This ones been brewing for a while, bear with me.
As a cyclist, it seems to be a common theme to encounter a lot of people who view the road sharing between cyclists and motorists as a battle of two sides. Each side in this battle is clearly defined and must abhor the other, fearing them for the crazy, unpredictable ways. In most cases, as I’m sure you know this is bollocks. The majority of both sides are relatively calm and polite, although they may exhibit the odd moment of minor internal anger have no desire to kill, maim or otherwise harm the other side. There are however things both cyclists and motorists can do to ensure all round happy road use.
Motorists are expected to know, be aware of and follow the highway code and many of the relevant things are clearly documented (give space when passing, wait for slower moving road users to move out the way etc). So these are the easy ones (and yes they even apply to you oh drivers of white vans). Cyclists however don’t have this same expectation and I believe that this drives a lot of the anger against them from motorists. If cyclists want to be treated as road users then they need to behave as though they are road users.
This is if anything the key point that I wanted to make. Cyclists need to behave in a way that ensures that other road users see them as such. The most commonly broken rule for this is Traffic lights and pedestrian crossings. When these say stop, as a cyclist you may be a lot smaller and nimbler and wondrously good at avoiding things but this still means stop. Not charge when you think you can make it. Simply stop and wait. It won’t make everyone your friend, but it will help make sure that people know that your there and having to wait within the rules just like they are.