Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

sirmy
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Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby sirmy » 23 Aug 2013, 7:59pm

I was wandering around the net the other day when I decided to check out a few cycle campaign websites. I eventually arrived at the Newcastle Cycle Campaign website. It appears that they had put forward a proposal to have a cycle lane install d on Welbeck Road in Newcastle (http://goo.gl/maps/eJxOW). Newcastle Council have rejected their proposal on the grounds that the road is too narrow and that "the expeditious and safe movement of vehicular traffic would, on balance, not be enhanced by the proposed Traffic Regulation Orders."

In response to this decision the cycle campaign produced a reply the second last sentence of which is this question -

"Where is written down in council's policy that Welbeck Road is for "expeditious and safe movement of vehicular traffic"?"
(http://newcycling.org/news/20130818/our-position-welbeck-road)

My question is this - Is this the most pointless and stupid ever posed by a cycle campaign or am I being a little harsh?

Mark1978
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Re: Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby Mark1978 » 23 Aug 2013, 8:05pm

sirmy wrote:I was wandering around the net the other day when I decided to check out a few cycle campaign websites. I eventually arrived at the Newcastle Cycle Campaign website. It appears that they had put forward a proposal to have a cycle lane install d on Welbeck Road in Newcastle (http://goo.gl/maps/eJxOW). Newcastle Council have rejected their proposal on the grounds that the road is too narrow and that "the expeditious and safe movement of vehicular traffic would, on balance, not be enhanced by the proposed Traffic Regulation Orders."

In response to this decision the cycle campaign produced a reply the second last sentence of which is this question -

"Where is written down in council's policy that Welbeck Road is for "expeditious and safe movement of vehicular traffic"?"
(http://newcycling.org/news/20130818/our-position-welbeck-road)

My question is this - Is this the most pointless and stupid ever posed by a cycle campaign or am I being a little harsh?


Perhaps because the councils reply is stupid and nonsensical, they wish to point out how daft they are.

Of course the road is not too narrow for a cycle lane.

snibgo
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Re: Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby snibgo » 23 Aug 2013, 8:11pm

I have almost no experience of such campaigning. However:

1. Bikes are vehicles.

2. Judging by the GSV, much is the highway is currently devoted to car parking, hence not "movement of vehicular traffic".

So the council's response seems to be bunkum. They could replace one line of carparking with a cycle lane. I don't know if the campaigners asked for this.

One reason I do very little campaigning is because I expect bunkum.

thirdcrank
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Re: Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby thirdcrank » 23 Aug 2013, 8:30pm

IMO: The sorry state of of cycling and more specifically highway provision for cyclists in this country shows the elected politicians and appointed officials in a much worse light than anything said or written by cycling campaigners who are, after all, volunteers. If highway authorities performed their roles correctly, cycle campaigners would be free to enjoy their cycling, or at least, to concentrate on other failing parts of public life like traffic policing.

shouldbeinbed
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Re: Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby shouldbeinbed » 23 Aug 2013, 8:40pm

you're being; more than; a little harsh

Vorpal
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Re: Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby Vorpal » 23 Aug 2013, 8:54pm

Does it reflect well on the local council?
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

snibgo
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Re: Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby snibgo » 23 Aug 2013, 9:03pm

The road has a school with plenty of space on the other side of the road for parking cars. Of course, parents instead choose to pavement-park on the school side. https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=welbec ... ,,0,0&z=14

Pavements are for people? Don't be silly. Pavements are for parking! Parents won't park properly because then they and their darlings would need to cross the road, which is far too dangerous with all those motorists around.

It's a car-sick society, and the council's response reflects this.

thirdcrank
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Re: Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby thirdcrank » 23 Aug 2013, 10:13pm

shouldbeinbed wrote:you're being; more than; a little harsh


Edit: A little bird (pehaps that should be aderyn or something similar :wink: ) has pointed out that I've got hold of the wrong end of this particular stick. :oops: :oops: :oops: Rather than delete this post, I'll just leave it as a bitter rant. :evil:

I don't think I am, but if you would like to explain why you think that I'll be happy to discuss it further.

It seems to be generally accepted that the promotion of cycling is a good thing and there are all manner of published policies towards this end. Cycle campaigners are actively invited to participate, attend consultation meetings and all the rest of it. They might easily assume, as I once did, that people who don't know their bottom bracket from their seat post are seeking advice about cycling provision when in reality, it just draws campaigners' sting. In my day, the cycle consultation were every two months and I've commented before that the cycling officer must have staggered into the office the following morning with more punctures than St Sebastian. A round of cheers from everybody else, grateful to have those nuisance cyclists off their backs for another couple of months and it's back to designing the next dual carriageway.

I've often shuddered at my own pathetic attempts to help promote cycling but I was only one of a small bunch of volunteers. The people I'm criticising do it for a living, nay a profession. :lol:

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meic
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Re: Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby meic » 24 Aug 2013, 12:10am

Aderyn bach
Yma o Hyd

shouldbeinbed
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Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby shouldbeinbed » 24 Aug 2013, 2:21am

@thirdcrank. I guess its been pointed out by your edit, but just to clarify, my comment was to sirmy (the OP) who had specifically asked if we thought they were being harsh on NCC's response, it had nothing to do with your IMO post at all.
I agree totally with your comments there.

sirmy
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Re: Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby sirmy » 24 Aug 2013, 6:49am

I don't appear to have put the question as clearly as I thought I had. What I intended to ask was what kind of an impression would asking ""Where is written down in council's policy that Welbeck Road is for "expeditious and safe movement of vehicular traffic"?" when this is one of the basic duties of a highway authority, wouldn't have to be in a written policy and they would be negligent if they did anything that hindered this. This struck me as a nonsensical and ill informed comment which reflects an unrealistic utopian outlook. As a wise Vulcan once said "The needs of the many ....."

It's also clear that Welbeck Road has a 30mph speed limit which generally shouldn't need a cycle lane. It would also not be possible to install a cycle lane without removing parking provision or without putting cyclist in the door zone (as the council where I live have done by putting parking next kerbside with a cycle lane outside it) .

To raise a question, in my opinion, shows a lack of understanding of the activities of a highway authority and is almost guaranteed to reinforce the negative opinion of cycling provision in the general population and makes the campaign appear arrogant and out of touch with reality

hexhome
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Re: Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby hexhome » 24 Aug 2013, 9:34am

Sirmy - The clue is in the title Newcastle Cycling Campaign! The aim is to campaign for the promotion and improved facilities for cyclists in Newcastle. The page you refer to outlines our position on Welbeck Road (which it should be noted is part of a proposed strategic cycle route) and asks pertinent questions about the balance between the needs of motor vehicles and other road users ie. cyclists. I urge anyone who wishes to form their own opinion to read the page fully and not rely on one line plucked from it http://newcycling.org/news/20130818/our ... lbeck-road

Should the councils position be accepted with no further comment? Or as a cycling campaign should we challenge the continued favouring of the motor car when evidence suggests that this is the wrong direction?

The Newcastle Cycle Campaign of which I am a member is a very active group which engages well with the council, other transport interests and the media. It is continuing to push for improvements in cycling provision. I would strongly suggest that the group reflects exceedingly well on cycle campaigners.

thirdcrank
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Re: Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby thirdcrank » 24 Aug 2013, 10:37am

hexhome

I doff my hat to you and your fellow cyclists for your campaigning efforts (and you don't hear much about doffing these days.)

One thing that I found out about cycle campaigning is that for every campaigner who actually does something, there are ten more who will tell them how they should be doing it. I've said many times that the best campaigning is that which actually gets done, rather than the possibly superior ideas, strategies, tactics, that are never pursued beyond the preparation of ammo for others to fire.

On that basis, I declare your campaigning to be of the very best kind. :D

hexhome
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Re: Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby hexhome » 24 Aug 2013, 10:50am

Thank you thirdcrank but the praise should really go to Katja Leyendecker who chairs the campaign and does an awful lot of the very hard work.

snibgo
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Re: Does this reflect well on cycle campaigners?

Postby snibgo » 24 Aug 2013, 2:21pm

It's worth reading, not only the web page, but the coucil's letter that gave rise to the web page (linked to at the bottom of the page).

To me, the council's letter is bunkum. But my dealings with councils have taught me that telling a council that their response is bunkum isn't productive. If we want a council to take an action, we need to explain why in their own terms that action is needed. If they are doing something wrong, we need to explain why it's wrong in their own terms. Our own arguments about the benefits of cycling or car-sick society aren't good enough. Councils work within a specific legal framework, and under policies defined by their elected councillors. My only successes have used those facts to point out in their own terms why they should support my proposal.