Monthly Archives: April 2009

This Blog is now Closed


well, until further notice. I am not sure how long that will be.

Things are getting a bit much for me again.

Blogging, Twittering and Depression doesn’t always mix. I get a lot of up and downs, and this is a ‘Down Time’. I’ve lost interest in doing it.

I will be able to get in touch on a private basis ie on theurbancyclist@gmail.com but not on a public basis.

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Tulips at Embankment Gardens, London


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Stratford Stadium – Update of Olympic Park


I went there this morning. I am going to do a create an Olympic Photographic Album

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Hate Crime – Car free People/Minorities/Cyclists etc being victimised


Ian Walker on Twitter felt that the Car Free Minority is being targetted and thought of the idea of perhaps making Car-free ‘Lifestyle’ as a religion for some legal protection.

But another idea suggested was the issue of Hate Crime. I was hit by a glass bottle by someone whilst on my bike.
Is it harrassment or hate crime?

Hatecrime from Wiki:

“Hate crimes (also known as bias-motivated crimes) happen when an influential mind targets a victim because of their membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation.

A “hate crime” can take two forms: “hate crime” generally refers to criminal acts which are seen to have been motivated by hatred of one or more of the listed conditions. The second kind is hate speech, which is speech defined as crime. While hate crimes are rarely debated, the hate speech concept is controversial, as criminalizing speech can be seen as impugning freedom of speech. Incidents may involve physical assault, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse or insults, or offensive graffiti or letters.”

Allow Cyclists to Turn Left at Red says Boris


An excerpt from the Guardian:-

“Cyclists in London will be able to legally run red traffic lights if plans by Boris Johnson, the capital’s mayor and a keen cyclist, get the go-ahead from the government.

Johnson has written to the Department for Transport (DfT) to moot a pilot scheme that would allow cyclists to turn left at traffic lights, even if they are on red, as long as they give way to pedestrians. Currently, cyclists can be handed an on-the-spot fine of £30 for running lights.

If the pilot proves a success, the law could be changed nationally. Similar practices are standard in other countries: in Germany, where traffic travels on the right, right turns on red are permitted for all vehicles when a specific sign is present.

and it goes on to say:-

“Transport for London (TfL), chaired by Johnson as mayor, has written to the transport department outlining plans to improve and increase cycling in the capital, but has yet to submit a formal proposal regarding turning left on red.

A spokeswoman for the DfT said: “To allow for cyclists to be exempted from red lights a change to the current legislation (the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002) would be required. This would need to go through the appropriate parliamentary processes before it could take effect.”

and some cycling groups say:-

“the idea was dismissed by the UK’s cycling groups as unrealistic and designed to divert attention from cuts the mayor has made to elements of the cycling budget for London.

Roger Geffen, the campaigns and policy manager of the national cyclists’ organisation CTC, said: “I would be happy for cyclists to turn left on red if there was a way in which it could be done by meeting pedestrians’ needs, but it doesn’t make any sense dreaming up policies that are never going to happen.”

He said Johnson had axed plans to redesign roundabouts at Elephant and Castle where one of the cyclists was killed”.

I think it is a good idea overall, but cars and motorcyclists will have to get off the cyclists’ Advanced Stop lines too.

I do agree with the cycling lobby in that it was Boris who didn’t want to redesign the Elephant & Castle area in the first place. He takes some responsibility for not preventing the killing of the woman cyclist if the roundabout would have been designed by 2009.

Oh and where were the comments by the London Cycling Campaign? I’ve just had a look at their website http://www.lcc.org.uk but I can’t see a single thing on ‘their News’ about Boris’ proposals and their comments in the press. I thought they’re supposed to be ‘be out there’ campaiging for us. If you see any comments from them, let me know. Don’t they have a 24 hour Press Officer?

Overseas: Easter Massacre on the roads in Johannesburg


“Authorities confirmed that 52 people have been killed on national roads since the start of the Easter long weekend.

Excessive speeding was to blame for many of the road accidents along with pedestrian jaywalking and unsafe overtaking.

In Johannesburg there have been an estimated 150 accidents since Thursday and despite thousands of holidaymakers descending on coastal towns officials said Johannesburg roads were still busy”.

Freedom of Information Act exposes dangerous driving by Police


An excerpt from the Sunday Mail today:

(I am more surprised that the Mail actually published this article than the ‘shock’ of the police driving badly despite specialist training).

Turns out that there were a whopping 1881 complaints and unsurprisingly, just 3 prosecutions.

“Police forces have been swamped with complaints from the public about motoring offences and unruly driving – by their own officers.

Using a mobile phone at the wheel, parking in disabled bays and stopping on double yellow lines to pick up a takeaway pizza or use a cash machine, have all been alleged against officers in marked police cars.

Others are said to have performed dangerous stunts, not worn seatbelts and chomped on chocolate bars and sandwiches while driving”.

Some of the things I have seen the police doing:

1) policeman driving along Trafalgar Square using a handheld phone
2) Seeing a crashed police car in East London (no other vehicle involved)
3) Policeman doing a U-Turn, nearly running me over, at a junction (I reported this to the police and MP).
4) Misbehaving on Youtube. The public have videoed them.. which now, ironically, is against the law.

I haven’t seen any policewomen driving badly though. I wonder what the ‘gender-breakdown’ was?

Well done to all the members of the public who complained.