June 11 – June 19 is Bike Week
More people walking and cycling benefits everyone, whether that’s one less car in front of you, more free parking spaces, safer streets, cleaner air or savings to the NHS.
Even if you can’t or don’t want to cycle yourself, you can still help others who do. That’s why we’ve come up with Bike Week Bingo – No bike required, nine things you can do to help cycling regardless of whether you ride a bike or not. Have a go and tell us how you get on.
1. Understand the Benefits
If you already ride a bike you will probably understand how protected cycle lanes and traffic-free paths encourage more people to cycle and help you stay safe. What is less well known is that helping more people cycle benefits everyone, not just cyclists. Have a read of this article from The Times which sets out some of the ways in which different groups of non-cyclists benefit from investing in safe cycle routes.
2. SLOW DOWN!
We all need to look out for each other when we are on the roads so that we can all stay safe. Even if you have right of way, that doesn’t mean the route ahead of you is guaranteed to be clear, or that a child won’t step out in front of you from behind a parked car.
Excessive speed is one of the biggest causes of serious injuries and many people under-estimate how much difference even 10mph can make, especially for children or older people. So when you are out driving during Bike Week please be patient, control your speed and drive within the speed limits.
This SPACE for Gosforth article sets out why we think 20mph is the right speed for Gosforth’s children.
We have also published data that shows what an issue this is. 1000 Speeding Drivers – A typical day on Gosforth’s back streets & Gosforth Speed Cameras Make the News.
3. Compare Journey Times
Check your options for a regular short journey, say a trip from home to Gosforth High Street. Google Maps has a great facility where you can enter a start and end point and then choose your mode of travel.
If you drive, don’t forget to add time to find a parking space and walk from the car park. It’s about 3-4 minutes from Salters Road to the shopping centre on foot, or a bit over 5 minutes from the Regent Centre to Salters Road.
Remember the distance of your journey as you will need it for (6).
4. Try something different
If you have discovered a different option that might work for you – give it a go!
5. Take a picture
When walking or cycling round Gosforth have you found sections of road that worked well or made your journey easier? Or something that could do with improving? Take a picture and let us know about it.
6. Calculate the cost
You probably know how much your journey cost you, but do you know how much it cost society as a whole? You can estimate this using some figures calculated for Vancouver, converted here to pence per passenger mile*.
|Cost to society
|Benefit to society
If you want to find out how these costs were calculated, this website explains.
7. Report a Pothole
Newcastle City Council generally has a good record for fixing pot holes, but if you do spot one you can report it here:
8. Apply for Free Bike Parking
Parking is important for cyclists too. Voluntary sector groups, businesses, shops, offices, cafés, pubs, churches, dental practices and surgeries can get free cycle parking under the community cycle parking scheme run by ParkThatBike.
Share ParkThatBike’s details with one of these groups and ask them to install some cycle parking.
This is the URL if you want to pass it on: www.parkthatbike.info
9. Tell us how you got on
Getting involved, and showing support for improving conditions for walking or cycling, is the best way to make this happen so we all can enjoy the benefits.
*The conversion of costs to cost per passenger-miles in (6) assumes an exchange rate of 1 Canadian dollar = 54p, so $ 0.56 / passenger-km by automobile = 0.56 * 0.54 * 1.6 (the conversion from kilometres to miles) = 48p per passenger-mile.