Tuesday, March 3, 2009


The Bicycle Mayor - Klaus Bondam from Colville Andersen on Vimeo.

From http://www.velorution.biz/

Above is the man in charge of developing and implementing the cycling strategy for Copenhagen, filmed by Mikael Colville. Notice that before mentioning the City’s 3×50x15 targets, he affirms the importance of getting children to ride their bicycles as early as possible, “the Danish way”.

Contrast this to Boris Johnson’s transport strategy document, full of waffle but only a brief mention of ‘kids cycling to school’.
A customer came to the shop yesterday with his nine year old daughter, riding five kilometres from home. It was a beautiful day but not a pleasant experience: he was harassed by bus drivers and unable to find a quiet route [I advised him on an alternative for his retun journey]

Rather than spending millions on grandiose projects with uncertain returns, I would urge Transport for London to adopt a single simple goal:“Make any three kilometre cycling journey in the city safe for a nine year old to ride by him/herself.”I assure you that if that is achieved, you will have cycling’s modal share in the 30’s (which is where Copenhagen is now). That is investment rather than speculation.

UPDATE 27.2.9 - In this post, Karl applies the goal to Newcastle and equates it to a Kennedyan challenge. If we were able to put a man on the moon in 9 years, safe cycling for children in 20 years seems an achievable goal.


inc123 said...

At 9, I could & would ride my little white Peugeot safely in Munich (well, not the center, perhaps. I like that goal. I was even allowed to wander around London by myself but life was simpler back in those days. I don't think many parents let 9 yo wander anywhere these days, shame.

Bello Velo said...

Thats fear. If you look at things rationally you will see kids are much safer now. Your more likely as a child to be abducted or worse by a family member or someone from the church priests, preachers. People speak up now back in the "good ole days" that was not the norm.

It is a shame to have all these quaint houses and neighborhoods and not many children out playing.

In NYC kids take the bus, subways, walk etc...

I do think the idea is so simple though "make it safe for a 9 year old" maybe our friends on the "Committee" could consider this????