Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dawkins, Stirchley, Bicyles .... On contacting a councilor in #BRUM

A fine pint. A good book, read by a fire. A cycle ride. These are things of a quality life. Unfortunatly cycling is becoming confusing in Birmingham. Until late October I'd cycle to and from work on the National Cycle Route. It made sense and ensured I didn't spend a lifetime in traffic jams clogging up my lungs with pollution. However, on the route there are on or two rather tight corners (including a blind bridge) where ... Even if approached walking the bicyle....there are some problems. Being the ever-eager local citizen I emailed my local councillor to ask for some mirros, to ensure everyone can see round the corners and progress as they wish. The answer was unsatisfying and I have yet to hear back on the final email. More bizarrely was this story about further confusion added to one section of the route. Due to an irratically reliable rail system and snails pace traffic, bicycles provide a key way for Birmingham to reduce pollution and increase everyone's health. It's a shame that it appears that the council wishes to demonise cyclists. From: John Cooper Date: 24 October 2011 17:23:51 GMT+01:00 To: Nigel Dawkins Subject: Re: Mirrors on National Cycle Route Dear Mr Dawkins Thank you for your response. It is good to see we have both got safety as our prime concern. My email concerned a few blind corners which present a challenge to everyone, pedestrian and cyclist, using the route. Would you be willing to install some mirrors (or similar) to ensure all are safe on this vital route? With Regards On 24 Oct 2011, at 15:38, Nigel Dawkins wrote: Dear John,   Thank for the email. Its an interesting point you mention but let me put a different view.   When I use the route as a pedestrian I am always unnerved by the speed that some cyclists travel along the route. There is clearly a view that it is exclusively a cycle track and that pedestrians must take their chances.    I have raised the issue of signage to inform cyclists that they are sharing this route with pedestrians and that they should be more considerate in their speed. We get exactly the same issue through Hazelwell Park where cyclists speed past park users.   Therefore I think the issue is not one of mirrors but cycling at a speed that is considerate to those who may be just round the corner.   Kind regards,   Nigel This email has been sent by Councillor Nigel Dawkins,  Selly Oak Constituency Chairman, elected councillor for Bournville, Cotteridge and Stirchley telephone : 0121 314 8742 (answering machine)   > Subject: Mirrors on National Cycle Route > From: John > Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2011 14:15:45 +0100 > To: Nigel Dawkins > > Dear Mr Dawkins > > I am a regular cyclist on the cycle route that takes people from cotteridge through cannon hill park, edgbaston etc into central birmingham. > > At two or three different points there are some dangerous turns/bridges that would benefit from something such as a mirror to enable both bicycle and pedestrian to see round corners and ensure no collisions or similar. > > Would you be able to sort out mirrors or similar at various points early on in the route? > > With Regards > > John