Boris: Install mirrors that save cyclists lives (Petition for Paula)
The profile of this petition's issues has been boosted already, particularly that of Trixi mirrors, and the presenting of this enormous petition to Mr Johnson by one of his colleagues will give them even greater focus. Key London politicians such as Ken Livingstone and Caroline Pidgeon are now talking about cycle safety much more and this puts increasing pressure on the Mayor to address the terms of this petition.
On April 5th 2011, on a clear afternoon long before rush hour, London cyclist and student Paula Jurek was knocked down and killed by a lorry turning left from Camden Road into St Pancras Way. She was just twenty.
She joins many other cyclists killed or gravely injured in the same circumstances in London, but if you click the image above to sign this petition for Paula, and many others, you can help ensure this doesn't happen again.
Her death could have been prevented by three things, one of which is so cheap and simple it could be done tomorrow.
As Boris Johnson tries to coax more cyclists onto our roads, he must also make the same effort to keep them safe. Here’s how:
1. MIRRORS FOR LORRY DRIVERS: In 2010, Mr Johnson introduced "Trixi" mirrors, mounted at junctions to give lorry drivers greater visibility on their left sides and to prevent these kinds of accidents.
But he installed only 39 of these mirrors for the entire capital.
He said they would be "reviewed", but their effectiveness has already been demonstrated in Europe. In January, he was asked when this review would be available. His answer: "TfL will shortly be discussing the results of the trial… to retain the existing mirrors and to install further mirrors." That was January. Where are the results? Where are the mirrors?
Both lorry drivers and cyclists have agreed the mirrors are a big help. Even the Deputy Chair of London's Transport Committee and one of Mr Johnson's own colleagues, Caroline Pidgeon, says these mirrors are an important part of improving cycle safety. But Boris has stalled.
The mirrors do not cost much to install or maintain, and the process involves no disruption. They save lives. We need more, now.
2. CITY TRAINING FOR LORRY DRIVERS: Lorry drivers cannot always see cyclists. While a few London boroughs have specifically trained lorry drivers to watch for them on the capital’s busy and sometimes narrow roads, most boroughs still haven’t.
3. SAFE CYCLE ROUTES IN CAMDEN: There are few provisions for cyclists in Camden, yet many students and young people bike there every day. Camden's roads are packed and its cyclists need safe cycle lanes and cycle boxes. The junction at which Paula died has only one cycle box. Why? It should have three.
Camden Councillor Paul Braithwaite has been pushing TfL to improve cycling provisions where Paula died. "There are far too many deaths on Camden Road," he says.
- Immediately install “Trixi” mirrors at every A Road junction, starting with the A503, Camden Road, then move on to B Roads. Let's have London-wide safety for our cyclists, not a patchwork cover.
- Furthermore, immediately create bike boxes at EVERY stopping point at this dangerous junction.
- Immediately begin work upon designated, dedicated cycle routes across Camden so that cyclists have their own clearly-defined and safe places to ride.
- Ensure that ALL London lorry drivers receive appropriate cycle-awareness training. We cannot have different standards for different boroughs.
- Enforce this: Keep lorry drivers who are not appropriately trained OFF London roads.