A continuum of mobility

Something I feel BaNES Council and particularly councillors do not get. You think you are slowing down speeding cyclists or making exits safe, but every damn time, you’re just excluding people with really bad mobility issues.

As Easy As Riding A Bike

The way debates around the division of space in urban areas are framed – how much space we should allocate to private motor traffic, to public transport, to walking, and to cycling – presents walking as an ‘essential’ mode, one that all of us engage in, while by contrast cycling is almost always an optional extra, something that’s nice to have, but not all that important.

For example, we wouldn’t dream of building a new road scheme without footways that are suitable for the children or the elderly to use – or without footways altogether – yet it’s extraordinarily common for new schemes not to bother including any cycling infrastructure at all, even in places where cycling is already a relatively established mode of transport, despite the conditions.

A brand new road scheme in Westminster, London. No cycle space included.

What this means in practical terms is that cycling as…

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Creative Bath Innovation Award Finalist

On September 3rd 2016, I (Adam Reynolds) took part in the Celebrate the City Bath Hacked Hackathon winning the event, with the help of one other hacker, with the following graphic:

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Upon releasing this onto social media, people began feeding back information, even laminating it and using it to get around the city. I realised there could be some mileage in evolving the map into something better.

Continue reading Creative Bath Innovation Award Finalist

Cable Cars as Urban Public Transport in Medellin

I think, from the context of Bath’s proposed idea for a Cable Car, the one thing we can learn from Medellin’s cable cars is “it has encouraged people to walk and use public transit”. It is important to stress that Medellin’s cable car was built as an integrated public transport solution first that became a tourist attraction. For Bath, once we know the final proposal, this must also hold true. It must be an integrated cheap public transport solution that supports cycling first, a tourist attraction second.

seeds of good anthropocenes

How can cities grow in ways that promote social inclusion?

The city of Medellín, Colombia, built a cable car system to provide a new type of public transport that connected poorer people, living in rugged areas, to Medellin’s public transport system.  The cable car system, Metrocable, was part of an integrated investment in new public transport and neighbourhood infrastructure.  It began operation in 2004, and the success of the first line lead to the construction of several other cable car lines that transport tens of thousands of people daily.

Medellín: Colombia’s Sustainable Transport Capital from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

Medellin was the first city to use gondola technology, originally developed for tourism, as a type of urban mass transit.  In Medellin, the increased mobility provided by the cable cars, combined with investment in community schools, housing, community projects and other infrastructure, helped increase employment and decrease crime in areas that…

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Viral van driver video offers an insight into the failure of UK transport policy

cyclableblog

The video of a frustrated van driver deliberately driving his van into a cyclist has achieved cult status. It has attracted outraged comments on twitter both from cyclists, for whom such dangerous punishment behaviour from motorists is all too common, and from motorists fuming about the cyclist being in the “middle of the road” for “too long”.

Meanwhile, twitter is also alive with angry complaints from the motoring fraternity (and much less often from the motoring sorority) about money spent on cycleways and other cycle infrastructure which is blamed for allegedly worsening congestion and pollution.

British transport policy is in a self-created vortex of conflicting objectives.

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The blogger and traffic engineer, Ranty Highwayman, put his finger on the essential point in a tweet:

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Prescription: Bike Lanes

Robin Mazumder

Some context: I am writing this blog post after spending three weeks travelling around Europe visiting numerous cities, including the urbanist mecca of Copenhagen. I had the privilege of experiencing the delight of biking the complete streets of that glorious city. So, I’ve returned to Canada feeling both inspired by what I saw there AND irritatedby what I don’t see here.The reverse culture shock I am currently experiencing mostly involves gettingacclimatized to the brutal (and brutish) car culture that is pervasivehere.

My Eurotrip kicked off in Moscow. I was invited to speak at their International Cycling Congresswhere I joined city builders from around the world to discuss cycling infrastructure and culture. There is a rapidly growing cycling culture in Russia and this conference was a way to bring changemakers from across the country together to equip them with ideas they could bring back to their cities. I’ll save my…

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Metro Mayor – Why you should vote this Thursday (May 4th)

When trying to understand what the Metro Mayor does, it’s important to understand that Transport is a key aspect of his/her responsibility. So when you think Metro Mayor, think Transport For London for the West of England.

The focus of many of the transport hustings has been on buses and trains, however I think the biggest responsibility is that the Metro Mayor also gets ownership of some roads. This ownership confers similar powers over those roads as TfL has over their road network.

This power has demonstrably shown how to transform the City of London, with people cycling now outnumbering the number of people driving.

So although all you hear about is how the mayor will improve public transport through oyster cards/new train stations etc., THE absolute KEY point that they all seem to have missed is that the mayor has an immense opportunity to redefine how we use our road space.

Taking a standard road layout with a capacity of 22,000 people per hour:

  • footpath – 9000 pph
  • on street parking – 0pph
  • two lanes – 4000pph
  • on street parking – 0pph
  • footpath – 9000pph

You can increase capacity from 22,000 to 36,000 simply by replacing the on-street parking with cycle lanes. This is a 63% increase in capacity. Maximising road capacity rather than the age old maximising motorised vehicle traffic flow will deliver the solution to congestion in Bristol and Bath and the Metro Mayor has the ability to make this happen.

There are 129,000 people that commute to Bristol to work each day. Of those 25,000 drive to work within a 20 minute walking distance (2km). 57,000 drive to work within a 20 minute cycling distance (5km).

There are 28,000 people that commute to Bath to work each day. Of those 4,700 drive to work within a 20 minute walking distance (2km). 8,600 drive to work within a 20 minute cycling distance (5km).

Focusing on maximising road capacity and balancing roads to provide for all forms of travel, that is the provision of dedicated space for walking, cycling, and driving, will have a profound impact on congestion.

Implementing protected safe cycle lanes will provide people of all ages and all cycling abilities with real choice in how they get around our cities. This is a real game changer that not only tackles congestion and air pollution but also reduces the incidence of heart disease and cancer by 50%.  Good, visibly safe cycle networks give children their travel indepence back. They are fantastic for businesses along the routes.

It is absolutely key that the mayor you vote for understands the role the roads have in delivering a healthier, less polluted, and less congested transport system.

To that aim, Bristol Cycle Campaign and Cycle Bath asked each candidate to sign up to three asks:

  1. Champion the West of England’s cycling and walking culture
    By planning a high quality and coherent network of core cycle routes across the West of England for commuting and local trips that meets the needs of all levels of cyclist. Aim to double the number of trips made by cycle in the West of England area by 2025 while upholding the target of 20% of trips to made by cycle in Bristol city by 2020.
  2. Seek the funding to achieve your aims
    Create a dedicated budget for cycling and actively seek enough funding to build your network to a high standard
  3. Establish MetroCycle on an equal footing with MetroRail and MetroBus
    Set up and chair a steering group that brings together councils, business groups, universities, advocates and transport businesses.

Only Darren Hall (Greens), John Savage (Independent), Lesley Mansell (Labour), Stephen Williams (Liberal Democrats), and Aaron Foot (UKIP) signed up to these asks. More telling are the responses from the candidates.

If you want to see cycling supported and grow in the next 5 years, use your two votes to vote bike. (Remember your 2nd vote only counts after the top 2 candidates get through to the 2nd round.)

Vote-Bike-Banner

In support of the Bath Cable Car

Recently I have been working with census data that indicates around 31,000 local car journeys are being made in the city, with around 7000 Bath residents driving to work in Bath and 5000 school children being dropped off and picked up by car. The decision commuters and parents make to use the car is fundamentally down to the choices they feel they have to make those journeys.

For many people living on one side of Bath that work or go to school on the other side of Bath, the lack of good cycle provision, the challenging seven hills of Bath, and the time consuming hub centred bus network requiring you to change buses at the bus station, reduce the choices people feel they can make down to one. Use the car.

Continue reading In support of the Bath Cable Car

13:00 Ferry Lane, Today, 14th of March – Photo of us angrily pointing at kerb for Bath Chronicle

Title says it all. Be there at 13:00 Ferry Lane, Today, 14th of March – Photo of us angrily pointing at kerb for Bath Chronicle. If you know anyone in the area that uses that route, you might also want to get them there if you can.

Do not turn up late. The photographer will be there for about 5 minutes.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.3796811,-2.3546571,19.5z

 

BaNES just closed a vital traffic free cycle path and made it dangerous

Now this might come across as hyperbole, but I am adamant that if you want people to stop using cars, you need to provide good safe choices. This evening I discovered that the council had removed a wide dropped kerb, and created a narrow crossing that is not part of the desire line that 1000s of people use every day. It not only creates problems for people cycling, but has a real impact on people on mobility scooters, wheelchairs and push chair. It’s a vile, thoughtless, bureaucratic piece of bullsh*t that has me spitting feathers.

This is what they have done:

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This is what it used to be:

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[google streetview]

And this is the result of removing the dropped kerb and enabling easy access for people…

The river path is now no longer a good ‘legal’ cycle route. It is now a desired cycle route. Even if you used the dropped kerb, the footpath is 1m wide. It’s creating huge amounts of conflict between users of the path and requires people cycling to ride illegally along a footpath.

Even if you ignore the cycling aspect, the gradient of the path is steeper on the narrow footpath making it a problem for wheelchair users. The path is 1m wide making passing hard.

This is utter utter utter bullsh*t and a complete waste of taxpayer’s money.

I have no idea who you write to about this. I’m guessing local councillors (Jasper_Becker@bathnes.gov.uk & ian_gilchrist@bathnes.gov.uk) and definitely Cllr Anthony Clarke (anthony_clarke@bathnes.gov.uk)

This is sheer incompetence and complete disregard for accessibility or a need to recognise air pollution is a problem in this city and cycling is one of the answers.

[Update 14th of March] I have been reliably informed that this footpath is actually a road called Spring Gardens that was closed to traffic, hence the bollard. The council have infact, illegally closed a road by building a kerb across the access point to it.

 

COMMUNITY OPINIONS – WALKING & CYCLING IN BATHWICK FRIDAY 3rd of March 3-6pm Sydney Gardens

Sustrans are working with Bath and North East Somerset Council as part of the Cycling Ambitions Fund 2 (CAF) to consider how walking and cycling in several areas throughout Bath could be improved. We have been engaging directly with local communities in order to understand the needs and aspirations of those living and working within the project areas.
As part of this process, Sustrans and BANES have been holding a number on-street events and running online interactive maps, giving people the opportunity to tell us what is currently stopping them from walking and cycling and which routes they use at the moment.
We have already ran on-street events in Bear Flat and Larkhall, the next on-street event will be held in the Bathwick area.
It will take place on Friday 3rd March from 3-6pm at the entrance to Sydney Gardens, as with previous events, anyone unable to attend can provide us with their comments online,
http://www.sustrans.org.uk/bathwick this link will go live on Monday (20th Feb)
We would value your input into this process so please do come along to the events or log onto the online mapping tool and record your views.
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Working, Living, Cycling, and campaigning for better cycle infrastructure in Bath, UK