In praise of the Boris Bikes!

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Chap 4 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #75061

    GeorgeJohnston
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I recently wrote an article in praise of Boris Bikes, arguing that all of London’s cyclists should be very supportive of the BCH scheme and campaign for its rapid and extensive expansion.

    http://twowheelsgood-fourwheelsbad.blogspot.co.uk/

    Please let me know what you think of my arguments and do show the article to any friends you have who are Boris-Bike-sceptics!

    #85601

    radii8
    Participant

    Good article. Could I suggest using the term ‘protected cycle lanes’ rather than ‘segregated cycle lanes’? The difference is protected cycle lanes involve physical segregation protecting bikes from traffic. Segregated cycle lanes sound great but often just mean paint on a road.

    #85602

    Matt
    Participant

    Great article :) I’ll write a proper reply as soon as I get a spare moment, but keep up the good work!

    #85603

    GeorgeJohnston
    Participant

    Replying to @radii8‘s post:

    Cheers. I’ll use ‘protected cycle lanes’ in future. I actually did mean physical segregation protecting bikes from traffic when I used the word ‘segregated’ but clearly ‘protected’ is much less ambiguous so a better term to use.

    #85604

    richsaint18
    Participant

    I think the Boris Bikes are really excellent. I never usually ride a bike because of the hassles that come with it (like leaving the bike somewhere and having to collect it later). There is a similar scheme in Melbourne but it is illegal to not wear a helmet; so the project has not taken off at all.

    If every city had a bike system like this the world would be a better place.

    #BorisforPM

    http://www.borisjohnsonforprimeminister.ozvuk.com

    #85605

    urban
    Participant

    One thing – the expansion hasn’t been handled particularly well. Since the eastern expansion earlier this year, the central area has suffered horrible distribution problems, with most of Zone 1 becoming a black hole from 5pm onwards. See here for more info: http://www.borisbikes.org/topic.php?id=1601

    #85606

    GeorgeJohnston
    Participant

    I think one of the key solutions to that is building more docking stations, and increasing existing ones, in zone 1. We need more 30+ bike docking stations where you can be pretty confident of a space/bike at any time of day.

    #85607

    urban
    Participant

    Replying to @GeorgeJohnston‘s post:

    It’s more to do with redistribution than dock size in most locations. The bikes are free, they’re just in the wrong place for too long.

    Tidal flow is normal and expected, but the aim of redistribution is to balance it out after the evening peak has finished, otherwise you get a black hole across a massive chunk of Zone 1 from 5pm until 7am. It’s a new problem, it’s only been happening since the launch of the eastern extension (so in this case, ironically, more bikes&docks means less availability).

    #85608

    GeorgeJohnston
    Participant

    But what they’ve done is crucially launch the eastern extension WITHOUT intensification (increasing capacity) in the centre.

    If they’d done that then redistribution issues would be much more manageable.

    Moreover, a large docking station where you can pick up 30 bikes in one go and then dump them at another docking station 15 minutes later makes redistribution much easier than the 10-15 bike docking stations that are relatively common in Central London. It means those 30 bikes have to be redistributed in 3 different places, which significantly increases redistribution times, especially with Central London’s congested streets and difficult one-way systems.

    #85609

    martinc
    Participant

    I think that’s right, and what I find alarming is that the western extension will feature nearly 200 docking stations (all of 25 points or over) with only minimal interventions in the central zone to expand docking provision to balance out useage. Our petition for a dock on the Mall is really just a drop in the ocean when it comes to the amount of extra space needed, but it’s a start. It’s also worth taking part in the City of London area consultations (on their website) and being specific that more cycle hire docks are needed.

    #85610

    Chap
    Participant

    I’m assuming it is your first article you refered to: http://twowheelsgood-fourwheelsbad.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/catch-22.html?m=1

    I agree with several points you make, but I think the most practical way to achieve a sense of normality about cycling would be to lead by example, use a bicycle regularly. This would go hand in hand with supporting organisations that represent real cyclists e.g. Cycling Embassy of Great Britain ( http://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/ ) which was built with the aim of making cycling accessible to all across the country; or the London Cycle Campaign ( http://lcc.org.uk/ ) which have made a lot of improvement particularly due to their Go Dutch Campaign.

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