2nd class citizens on 3rd world cycling infrastructure

Why is it cyclists are still 2nd class citizens on 3rd world cycling infrastructure? It’s simply not good enough that there’s no space for cycling on virtually all the roads in NE Lincolnshire. Today I was cycling in the (very thin) painted-on lane at Fryston Corner, approaching the college on Weelsby Rd, when a guy in a silver Mondeo, registration H7 G – –  (I don’t recall the full regn) almost knocked me off my bike. This was in full daylight, around lunchtime, & I was in the cycle lane. It was such a close shave I knocked on his window at the traffic lights to tell him he nearly knocked me off and to leave space for cyclists. All I got in return was a V-sign, a tirade of expletives and  “you don’t pay road tax”!

Actually Mr foul-mouthed Mondeo, I do pay road tax but that’s not the point. There’s space for people walking – it’s called a pavement. They don’t pay road tax but they have a space to be in. People riding a bike do not have a space to be in. We have to share the road with vehicles that, driven by ignorant or careless drivers, pose a genuine threat to our safety and even our lives.

The painted on lanes that the council have provided for people riding bikes are simply NOT GOOD ENOUGH! It’s not good enough to expect drivers to respect cyclists because as anyone who has cycled on our roads will tell you, they don’t! When you’re driving your car you’re insulated from the outside world and oblivious to the danger cyclists face. Putting up signs asking drivers to respect cycle lanes, as NE Lincs council has done recently, is frankly laughable. I understand it’s an attempt to improve things for cyclists by a transport department of the council with no budget to do a proper job, but it is completely futile. I doubt if most drivers have even seen these signs along Clee Rd and Weelsby Rd.

A sign asking drivers to respect the cycle lanes.

A sign asking drivers to respect the cycle lanes. Obviously, it’s not having the desired effect!

I doubt many if any drivers have even seen these signs. Signage is not the answer - good design is.

I doubt many if any drivers have even seen these wholly ineffectual signs. Signage is not the answer – good design is. There’s plenty of space here to create a segregated cycle lane that provides a safe cycle space.

The answer is proper action by the council to allocate funds to create separated cycle lanes, so that there is a safe space for cycling. Nothing else will do. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take decades to do. Look at what has been achieved in New York over the last 5 years with good design and a proactive approach. Why is NE Lincs council so blind to the safety of cyclists on it’s roads? That’s a question I’d really like an answer to!

Take a look at this solution from New York….

Not bad.

Not bad. Photo from Business Insider

or this from Bogota….

Photo from citiesforpeople.net

Not bad at all! Photo from citiesforpeople.net

and this example of cycling infrastructure in The Netherlands: (the best!)

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Upcoming events in NE Lincolnshire

Get your free lights, free hi-viz and free bike check at one of these upcoming events around the area.

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Snapshot of Cambridge

Last week we collected our daughter from Luton airport, and on the way down decided to spend the afternoon in Cambridge. I must say I was quite impressed. As soon as we entered the city outskirts from the motorway there was evidence of a cycle culture seemingly everywhere – segregated bike lanes, bike facilities and… plenty of people on bikes! Lots of them! As far as first impressions go I was well impressed.

There's so many people cycling in Cambridge, there's not a lot of spare cycle parking places!

There’s so many people cycling in Cambridge, there’s not a lot of spare cycle parking places!

 

Cycle parking outside the Grafton Centre

Cycle parking outside the Grafton Centre

Our drive down Mill Road on the way to The School Run Centre took us past several bike shops, and I was so pleased to see so many people riding their bikes as everyday transport all over the city. Clearly, the numbers of students in Cambridge is going to swell the numbers who cycle there, but it certainly seems there are very many people who choose to cycle who are not students.

Although the infrastructure is a step ahead of anything else I’ve seen in the UK, it’s clearly not up to the Dutch standards, either in quantity or in quality. Nonetheless it’s still a big improvement on what we have in North East Lincolnshire.

I just loved seeing so many people on bikes, especially Dutch-style bikes!

Every available stand is occupied.

Every available stand is occupied.

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A cargo bike at The School Run Centre off Mill Rd.

A cargo bike at The School Run Centre off Mill Rd.

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