Cyclox’s Christmas list
By Alison Hill
If you are a reader of this blog, presumably bike stuff was on your Christmas list. Like the Christmas turkeys your bike needs some extra trimmings, and you will have made your request to Santa for those essential accessories that every bike needs. May your Christmas stocking be bursting with bike lights, tool kit, bell, mileage counter, and lots more. And there is still time to get more over the few hours left before the shops all close for the seasonal break.
And no doubt your Christmas list also included the wish to be able to go out on your bikes on the roads in and around Oxford feeling confident that your ride is enjoyable, easy, smooth, fast, and safe.
That wish will come true tomorrow. Get out early on Christmas morning and there is virtually no-one on the roads. Oxford city centre will be a joy to cycle around – no vehicle drivers trying to squeeze past you, no buses queued bumper to bumper, no deafening traffic noise, and wonderful clean air. The beautiful streets of Oxford will be revealed in all their golden Cotswold stone glory. Take a spin on your bike to savour the remarkable transformation of the city.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the city could be like Christmas day every day of the year? That would get so many more people on to their bikes, with all the benefits that brings to their own and the city’s health and wellbeing. So here is Cyclox’s Christmas list which will get us some way towards that dream. Our request to Santa may get lost up the chimney, so instead it is directed at Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council.
Cyclox’s Christmas wish #1. We want fewer motor vehicles in the city. This wish could come true if the proposals made in “Connecting Oxford” are agreed and are implemented. We are supporting the councils to encourage them to hold their nerves to make this a reality.
Cyclox’s Christmas wish #2. We want segregated cycle paths. And we don’t want just a bit of white paint, we want those properly segregated, built to a high standard, continuous, with a lovely smooth surface, and not undulating.
Cyclox’s Christmas wish #3. We want those paths to continue safely across junctions. Cycle riders need to give advice to our transport planners on what is (and feels) safe at those junctions.
Cyclox’s Christmas wish #4. We want to see the creation of low traffic neighbourhoods, like those in Waltham Forest, which so many of us have visited to admire and envy. These are residential areas which stop through traffic, creating quiet and attractive streets that encourage more walking and cycling.
Cyclox’s Christmas wish #5. We want to see lots more quality cycle parking all over the city, close to shops, leisure centres, and parks, so people aren’t deterred from cycling to their destinations for fear of bike theft.
All of these will recreate, on every day of the year, the joyful experience of cycling through the city on Christmas morning.
A Merry Christmas to all our On Yer Bike readers!