Over the summer we went out to Ruskin Park to try and ease the conflict (or perceived conflict) between cyclists and pedestrians. This was part of our Chill in the Park campaign to encourage everyone to be a bit more aware of other people.
|Ruskin Park, SE5|
Lambeth Cyclists’ Clare Neely writes: “My local park provides a useful alternative cycle route to the mess that is the roads at Camberwell Green and lots of us in the know use it. There have been some reports of conflict with other people using the park so first thing one morning in August I joined PC Graham Alldus, our Ruskin park keepers and Dawn and Susie from Lambeth Transport Department to hand out leaflets to cyclists on considerate cycling.
My guess is that around 10% of the people I talked to had that shifty look which says, yes I am that cyclist who is always late for work and cycles at speed through the park to try and prevent yet another withering look or worse from my boss.
Mostly people loved the opportunity that the park route gave them to watch the leaves changing colour, cycle with children and generally start their day in a chilled fashion. The main benefit I found was agreeing with the rest of the group leafletting that considerate cycling was welcomed, which is now the council’s policy, as parks across the borough provide much needed cycle routes.
But it was also a PR exercise, we gave leaflets to people walking in the park asking them to pass them onto a cycling colleague or friend and lots of people said they were glad “something was being done”.
I am under no illusions that this will solve any problems as I said to one man I have a photo of my great grandfather with his ordinary (penny farthing) and I suspect that he knew about cycle/pedestrian conflict and that I will be back leafletting in Ruskin and other Parks at sometime in the future.”