How to design a Bike Week to reinforce car dependency

I must admit that these ideas are not mine! They are what I learned from the implementation of Bike Week by Limerick Smarter Travel.

Strategy: Create fear of cycling

  • Tactic: Find the largest vehicle allowed on Irish roads. Drive it on the city’s main street. Get Gardaí in high-visibility jackets to stand at the lorry. Deliver messaging indicating that it is dangerous to cycle as it is dangerous to be on the same road as this vehicle.
  • Tactic: Refer to cycling as the need to “share the road”, rather than counter messages such as “cycle to get to places”.
  • Tactic: Promote fear of loss of property, through large-screen ads referring to Theft Awareness

Strategy: Promote cycling as a sport

  • Tactic: Avoid the concept of “travel” by bike. Instead, manipulate cycling into being an Activity. Get kids to cycle under a pole, so that they can learn to avoid on-coming obstacles (editor’s note: what obstacles?)
  • Tactic: The key attraction should be demonstrating daring skills that scare people. A Velodrome would be ideal.

Postscript

To counter this agenda, we must name the problem, have open welcoming conversations, and ultimately run our own initiatives in favour of active travel. Let’s talk: e@eoinoc.net

(Pic: Liam Burke, Press 22)