Whilst browsing through my twitter feed one afternoon I had something of a moment of clarity. Clarity is a rare thing to me so I decided to pay attention to it.
Cycle lanes should be 2m wide. ‘How wide?’, yes, that’s the recommended width that we hardly ever get to see. Instead we get a few cm of faded, broken paint covered in glass and rotten leaves. If we’re lucky it’s not under a parked car or delivery van or taking us the worst way into a junction.
I’d just looked at a picture of a couple of people holding up a Space for Cycling banner on the pavement next to a road where a car was parked in a cycle lane. It got me thinking about low-fi guerilla campaigning and using social media to make clear points whilst having a bit of fun*.
The idea is very simple.
Take a 2m long print with a ruler at the bottom and ‘#Space4Cycling ?‘ printed across the middle. This is now more than just a fragile bit of paper, it’s a campaigning banner, and it only costs £10.00 here’s my guide to what to do next.
- Ride about for a (probably very) short while until you come across a particularly bad section of supposed infrastructure or a place where some is desperately needed. We all have our favourites.
- Place the banner across the cycle path or wherever you think a cycle lane should be, preferably immediately in front of a parked car, giant pothole, cyclist dismount sign… (you get the idea).
- Take a picture on your fancy smart phone showing the banner and it’s context in the road.
- Tweet and/or Facebook the image with whatever comment you like but include #Space4Cycling and @GMcycling in the text and the twitter account for your local authority or councillor if you know it.
- GMCC twitter account will retweet any good ones it happens upon plus anyone that follows the national space4cycling hashtag will see it and maybe do the same. We’ll figure out a way of saving the ‘best’ for a wall of shame and see how it grows.
- Local MPs and councillors are shamed and chastised by our withering criticism and divert all available funds to implementing the soon-to-be-devised GMCC Greater Manchester strategic cycle map.