Friday, October 10, 2014

CHRIS BOARDMAN speaks OUT !

Chris Boardman tells it how it should be , as copied from the Guardian :

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/oct/10/lobbyist-canary-wharf-london-segregated-cycle-lane-crossrail-bikes?CMP=twt_gu

We can't let lobbyists destroy London's segregated cycle lane plans
The main political parties and 60 big employers support ‘Crossrail for bikes’ – yet behind the scenes there are intense efforts to poison the project, says Chris Boardman

Cyclists v lobbyists: the gloves are off
Reality check: will ‘Crossrail for bikes’ bring gridlock?



Blackfriars junction
How Blackfriars junction could look under the mayor’s segregated cycle lane plan
There is a battle going on in central London right now which will decide its future, and perhaps the future of every other city centre in Britain. Officially, it’s about cycling – in particular, Boris Johnson’s plan for a new segregated cycle superhighway from Tower Hill to Hyde Park Corner. In reality, it is a battle about health, about noise, about pollution, about the kind of cities we want to live in – and the kind of politics we want to have.

All the political parties support the superhighway scheme. So do more than 60 big London employers, including RBS, Deloitte, Orange and Unilever. Two years ago, more than a million Londoners elected Johnson on a promise to “implement three Dutch-style cycle schemes [with] segregated bike tracks” and “complete the superhighways to Dutch standards”.

What the mayor proposes is big by cycling standards, but not that big by most other standards. It involves converting one of the four traffic lanes into a cycle track on Upper Thames Street and the Victoria Embankment, a stretch of road all of two and a half miles long. Some motorists’ journeys will take longer, but most of the delays are small and some journeys will actually be quicker. The average delay along the route at the busiest two peak hours is 1 minute 26 seconds.

Yet behind the scenes there is an intense lobbying operation to destroy the plans, led by just one company, Canary Wharf Group, and by the City of London Corporation. These opponents will not speak against the scheme in public. They know that the majority even of business opinion is not with them and they stand little chance of winning any debate held in the open. They know that they will be seen as old men in limos. They know that most Londoners, who do not drive in the centre, sympathise with making central London less car-dominated. So instead, they are trying to poison the project in secret without leaving any fingerprints.

Canary Wharf, a major donor to the Conservative Party, has heavily lobbied the mayor and his staff. A PR company employed by the group has distributed a briefing which the scheme’s supporters say contains numerous misrepresentations and errors of fact. Another business lobbyist funded by Canary Wharf has toured the party conferences claiming, wrongly, that the superhighways will delay traffic in London by 6%. As Michael Liebreich, a member of the Transport for London board, has said, this is not the way that a decision like this should be made.

The City Corporation has taken a slightly subtler approach, claiming to support the superhighways “in principle” but demanding delays to their implementation which might well, in practice, stymie them. The Corporation attacks the scheme as “heavily biased towards cycling”.

That feels a little like opposing Crossrail on the grounds that it is heavily biased towards trains – but it’s wrong anyway. It is not just cyclists who will benefit from the new routes.

The superhighway will be able to carry 3,000 people an hour. That is the equivalent of putting 10 extra trains an hour on the District and Circle Tube lines running beneath the route, at a fraction of the cost in capital works and disruption. It is the equivalent of running 41 extra buses an hour, at a fraction of the cost in roadspace and emissions.

Every extra person who cycles is freeing up space for another person on the Tube, the buses, or the roads. Every extra person who cycles is improving not just their own health, but other people’s
health, because bikes do not cause pollution. Everywhere else this has been tried – London is way behind many other world cities – it has made the streets more pleasant for everyone, and more profitable places to do business. Cycling is a catalyst to change our country for the better.

Cyclists are already a quarter of the rush-hour traffic in central London. Their numbers have trebled in the last decade, while motor traffic has dropped by a fifth. We know that far more people than this want to cycle, but are put off by the lack of provision and the perception of danger. In the 19 months since Johnson announced his plans, 23 cyclists have been killed on London’s roads. Ten of those people, nearly half, died at places where the mayor is proposing to instal segregated cycle lanes or junctions.

In the end, the limo-users’ view of how London is governed, like their view of how London travels around, feels out of date. Deals behind the scenes were how it was done when the city was run by Whitehall. But under an elected mayor, the public should decide and the debates should be held in public.

Boris Johnson has shown real leadership on cycling. He is the only British politician to have matched bold words with bold actions. I do not believe he will back down in the face of such crude pressure.

Olympic champion and former world hour record holder Chris Boardman is a policy adviser for British Cycling

Reality check: will ‘Crossrail for bikes’ bring gridlock to London?
Cyclists v lobbyists: the gloves are off
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Open Letter to Greg LeMond

Greg ,
When you speak with Stephano B. on Eurosport TV at the finish line of  " Le Tour " , most of what you impart is drowned out by the "EuroSport Translator "! They report their version of your words , but it does not carry the essence and Passion of your thoughts !  Both you and Stefano are trying to help the audience enjoy " Le Tour " , yet you come across as background noise to the Germaqn/ Italian / French translators .  Even the Racers that you Guest interview are reduced to this background noise . Most in Europe that have access to EuroSport TV are Bi Lingual , thus YOUR Voice should be dominant rather than
that of the stand in ?

Early in this Edition of Le Tour , i sent these " Placards " via Twitter , hoping that EuroSport would choose to remind the WorldWide audiences that Cyclists DESERVE Safety as vehicles pass them on the road . It matters little to me whether you choose to use Mine , or adapt them , to remind ALL that Cyclists are Vulnerable when being passed on the road .

When presenting the " Placard " adapted to the " Tirreno-Adriatico Event " , to Chris Horner at the start area in Mid March , he was jovial /amused at my efforts , yet weeks later he was the Victim of just this type of Traffic Violence . Tyler Farrer has a Father , a respected Surgeon , now in a Wheelchair due to Traffic Violence . Peter Stetina retired from a Grand Tour due to a relative being the Victim of Traffic Violence . You will have knowledge of so many ,Former Colleagues , Family & Friends , that have suffered in many ways from Traffic Violence .

Greg YOU are described as " EuroSport Cycling Ambassador " yet has there been ANY Occasion , where you have mentioned " Safe Cycling Pass " or the 3ft Rule that many US States have recently passed into their Traffic Laws ?

YES , Cycling Manufacturers do not want the " Downside of Cycling " to be highlighted , look at how much controversy was created when Contador hit a " Pothole / Road Surface defect . Now it is clearer that Racers are also subject to this common problem on the Roads . Most Motorists fail to understand that Cyclists need to avoid Road defects , so much easier to spot on the Bike , than from behind the wheel of a Vehicle . May i also remind you that the Founder of the " Willier Bike Co. " was the Victim , on a Sunday Ride , of Traffic Violence !

Vehicle Drivers these days , tend to think that they are allowed to drive above " Posted Speed Limits " , as close as metres to the Vehicle in  front of them and pass Cyclists within Millimetres , then plead " It's NOT My fault " when they send the Cyclist to Hospital , if not to the Morgue !

Should you wish to ASSIST " Cycling Safety " take a look at the following Websites :

 USA  https://www.facebook.com/LookSaveALifeArizona?ref=stream

 Aus    https://www.facebook.com/amygillettfoundation

 GB     https://www.facebook.com/groups/stopkillingcyclists/1464580850459489/?notif_t=group_comment_reply

So many others that could be included !



They All DESERVE recognition , since they are trying to remind ALL , that Cycling / Cyclists deserve better than Vehicle Driver IGNORANCE of Traffic Laws when they are trying to ride from point A to B , whether as Personal Transport , Sport or leisure !

YOU can do as some of the Personalities in the Photos , download the " Placard " and display it for the Media !

Sincerely

Skippy







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Monday, March 24, 2014

Pro Racers attitude to SAFE CYCLING !

Days after returning to Sunny & Summery Austria , i find myself looking out the window for the second day, as sleet falls on the local roads . Since this is after all , the Austrian Mountains that is on the cusp of Spring , thus the current weather should come as no surprise . This winter i have lost a few days to wet roads and with the lack of snow only managed 2 days of Ski Touring in december and a day in January . Having spent the past 2 weeks on the bike covering several thousand kilometres in summery conditions , even in the mountainous Italian regions of the Tirreno-Adriatico ProWorld Cycle Race , i guess a break off the bike will be welcome ? Sunday was continous sleet , but today looks like an afternoon ride will be possible after a light lunch . The temperature will be nothing like the Saturday summery ride in short sleeves and bib shorts where several groups of Race Bike Riders ventured out dressed for Winter .

During the time i spent at the Tirreno-Adriatico ProWorld Cycle Race , we were treated to 20C+ sunny conditions throughout the week . Even my trip , starting out on the Monday morning from Kufstein area , was warm throughout , as i passed through Tirol & St Anton to Felkirch for the night , then onto Torino and the Hospitality of Riccardo and his Family for Tuesday Night . Wednesday was down to the Coast to pass through Genoa and onto Livorno so as to join the T-A route as it arrived in Cechina . With meeting the Major ( Mayor of Commune ) i was able to utilise the Commune Resources to print many copies of the placards that you see here .

With these " placards " i was able to give the Teams , either the Italian or french Version , if not both ! It was also possible to speak to individual Racers , some of whom should know better than to turn down a simple request , right Cadel ? Even though Cycling within metres of the Major and thus demonstrating that he supported " SAFE CYCLING " , it appears a step TOO HARD !

With many Pro Racers lost in Road Training Incidents in recent months , the lack of  EMPATHY for Cyclists in general is demonstrated by the lack of mention in the Facebook Wall of those Racers attending the Tirreno-Adriatico Race . That their Support Staff told me , that their Teams had been shown the Placards is not in doubt , even coming face to face with Mark Cavendish , Alex Dowsett , Alberto Contador and many other Racers , seems to have produced NO RESULTS ?

Did not get to speak with Brad Wiggins , but there is a Guy who has personal experience of BAD DRIVING !  As a reward for winning the " Le Tour " in 2012 and the Olympic Time trial at London 2012 , a neighbour skittled him , thus sending him to an overnight stay in Hospital . Guess it was not him that hollered at me with an English accent , as i stood in L'Aquila , showing the Italian Language Placard , " What a F##ing Idiot "?

Francesco Moser & Mario Cippolini are two of the former racers that took a copy that they put in their pocket , others such as RAI TV Sport broadcast on TV or added photos into their websites , so i guess that there was a result ?  WHAT is it about PRO RACERS that makes it too hard for them to remind their "Fans" , that they care for their well being ?

" UCI " are the controlling Body for Pro Cycle Racing , thus SHOULD be the body that works to coordinate the Cycling Safety Org.s that have sprung up in so many Cities and Countries throughout the World ! These Tweets demonstrate my efforts to encourage their efforts :

  "  UCI UMBRELLA ORG. 4 Safe Cycling UP then POWER OUTPUT! M/while ProRacers DIE due BAD Driving!

This was in response to a tweet on his personal Cycling efforts .

More Tweets were sent to involve " Amy Gillett Fdn " , which i have for years been encouraging to ACT in the International Arena  , which would not be too difficult since so many Oz Cyclists have European Roots ?

CYCLING has a W/wide PROBLEM! Needs a W/WIDE SOLUTION! UCI GET OFF YOUR BUTT! ACT & SAVE LIVES NOW!

NOT ALLOWED THOSE of US out of Oz NOT ALLOWED! CAN CHANGE THIS!
This last Tweet was in response to that of Anna Meares trying to encourage MORE people to sign onto the  " Amy Gillett Fdn/ Tasmanian Petition " , created after the Death in late December of a Tasmanian Rower out on his Bike , cross training .

Here is what i sent out as a comment on my thoughts of Involving UCI in an UMBRELLA Org. :

  "  Here is my comment elsewhere , about what actions i think can help to change aggresive driver attitudes towards Cyclists :

  "  Whilst the Authorities offer " Info Ads " to the General Public , there are Several WAYS Cyclists can help themselves !

1/  Acknowledging GOOD Driving Behaviours . ( More follows )

2/  Active advice to Employers of Eratic Driving Behaviours (see below )

3/  Umbrella Org Activities ( Notes )

Explanatory notes :

1/  Since the UCI Presidential Election and before September 2013 , i have been asking for an International UMBRELLA Cycling Safety Organisation ! In past years i had asked " Amy Gillett Fdn " to step up their activities and work with the " London Times , Cities fit for Cycling Campaign " , but to NO AVAIL ! Seems everybody likes to play in their own backyard ?  Fact is there are TOO MANY Egos out there , some will acknowledge the ideas of others and will add them to their Campaign , others will indulge in " Personality spats " , but whilst this goes on , the SAFETY of CYCLISTS remains at risk !

    I as a Cyclist , do not care WHO is TOP DOG , I DO CARE about the MESSAGE being UNIVERSAL ! When World Politicians see that there is COLLECTIVE Action , where THEIR Shortcomings will be seen as NOT A LOCAL ISSUE , but part of the REAL WORLD , they will stop thinking of " Militant Cyclists " as a cross to bear whilst they get on with their REAL WORK . As a lone English Speaking Cyclist in Tirol , Austria , i get far more attention than the local Cyclists ! When you realise they accept whatever , but i voice my complaints when they occur, you can see that there are those who groan whever i address them . Whether other Cyclists appreciate my efforts , matters not . What counts is that i can ride my bike without having to worry about " Punishment passes " , because that will mean a repeat visit to the offender or their employer .

2/  Over the past years i have come to know where the Trucking Depots are located . Many Bike Rides have been interupted by a case of " Bad Driving " , due to me following the offender , either to their Depot or their lient Premises . There i seek the Manager/CEO and explain what has taken place . I offer the choice of either call the Vehicle Owner or call the Polizei . Of course i prefer the client to understand that the Vehicle Owner is prefered since it reminds them that their Drivers could be in the same situation on another occasion ! Todate i have ONLY once been asked to leave the premises , only twice have the Polizei been asked to attend , once at the insistance of the Truck Operator . Generally the Manager listens to my explanation , agrees that there is Grievance and in many cases not only calls the Employer but states to the driver that they will not be welcome on the premises , if they choose to repeat this behaviour . Many not only remind the driver that the vehicle displays " Ads " which reflect     their Employer but also the Client .  With this in mind they generally state that the Driver's behaviour reflects BADLY on the Companies and hope that their colleagues DRIVE with more thought for their Employer !  On one occasion the river was Carpeted and told that HAD he caused Death , then the Speaker could have been liable for a " Corporate Manslaughter Charge "!  Many Drivers are not only effusive in their apology , but in the weeks following will flash their lights and give a friendly wave as they pass going in the opposite direction . One Water Suppier Company's drivers well not only complete the , Ease , Wait , Signal , Wide Pass , Signal return to lane sequence , but also flash the " Hazard lights " after the pass when they see me salute ( touch of Helmet ) !

3/  My thoughts in respect of an Int.UMBRELLA Org were initially directed to the UCI !  With Pro Racers using the roads on a daily basis for their training and the " Shamateur " aping their activity , it seemed that a " Code of Conduct in respect of Acknowledging Good Driving " would be a GOOD Starting point for encouraging better relations on the roads !  UCI should be able to dictate to Professional Cyclists that they ACT as Ambassadors for Cycling ! Since the common Cyclist looks to them for Inspiration , they will quickly adopt their behaviours ? What UCI should ask of National Cyclig Federations is Compliance with this " Code of Conduct "!  Any Pro Cyclist is required to train in their Team Colours , they are required to OBEY ALL TRAFFIC LAWS ! YES , some RLJ , ignore " Give way signs , etc , so this has to stop , NOW ! When passed by traffic in a SAFE Manner , they should touch their helmet in a respectful way , so that the Vehicle driver sees that their GOOD Behaviour is recognised/appreciated ! When training in a Group , i have yet to see anything other than the 2 by 2 , thus , if outsiders jump on the back they should be warned to obey this OR DEPART !

UCI having adopted the " Code of Conduct " should then advise the National Fed.s to contact ALL Trucking/Bus associations explaining the Policy/Code , thus asking those Assoc. Members to advise their following , that this is a 2 way street , in that the Drivers can expect Respect for Good Behaviours and reports of detrimental behaviours !

How many MORE Pro Racers have to DIE , before UCI ACTS ?

AND YES , they should be thinking of the ordinary Cyclists also!

Long winded ?

NO !

There is so much more that can be done !

ROME was not built in a DAY !

Not wishing to HURRY such an august body , such as the UCI , but since the CEO of Amy Gillett Fdn is the VP_Cycling , the near 5 months since i suggested they treat this as a matter of URGENCY , suggests that the DEATH of Pro Racers , is a blip on the horizon ? I am sure that Tracey Gaudry has made efforts to have this matter handled in a more Timely Manner , BUT ; if they can throw CHF3Million at the resolution of the Mc Quaid Era , then a few drops in the bucket , to SAVE CYCLIST LIVES will be money WELL SPENT !

The sun has broken through so away i go

Ciao








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