proper way is a healthy activity. Cycling accessories makes it a fun and interesting thing for those who do not like to ride a cycle. luton airport meet and greet parking