Manifesto + Fiets (Dutch for Bike)
Well this blog was set up a few months ago without actually giving an outline of what it stands for, so here goes:
Are these priorities about right, or would you do things differently?
1. Above all else, people should be encouraged to ride their bikes because it is enjoyable. This can only happen when the blockages to cycling, such as poor road design, high speed limits, poor junctions and lack of parking are removed.
2. Councils should use the most efficient methods available to increase cycling, with full understanding of the numerous benefits this entails, including improvements to public health, air quality, the local economy, social inclusion and general connectivity.
3. Cities should agree to the objectives of the Charter of Brussels, primarily to achieve 15% of journeys by bike by 2020.
4. All new road and cycling infrastructure should be developed to Dutch standards, and where possible, infrastructure upgrades should also be to Dutch standards.
5. Priority should be given to making all junctions easy to navigate on foot or by bicycle, and that this is ultimately more important than cycle lanes on their own.
6. As a prerequisite for safer streets for walking and cycling, the councils should adopt 20 mph speed limits as the default standard on all residential streets. (See 20 plenty campaign).
7. High quality infrastructure does not mean a dogmatic pursuit of segregated bike lanes, shared space or any one particular intervention, rather that the most appropriate option should be chosen for each location.
8. Where, after implementation of (6), speed limits remain above 20 mph, segregated cycle paths should become the default option, although segregation might also mean using quieter parallel roads, providing route continuity is maintained.
9. Training schemes such as Bikeability, and marketing efforts to promote cycling are always welcome, but they are no substitute for providing good infrastructure in the first place.
10. Enforcement is a two-way process. Just as cyclists and cycle routes need protection from speeding motorists and illegal parking, cyclists also have a responsibility to obey the relevant traffic laws. Becoming a cycling friendly city must never be about punishing motorists, but instead must be about optimising road space for all users.
Specific to Coventry:
11. The Council should support initiatives to use the city's (cycle) manufacturing heritage to encourage more historic and educational interest in cycling.
12. With respect to current "shared space" developments, the council should show more respect to the needs of cyclists in the city centre, and adopt a clock-face mapping scheme based on 12 core routes in and out of the city.