Saturday, October 01, 2011

Cycling on the local newspaper this week

Cycling has been the topic of a lot of articles on the local newspaper this week.

Today the road maintenance manager tells us they're ready for the winter. They're stopping the use of crushed stone for gritting the bikeways. The crushed stone has sharp edges and sometimes causes punctures. They're going to use more rounded, filtered sand. The article has a picture from one of the warehouses where they keep the gritting sand.

Another article points out how bad the cycling conditions are in the innermost blocks of the downtown. Most of the bikeways in the downtown are MUPs on the pavement, and they're not very good. Bikeway for a block or two, then it disappears or changes sides. (In a related article they ask how should the signage be improved: paint, signs or what?) High kerbs make cycling on the pavement lanes more difficult unless you're willing and able to hop your bike. So some cyclists decide it's better to cycle on the street rather than the pavements, even though that is against the law.

The articles are good, and the comments are entertaining. I guess it's the same everywhere: in any article where bikes are mentioned, someone will comment about red light jumping, pavement cycling, scofflaw cyclists.

In a more sad news story, a cyclist in Helsinki was biking on the street and got doored. He fell and was hit by a bus and died. This case was newsworthy because of the dooring which is pretty rare here in Finland. Someone getting killed in Helsinki by more usual means (in a collision at intersection or on the roads) would not be big news.

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