Bike lane separation. For or against?

 

There’s always that niggling question about lane separation. Should we separate motorised traffic from bicycles? Do we not have the right to be there in the first instance? (Yes. Always). Is separation a slippery slope towards being pushed to the margins? I’ve never been wholly able to reconcile my views on that one.

Until last night. Bike in one hand. Daughter in the other.

Walking back from afterschool club – we couldn’t find her bike lock that morning, so she walked instead – a car mounted the pavement, just about avoiding  a set of steel bollards there to prevent such a thing and missed Evelyn by 6 inches without even pausing for thought. 6 inches. All to squeeze past a car that wanted to turn right, thus saving fractions of a second of precious time. This driver delivered an abject lesson in rank stupidity. Being more concerned with a shocked 7 year old, I failed to get the full license plate number of the black Renault Clio (CF04 or CP04 ….), but reported it to police nonetheless. These incidents must go reported.

Bike lane (1 of 1)

To me, this reminded me again of the potential consequences in busy environments and the need for decent protection from driver error/irresponsbility; just as we would attempt to protect people in a factory environment from dangerous machinery. The debate for me is finally put to bed – Cyclists need never – and should never – be kept off the main carriageways, but the opportunity for separation should be promoted and grasped at any opportunity. Because if drivers cannot be trusted to even keep off the bloody pavements, we’re going to have to keep them within their special game reserves on the roads.

Footnote: Just a reminder. Motorists, I drive too. But just like you can’t go down the street wafting around a samurai sword, you shouldn’t be able to endanger the lives of others in a similarly reckless manner.