Cycling the city
Will car drivers ever learn to share the road with bikes?
In many ‘car-centric’ cities around the world, drivers still think they own the whole road – with cyclists merely unwelcome interlopers. So how do you go about changing this mindset?
Wednesday 28 September 2016 12.50 BST
Last modified on Wednesday 28 September 2016 13.51 BST
Looking around at our streets, it’s startling when you first notice it: like waking from a dream and forgetting where you are. A moment of disorientation as your eyes make sense of the shadows and see the room for what it is.
After that, it’s unmistakable: our streets are not our own. From the parked cars that line the roads to the traffic that speeds along them, in many of our cities we are second-class citizens if we’re not inside a motor vehicle.
The incident in which TV presenter Jeremy Vine alleged he had been intimidated and assaulted while riding his bike on a west London road is not uncommon but it is a reminder of just how deeply we are in thrall to the motor car.
Research on drivers’ attitudes to cyclists has shown that people in car-centric countries such as the UK sometimes don’t view those on bike and on foot as “proper” road users, and at times treat them as if they shouldn’t be on the road at all.