This week we’ve been looking at some pretty big cycling related issues. After all the debating and vote button clicking the results are in!
London Cycle Hire Scheme
A very clear cut winner here! Eight out of ten cyclists think the Cycle Hire Scheme is overall a good idea for London. Whilst there is overwhelming support the main concerns raised by people were around theft, the huge cost of the project and how that money could have been spent on more bike facilities such as cycle parking.
On the positives, Jolyon talked about how this may prove to be a critical point when cycling in London gains more traction. Vrinda commented it will also be useful to regular cyclists when they happen to be away from their bike and want to get from A-to-B quickly.
With high hopes for the cycle hire scheme let’s see if it performs. Overall I too am positive about the scheme and would like to see it be a big success. With that kind of money invested, it has to be!
Harsher fines for cyclists
With an incredible total of 147 votes this was a hot topic. I didn’t know which was it would swing because some people showed real anger towards so called anti-social cycling behaviour. Overall however 74% of people decided this was not the right way to go about promoting safe cycling.
Some of the comments hinted towards the negative image skipping red lights creates for cyclists. Tim talked about how this is one of those laws that it is very tough to enforce so the fine is not as important as the difficult enforcement process. Craig agreed about the difficulty of enforcing which again rendered the fine amount as unimportant.
Adam made a good point by comparing the amount of rule breaking by motorists such as talking on phones. Of course the detriment to someone doing this is likely to be far greater to anyone in the cars path rather than in the path of the bike. Murray also compared it to pedestrians. Saying how similar enforcement should be in place for pedestrians walking carelessly in cycle paths.
Mark thinks that the government is completely missing the point. They should instead be focusing on why people are jumping red lights and whether this argument for improved safety actually adds up. In one bit of research that never saw the light of day it was proven cyclists who jump red lights are safer. Though the causes behind this are uncertain.
There were plenty more very interesting comments which you can follow here.
Share the road
This poll really split the vote. There was much uncertainty around the kind of benefits this brings. Phil argued for sharing the road because it will encourage motorists to always be looking out for cyclists. He discussed how separate cycle paths may have a negative effect by creating no-go areas for cyclists on roads without them.
There was also the argument by thereverent who talked about the poor upkeep of cycle paths and how the existence of a cycle path makes it very hard for a cyclist who decides to stay on the road. Adam raised the point that we should be taking away space from motorists as it is an unsustainable mode of transport.
I think the poll shows support for separate cycle paths when they are well maintain and they are genuinely useful. However, in most cases it is best to just learn to share the road.
Overall I really enjoyed this week of polls. I think as a once a month thing it could work really well on London Cyclist Blog. If you had any thoughts let me know in the comments below.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.