amcambike – Why cycle, or not cycle?

Original post – 20th February 2012

Sustrans published the results of a survey demonstrating, in line with the general consensus, that safety concerns are a major barrier to the uptake of cycling in the United Kingdom. It also showed a strong desire for separate cycle infrastructure as a solution to this problem.

In response, amcambike posted a response referencing a similar survey done in The Netherlands in 2006 by the transport ministry. The Netherlands survey did not show safety as a major barrier to cycling. More separate provision for cyclists was not shown to be a major factor which would encourage more people to cycle.

The author goes on to suggest that the survey indicates that: “Evidently [separate cycle infrastructure] is not as important, within The Netherlands, as some people think.” The author acknowledges that the Sustrans survey in the UK specifies safety concerns and lack of infrastructure as key barriers to cycling, although described in more negative terms as “motive[s] for not cycling.” The post ends by asking  why the reasons given for not cycling differ between the UK and The Netherlands.

Unfortunately, the selective comment moderation used on amcambike means that readers may be unable to answer this question if it is not in-line with the author’s agenda. Fortunately, the answer is blindingly obvious. In The Netherlands safe, high-quality infrastructure already exists. The result is safety is not a major issue facing cyclists in The Netherlands. Its near ubiquitous presence means that building more of it is no-longer a major factor in getting people to use bicycles as a mode of transport. In the UK this kind of infrastructure simply does not exist. The result is safety is the major issue facing cyclists. The lack of infrastructure means that building it is a way to get people to use bicycles as a mode of transport.

It is difficult to believe that framing the differences in the results of these surveys as if they demonstrate that cycle infrastructure in The Netherlands is unimportant is a mistake. Instead it appears to be a deliberate attempt to misinform.



3 Responses to “amcambike – Why cycle, or not cycle?”

  1. David Arditti Says:

    If you wish to read some more of the weird ideas of the author of Amcambike (and I do not recommend it – for the sake of your sanity) see the writings of Paul Treanor

  2. chrismcnally1234 Says:

    I used to be a “vehicular cyclist” or Forester type cyclist who believed bike infrastructure made cycling more dangerous, and that bikes should act like and ride with cars. If your bike lane was a painted stripe in the ‘door zone’ and used by delivery trucks for double parking and loading, then I would prefer to ride down the middle of a slower moving street than take a bike lane.

    I’ve changed my mind after riding all the newer cycling infrastructure just built in NYC. The Allen Street bike lane, which is two way in the middle of the street on either side of a median is an excellent example of modern street design that functions well for everyone. It is completely different than the Allen St of a few years ago where I would constantly have to merge out of the bike lane and into traffic for double parked delivery vehicles.

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