Hundreds of Cyclists Stage “Die In” In Downtown London to Protest Unsafe Road Conditions

London Die inPhoto Credit: Stop Killing Cyclists

On Friday of last week, over a thousand cyclists staged a “die in” for fifteen minutes outside of the Department of Transportation Headquarters in London. The protest was organized to demand transportation funds for safer cycling after 6 people on bicycles were killed in a two week period.

While some have complained about the tactics, others like the BBC have noted that it was a similar movement in the 1970s helped pave the way for the safe street movement in the Netherlands. Either way, we wish our cycling friends across the pond the best of luck in their efforts. Check their Facebook Page here.

Via the Gaurdian

Comments

MrJimmy - 12/03/13 - 6:49pm

Love it, what a great idea! I think we should do that here in Vancouver, but the roads are already pretty bike friendly and we might be pushing our luck.

bin judgin - 12/03/13 - 8:56pm

Some basic level of safety shouldn’t be something that requires protests to get. Good luck! We need it here in the US as well.

PBJoe - 12/03/13 - 8:59pm

Cheers to them! If we all could organize to this level instead of the critical masses that instead get us beat up by police, or arrested, or worse turn off the majority of cyclists from joining in.

The fact is that infrastructure built for cars is not properly observed, so when the added element of cyclists are present, it becomes very dangerous for the less protected.

Rules need to be established and punishment must be meted to ensure compliance, but the biggest issue is visibility. If a driver is not looking out for cyclists, they will never see them.

pornitswhatlwouldratherbmaking - 12/03/13 - 10:19pm

We need something like this in Omaha, Nebraska! My god, so dangerous so so dangerous. The cycling mentality is way lost to the average person in this sht hole. Their driving is Bo Palini bad, yes that bad.

Talmage - 12/03/13 - 10:55pm

@PBJoe,
I agree with you that the infrastructure built for cars isn’t observed or monitored very well, but I think that is in large part due to funding. And that I think most people don’t want to have more police around, especially in places like where I live. Around here, people think cops only pull them over for traffic violations because the officer has nothing better to do. I don’t think that seeing more of the red and blue would help.

Personally I think that cyclists need to be re-classified as pedestrians, not vehicles. As far as possible injuries in a collision, cyclists share much more in common with pedestrians than they do cars. If cyclists were allowed to ride and think like a pedestrian, they would be less likely to be hit. At least that has been my experience.

Pete - 12/03/13 - 11:34pm

Totally disagree with you, Talmage. Categorizing bicycles as pedestrian would be a seriously bad mistake. Giving in to motorists doesn’t make cyclists any safer. Respect from motorists will. That means cyclists obey and respect the same rules as motorists. No running stop signs or stop lights or filtering through traffic, i.e. don’t be an idiot. You’ll see better results.

This “die in” pushed the Netherlands to making roads safer for cyclists but it was also other factors that contributed (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuBdf9jYj7o).

In a perfect world we’d get a cycling infrastructure like the Netherlands. Maybe… just maybe…

Rico - 12/04/13 - 2:44am

rico, you need to get in on this. They’re talking about biking in the Netherlands.

Ghost Rider - 12/04/13 - 8:42am

@Talmage — pedestrians also die in droves here in the U.S. (and elsewhere, I suppose). And hitting pedestrians has the same effect as running over a cyclist — in the U.S., “I didn’t see him/her” is a get-out-of-jail excuse.

As one of my friends back in Florida told me when I lamented the treatment cyclists got on the roads: “you think being a cyclist is tough…you should try WALKING around this sh**hole!”

Rachel - 12/04/13 - 9:07am

I was there, and it was incredible to see how many cyclists and pedestrians turned out. Hopefully it is enough to get the attention of the media, and most importantly TfL.

Ronin - 12/04/13 - 9:08am

There was about 12 deaths in November is London so enough was enough. It would be good if it changed anything, but I guess we all know it wont.
Now if Al Qaeda killed 12 people in London over a month, the news coverage, the government task forces everything would be thrown at the problem…but some truck murdering someone…not the same importance.

I guess those killed just weren’t famous enough.
Sometimes I wonder just what it takes to make people understand humans are the most important part of this equation.

Peter-London-Amsterdam - 12/04/13 - 11:14am

I’m a Londoner that now lives in the Netherlands – I’m no serious cyclist, but here in Utrecht I of course cycle everywhere, every day.

The Netherlands is often held up as a shining example of cycling safety, however there’s a crucial reason behind this that is often ignored, and which is highlighted by the argument above on classification of cyclists:

Everyone in the Netherlands is a cyclist.

There is no distinction between those that bike and those that don’t. Not even to the level of age or disability, as such things are provided for in bike form. Mainly because there isn’t anyone that doesn’t.

Developing such a culture requires, however, that the infrastructure be put in place. A culture of cycling can’t develop if cycling is not as safe, encouraged and provided for as cars, aeroplanes or trains. But the culture of cyclists should change too – you don’t see many lycra-clad, helmet wearing race-bike users here, as the cities are as unsuited to them as they are in London. And this is part of the problem as well, as it’s hard to convince the authorities to develop appropriate city-cycling infrastructure when the people trying to do the convincing are not the people that will benefit from the most important changes.

jimmy - 12/04/13 - 11:52am

@Talmage and PBJoe,

Classifying cyclists as vehicles or pedestrians seems odd to me. We’re unique in traffic, so why not classify cyclists as ‘cyclists’? Have a unique set of road rights and restrictions specifically for them.

Talmage - 12/04/13 - 2:44pm

@jimmy,

that’s not a bad idea. But until then, I will ride my bike on the sidewalks, and keep myself as far away as possible from cars.

JOEP - 12/04/13 - 7:53pm

I saw the photo before reading the caption and it looked like a lot of dead people- creepy. I hope they got their point across, changes need ot happen, they might not happen over night but they need to happen.

Dave - 12/04/13 - 8:32pm

Outstanding!

Thomas Wilson - 12/05/13 - 12:37pm

6 in two weeks, Boise idaho has had this same epidemic happen to us this year. cyclist, pedestrians and little kids crossing the street.
Be careful and be well visible i guess is the only thing we can do.
i hope this “die in” does some good.

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