When is a bus stop not a bus stop?

It looks like a bus stop... (photo credit: ETA Trust)

It looks like a bus stop… (photo credit: ETA Trust)

It looks like a bus stop. There’s a shelter, a sign and passengers milling about. There’s even a bus waiting.

If you look closely, however, there are a few clues that this is no ordinary bus stop: the people in hi-viz jackets, carrying clipboards and stop watches; the carefully choreographed movements of the passengers; the distinct lack of any other traffic on the road. And since when has any bus stop (at least in this country) had a bike track running behind it?

For this is no real bus stop. It is, in fact, a new ‘cyclist-friendly’ bus stop design being trialled as part of Boris’s vision for cycling in London. Continue reading

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Cycling with heels goes to Copenhagen

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Almost every street in Copenhagen is lined with bikes

“Wow…just look at all those bikes.”
My friend sighed impatiently. “I’m hungry. I need food. Let’s find somewhere to have dinner.”
“But…bikes!”
“Food!”

We’d arrived in Copenhagen early Friday evening, just in time for dinner. As anyone who’s ever travelled anywhere will know, that’s never a good time to arrive in a strange city. After checking into the hotel, we headed out into the unfamiliar streets in search of some food. While my friend focused on the task in hand, I found myself being somewhat distracted. Almost every street we walked along was lined with bikes – red bikes, blue bikes, green bikes and black bikes, bikes with wicker baskets and metal baskets, bikes with big, Dutch-style frames, shiny new bikes and rusted old ones. Row upon row upon row of bikes. Continue reading

Here we go again…

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Boris…my knight on a bicycle?

So. If Boris’s vision for cycling in London, announced last week, becomes a reality, it will be nothing less than a cycling revolution. Dutch-style segregated lanes! Crossrail for bikes! Quietways! Mini-Hollands! De-Lycrafying! Could this really be London he’s talking about?

Indeed it must be – because no sooner had the plans been announced than the criticism started. No, not of the plans, but of us cyclists. A journalist was quoted on the London Cycling Campaign’s Facebook page as asking, “Now these new facilities have been promised, do you think cyclists have a responsibility to improve their behaviour?”

Sorry?

Why, now that we’ve been promised some major (and long overdue) investment into the cycling infrastructure in London, should I have a responsibility to ‘improve my behaviour’? I already cycle in a safe and responsible manner, thank you very much. Continue reading