Look, I’ll make this simple.
A load of crap
We say “Don’t ride on the pavement! It’s dangerous!”—
—and then we paint cycle paths on pavements.
We say “Don’t ride on the motorway! It’s dangerous!”—
—and then we paint cycle paths on roads which are just as fast and just as busy, yet have less space.
We say “Don’t ride in the gutter! It’s dangerous!”—
—and then we paint cycle paths in the gutter.
We say “Don’t get into HGVs’ blind spots! It’s dangerous!”—
—and then we paint areas for cyclists that are the exact shape of HGV blindspots.
We say “Don’t pass large vehicles on the nearside! It’s dangerous!”—
—and then we paint lanes that put cyclists up the nearsides of large vehicles.
We say “Don’t ride in the door zone! It’s dangerous!”—
—and then we paint bike lanes in the door zone.
We say “Don’t change lane suddenly! It’s dangerous!”—
—and then we build cycle lanes with abrupt endings and turns.
We say “Use a cycle path if it’s available!”—
—and then we build cycle paths so tortuous, inconvenient, obstructed, abused, ill-considered, discontinuous, dangerous and plain stupid that they’re very often barely usable.
Enough of this crap
With all this hypocrisy, whether in terms of giving advice or excusing unsafe or unhelpful infrastructure, is it any wonder that people appear not to heed the advice, or trust the reasoning, or use the infrastructure? Is it any wonder that in some cases people don’t even heed certain laws?
We build stuff that forces people into cycling in ways we say are dangerous, berating them for riding that way whilst berating them for not using the infrastructure, and we wonder why the problems haven’t been solved.
You can’t repeatedly build crap, repeatedly point out that it’s dangerous, and expect people to use it.
Is it so hard to understand?
If you build crap, you get crap safety and crap behaviour — no matter how much you implore people not to use the crap you’ve built.
You want to improve safety and compliance? Then cut the crap.