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What Downtown Dallas Can Teach London's Cyclists

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"Be the city you want to see" is a concept I was first introduced to by a police officer.  When I asked him why my local force was suddenly focusing on anti-social cycling so much his simple response was thus; "Be the city you want to see.  Get involved.  Lead the agenda."  It turns out that many more people were turning up at police liaison meetings to complain about anti-social cycling than there were people complaining about robberies, or speeding vehicles.  And so the agenda was set...

One of the great joys of the internet is the way in which great ideas can spread around the world in a flash; it's so easy to share best (and worst!) practice from all over the world.  Which is how we find there are lessons to be learnt from motor-centric downtown Dallas in the United States of America.  Surprised?  We should be.  The following TED talk by Jason Roberts - founder of the Better Block organisation - had me shouting in agreement at my computer!  It turns out that the way in which cycling infrastructure pans out in our cities has as much to do with you and me as it does, say, with Boris Johnson or Transport for London...

Not only did Jason essentially set out to break every rule and petty planning code he could find, but he did it with good humour, breathless enthusiasm and passion that is an example to everyone involved in cycle campaigning or who wants to see a different London to the one which we move about today.  His enthusiasm is infectious, you can't help but want to get involved!  Lifting people up and bringing them along with you as you set out to change the world is half the battle, none of us can do it alone.  Sometimes campaigners can be perceived as shrill and somewhat removed, so its a message we are all worthy of being reminded of.

I'll be exploring the subject of how everyone - from liveability and cycling campaigners to your Nan can go about enacting change in London next Tuesday the 6th November at Street Talks with the Movement for Liveable London.  And there's a bar.  What more convincing do you need? 
I'm looking forward to seeing some of you there!
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