This article was published in 2002, in Newsletter 40.
A breath of fresh air
It was a joy to read ‘Summer Cycling Festivals’ in Newsletter 39 .
This article was great because it shows new dimensions and it blows a new wind into a cycling life that is much too often saddened by intimidation and accident reports.
Reading of people who travel on their bicycles from Germany to a Spokefest in Leicester opens new dimensions, turns things the other/the right way around. Or people cycling there from London pulling a load of four more recumbents by human power as well. Reading the account of large-scale bicycle events that are fun and friendly is a great change to living in a car-dominated town – people taking good things seriously and showing that we’re not aliens and that a lot is possible with human power and human powered vehicles.
Thank you for the encouraging dimensions and the wind!
Cyclists Dismount signs
In relation to the very delayed work on the Trumpington Road, I passed three such signs on the shared use path this morning. They are obviously proliferating, but why, and what are they meant to do: protect workers from being run over (even though they are there all the time while the workers are usually absent); indicate it is too narrow or difficult for cyclists (who take less room mounted than dismounted), or protect pedestrians (in which case say give way to pedestrians)? Is it all due to some new policy of the Health and Safety Executive or to a desire on the part of the contractors to avoid blame and liability by saying they put up a sign?
|This chicane on the cycle path is backed up by Dismount signs
I gather from your article that [Cyclist Dismount signs] are only advisory, but they are a stick with which pedestrians beat cyclists; see lots of letters in the Cambridge Evening News . Should we publicise that they are advisory, or would this lead to public pressure to make them compulsory? I believe that they are part of the campaign to litter the country with signs on the basis that it shows the authorities are doing something when they are, in fact, making everything worse, not least environmentally. This needs handling with research and great tact, which is why I hope I can pass on my comments to you, being very impressed by what you do.
Jim Chisholm comments: I think the Cyclists Dismount signs you describe were temporary ones used during construction of the Trumpington cycle path. These were used liberally at one stage, and left in place over the weekends. While work is going on beside the path they have their use: such signs make it clear to a cyclist that she must take care. The signs should not, though, be left in place when there is no such danger, nor used as an excuse to leave works in a dangerous condition overnight.
City Centre cycling ban
Newsletter 39 included a report on the Campaign’s efforts to press for the ending of the City Centre cycling ban and the welcome decision of the Cambridge Environment and Transport Area Joint Committee to set up a comprehensive review of cycling access in the City Centre. This should soon be under way.
I recently came across the following useful policy statement on the City Council’s web pages on Cambridge Transport Policy: ‘Cycle access will be improved throughout the City, including to and within the City Centre.’ David Roberts, the City’s Policy Manager, has confirmed that this is current policy.
I can think of nothing, apart from the minor concession of being allowed to cycle against the flow in Bene’t Street, which represents an improvement of cycle access within the City Centre in recent years. Our proposal for ending the City Centre cycling ban provides the Council with an excellent opportunity to implement its own declared policy.