It’s The Stupid Infrastructure

One of the chapters from Beauty And The Bike that really got me was the section titled, "It’s The Infrastructure, Stupid" , in a parody (or according to Wikipedia, a snowclone – there’s a new phrase) of Bill Clinton’s campaign slogan thing from 1992.

Frankly, I think the phrase could be rearranged to better explain the low cycling rate in the UK:

It’s The Stupid Infrastructure

Allow me to demonstrate . . .

What we have is schemes that can only be described as total bollards:

Pointless parking, making sure that although a bike gets the direct route through the traffic calming, the rider will be forced to swerve into the path of oncoming vehicles:

Kafka-esque road markings:

Nice, level routes that eliminate the risk of having a wheel bounce off the kerb to catapult the rider face-down onto the pavement when they transition from on-road to off-road segregated routes (oh, and check out the width of this off-road route!):

We have utterly useless vestigial bike lanes that’re only ten metres long:

Cycle routes designed to slow you down through junctions (because stopping and starting on a bike is just what makes cycling so damned attractive, isn’t it?)

. . .  or that make it absolutely bloody clear who’s important on the road (drivers):

We have bike off-road bike lanes that cross roads . . . and back again for no apparent reason . . .

Bike lanes that just end when you get to tricky junctions (i.e. where you might actually appreciate something to indicate to drivers that you have a right to be there):

Where the road narrows, and there’s a potential pinch-point, it’s the bike lane that narrows , rather than the main carriageway – we wouldn’t want drivers to think about slowing down, would we? And if they get closer to the bike, well they probably won’t actually hit it:

And if you live in That London, you have your Cycle Super highways – can you imagine a motorway being built along these lines?:

I guess we can take heart though – people try their best in other parts of Europe too . . . and yet somehow get it wrong. Take a look at this video from David Hembrow , comparing Dutch practicality with German inefficiency:

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Posted in Cycle Infrastructure, It's The Infrastructure, Stupid
2 comments on “It’s The Stupid Infrastructure
  1. Agreed. The UK does manage to come up with some surreal notions of ‘infrastructure’. OTOH, you could argue against infrastructure on the same basis as E-Bikes: if we’re running out of energy it’s waste of time. We’ll soon have the whole road again when the cars grind to a halt.

    I think David is being a bit unfair: we have crappy infrastructure in Germany (Or I wouldn’t have material for my blog)but we have a lot of very good infrastructure as well. And while in the NL I hit a few dodgy bike lanes.

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