Thursday, 27 December 2018

The Predictable & Lazy End Of Year Roundup: 2018

As predictable as night follow day, here is my personal round up of 2018, in which I was 

My first post of the year wondered why high profile "streets" schemes always ignored the wider network issues and tried to accommodate everything. Next, was a "Kerb Your Enthusiasm" special where I looked at how kerbs are used to make bus stops accessible.

I then gave some thoughts on the state of the UK's bridge stock, yet another indictment on how we always seem to be able to build new stuff, but now repair and manage what we have. Finally for January, I looked at the idiocy behind people claiming that cycling infrastructure will create speeding cyclists.

The month started with a look at the real speed merchants and why drivers who speed are seen as downtrodden and then a review of the decision of the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, to block the Mayor of London increasing fines for contraventions on his network.

A technical post next  with a look at how space could be allocated on a road in Poole which was going to be resurfaced. It was a challenging situation which would have to be dealt with at the network level. The month ended with brief thoughts on pigeonholing people.

The month got off to a snowy start in London during which I tried to carry on cycling (by switching to 3 wheels). It was nice to start with, but soon got boring!

Next, I wrote about rephasing traffic lights and why it's more complicated that the people who ask for it realise. Then came a post which was about simple solutions - 5 things we can do for walking, followed by an update on the state of the roads in the UK (which had improved a little).

I rounded the month off with an in-depth post on a problem I was thinking about where I wanted to connect a cycle route from a side road to a main road which led to signalised and unsignalised options.

Better weather saw a trip with my oldest daughter along London's CS3 which perversely meant driving the bikes to the start and then I wondered why we'd got ourselves stuck with congestion (yes, I know). This was followed up with a post showing that we get who we design for on our streets. The month ended with a look at the versatility we get from a 15m wide street in providing for all modes.

The first post for May was looking at the transport secretary, Chris Grayling's daft plan to force utility works to take place in footways to keep traffic flowing. I then reported on the work in progress on London's CS3 and CS6 cycleways.

For National Walking Month, I walked home from work the long way round and wrote a post on some of the things I saw on the way, based on a live tweet of the trip. I rounded the month off arguing that cycling culture (at least in contemporary terms) comes from providing infrastructure.

In a bonus guest post, the Silvertown Mole took a look at the madness of the Silvertown Tunnel scheme - a project which goes against the Mayor of London's own policies.

"When you are right, it is easy to be consistent" I argued in my first post for June - low speeds, protection on main roads and so on. I then challenged the tired old trope that London isn't Amsterdam when it comes to cycling. I argued that London isn't a single city and designing around the Metropolitan Centres could be transformative.

I then wrote about why I didn't think the Highway Code was fit for purpose and why the UK didn't join the dots on health and transport policy. 

The first three posts were dedicated to reporting on the cycling (and walking) infrastructure seen around Great Manchester on the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain's AGM. The posts are here, here and here.

I then provided some thoughts on how I considered spatial planning and transport planning to be disconnected with the last post of the month celebrating the annual Ride London Freecycle event.

A bit of navel-gazing for my first August post which was my 300th blog post before I took a look at ramps and steps and then building on soft ground. The month ended with a look at risk and risk assessment.

The month saw four posts about my adventures in Scandinavia with reports from Fanø, Denmark; a new residential area in Malmö, Sweden; suburban Malmö; and Malmö's city centre.

The end of the month saw a hop back to the UK and the transformation of Stratford town centre in East London where some very good cycling infrastructure had been designed into work to remove the town's gyratory.

In the first post for the month, I continued my Scandinavian Safari to the suburbs of Copenhagen. Then, back to London for a photo blog post on the Stop Killing Cyclists Pedal on Parliament

Next, I took a tour around Copenhagen city centre and then ended the month with a look at proposals for the Stoke Newington gyratory which despite being touted as transformational for cycling remains a bus priority scheme.

A final postcard from Scandinavia started the month with a look at bikes, lights and little trucks. Next up, I moaned about the distraction of technology for walking and cycling when what is needed is kerbs.

I then posted about how highways become highways and the legal processes required before one of my favourite technical posts of the year giving an introduction to 'School Streets'.

The month started with me giving a tired old strawman a kicking as I wondered what mode of transport he might use. I was then back looking at the UK's obsession with providing cycle routes, rather looking at the wider network. A trip to Crawley gave me a short stretch of road which was a microcosm of how cycling is either bolted on to walking or driving space with people being expected to switch (often immediately) between the two.

Finally, I brought a well known Christmas story up to date with a little twist on my frustration around some UK politicians.

As ever, it just remains for me to thank everyone who has read and commented on this blog and the people I have met in real life and on social media. Special thanks must go this year to those who gave up their time to showcase what is going on in Greater Manchester and especially Catriona, Jonathan and Dave. And an extra special thanks to Phil, who helped with a rest stop in his corner of Germany as we headed home from our Scandinavian trip.

I don't know what 2019 will bring, especially in our uncertain world, but part of the fun is the journey and so I wish you a peaceful and happy New Year.

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