Urging politicians to Ditch the Roundabout, over 200 cyclists and pedestrians took a circuit of the Archway gyratory on Thursday 1 March, organised jointly by Better Archway Forum, Islington Living Streets and ICAG. Good planning ensured some local celebs as well as local people wanting change at Archway.
video credit: cycleoptic
Trevor Parsons, who successfully campaigned to have the Shoreditch one-way system made two-ways (London), declares his support for the Archway campaign to achieve the return of the Archway gyratory to two-way traffic.
As Keith B emailed on Friday Morning, “it was nice to see a local issue attracting such a crowd, very promising”, Many thanks to all that turned out last night. It was good to see a few old ICAG members come out of the woodwork on Thursday night. We also had delegations from Camden Cyclists (Jean, George) and Hackney (Oliver, Trevor) and a fair few local politicians and local journos. But I don’t think we know where the majority of the cyclists (possibly 45) came from. In retrospect, it’s a pity that someone didn’t go around all the cyclists and ask how they knew about the event (if you were there last night and you have never been to a ICAG meeting, pls do feedback heer). But obviously many had come because it was a BikesAlive outing.
Fluffy or spiky. I think some cyclists will have been disappointed that we only did one lap of the roundabout and then called it a day. That raises the issue of whether this was just a photo call or a real attempt to block the Archway roundabout. I don’t think we had seriously considered the latter as we were working with a local residents group and we’d invited local politicians. Perhaps we could have done a ride around the local streets taking in the roundabout a few times.
I was at Archway last week and the contrast of my experience there and at Blackfriars/King’s Cross has made me think about the fluffy/spiky distinction and made me think it time to pass on a little feedback – hopefully constructive as LCC/ICAG do a lot of good stuff.
In 25 years of cycling in London and many years of being an LCC member the first direct action I have taken was the second (?) large LCC Blackfriars ride. I was impressed by the reaction we got and felt that actually causing some (legal) disruption seemed to get things noticed. Whether change results is another matter but winning sympathy / understanding is vital and I felt Blackfriars was doing this – the profile of cycling in London has certainly been on the up in the past year and thankfully not always because of fatalities. I have subsequently been on one of the early Bikes Alive Monday rides at King’s Cross and have the same sense that direct action gets noticed and can complement back room based lobbying etc which LCC and ICAG clearly do. Reading (passively!) some ICAG coverage in the Yahoo group can be frustrating as discussions of, for example, hoops on lamposts, appear to gain an importance probably beyond their merit – not to say that it isn’t important but I suspect the balance gets lost at bit. So for me, rides like Archway pick up on my belief that cycling in London is at an exciting and possible turning point, whether viewed from the current and future Mayor’s office, LCC, The Times, MPs or Londoners – including drivers – more generally. Right now I support highly visible legal action and I was disappointed last week by the limited ride and, frankly, the low numbers of cyclists. I had wondered whether to go, and reading an e mail from ICAG, the point was made that if we turn out to help others win their battles we can hope they’ll repay us with support on our patches. I am glad I went and I hope the Archway campaign, which to me should really be seen part of a London-wide campaign to change the balance towards pedestrians/cyclists, succeeds. My view of LCC and ICAG is that everything should be done to publicise and encourage legal direct action whilst there appears to be a groundswell of people sympathetic to listening or acting – the very existence of Bikes Alive must indicate some frustration with LCC and risks diluting messages.
Well said. A compelling response to a complex issue. Come cycle in Western Australia (Perth particularly) to see the legal/social implementation of convict-style Bikes On Roads action. Perhaps a triathlon if the waters seem safe from sharks at the time of your visit. Lowndes Queensway WA might sponsor your effort
The Archway demonstration for the return of the gyratory to two-way traffic and the introduction of cycle lanes and more room for pedestrians (1/3/2012) was organized by three local groups: only one of these is involved uniquely in the promotion of cycling (ICAG). Therefore the ride was short. Spending more time slowing down the traffic, temporarily lifting the occupation we are under by cars and lorries, can be done on another occasion, should the Islington Cyclists Action Group (of which I am a member) consider it a suitable form of action: on the 1st of March we had a go as a coalition of local residents who have been campaigning and waiting patiently for many years. It is indeed time perhaps to step up the direct action.