South College Street Consultation

The Aberdeen City Council has a consultation open until the 19th January 2021 on proposed changes to South College Street. This work is part of a bigger project known as the Berryden Corridor which will see a dual carriageway built from north to south through the central city. I spent much of last weekend writing… Continue reading South College Street Consultation

Cycling to the rescue

It's the last day of school today for goodness knows how long but it's not all bad. There are some benefits to this virus. For instance, there's noticeably less traffic on the roads, especially around the school gate. I think many parents have already withdrawn their kids from school. The air smelt cleaner and fresher… Continue reading Cycling to the rescue

An open letter to the Aberdeen City Council about South College Street

This past week I have felt very frustrated with the Aberdeen City Council after I read about their plans to spend £5.5 million adding another lane for private motor vehicles to a road in central Aberdeen. A bike path has not been included in these plans and the road in question is uninviting for pedestrians… Continue reading An open letter to the Aberdeen City Council about South College Street

We need cars to escape the destruction caused by cars

A friend recently pointed out this 1973 essay on cars - The social ideology of the motorcar. It's a little bit socialist but if you ignore those bits, the points it makes about cars are even more relevant today than they were back in 1973. The author André Gorz, starts by explaining how cars are… Continue reading We need cars to escape the destruction caused by cars

Killing machines

I want to demonstrate a similarity I've noticed between racism and bias against cyclists. Have you ever noticed our unconscious bias towards minority groups like Black British people or African Americans means that if one member of the group does something wrong, the entire group is tarnished? If one African American commits a crime then… Continue reading Killing machines

Pollution from cars is harmful to children

Air pollution from motor vehicles is harmful to humans but especially harmful to children. We know it can damage the growth of their lungs, raise the risk of asthma and allergies, affect brain development and intelligence, raise the risk of heart disease and cancer, and it even affects unborn children in their mother's womb. But… Continue reading Pollution from cars is harmful to children

Building new roads leads to more new roads

Last month I stumbled across an article from 2006 called Induced traffic. Again. And again. And again. It was first observed early last century that building new roads generates new traffic. So 1925, 1937, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1994, 1996, now 2006: for 80 years, every eight years on average, there has been… Continue reading Building new roads leads to more new roads

But I once saw a cyclist go through a red light …

Why do people feel the need to tell me this? It's not my job to defend cyclists who go through red lights just as it's not my job to defend motorists who go through red lights. Or motorists who drink and drive. Or motorists who speed. Or motorists who go the wrong way down a… Continue reading But I once saw a cyclist go through a red light …

Shared spaces

I want to write about shared spaces. These are road spaces that everyone shares - pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, buses, and taxis. Rather than segregating users into their own space, all signalling and road markings are removed and everyone is thrown in together. The theory is that if you remove all the road markings, traffic lights,… Continue reading Shared spaces

What Traffic Fumes Do to Our Children

I copied the following factsheet from George Monbiot's blog, Car Sick. He is encouraging people to share it: I shared it with our local primary school on Twitter in the hope they might share it with parents. They did not. I also shared it on the school Facebook page but only one person liked it.… Continue reading What Traffic Fumes Do to Our Children

Never put cyclists between parked cars and traffic

I was nearly doored this morning by a motorist opening her car door on us as I cycled passed. Fortunately I always take a wide berth around parked cars - for this very reason - and as it was the door missed the three of us by mere centimetres. It was a mother dropping her children… Continue reading Never put cyclists between parked cars and traffic

Why do some people hate cyclists?

After being the recipient of some verbal abuse recently I got to thinking about what it is that aggravates some people by the sight of cyclists. Why do people have such a passionate dislike of cyclists? To be clear, the cyclist-hating types are a minority and on the whole my experience of motorists here in Aberdeen lifts my… Continue reading Why do some people hate cyclists?

Should cyclists be allowed to run red lights?

People like to complain about cyclists: "They don't obey the law," "They run red lights," etc. I've seen cyclists go through red lights before but I don't object when they do it. Why not? I'll try to explain using a situation I found myself in today. I was on my bike with kids inside at an… Continue reading Should cyclists be allowed to run red lights?

Bicycle rush hour in Copenhagen

I saw this great YouTube footage of bicycle rush hour in Copenhagen on the Copenhagenize site. As you watch it, imagine how different it would look if each of those cyclists or even the majority of them, were in private motor vehicles instead. Also notice how hardly any of the cyclists are wearing helmets or hi-viz clothing… Continue reading Bicycle rush hour in Copenhagen

A rant … feeling better already

I have just read the most extraordinary articles and need to have another rant to calm myself down. A friend of mine in Christchurch hinted that there had been some objections to building bicycle paths in the city and so I searched to find out more. Big mistake that was! I should not have read… Continue reading A rant … feeling better already

Cycling in the rain: BRING IT ON!

I got completely drenched cycling the kids to school this morning. But as I was peddling along and struggling to see through the curtain of rain battering my face the glass half full part of me was happy about one thing: the fresh, clean air. I, and all the other people in the city, have to inhale the… Continue reading Cycling in the rain: BRING IT ON!

Another rant

I just read that a wealthy Aberdeen oil tycoon and his wife have donated £10 million to the hospital in Aberdeen for a new car park. Apparently the wife went to visit friends at the hospital and had problems finding a park. Here's how I feel about this: Car parking is not a good investment for… Continue reading Another rant