Bike Fest and Camden Green Fair
This took place on 4th July. Stefano Casalotti writes: For the second year CCC has participated to the Camden Green Fair with a display of bicycles on car free streets. This year we were on Cardington Street just in front of St James Gardens where the now very popular Green Fair (in its 11th year) took place.
Our theme was “parents and children cycling together” With the generous support of the Womens Design Centre and the collaboration of Bikefix and ZERO we were able to offer parents the chance to try out a variety of bicycles with child seats or trailers and tricycles. It was a lot of hard work for CCC volunteers to satisfy parents’ desires to try out bicycles, give information to the public and give rides to local kids that never seemed to be satisfied.
However, we all felt that we had given a positive contribution to the Green Fair, an event that continues to grow in size and quality.
Lionel Shapiro took the photograph.
From Camden New Journal 15 July 2004
Letter sent by James Brander
The Camden Cycling campaign would like to add its apologies to those of the courier cyclist who knocked over your correspondent, Mr Lester May, last week on the pavement outside his home in Baynes Street. We’d like to make it quite clear that we don’t condone pavement cycling. Indded, we have proposed setting up a Respecting Pedestrians initiative with the Council to counter this problem in response to the recommendations in the recent report into road safety from Camden’s Scrutiny Panel. We proposed this at the Council’s walking, Cycling and Road Safety Advisory Group meeting last week.
One of the reasons for our suggesting this initiative is to find out more about the problem: how widespread it is: who does it: what are their main reasons? Clearly, in Mr May’s case it was to avoid having to go around a one-way system. In other instances, it may be to avoid congestion or road danger, both actual and perceived. As cyclists, we are sure that people don’t cycle on pavements without making a conscious decision to do so; we want to discover if the incidence of pavement cycling can tell us something about how roads should be designed to remove some of the reasons for making that decision. We believe this is the only way to reduce pavement cycling, without a level of law enforcement that is now a thing of the past. They should be nicked! may be many peoples’ wish, but is unlikely to happen.
So, we would like to ask, does Baynes Street need to be one way? It forms part of a rather messy gyratory including Royal College Street and St Pancras Way, on both of which traffic speeds are much too high. What impact would eliminating this gyratory have? We think it likely that speeds would reduce, making life safer for all road users; but there may be detrimental effects that we don’t recognise.
However, we do know that the Mayor of London wants to see unnecessary gyratories removed: this might be a good one to start on.
So, we would like to see this unfortunate event turned to advantage; and call upon Camden’s traffic engineers, as they prepare their bid for next year’s funding, to ask for money to begin the process of eliminating this and many other apparently unnecessary gyratories around the borough. We believe that the improved directness and reduced speeds that would result from this would greatly enhance the safety of all road users.
From Camden New Journal 22 July 2004
This edition contained a large collection of letters under the heading
Don’t forget it’s cars that kill, not cyclists
Letter from Rob Cole
FOLLOWING J Jordan’s worthwhile letter (Adult cyclists should ride on the road not on pavements, July 15) could pedestrians please stay out of the cycle lanes?
As a serious cyclist, I don’t cycle on the pavement, and agree it’s a serious problem that causes many accidents every year.
I too have been “run over” by louts cycling on the pavement while walking home from the supermarket. Unlike more vulnerable pavement users, I had no problem “helping” these louts back into the road.
I regularly use the new cycle lanes that are being created across London.
Just this morning I collided with a group of young women using a cycle lane as a shortcut, on a tight comer coming off a main road full of fast traffic.
This is a common problem, seen many times on the Royal College Street duel cycle lane, and especially at places like Waterloo Station where pedestrians stroll down the cycle lane with their backs to oncoming cyclists.
I am sick of asking pedestrians to stay out of the cycle lanes, these lanes are painted bright green with white bicycle logos, so it shouldn’t be too hard to teU where the pavement ends and the cycle lanes starts.
Should fines be issued to pedestrians that cause obstruction and accidents by walking in the cycle lane?
If you want cyclists to respect your pavement space, please respect our cycle lane space, and stick to the pavement. Thank you!
Letter from Doug Amer, Manager of Street pollcy, Camden Council
I AM writing in response to the letters in last week’s CNJ about the problem of cyclists who ride on the pavement.
Camden Council does not have the power to enforce the law banning cyclists from travelling on the pavement – that is the responsibility of the police.
However, Camden Council does take pavement cycling seriously and we promote safe and responsible cycling as part of our drive to promote healthy and nonpolluting means of travel.
In fact, we are a leading authority in this field and spend considerably more on cycling than most other London boroughs.
For example, the council is introducing segregated cycle lanes where possible on London Cycle Network routes in order to keep cyclists safely away from both pedestrians and traffic.
We also have a rolling programme of installing around 100 cycle stands a year to encourage more people to use their bikes.
We provide free training to around 400 children and adults a year and the comprehensive cycle programme includes safe behaviour towards pedestrians and stresses the need for responsible cycling.
We also work with cyclists as part of the Camden Cycling Campaign and take their views into account when designing these initiatives.
In future, we will be considering initiatives to tackle this problem.
We will seek to develop partnership working with the police on enforcement. We are currently bidding for funding to pay for an awareness.;raising campaign other cycle safety issues.
Letter from Sean Thompson
I CYCLE across London every day and like your correspondents J Jordan, Jack Larkin and WA Waugh last week l am continually irritated by the sight of other cyclists riding on the pavement.
However, while agreeing with them that pavement cycling is alarming, anti-social and potentially dangerous, I think they are missing the really important point.
The real danger to both pedestrians and cyclists is the number of vehicles on the roads and the speed at which they travel.
During the three-year period 1998-2000 out of a total of 2,630 pedestrians were killed on the roads, 185 were killed by vehicles on footways.
Of these, one was killed by a bicycle and the remaining 184 were killed by motor vehicles. So you are nearly 200 times more likely to be killed on the pavement by a vehicle than by a bicycle.
You are nearly 3,000 times more likely to die as a result of some other road incident, such as a driver hitting you on a crossing.
Last year, 774 pedestrians were killed on the roads and 7,159 seriously injured, while 114 cyclists were killed and 2,297 seriously injured.
Virtually all of these people were killed or maimed by motor vehicles.
The only way that we can really make our streets safer for everyone is to reduce the number of vehicles that use them and slow them down. Our streets largely cater for private traffic, with buses and cycles made to take second place and pedestrians squeezed onto narrow, cluttered pavements.
Road space has to be reallocated, giving priority first to pedestrians, second to buses and cyclists and then private traffic.
In addition we need a 20mph default speed limit throughout London and the introduction of free cycle proficiency training for the youngsters in all our schools.
This would create a safer, more pleasant and healthier environment for us all, whether we are travelling on foot, by bicycle, on a bus – or even in a car.
Letter from Helen Vecht
OF coure James Brander and the rest of Camden Cycling Campaign realise cyclists must obey the law and not cycle on the pavements! Most cyclists do not belong to Camden Cycling Campaign, however.
We cannot be held responsible for others’ acts.
When I rebuke cyclists for I riding on the pavement, I get a mouthful of abuse.
Here, at the northern fringes of Brent, my partner has been abused by motorists and told to get onto the pavement.
Roads have become more hostile to cyclists over the past few decades.
In my yean as a doctor in emergency medicine, I treated only a handful of pedestrians hit by cyclists.
This was in stark contrast to the hundreds of those in car crashes or the many cyclists who bad horrific injuries after collision with cars.
Understanding why some- ye body breaks the law does not equate with condoning it.
Until the road environment is more cycle-friendly and traffic law enforcement is taken more seriously for all road users, pavement cycling will continue.