New Malden NIMBYs

TL;DR

Click here to add your support to the New Malden / Raynes Park link scheme so children and families can travel in safety.

Background

Predictably, a handful of people are up in arms about the Mini-Holland proposals to link New Malden and Raynes Park. The arguments are so ridiculous, in the manner of a four-year-old lashing out, that they completely detract from any valid concerns that the residents may have.

The Kingston Cycling Campaign has patiently dealt with each of their objections and you can read this over here.

New Malden to Raynes Park mockup. Source: Kingston Guardian
New Malden to Raynes Park mockup. Source: RB Kingston

Objections to the Route

So what are the New Malden NIMBYs scared of?

Firstly, there’s the description of the route as “lycra alley”. Frankly I doubt bike races will be held here, so this description is somewhat of an exaggeration. At present, cyclists are compelled to keep up with traffic for safety, hence wearing lycra and riding road bikes in town. This sort of project will work to reducing that need by separating differing modes of transport.

Lycra Alley. PICTURE BY LUC CLAESSEN / ISOSPORT via cyclingweekly.co.uk
Lycra Alley.
PICTURE BY LUC CLAESSEN / ISOSPORT via cyclingweekly.co.uk

Right, so a bike race isn’t going to happen. What of the concern with fly-tipping, in particular used syringes? Firstly, let’s be clear. Lance Armstrong is no longer involved in cycling. More seriously, there’s already a footpath there. Will cycling encourage unwanted behaviour in a manner that walking (or staggering) doesn’t? And why assert that it’s clinical waste that will be dumped? Perhaps they’ve seen cargo bikes and hypothesised just how much litter these could carry.

Never known to have left syringes lying around
Never known to have left syringes just lying around. Source: The Independent

What else? Ah yes, terror threats. Apparently creating a cycle route here will encourage terrorism. This is because terrorists are known to be unable to use footpaths, instead insisting on riding or driving everywhere. It’s widely stated that cyclists are undesirable types, so perhaps this concern is well-founded.

Typical cyclists, acting like they own the road
Typical cyclists, acting like they own the road. Source unknown.

What this route will actually do

Let’s face it, these arguments are nonsense and detract from the genuine and fixable concerns of light pollution and home security.

This is not a route to solely benefit the hardened few who already cycle. It’s something for all those who want to cycle but feel unable because of the lack of cycling facilities.

Mark Wagenbuur’s channel has some great examples of Dutch infrastructure. Take a look and see whether the people who use everyday safe infrastructure are worth getting so worked up over. This is what is being proposed for New Malden. It’s quiet, safe and utterly mundane in the Netherlands.

Click here to add your support to the scheme and add to the voices calling for inclusive towns that are accessible to all.

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Author: Stuff Rich Writes

Cyclist and Product Manager. I blog about both.

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