I don’t live in Salford anymore but when I see a consultation in an area I’m familiar with, I’m certainly still going to put in my ten cents, especially when they represent tokenistic thinking towards cycling. This proposal for shared pavements to be built next year is a perfectly ordinary road with one lane in either direction. Making cycling in the road safe is perfectly possible, and there’s no need or benefit to pushing cycling to the side. Here is a picture of the plans and below my response, I encourage you to make your own response if you know the area or anybody who lives or works there. Continue reading
Below is my response, but I’d just like to start of by sharing something that is impossible here, but shows how differently you can view subways. In Trafford we are talking about filling in subways to improve the feel around the shops. Here in Hungary was a lovely place I encountered where the shops are in the subway!
There’s a consultation currently available on a website called stretfordtowncentre.org.uk, and described as a ‘public realm enhancement project.’ While you might expect from that to see environmental designs to comment on, apart from some lighting choices and a look at materials, the thrust of the details involve road widening and providing signalled crossings for those crossing the street instead of subways.
The Conservative Party conference, combined with the continual roadworks has shut off huge parts of the city centre and made it very difficult to cycle in, often impossible to do so legally. Nevertheless, with holes in the ring road, and steel fences and cones in the heart of the city making it more congested then ever, it just makes it clearer how much Manchester stands to benefit from increased cycling.
The Bridgewater Way route (pictured below) is not perfect for cycling, as it’s not the widest route and you have to be considerate of the dogwalkers and schoolchildren who also have to use the route, but compared to the busy, tight stretches of the a56 through South Manchester, it is a (slightly bumpy) joy. Continue reading
Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania. I really rattled through them, and I wouldn’t try to mush them all together into one, nor want to, but there is a slow transition heading east. Less flashy cars are seen parked in the city centres, public transport is generally cheaper, and cycling is a bit more normal. That doesn’t mean much is being done to stop it from being squeezed to the sidelines, (Notable exceptions like Ljubljana aside) unfortunately. Continue reading
While in Brussels, Zurich, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague and Zagreb (and a few smaller cities in between), I couldn’t help but compare the conditions for cycling. They were all making a show of accommodating cycling, but that didn’t always entail giving it serious, practical support. Continue reading
TFL recently made a report on best cycling practice in cities around the word. It’s a good read, but it got me thinking about why solutions for cycling vary so much, even in cities that are making it a clear priority. This took me back to a trip I made last year around Europe. Now I didn’t go to study cycling, but I was surprised by how catering for it has become pretty much a necessity for any major city. They were all doing something, but was it because they wanted to improve their cities, or was it a tourism boondoggle, an outward declaration of a lifestyle choice that was never really focused on helping people get around? Continue reading