Saturday, 1 November 2014

100th Post

This is my 100th post on this blog which I started nearly 2-years ago. I suppose the 2nd anniversary would have been a good time to reflect, but 100 is a round number and round numbers are satisfying!

Another round number popped up last week when the blog hit 100,000 visits - I have no idea how it works (are they genuine visits, robots, I don't know!) but a nice number nonetheless. I think I have managed a post per week and according to a website word counter, I have written over 275,000 words - perhaps I should have put as much effort into studying as I do blogging! (yes, I still doing my highway maintenance distance learning course). 

Copenhagen - year round transport by bike!
I started the blog partly out of frustration with how we have prioritised private car-based transport and partly as a way to explore how walking and cycling can make our urban areas more liveable - after all, other countries seem to manage it. I am just amazed that people have been reading my ramblings! Over the last 100 posts, I have tried to cover a range of topics which cover some of my highway engineering interests such as my most popular post on the humble kerb, my love-hate relationship with road humps as well as my vaguely occasional series on traffic signals. I have also had the odd rant about how much I despise footway parking and all but one thing that Eric Pickles has spouted over the last couple of years.

Royal College Street - not everyone's cup of tea, but it seems to be
working reasonably well - even with bus stop layouts which can be
found in Copenhagen!
I have been "out in the field" on 2-wheels and 2-feet to experience infrastructure first hand (as a designer how could I not?) and even when I was meant to be training for that long, wet ride, I still managed to find some interesting things! Sometimes my son has been out with me (yes, he has cycled along Royal College Street in London). Sometimes I have been out with others - this summer's Cycling Embassy of Great Britain's AGM and gathering gave me enough material for 3 blog posts and at last September's London Cycling Campaign's "Space for Cycling" ride I met up with an old university friend who I hadn't seen for years (such is the power of 2-wheels I guess). 

Mmmm flush kerb = happy baby
Perhaps the most enjoyable thing about the last 100 posts has been the people I have met at the various events and rides I have attended - I have been inspired by so many of them. I should also mention those I haven't met in person yet, but by the power of Twitter (which I really do spend too much time on) I have been able debate ideas with so many interesting people. I do need to mention Mrs Ranty Highwayman who has to listen to me going on about cycling and dropped kerbs all the time - although she appreciates a properly dropped kerb as much as I do now we are using a buggy again. I also need to thank Highways Magazine for giving me another audience for my ramblings - thanks guys!

The UK has huge challenges in shifting to sustainable and active transport modes. I do not underestimate the political will required for change and the need for professionals and their institutions to advocate change. But, I remain positive (I have to) that things can and do change. Look at the support among business for the cycle superhighway proposals in London - unheard of even a year or so ago.

Civil Engineering always has been an interesting and varied profession and at the moment, the highways and transport sector is very exciting. I hope I can continue to bring you what I find interesting and exciting over the next 100 posts!


  1. Congratulations! Your blog is excellent and long may it continue

  2. Keep up the good work. And if you want a new cycle route to critique, Woods Ave, Hatfield, Herts should be finished by the end of this week!