The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain asks a great question: Would you want your loved ones cycling on it?
I was surprised to see a photo fly across twitter recently -- an intersection in Toronto near where I live. I retweeted it and it has been going seriously viral for days.
I don't know who took it; UPDATE: I think this is the source. I saw it on the VisionZero Canada feed.
It is a very typical scene for that intersection, with cars or trucks often blocking the pedestrian crossing part. A video would also show three southbound cars turning left through the red light on every light change, right into where that girl will be in a few steps.
Although there isn't a bike in that photo, it's actually number 4 on the list of most dangerous intersections for cycling in Toronto, which doesn't surprise me at all. But what did surprise me was the "Insert Loved One Here" label on it.
It is part of a British campaign run by the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, an organization with a vision:
Primarily our aim is for well-designed and properly implemented dedicated bike infrastructure, to encourage everyone to ride. We want cycling to be the quickest, most direct way to get to our shops, workplaces and schools and for cycle routes to be integrated with longer-distance transport like trains and buses. This will mean freeing up space for both pedestrians and bikes, in our towns and along our major routes, opening up travel choices to the whole population not just the few. We believe that this will bring about nothing less than a transformation of our society.
Because a portion of the population is 'strong + fearless' and will cycle no matter what, and a portion of the population is 'no way, no how' and will not cycle no matter what, we forget that there is a *massive* group - 60% - that will cycle if we design our cities for cycling. pic.twitter.com/pRD8OneoxS— jennifer keesmaat (@jen_keesmaat) February 19, 2018
As Jennifer Keesmaat tweeted recently, if our cities were well-designed as the Embassy envisions, we could get a lot of people from that "interested and concerned" category into the "enthused and confident" one, which would take a lot of pressure off the roads and the transit system. The Embassy people note that "cycling can contribute to making Britain a less congested, fitter, leaner, greener cleaner, quieter and above all happier place." The same can be said of just about anywhere.
The Insert Loved One Here pages show a wide mix of trucks in bike lanes, lousy infrastructure and dangerous situations from all over the world. I have just added one of my own; it is really easy to do with their simple tool. It is such a good idea, pointing out that it can easily be our family and friends who get squished, that everyone should care.
Shine a light on good or bad cycling infrastructure by asking one simple question: would you want your loved ones cycling on it?