It’s hard to escape the welter of media attention being given to cycling at the moment; in part because of the death of a number of cyclists in London. It’s been accompanied by reams of statistics. it’s overwhelming. i have nothing to add to the wider debate, only a few observations.
My reflections based on a commute through Bristol tell me this:
– the roads are very busy; cyclists and car drivers do not co-exist easily in the same place
– cyclists are angry because they perceive an imminent threat to their life and limb, car drivers tend to be angry because they’re sat in traffic
– there is a tangible and desperate inequality between the treatment of cyclists and car drivers, including a culture of specious victim-blaming, mostly from privileged tory halfwits like boris johnson, obliquely suggesting that a headphone ban might save cyclists from painful HGV death. Years spent blaming foxes for their reckless and risk-taking behaviour leading to their demise at the hands of guffawing poshos on massive horses have honed these rhetorical skills.
– road design in Bristol includes such bright ideas as luring cyclists across two busy lanes of traffic to join a cycle lane, or tempting cyclists across a busy main road to join a cycle lane, or putting in pinch points that force cyclists into traffic, or designing a cycle lane that lasts 100 metres and cuts across a left hand turn…
I’m trying to be less adversarial. it’s really hard when the odds are stacked against you, even in a ‘cycling city’. If you’re interested in some of the stuff that’s come out this week, here are some articles: