A crowd of over 1,000 cyclists gathered outside Transport for London headquarters on Friday to protest what they say is dangerous transport infrastructure in the city. The protest comes after a rough month for London bike riders: in the course of just two weeks, six cyclists were killed in collisions with motor vehicles, prompting outrage and calls for change from the city’s cycling community. Still, no one stepped in to to organize a mass protest until Mayor Boris Johnson responded to the crisis by placing the blame for fatal accidents on cyclists, implying that deaths could be avoided if cyclists simply obeyed the rules of the road.
Image © Benjamin Lester
That was the last straw for many in London’s cycling community. It started with just two activists, Donnachadh McCarthy and Steve Routley, who were disappointed with s smaller protest in mid-November and wanted to stage an action that policymakers would be unable to ignore. After a bit of brainstorming, they hit upon an idea from a successful Dutch campaign in the 1970s, and began spreading the word about their planned die-in. In just two weeks’ time, the word spread like fire on Facebook, and many cyclists began independently handing out leaflets throughout the city to promote it.
The protest certainly got the attention of authorities. The managing director of TfL Surface Transport, Leon Daniels, told the Belfast Telegraph that protestor’s demands for segregated cycle routes were already in the works, and would be introduced in the next 10 years. He was careful to emphasize that any upgrades would take months or even years to complete.
Via The Guardian
Lead image © Stop The Killing Of Cyclists