Wednesday, 12 September 2012

I don't want to ride my bicycle

The Evening Standard today reported that special traffic lights for cyclists are to be brought in under plans to improve safety on the capital’s streets.  This strikes me as a provisionally good idea (anything that reduces the number of deaths of anyone is good, but as the article notes, it's far from being a perfect route to safety).

However, noting how poorly many cyclists seem to ride around the streets in London, I have to question whether the problem is ambiguous traffic signalling or the blatant recklessness and disregard for other road users I see so many of them display on a daily basis.

It's not just 'running' red lights, it's cycling across non-toucan crossings, ignoring special cycle lanes when they're available, taking their attention off the road to scream at cars or pedestrians they feel have affronted them, not looking before switching lanes (and failing to signal before doing the same and/or turning), cycling on the wrong side of the road, on and off the pavement seemingly at random, riding three abreast, and so on.

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I realise that analysis will likely upset a lot of cyclists, and I realise that if more people cycled (especially if things were made easier for them) there'd be less pollution and a raft of other benefits, but still: how many accidents involve cyclists following the Highway Code properly as opposed to those who seem to think they have more right to the road than anyone else?

Feel free to comment, whether it's to rail against my depiction of righteous cyclists, offer alternative/additional safety measures, tell me how right I am, or simply to list the other things cyclists do that drive you mad (go on: you know you want to!).  Or should that be 'bike' you mad?

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