Tuesday, 26 December 2017

The Predictable & Lazy End Of Year Roundup: 2017

Another busy and interesting year is over with - where did it go! We're in the quiet period between Christmas and New Year, so it's the perfect opportunity for me to review my 2017.

The first post of the year was a technical one discussing the various ways in which cycle tracks can be configured and given that the law to build them is straight-forward, they're not limited by the technical or the legal.

Next, I had a look at the experimental traffic order process - something we don't do enough of. It allows us to try things and so the debate is held knowing the impacts rather than what might be.

I then returned to the tricky subject of tactile paving where I looked at how it had been installed on a paving scheme which left me far from convinced that it was right.

The end of January saw me back talking about cycle tracks again, but with an update on how kerbs can be used. Kerbs is a surprisingly large subject and I will be returning to in 2018 at some point.

The month started with me going on about getting little details right, another nerdy subject which I hold dear.

Next, was a short report and lots of photos from the Stop Killing Cyclists' 10 by 2020 protest at the Treasury calling for 10% of the transport budget to be allocated to active travel. It was my (then) 2 year old's first protest!

I followed up with a geeky post on magnetometers which are an important, but hidden part of modern traffic signal control and yes, I took one apart!

A practical post followed with a step by step guide to installing cycle parking hoops. A post enabled by me needing to install another hoop at home!

The month ended with me having a whinge about how electric and low emission motor vehicles are being subsidised and yet (as usual) there is nothing to help those wishing to travel actively.

The month started with a quick look behind the headlines which were (as usual) going on about the mythical war on drivers where I did 5 minutes more work than a journalist to show the money raised through fines (for people doing something wrong) were tiny compared to the high levels of compliance.

Next was a take on what "balancing the needs of all road users" actually means - hint, it's nonsense. I then wrote about a passing visit to Exmouth Market in London which gave me some clues on what makes a great street (for people that is).

I ended the month with a quick run through "Safety At Street & Road Works, A Code Of Practice".

For April Fool's Day, I wasn't fooling around as I discussed some new flexibility given to UK zebra crossings - the Parallel Zebra. Another subject I need to return to in the future. Next was my All Purpose Suburban Car Dependency Bingo guide.

Next I talked about a little walking and cycling link which had been controversially hit with staggered (and now removed) barriers. I like these little problem-solving posts as they get people thinking (and I enjoy thinking about them too!)

Next, a photo-heavy post about Van Gogh Walk in Lambeth which is truly one of London's hidden street gems and then to round the month off, a report on that week's #SchoolRunStories pop-up campaign.

I debated the point that it is easy to show empty cycling infrastructure, but we never see it applied to roads! In fact, it all just misses the point. My next post reported on a live bollard vs fire engine experiment which was a proof-of-concept design for modal filtering which has so many advantages.

I then took the piss out of a London taxi driver who resorted to "whataboutery" to make a point which fell flat. A reminder to operate within facts rather than strawmen! I then used the looming bank holiday to poke at the usual predictions of traffic chaos.

The month started with a rant about tiptoeing around the provision of active travel infrastructure (I thought we could be more forceful) and then a little site visit to the wonderful Bolina Road in South London.

I next looked at the reaction to terrorism and it's every day impact on people walking and cycling where counter-terrorism barriers are deployed (often badly) and how we assess risk.

The end of the month saw the first of two cycle safari posts about a trip to Hatfield and Stevenage in Hertfordshire.

The second post from Hertfordshire showed some nascent Dutch-style infrastructure. The next post looked at staggered crossings and why they are designed in that way.

Next up was a short post with me suggesting that those involved in the design, construction and management of cycling infrastructure should be riding their layouts, plus a suggestion that campaigners should showcase the very best to show what is required.

I then looked at pedestrian and cycle zones with the month being rounded off with a #BeyondTheBicycle review of Ride London where I kept a sharp eye for some non-standard cycles.

My first post of the month looked at how the media leaped on road humps as part of the Government's air quality plan (itself being rather low quality). Next was a long post where I gave my views on the questions raised by the Greater London Assembly's investigation into Outer London Junctions. I then looked at how narrow shared paths and barriers doubly discriminate by forcing conflict and excluding people.

The end of the month saw an introduction of several posts on a trip around the Netherlands.

My first post of the month compared and contrasted Dutch roundabouts which in itself contrasted with the UK's resistance to keep people safe thrown into sharp relief by another vigil to remember another person killed while cycling on London's streets.

The middle of the month was more optimistic with a photo-report of the 2017 Kidical Mass ride in Central London, followed up with a look at a Dutch side road treatment and then a discussion about competency and street design (and how design objectives might be the real issue).

The month started with a look at a Dutch signalised junction and then a post on how UK law might be adversely affecting active travel. I was then disappointed on how the platforms of Outer London Crossrail stations are not step-free.

The end of October saw me writing a post about travelling longer distances by cycle in the Netherlands which was a truly astonishing experience.

My Dutch travels continued with a trip to Maastricht, which was an utter delight and then my thoughts on the mythical Dutch cycling culture

I then rounded up my Dutch cycling experience with some other interesting things which didn't make a whole post of their own.

I ended the month with a little celebration of this blog reaching its fifth birthday!

As the temperatures dropped, I looked at the nonsensical rules which prevent people using mobility scooters on cycle tracks - not something the Dutch impose on people.

Next up was another photo-report of the London Kidical Mass #KidicalXmass ride which is now almost a traditional part of Christmas!

London then had a rare sprinkling of snow which compelled me to write about it and this was followed up by my last proper post for the year which saw me falling off my bike as I skidded on some black ice - hopefully my 'low' point of the year!

So, it just remains for me to thank everyone I have met this year (either in real life or virtually), thank you for the debate, the learning and the fun. Special thanks to London Kidical Mass for reminding us why we push for change in our towns and cities and to my family for posing with Dutch cycling infrastructure over the summer. Of course, thanks to those reading this blog and best wishes for 2018.

1 comment:

  1. Great blogs - really informative and thoughtful! Look forward to reading more in 2018.