I'd like to thank Eric Britton for informing about the most recent issue of
World Transport Policy & Practice, which has a long article on promotion of
cycling in two cities in each of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. (more
info below )
The editorial, about the failed cycling promotion in Lancaster, was very good
in content, and hopefully should make some people wake up.
However it could have included arguments of equity and Polluter Pays Principle
for taking road-space from cars and giving to cyclists. ( As in contraflow
lanes ). Otherwise policy-makers ( who often use a car and are under great
pressure from car dealers, car groups purporting to represent the public etc )
will read from such articles : They hate the car, and now they want to be mean
to us ordinary people, for no good reason at all.
Often in public debate people proclaim that car drivers are the milking cows of
the state. Good data is needed to demonstrate that the opposite is true. As a
start, WHO Europe ( THE PEP) has stated that in very many European cities, more
people die from pollution from cars than in traffic accidents. THis appears to
be the case "even" in Stockholm. And more than ten times more die very
prematurely from lack of exercise. Rises in premature deaths like these are
often coupled to suffering of thosae individuals and theri families, and large
expenditures to the health services and employers.
The main article is quite interesting, but the opening paragraphs are
confusing. Muenster appears to be said to be in Denmark. A long sentence in
parenthesis makes for confusing style.
Was this article peer reviewed ? Reviewed by safety experts from major cycling
organisations (plural) ? I know some people in addition to myself who could
have provided valuable input. Is there a possibility for moderate editing and
additions to this article ?
The article should have mentioned "Safety in numbers" in its somewhat
repetitive/unstructured treatise on safety in each city. That appears to be a
major candidate for explaining why cycling is so much safer in those "frontier
cities" and countries (see graph on cyclehelmets.org). Regarding helmets, it
is positive to see the often overlooked issue of discouraging of cycling. It is
often overlooked or ridiculed, although it is far more important than the
traffic accidents for public health. But the one study referenced about helmets
is far from being the best (methodologically) or most important on the subject.
Ian Walker makes an important point about drivers's perception of cyclists,
though. ( Got most clearance when wearing a feminine wig) For more info, see
e.g. the Wikipedia article on bicycle helmets, or www.cyclehelmets.org
Wikipedia and cyclehelmets.org have pointers to both helmet promoters and
sceptics, and scientific articles from both sides.
Also: the figures I have seen say cycling makes up more than 30% of trips in
Copenhagen, and about 25% in Odense. So the statement that none of the capitals
have the highest levels of cycling amongst the two cities in each country does
not seem to hold true. But it could be that the figures I have seen are not
comparable. It would have been positive if the modal share figures were
referenced to specific publications or at least to specific persons and times.
On modal share, and talking about the top cities regarding modal share, I
believe many Chinese cities still enjoy levels of cycling higher or on par with
those six cities. Some Japanese cities have high levels as well, as far as I
On segregated facilities, perhaps the downsideis mentioned somwhere in the
text, but if not I feel it should : Here isan excerpt from Wikipedia :
"Extensive bicycle path systems may be found in some cities. Such dedicated
paths often have to be shared with in-line skaters, scooters, skateboarders,
and pedestrians. Segregating bicycle and automobile traffic in cities has met
with mixed success, both in terms of safety and bicycle promotion. At some
point the two streams of traffic inevitably intersect, often in a haphazard and
congested fashion. Studies have demonstrated that, due to the high incidence of
accidents at these sites, some such segregated schemes can actually increase
the number of car-bike collisions."
Hope this is not too much critique.
Just trying to help :-)
Here is the part of the text from Eric :
The latest number of the Journal of World Transport Policy & Practice is now
available: Vol. 13, No. 1. “At the Frontiers of Cycling: Policy
Innovations in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany”.
And two links:
--- "eric.britton" <eric.britton@...
> The latest number of the Journal of World Transport Policy & Practice is now
> available: Vol. 13, No. 1. “At the Frontiers of Cycling: Policy
> in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany”.
> From the Editor's Foreword: "This is a special-issue WTPP monograph on
> cycling – particularly on international variations in cycling activity.
> objective here is to make sure that the intelligence virus infects enough of
> our senior decision-takers, politicians and bureaucrats to produce a radical
> transformation of cycling so that in the majority of urban areas of the
> world we can deliver one third or more of all trips by bike. The same point
> applies to walking trips and to so-called “active-travel” in
general. It is
> clear to us that many of our much publicised transport policy objectives
> including climate change, health and social inclusion will not be achieved
> until we produce seriously high levels of active travel/". John Whitelegg.
> You can pick up this latest issue of our journal from the website of the
> World City Bike project at http://www.citybike.newmobility.org/, by clicking
> Homework/Toolkit on the left menu. You’ll find it. (A more direct link
> via Eco-Logica at http://www.eco-logica.co.uk/pdf/wtpp13.3.pdf).
> You comments on this latest WTPP number are invited via the New Mobility
> Café, address WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com. It would also be appreciated
> if you might copy to Professor Whitelegg who is always glad to have feedback
> on the journal.
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