Daniel Gould / Cycling Weekly

Five bicyclists were killed on the city's streets in November alone, leading to a dramatic protest Friday.

Cyclists staged a "Die-in" in London on Friday to protest a recent spate of cycling deaths on the city's roads. Massing outside the offices of Transport for London, the body governing city transit, protestors lay down in the road way, lit candles and held a moment of silence for the cyclists who have died recently on London's streets—a group currently growing at an alarming rate. Five London cyclists died in collisions with motor vehicles over just nine days in November. The atmosphere has gotten so bad that an estimated 20 percent of London cyclists have stopped bike commuting due to safety fears.

While London Mayor Boris Johnson is famously a cycling fan, he's caused some controversy by blaming "very risky" behavior from cyclists for the deaths. In fact, many of the problems stem from London’s poor cycling infrastructure. Blue painted bike paths – grandly called "cycle superhighways" – threaded through the British capital certainly give bike users the illusion of protection. But they rarely have any real, protected separation from motor traffic, and several recent deaths have happened in spaces that cyclists are encouraged to consider safer. Transport for London have come under fire for the deaths, but say they are spending $1 billion on improving the city's roads.

For Friday's protesters, this disputed figure didn't go far enough. "We want a real budget, at the moment we're getting crumbs," said protest organizer Donnachadh McCarthy "We want an integrated cycling network in London within five years and we want a say at the top table."

The photos below, of Friday’s protest, were originally published in the UK’s Cycling Weekly.



All images courtesy of Daniel Gould/Cycling Weekly.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    The Curious Politics of a Montreal Mega-Mall

    The car-dependent suburb it’ll be built in wants to greenlight Royalmount against the city government’s wishes but it needs them to pay for the public infrastructure.

  2. Design

    There’s a Tile Theft Epidemic in Lisbon

    With a single azulejo fetching hundreds of euros at the city’s more reputable antique stores, these tiles, sitting there out in the open, are easy pickings.

  3. Multicolored maps of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tampa, denoting neighborhood fragmentation
    Equity

    Urban Neighborhoods, Once Distinct by Race and Class, Are Blurring

    Yet in cities, affluent white neighborhoods and high-poverty black ones are outliers, resisting the fragmentation shown with other types of neighborhoods.

  4. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  5. A photo of a new car dealership
    Transportation

    If the Economy Is So Great, Why Are Car Loan Defaults at a Record High?

    For low-income buyers, new predatory lending techniques may make it easier to get behind the wheel, and harder to escape a debt trap.