Cambridge Cycling Dismount signs
Here in Cambridge, we have very high levels of cycle usage
28% of commuters using bikes. It's a shame that we can't also
compete with other cycling cities so far as quality of provision or
expenditure are concerned, but in numbers of "Cyclist Dismount" signs
we can surely compete with the best in the world.
These signs simply are not neccesary. They are put in due to
unthinking design of facilities which ought to be continuous
convenient but are in fact anything but that. I recently (August 2006)
lead a study tour of the Netherlands. On the first day I offered a
€10 prize to the first person to spot a "Fietsers Afstappen"
(local equivalent of "Cyclists Dismount"). After four days we'd all
cycled well over a hundred miles and were back on the ferry. I still
had my €10. I've also yet to find an End of Cycle Route sign in the Netherlands.
A new dismount sign has just been installed (August 2006) at the Histon
Roundabout. This appears to be a feature of the Arbury Park
Jesus Green Bridge
For cyclists, this is one of the most commonly used crossings of the
Some of the bridges across the Cam have recently lost their "dismount"
status, but not all.
Green Dragon Bridge
This bridge crossing the Cam from Chesterton to Stourbridge Common is
another very heavily used bridge for cyclists.
Note that in this case there are cattle grids especially insstalled to
make crossing by bike easy (cattle and horses are seen on the commons
so they are needed). What appeared to happen here was that the City
council installed the grids to make the bridge easier for cyclists to
use (previously there were bars which made access to the bridge with a
bike very difficult), and then the County council sent someone
along the next week to install shiny new dismount signs. A nice example
of joined up thinking.
Beehive Shopping Centre
There are two back entrances to the Beehive Shopping centre which allow
for cyclists and pedestrians to avoid an entrance using a roundabout
off a busy road. The one which doesn't feature having to hop down a non
dropped kerb has this sign:
As I took this photo I was berated by an old lady just for standing
here with a bicycle. "If I had my way, cycling would be banned" etc.
etc. This is the sort of small minded nonsense which is given a helping
hand by these un-neccesary signs.
Arbury Court. You can drive a van here, but you'd better not cycle "for
the safety of small children and pedestrians".
Not only do the fair people erect unofficial signs on Cambridge's
busiest cycle routes telling those who live here not to cycle, but it
seems they enforce this by throwing
in the river.
This skip appeared at the same time as the fair, helpfully blocking the
path right by the river which is most useful to cyclists.
By way of comparison, the Strawberry Fair, earlier in the year doesn't
seem to feature any anti-cycling measures, including use of violence
against cyclists, or
More about Cambridge.
Compare with The Netherlands,
where I've never actually seen a "Fietsers Afstappen" sign (local
equivalent of Cyclists Dismount).
London's cycle route design guide, which is remarkably high quality for
the UK. If all provision stuck to this, we'd be a lot better off: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cycles/company/standards.shtml
Read The Truth about Cambridge which I wrote after four years living in the Netherlands and reflecting on how Cambridge had not changed at all when we visited the city.