The _Observer_ on "deadly" bike lanes

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Bikerider7, May 23, 2004.

  1. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    John Hearns wrote:

    > I disagree. Bikes are pretty personal. You adjust them to
    > fit yourself, and people don't generally swap them around.
    > Ever had one stolen?

    Yes, but that's not really the point. If some oik wants to
    invade your personal space with, say, a water pistol or an
    insult it's far easier to do than if you're locked in an
    enclosed box. It's personal /space/, not a personal /thing/,
    that I think was Patrick's point.

    > I counter you by proposing that its a misconception among
    > non-cyclists that its common for people to borrow bikes,
    > and that they are interchangeable. You certainly can
    > borrow a bike, but would be uncomfortable till it gets
    > adjusted to suit you. And they come in different sizes.

    My mum rides my Brompton quite happily without any fiddling
    bar not pulling the seatpost up so far when unfolding it.
    I'm 5'8", mum is 5'2". Not all bikes have small size range
    tolerances, but I think the main point is that you'd need a
    Velomobile for separate personal space.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext.
    33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177
    Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     


  2. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    On Wed, 26 May 2004 09:02:49 +0100, Peter Clinch wrote:

    > John Hearns wrote:
    >
    >> I disagree. Bikes are pretty personal. You adjust them to
    >> fit yourself, and people don't generally swap them
    >> around. Ever had one stolen?
    >
    > Yes, but that's not really the point. If some oik wants to
    > invade your personal space with, say, a water pistol or an
    > insult it's far easier to do than if you're locked in an
    > enclosed box. It's personal /space/, not a personal
    > /thing/, that I think was Patrick's point.
    >
    I wasn't wanting to be argumentative.

    Maybe this should be a new thread. I think non-cyclists view
    bicycles as all interchangeable. Maybe non-drivers see cars
    that way too!
     
  3. Roos Eisma

    Roos Eisma Guest

    John Hearns <[email protected]> writes:

    >Maybe this should be a new thread. I think non-cyclists
    >view bicycles as all interchangeable. Maybe non-drivers see
    >cars that way too!

    Even drivers can - our first car I only could recognise when
    it had the roofbars and the kayaks on. With a later car in a
    rather anonymous shape and colour I usually checked the
    numberplate to make sure.

    Is there a word to describe a sort of car dyslexia?

    Roos
     
  4. [email protected] (Patrick Herring) writes:

    >"Just zis Guy, you know?"
    ><[email protected]> wrote:

    >| David Arditti wrote:
    >|
    >| >> The major deterrent to more cycling is laziness.
    >| >> Bulding new roads spreads out the congestion; building
    >| >> cycle paths does not amke people less lazy.
    >|
    >| > So the British just happen to be the laziest nation in
    >| > Europe, hence low cycling levels? I doubt it.
    >|
    >| How else would you explain people who live less than 15
    >| minutes' ride from an office but choose to spend 25
    >| minutes driving it instead?
    >|
    >| > I would have thought it was pretty generally accepted
    >| > that the reason more people do not cycle is the
    >| > environment.
    >|
    >| That's one of the excuses. Remove that and it becomes the
    >| hills. Or the weather. Or the lack of changing facilities
    >| at the office. Or they ran outta gas. Had a flat tyre.
    >| Didn't have enough money for cab fare. Their tux didn't
    >| come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from
    >| outta town. Someone stole their bike. There was an
    >| earthquake, a terrible flood, locusts. It isn't their
    >| fault, they swear to God!

    >IMHO a major unacknowledged factor is wanting to prolong
    >personal space for as long as possible, particularly when
    >commuting to work. Houses and cars are personal space;
    >bikes, pavements, buses, offices are not.

    Another unacknowledged factor is snobbery. I know people who
    find taking a bus rather uncomfortable because people might
    think they couldn't afford a car. And a couple I know who
    recently graduated from bicycles to motor car as main
    transport told me how surprised they were to discover that a
    lot more of the neighbours started talking to them, because
    without a car they were seen as "not quite our sort of
    people". The congratulations on the purchase of the car, and
    the questions abouts welfare, etc., made it quite clear that
    their jump in social status was by becoming car drivers.
    --
    Chris Malcolm [email protected] +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205
    IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
    [http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]
     
  5. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    On Wed, 26 May 2004 09:00:16 +0000, Roos Eisma wrote:

    >
    > Even drivers can - our first car I only could recognise
    > when it had the roofbars and the kayaks on. With a later
    > car in a rather anonymous shape and colour I usually
    > checked the numberplate to make sure.
    >
    Stop rubbing it in. First we get someone going off to
    Ardnamurchan Point. Then I realise I haven't sat in a kayak
    for many years.
     
  6. On Wed, 26 May 2004 10:54:16 +0100, John Hearns <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On Wed, 26 May 2004 09:00:16 +0000, Roos Eisma wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> Even drivers can - our first car I only could recognise
    >> when it had the roofbars and the kayaks on. With a later
    >> car in a rather anonymous shape and colour I usually
    >> checked the numberplate to make sure.
    >>
    > Stop rubbing it in. First we get someone going off to
    > Ardnamurchan Point. Then I realise I haven't sat in a
    > kayak for many years.

    I never have but somehow I've been roped in for an "urban
    adventure race" in Edinburgh this summer, it involves some
    canoing/kayaking (I think the former), orienteering and
    mountain biking. It seems to use the sewers too! I guess I'd
    better get some learning done.

    Colin
     
  7. John Hearns <[email protected]> writes:

    > Maybe non-drivers see cars that way [as
    > interchangable] too!

    As an occaasional driver, so do I. Every time I go back to
    the car rental place they give me a different one.

    -dan

    --
    "please make sure that the person is your friend before
    you confirm"
     
  8. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:

    > transport at all on a substantial part of the route), I
    > disagree that bicycles don't have this effect. Getting on
    > your own familiar bike and just getting out of there is
    > very similar

    For the likes of us, yes, but the thing you're up
    against here is the general public perception of bikes
    compared to cars.

    > Come to think of it, I have in my life commuted far more
    > often by cycle than by any other mode of transport.

    Cycling or walking have been my only regular commute modes,
    and I wouldn't have it any other way (in the UK, various
    possibilities for XC ski in colder places might be good...).

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext.
    33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177
    Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  9. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Wed, 26 May 2004 00:16:46 +0100 someone who may be Gawnsoft
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >I'd still like to see the details of the study that
    >concluded this.

    As would I.

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number
    F566DA0E I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK
    government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  10. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Tue, 25 May 2004 22:23:30 GMT someone who may be [email protected]
    (Patrick Herring) wrote this:-

    >I meant a (physically) segregated cycle path is safe from
    >driver-mistakes

    Only if there are effective barriers between the two sorts
    of road *and* they never cross. To comply with the latter
    condition all buildings would have to have separate
    entrances onto each type of road.

    >It is traffic conditions that comes up most, in
    >conversations I've had, as the main reason for not
    >starting cycling.

    As has been explained, there are a number of excuses for not
    cycling. These are wheeled out according to the whims of the
    person concerned.

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number
    F566DA0E I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK
    government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  11. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Tue, 25 May 2004 22:03:34 +0100 someone who may be "burt"
    <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >I can recall reading a synopsis of a report which showed
    >that a new section of segregated cycle path hadn't
    >increased the number of people cycling, but existing
    >cyclists changed their route if it was convenient.
    >Southampton? Plymouth?

    I have no doubt that this can be the case. However I am
    talking about a network of paths, not just one. The network
    is fairly dense and there are more people using them now
    than there were some years ago, from my limited
    observations.

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number
    F566DA0E I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK
    government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  12. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Wed, 26 May 2004 09:15:14 +0000 (UTC) someone who may be
    [email protected] (Chris Malcolm) wrote this:-

    >Another unacknowledged factor is snobbery.

    I'm not sure that it is unacknowledged. Your posting
    was certainly not the first time I have come across
    this subject.

    >And a couple I know who recently graduated from bicycles to
    >motor car as main transport told me how surprised they were
    >to discover that a lot more of the neighbours started
    >talking to them, because without a car they were seen as
    >"not quite our sort of people". The congratulations on the
    >purchase of the car, and the questions abouts welfare,
    >etc., made it quite clear that their jump in social status
    >was by becoming car drivers.

    The question is then whether the neighbours are worth
    knowing better.

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number
    F566DA0E I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK
    government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  13. Nick Kew

    Nick Kew Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    John Hearns <[email protected]> writes:

    > I disagree. Bikes are pretty personal. You adjust them to
    > fit yourself, and people don't generally swap them around.
    > Ever had one stolen?

    Ever been to a city that makes "city" bikes available to
    whover needs them?

    > I counter you by proposing that its a misconception among
    > non-cyclists that its common for people to borrow bikes,
    > and that they are interchangeable.

    In some more cycle-friendly countries, they may be much more
    so than here.

    > You certainly can borrow a bike, but would be
    > uncomfortable till it gets adjusted to suit you. And
    > they come in different sizes.

    I don't see borrowing a bike as any different in principle
    to borrowing a car (I expect to do the latter two weeks
    hence, as it'll be the one week in the year when I'm doing
    more than ample physical exercise without cycling and
    travelling every day at times when no public transport is
    available).

    --
    Nick Kew

    Nick's manifesto: http://www.htmlhelp.com/~nick/
     
  14. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    On Wed, 26 May 2004 11:17:00 +0100, Nick Kew wrote:

    >
    >
    >> You certainly can borrow a bike, but would be
    >> uncomfortable till it gets adjusted to suit you. And
    >> they come in different sizes.
    >
    > I don't see borrowing a bike as any different in principle
    > to borrowing a car
    Cars are very standardised. The pedals are in a
    standardised layout, as are (generally) the controls on
    the steering wheel. Manuals cars mostly have the gears in
    the same pattern (OK, you have to look where reverse is).
    Seats adjust such that the majority of the population can
    drive the car.

    My contention is that most bicycles are more personal - you
    tend to fit pedals you like, a saddle which suits you.
    Frames come in different sizes depending on how tall you
    are. Different gear changers. You might have fitted
    handlebar ends etc.

    I'm stretching an analogy here, but I think bikes could be
    compared more to older cars which people restore by
    themselves (sports, classic cars).

    Of course, my argument falls down when you talk about
    shopper style bikes.
     
  15. "David Arditti" <[email protected]> wrote

    [snip]

    > So the British just happen to be the laziest nation
    > in Europe,
    hence low
    > cycling levels? I doubt it. I would have thought it
    > was pretty
    generally
    > accepted that the reason more people do not cycle is the
    environment.

    The interesting thing about Britain is how variable the
    amount of cycling is. It ranges from Cambridge, with a
    higher proportion of cyclists than Amsterdam [ref EU
    "Cycling: the way ahead for towns and cities" 1999] down to
    places in Wales and Scotland where its pretty neglegible.
    The biggest deterent to cycling seems to be hills. This is
    complicated by the fact that hilly places tend to be rainy
    places, but it does seem to be the hills that do it This
    correlates with experience in other countries. The Danes
    reckon a 50 m hill halves cycling, and the one hilly part of
    the nethrelands, down by Maastricht also does not have so
    much cycling.

    > Virtually every household has a bike but few people cycle
    regularly. Many
    > British people on holiday cycle in continental cities
    > when they
    would not
    > dream of cycling at home. If we created the right
    > environment in
    British
    > cities we would get high levels of cycling. A part of
    > that is to
    create the
    > motor traffic-free cycle routes that most people who don't
    currently cycle
    > say are what it would take to get them cycling.

    There's some interesting research about what it would take
    to acheive the (then) British target of doubling cycling.
    Building door to door bike paths for everybody wouldn't,
    apparently, but paying people £3 per trip would, instantly [
    go to www.regard.ac.uk and search for "cycling and urban
    mode choice"]

    You might say they are lying
    > - that they are just lazy, and wouldn't cycle anyway. But
    > evidence
    of the
    > few places in the UK where it has been well-done
    > suggests to me
    this is
    > wrong.
    > >> Effective networks of cycle tracks encourage a much
    > >> larger
    section of the
    > >> population to cycle than we generally see on two wheels
    > >> in the
    UK.

    I suppose it depends on how you measure "effective" - you
    wouldn't want a circular definition. I would rate the top
    few effective bike networks as

    1. Stevenage
    2. Harlow
    3. Milton Keynes
    4. Peterborough

    I don't think they confirm the theory that effective
    networks increase cycling.

    > >
    > > Evidence? Edinburgh spent large sums and the number of
    > > utility cyclists apparently dropped.
    > The evidence is very clear. The OECD international study
    > published
    in 1998
    > "Safety of Vulnerable Road Users" (doc. no
    DSTI/DOT/RTR/RS7(98)1/FINAL)
    > shows how the age and gender profiles of cyclists vary
    > from country
    to
    > country. This evidence was summarised in my & Paul
    > Gannon's article
    in the
    > October 2002 London Cyclist. It shows how those developed
    countries with
    > high cycling levels, which are universally those with
    well-developed cycle
    > networks, all have an almost equal distribution of men and
    > women on
    bikes
    > and a smooth linear decline of cycling with increasing
    > age. Those
    places
    > with low cycling levels (like the UK) have a very large
    > imbalance
    between
    > men and women cycling and fewer children and old people
    > cycling. It
    becomes
    > obvious

    Not to me, it doesn't.

    There are many possible resons for this, of which I
    quoted half a dozen or so when David and Paul first wrote
    their article.

    studying this that the only way we can substantially
    increase
    > cycling in the UK is to increase the uptake in the
    under-represented groups:
    > women, children and older people, and therefore we have
    > to address
    their
    > concerns about the safety and pleasantness of the cycling
    environment,
    > rather than make policy for the group who already cycle
    > here (the
    young men
    > between ages 20 and 30).

    I'm 62. What do plan to do for me?

    >
    > What I am advocating primarily are urban on-road but
    > segregated
    cycle tracks
    > on the Dutch pattern.

    What the Dutch say about this idea is, "Evaluations,
    however, showed that although a good infrastructure for
    bicycle traffic is a basic condition, it hardly leads on its
    own to an increase in cycle use." see McClintock, "Planning
    for Cycling" 2002, p197, the article by Ton Welleman of the
    Dutch Cycling Council

    There are none of these in Edinburgh (so far as I am
    > aware)

    Edinburgh has several disused railway paths within the city

    > ....and few in the UK, so discussions of UK cities
    > (including
    Stevenage &
    > Milton Keynes) are of limited relevance to my argument.

    I don't follow this. We shouldn't look at Stevenage and
    Milton Keyes because they are different from other places?
    Is David saying that Stevenage and MK are so good that we
    couldn't acheive similar results elswhere?

    Surely the important point about these cities are that they
    are the best networks acheivable. If a solution doesn't work
    there, it won't work anywhere. It is surely true that no
    matter how much money is spent in London's Camden or Edgware
    the resulting bike networks are bound to be ***vastly***
    inferior to those of Stevenage or Milton Keynes

    > >There is a long-term high user base in these countries.
    > No, usage in 1950 was similar in the UK. The
    > divergence has
    occurred since
    > then and corresponded to a divergence in planning policy.

    Not true. Usage varies greatly now in the UK, and always
    did. Cambridge beats Amsterdam now, and may well always have
    done. There is little Cycling in Cardiff now, and there
    probably always was little. I first saw the bike paths of
    Denmark and the Netherlands in the 1940s, more than half a
    century ago. Denmark and the Netherlands were already
    renowned as cycling countries then. It was generally agreed
    that they had lots of bike paths because they had lots of
    bikes, and that they had lots of bikes because they were
    flat. The evidence still points to that.

    In other places,
    > some Italian towns and cities particularly, in recent
    > years a high
    level of
    > usage has been built up through appropriate planning
    > measures where
    there
    > was not a high level of cycling before.

    Turning "appropriate planning measures" back from newspeak
    into plain English. I think David is saying that they made
    use of competing modes difficult to impossible.
    > >
    > >
    > >My friend Arnold is Dutch and rides 15 miles per day in
    > >the UK; his view is that the cycle paths here are a
    > >disaster because
    we
    > > lack the Dutch laws of presumed fault, and we lack Dutch
    > > levels
    of
    > > cycling so the drivers for the most part aren't properly
    > > aware of cyclists, and we lack Dutch planners who know
    > > how to deal with junctions fractionally better than we
    > > do, and we lack the Dutch commitment to putting bikes
    > > first.

    > He is right that there are various elements to it.
    > There are
    attitudinal
    > changes needed that take a long time. But it is possible
    > to get the
    details
    > of the engineering right with the right expertise and
    > sufficient
    money
    > immediately.

    I continually go to meetings of cycling officers where the
    principle subject is to bemoan the inability of the
    bureaucracy to spend the money they have, although, to their
    great pride and astonishment, they did manage it this year.
    As for engineering, and expertise, I imagine London gets the
    pick of what is available (although they don't employ me,
    thank goodness) Aren't the results wonderful.

    > The knowledge exists, and we should be using it.

    To do that requires project managers who can distinguish
    knowledge from nonsense.

    >
    > John Hearns wrote:
    > >Speed limits don't apply to bicycles
    > Well perhaps they should, but actually, I don't think
    > speed as such
    is a big
    > issue.

    That seems to be a common view among those who advocate and
    design facilities.
    >
    > >I will agree that we need leisure routes too, eg. along
    > >the Thames
    and
    > >the Waterlink Way etc. in London, which will probably get
    > >used by beginning commuters. But there's no way people in
    > >(say) SE London will commute up to
    the West
    > >End if they cannot use the Old Kent Road.
    >
    > I don't advocate preventing cyclists from using any route
    > they want
    (and in
    > Holland they are allowed to use all roads other than
    > those of
    motorway
    > standard, just like here, and they do).

    Not true. Cycle tracks are not roads.

    But also, I don't accept the
    > equation between cycle tracks or paths and "leisure use",
    > or indeed "beginning commuters". If they are well enough
    > done they are
    "universal
    > use", for leisure and commuting, and suitable for all
    > cyclists of
    almost all
    > levels of experience and fitness.

    That's probably a definition of "well done", and a fairly
    good one too. If a substantial group - any substantial
    group - of cyclists complain about a cycle facility then it
    is not well done. Some cycle facilities mange to harm even
    those cyclists who don't use them. That perhaps is the
    ultimate in badness.

    >
    > I regularly cycle a journey of about 13 miles, Edgware to
    > the City.
    I need
    > to do it quite quickly. The quickest way in the middle
    > section is
    to use the
    > largely segregated Somers Town cycle route in Camden. I
    > also use
    some
    > sections of segregated track in Islington. These are
    > actually
    beneficial to
    > the faster cyclist since they allow one to avoid the
    > congestion and
    larger
    > number of controlled junctions on the main roads, as well
    > as being
    obviously
    > more pleasant to use for beginners. In the outer-London
    > parts of my
    journey,
    > where there are no cycle facilities at all, I see
    > few other
    cyclists, and
    > they are all fast. In south Camden, where cycle
    > facilities are
    present, the
    > jump in cycling levels is very striking, and also the
    > sudden spread
    of types
    > of cyclist, fast, slow, young and old, male and female.
    >
    > My experiences suggest to me that cycling uptake is a
    > tremendously
    localised
    > phenomenon (on a scale of 1-2 miles) and depends in a very
    > detailed
    way on
    > the quality of the environment (and not much on social
    > factors such
    as race
    > or class). This is because people like John and I will
    > always be a
    small
    > minority. Most people only want to cycle a couple of
    > miles. I agree
    that we
    > should not do anything that gets unnecessarily in
    > the way...

    I don't like that word "unnecessarily". It seems to imply
    that David knows that his vision must, necessarily must, do
    things that necessarily get in the way.

    of those who do
    > want to cycle further and faster, and I believe good
    > design would
    not do
    > that.
    >
    > David Arditti
     
  16. David Hansen

    David Hansen Guest

    On Wed, 26 May 2004 19:42:47 +0100 someone who may be "Jeremy
    Parker" <[email protected]> wrote this:-

    >The interesting thing about Britain is how variable the
    >amount of cycling is. It ranges from Cambridge, with a
    >higher proportion of cyclists than Amsterdam [ref EU
    >"Cycling: the way ahead for towns and cities" 1999] down to
    >places in Wales and Scotland where its pretty neglegible.

    I think your comparison is English-centric. Wales and
    Scotland are rather larger than Cambridge. Scotland is in
    fact 1/3 of the land mass of the UK. Within both countries
    there are large variations in the amount of cycling, just as
    in England.

    --
    David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number
    F566DA0E I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK
    government prevents me using the RIP Act 2000.
     
  17. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    David Hansen wrote:
    > On Wed, 26 May 2004 19:42:47 +0100 someone who may be
    > "Jeremy Parker" <[email protected]> wrote this:-
    >
    >
    >>The interesting thing about Britain is how variable the
    >>amount of cycling is. It ranges from Cambridge, with a
    >>higher proportion of cyclists than Amsterdam [ref EU
    >>"Cycling: the way ahead for towns and cities" 1999] down
    >>to places in Wales and Scotland where its pretty
    >>neglegible.

    > I think your comparison is English-centric. Wales and
    > Scotland are rather larger than Cambridge.

    Read again. Jeremy said places /in/ Wales and Scotland.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext.
    33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177
    Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  18. On Thu, 27 May 2004 11:04:30 +0100, David Hansen wrote:

    > On Wed, 26 May 2004 19:42:47 +0100 someone who may be
    > "Jeremy Parker" <[email protected]> wrote this:-
    >
    >>The interesting thing about Britain is how variable the
    >>amount of cycling is. It ranges from Cambridge, with a
    >>higher proportion of cyclists than Amsterdam [ref EU
    >>"Cycling: the way ahead for towns and cities" 1999] down
    >>to places in Wales and Scotland where its pretty
    >>neglegible.
    >
    > I think your comparison is English-centric. Wales and
    > Scotland are rather larger than Cambridge. Scotland is in
    > fact 1/3 of the land mass of the UK. Within both countries
    > there are large variations in the amount of cycling, just
    > as in England.

    Yeah, Jeremy showed really his prejudices there. He could
    just have easily written, "It ranges from Cambridge.....,
    down to places where it's pretty negligible". (Fewer words,
    therefore more easily written, in fact.)

    Still, I suppose he didn't make the mistake of lumping
    Northern Ireland into Britain.
    --
    Michael MacClancy Random putdown - "He has no enemies, but
    is intensely disliked by his friends." -Oscar Wilde
    www.macclancy.demon.co.uk www.macclancy.co.uk
     
  19. On Thu, 27 May 2004 11:20:28 +0100, Peter Clinch wrote:

    > David Hansen wrote:
    >> On Wed, 26 May 2004 19:42:47 +0100 someone who may be
    >> "Jeremy Parker" <[email protected]> wrote this:-
    >>
    >>
    >>>The interesting thing about Britain is how variable the
    >>>amount of cycling is. It ranges from Cambridge, with a
    >>>higher proportion of cyclists than Amsterdam [ref EU
    >>>"Cycling: the way ahead for towns and cities" 1999] down
    >>>to places in Wales and Scotland where its pretty
    >>>neglegible.
    >
    >> I think your comparison is English-centric. Wales and
    >> Scotland are rather larger than Cambridge.
    >
    > Read again. Jeremy said places /in/ Wales and Scotland.
    >
    > Pete.

    Yes, but it's still evidence of a bias. I'm sure there are
    places in England where there's very little cycling.

    --
    Michael MacClancy Random putdown - "I've just learned about
    his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." - Irvin S.
    Cobb www.macclancy.demon.co.uk www.macclancy.co.uk
     
  20. "Jeremy Parker" <[email protected]>typed

    > In other places,
    > > some Italian towns and cities particularly, in recent
    > > years a high
    > level of
    > > usage has been built up through appropriate planning
    > > measures where
    > there
    > > was not a high level of cycling before.

    > Turning "appropriate planning measures" back from newspeak
    > into plain English. I think David is saying that they made
    > use of competing modes difficult to impossible.

    I don't think so. David and I were in Northern Italy a few
    weeks ago and were struck by the number of cyclists, (both
    leisure and utility) on the roads. The terrain was certainly
    not flat outside Meran(o) but the planners had made the
    environment *much* less hostile than we find locally. There
    were some dedicated cycle tracks. Cyclists were mostly on
    the road and the motorists were patient and tolerant. Our
    hosts' 6-year-old daughter was allowed to cycle to the
    playground (about 3/4 mile) by herself on the road. Her road
    skill weren't too clever.

    By contrast, David had real harrassment cycling legally (and
    skillfully) to Woolworth's yesterday.

    > I continually go to meetings of cycling officers where the
    > principle subject is to bemoan the inability of the
    > bureaucracy to spend the money they have, although, to
    > their great pride and astonishment, they did manage it
    > this year. As for engineering, and expertise, I imagine
    > London gets the pick of what is available (although they
    > don't employ me, thank goodness) Aren't the results
    > wonderful.

    > > The knowledge exists, and we should be using it.

    > To do that requires project managers who can distinguish
    > knowledge from nonsense.

    Too true!

    > But also, I don't accept the
    > > equation between cycle tracks or paths and "leisure
    > > use", or indeed "beginning commuters". If they are well
    > > enough done they are
    > "universal
    > > use", for leisure and commuting, and suitable for all
    > > cyclists of
    > almost all
    > > levels of experience and fitness.

    > That's probably a definition of "well done", and a fairly
    > good one too. If a substantial group - any substantial
    > group - of cyclists complain about a cycle facility then
    > it is not well done. Some cycle facilities mange to harm
    > even those cyclists who don't use them. That perhaps is
    > the ultimate in badness.

    Yup!

    --
    Helen D. Vecht: [email protected] Edgware.
     
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