Monday, 20 February 2012

Clearer delineation of space helps EVERYONE

So, now we know. Our roads aren't fit for cycling. Too much danger and conflict. (Cue Sustrans survey, Guardian [1] and [2].)

Surely, better clarity over road space can only benefit all road users? When you ask the Great Public why they don't cycle they tend to say "There aren't any cycle lanes" and "I don't know where I am suppose to cycle" and "Too much traffic, too many cars". Isn't that a clear call for clearer space delineation?

What's keeping us? It appears to me it's drivers who hold up progress. Or maybe it's the politicians believing that driving is oh-so essential to life, the universe and generally everything. But. Really. Is it? And why would you think that way anyways?

I'd suggest that better clarity over space helps everyone. Including drivers. For our towns and cities, it's a no-brainer. We must start to fairly share out our space by creating clearer spaces, and give clarity over its use.

We could then do away with the riling road rage, claims over "who pays for the roads", whose space it is, and all the uninformed and dirty arguments floating about in our heads (and coming out of our mouths).

Let's do it. Clearer delineation of space. It's for everyone.

So we all can say.... cycling, why? Because I love it!

Simply because

1 comment:

  1. I think the problem has arisen due to several causes as I see it (which you've touched on)

    1. Misinformation has allowed to be spread about where road funding comes from
    2. Misinformation knowingly spread about what and where cyclists can ride
    3. Poor understanding of different modal needs by the town planners (who went for smoothing motor traffic flow)

    Instead of nipping this in the bud when these issues were first raised by those affected (around the early 90s in the UK), the move was to put cyclists on the pavements in substandard infrastructure - perhaps wrongly thinking that the motor was progress and that cycling would naturally dwindle.

    As per usual, to fix a problem late in its development will cost far more time and energy than to fix the little problems during initial growth.

    The solutions as I see it:

    -media campaigns at Government and Council level
    - newspaper articles on cycling
    - TV pieces on how to ride safely, what your rights and responsibilities are

    -local cycle campaigns/clubs doing
    - Bike Doctor days
    - working with the Police and handing out lights (as the LCC have done)
    - utilising the internet to make "how to" videos, showcasing their concerns and campaigns, or simply to promote an event or ride (which most already do the latter)
    - organising a scheduled bike-to-work day to entice people on to the bike. (Again the LCC are quite ahead on this but it could be rolled out again this spring when more are willing to saddle up)