Why so much focus on cycling?
Is @plasticplanners really just a cycling blog?
No – but when it comes to matters of comparing transport modes, or looking at road safety, cycling is the focus of a lot of our memes.
This is mainly because cycling also provides a lot of other leverage towards making cities better for all users. For starters, measures which are often developed in the name of cycling will nearly always improve the environment for pedestrians. Whilst this is especially the case for measures to reduce speeds, block out rat running and cut out through traffic, the addition of cycle lanes on major through roads also helps to create a buffer between the pavement (sidewalk) and the main roadway. Meanwhile, junction improvements to facilitate cycling will also improve crossing for pedestrians.
But what about cyclist v pedestrian conflict?
There has been a lot of attention on some of the new cycling developments in London, and in particular a focus on measures such as bus stop bypasses, which are often massively misunderstood by people who oppose their installation. One of the planned street scenes which will be coming soon will feature a before and after, and also a general comparison between having bus stop bypasses and not having them. This should show very clearly why well-planned measures to improve cycling benefit not just pedestrians, but also public transport users.
Does cycling harm public transport?
German studies have shown that when cycling rates go up, most of this uptake comes from people who were previously driving, and that although there is some shifting from public transport to cycling, there is also a similar shift from driving to public transport, or simply from driving to a combination of cycling and public transport.
The plastic planners simply offer an open challenge for anyone to name us a city which has a high cycling rates (10% or above) and which either has very low walking rates, or very low public transport usage.
We simply aren’t aware of such a city anywhere in the world!