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Last Week in London Cycling (March 26. - April 1.)

Hope everyone's had a great Easter Monday!

The cycling news, on the other hand, rarely take holidays off. Here’s everything bike related that happened in London last week:

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Cycling in the capital is booming, and you don’t even have to take my word for it anymore.

Now, thanks to two newly-installed cycle counters - one at Blackfriars Bridge (CS6) and another along Victoria Embankment (CS3) - everyone can see the numbers in real time.

This week, both counters passed the 100k mark for the year, made all the more impressive by the fact that the counters were only installed on February 19th. Here’s another recent photo, showing a daily tally for one of the counters - 5800 cyclists by 9pm.

Calling the superhighways a bust just got that much tougher.

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Tim Cole, Migration Envoy and former UK ambassador to Cuba probably wishes he spent the week overseas. On Tuesday, Mr. Cole got knocked off his bike on Holland Park Avenue, earning himself some decent cuts next to and above his left eye (warning - picture is slightly NSFW).

In a tweet, Cole lamented the lack of a bike lane along the Avenue, and called on Sadiq Khan to push for more cycle superhighways.

Judging by the photo, he seems to have been wearing both a helmet and hi-vis at the time of the incident.

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Speaking of hi-vis and bike collisions, a new study was published this week, looking at the Italian mandatory visibility aids law, and its overall effects on cyclists.

According to the abstract, between 2001 and 2015, the hi-vis law: “did not influence the number of bicycles involved in road crashes as well as its proportion in the total vehicles involved in road crashes. The introduction of the legislation did not produce immediate effects, nor did it have any effects over time.”

What does that have to do with London cycling, you might ask? Well, you may remember that a few months back the Daily Mail jumpstarted yet another case of anti-cycling histeria, when it ’reported’ that a mandatory UK helmet and hi-vis law was in the works.

The story turned out to be bogus of course, but not before every cycling-bashing troll came out of the woodwork to praise the idea. I wrote in depth about the plan’s merits at the time, in case you’re interested (spoiler alert - it’s a pretty bad idea).

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If you live in Tower Hamlets and care about your cycling, you may want to take a few hours on April 5th and stop by the Cycling & Walking Mayoral Hustings, hosted by the Tower Hamlet Wheelers.

According to the Wheelers, the mayoral candidates will ‘each have a chance to speak about how they would improve conditions for cycling in Tower Hamlets’. Last week, the group also launched the Tower Hamlets Cycling Manifesto, lining out its 2018-22 vision for cycling in the burrough, and asking all the mayoral candidates to sign up.

The event starts at 6:45pm, and will be held at Limehouse Town Hall, 646 Commercial Road.

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Remember a few months back when prof. Robert Winston - member of the House of Lords - claimed that separated bike lanes cause congestion and worsen pollution, with no evidence whatsoever? Well, some politicians are now taking those claims as canon.

On Friday, David Kurten, a UKIP London Assembly Member replied to a concerned constituent who questioned the efficacy of cycle lanes, saying: ‘Cycle superhighways are nearly empty for about 20 hours a day and narrow road space causing congestion, pollution and extra stress to drivers stuck in traffic jams.‘

His proof? A Daily Mail article quoting prof. Winston’s evidence-free assertions.

This is how the anti-cycling sentiment spreads.

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Three and a half years after the tragic death of a cyclist, one of Croydon's key cycle routes is finally getting safer.

Mr. de Klerk was hit by a bus in November 2013, after his bike slipped on tram lines at the junction of Cherry Orchard Road and Addiscombe Road. Now, the council is planning significant changes to the junction ‘to reduce the chances of cyclists being involved in a collision when crossing.’

Some of the proposed changes include:

1. Only one set of traffic lights that need to be navigated (currently, cyclists have to wait at two separate sets of lights)

2. Cyclists to be given more priority, without waiting around a minute at lights.

3. Widening the road curve, so cyclists cross the tracks at a safer 90-degree angle.

4. A single, direct and traffic light-operated crossing to be installed by the junction of Addiscombe Grove and Addiscombe Road, to encourage cyclists to dismount and walk across the junction.

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Amid a growing problem, the Guardian asks: what do you do if you hit a pothole while cycling?

According to a BBC questionnaire quoted in the piece, ’half of almost 5,000 cyclists had suffered a pothole-related accident, with 1,516 injured as a result, 207 of those seriously.‘

After making sure you’re OK, the paper suggests photographing the defect, and reporting the issue on FillThatHole.org.uk.

If you do decide to sue, don’t hold your breath. Successful claims are rare, the article says, as the pothole doesn’t instantly make the council liable. Instead, the council's responsibility lies in carrying out regular inspections, but that can often mean once every 6 months or a year.

For a rare successful claim, you'll need photographic evidence and proof that the defect was there prior to the council’s last inspection, or at least that it's been reported in the meantime. Soo...good luck, I guess?

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Tired of motor traffic in your street, but lack a compelling case to present to your councilors? London Cycling Campaign has you covered.

The group recently launched a briefing document on "Low Traffic Neighbourhoods”, aimed at informing the public - but even more importantly your local councilors and officers - of the many issues with through or “ratrun” traffic.

The brochure draws on expertise from various cycling campaigners, but also councilors, engineers, planners and others involved with mini-Holland schemes and 'award-wining low traffic neighbourhoods.'

Two versions of the document have been published - a short, 5-minute guide, aimed at presenting the ‘time-poor councillors the basics of the approach’, as well as a longer, more detailed paper intended for officers. Both can be found here.

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And finally, some great news for that peculiar Venn Diagram of cyclists, campaigners and closeted nudists - the World Naked Bike Ride returns to London!

The 15th annual edition of the event has been announced last week, and will take place on Saturday, June 9th, to ‘protest against oil dependency and car culture while highlighting the fragility of the human body.’

For those of you hoping to meet Stephen Fry at the event for whatever reason, I’m sorry to say that he has already decided against participating. I know, I know - why even bother then?!

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That’s it! Did I miss anything else that happened in London cycling this week? Do let me know in the comments.

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