This Friday, over 2,000 cyclists, drivers and pedestrians will lie down on Blackfriars Road in front of Transport for London’s HQ for what will be London's largest ever Mass Cycle Die-In.
By gathering in our masses for peaceful protest, we have a chance to clearly reveal the problem we face: the deaths of those who cycle. It gives us a chance to say ‘there is an alternative to this’. This action will help to send a powerful message not just to Boris, but to TfL, Borough councils, and to all Londoners. The more people that are there, the bigger it will be.
Friday, from 5pm, TfL's HQ at The Palestra Building, 197 Blackfriars Road (opposite Southwark Tube Station). Here is all the information you need:
The Mass Cycle Die-In is organised by un-affiliated grassroot cyclists who feel the recent tragedies mean that radical action now has to happen quickly to make London's roads safer for all Londoners. This is a peaceful protest.
This will really gain the support of the commuting travellers especially pedestrians and the man on the Clapham omnibus.
A good idea it is not.
Antagonise the general public and you will begin to lose their support and sympathy.
My understanding is that the 'die-in' will be from 5.30-6.30 and the police will close the road for this. I don't think many people would want to be involved in anything other than a peaceful, legal protest.. I certainly wouldn't.
WHY you may ask should we briefly inconvenience a few people getting home on a Friday night? I can only tell you why I am going. I cycle regularly across town for work related meetings. Its good for me (health), good for you (less congestion on the tube) and good for London's air quality (where we have 1000's of excess deaths a year).
However its very clear that even experienced, law-abiding cyclists are at risk of death from the poor infrastructure in parts of our city. With 6 deaths in 2 weeks involving mainly construction lorries at known 'high risk' junctions we are trying to put public pressure on TFL to 'pull its finger out' and get on with some serious redesign of places like Bow roundabout and the Aldgate gyratory (see London Cycling Campaign's 'Space for cycling' campaign).
How many more must die, or should we just accept that its OK for a young girl to end up under the back of a lorry on her way home??
So please, for the sake of the families and friends of those who have died, lets put aside the 'tribalism' often so evident on this forum and think a bit about designing safer roads, for cyclists AND pedestrians.