Monday, March 8, 2010

Girls and bicycles

I must admit that I almost forget the importance of today -- it's International Women's Day, and probably a good idea to think about women and transport as well. If once written how little influence women have on traffic planning and how much of difference that could make (see "Women and transport").

Through Alec's article "Girl.Pedal.Power: Selbstbewußtsein per Rad" on the Austrian bicycle culture platform I found this interesting video about school girls in Darlington, UK, who started to think about the use of bicycles in their town and compared it to the bicycle-friendly German city Bremen. Here's their video "Beauty and the Bike" in which they talk about their experiences:

If you got interested -- read more about their project "Beauty and the Bike" in German and English.

What are your reasons to (not) ride a bicycle? Do you prefer cycle lanes or rather not have them?


Erik Sandblom said...

I like cycle lanes and cycle paths, but they should not be used as an excuse not to calm car traffic. A reasonably good cycle path requires a reasonable amount of space, and this space sometimes needs to come at the expense of car traffic. And even cyclists on the best cycle path network will need to mix with cars at some point, so the car traffic needs to be tamed anyway.

ibikelondon said...

I agree with Erik - you need to build good quality cycle paths AND calm the traffic (there's no reason for vehicles to go fast in urban areas anyway) otherwise it is probably faster to drive, in which case no one will bother to cycle... But good quality cycle paths would make a huge difference here in the UK - at the moment we have very poor infrastructure.

This Beauty & the Bike campaign and film has had a really good reception here in the UK so let's hope it helps to get the ball rolling.

Happy International Women's Day!

Lady Vélo said...

I'm a very new cyclist - (only started on Sunday) and am starting to familiarise myself with cycle lanes and paths. In my specific corner of East London, I know that there are a few of them - but space seems to be an issue. As Erik said above, cycle paths do cross over & mix with cars at some point (something that I'm still nervous about!), so traffic does need to be tamed a little...

Lady Vélo.

Anonymous said...

My parents used to live in Darlington so I recognise a lot of the places they film. I'd think twice before cycling there.

I really like that difference between the German and British politicians as well. As usual the British local government creatively misses the point completely.

I'd like to show this to some politicians here, but they'd probably just go to Darlington and copy them. Still, it's good to see something positive about a German city...

Velouria said...

When I am not cycling it is for one of 3 reasons:
1. injury
2. lack of bicycle
3. impassable weather conditions

I like lanes and paths, but not if they make vehicular cycling illegal.

Dottie said...

I prefer cycle lanes personally, plus more of them would help get more people on bikes. So many people don't ride because of the danger, real and imagined.

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