October 11, 2010 at 11:17 am #74232
Inspired by cycle lanes everywhere, thought it would be fun to nominate new cycle lanes for roads in London … using pictures … (feel free to amend cycle lanes that already exist). For fun.
To start it off -
a) High Holborn:
b) Marylebone Road:
c) The City:December 6, 2010 at 3:14 pm #79924
We can dream…
A couple of videos about cycle lanes. One showing New York’s new cycle lanes (yes, in car-loving America), the other our new Cycle Superhighways in London.
And the London equivalent?December 6, 2010 at 5:53 pm #79925
Yes it’s a dream. Not one shared by everybody I’m afraid.
But I’m all in favour! Oh for a Dutch-style cycling cityDecember 7, 2010 at 11:40 am #79926
I’m not in favour of these for most of London. The roads are generally not wide enough to section off an entire stream of cars and buses in favour of bicycles, though on some streets I think they could easily put in cycle lanes on pavements the way they do in Berlin. Most streets in London aren’t really even wide enough to put bus lanes in half the places they put them, for the amount of traffic throughput they get.
Forcing people into longer traffic queues isn’t going to get them out of their cars. Making public transport amazingly cheap won’t do it either as it’s already overcrowded at the current sky high prices, so I think it’s a bit of a deadlock and not much can be done either way.December 7, 2010 at 12:09 pm #79927
Cars don’t generally belong in the centre of a large city, either to drive or to park. That’s the crux of the problem.
Solve/minimise that and suddenly have you space all over the place for dedicated cycle paths.December 7, 2010 at 3:18 pm #79928
djcParticipantDecember 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm #79929
I’m not actually a fan of segregation. I’d rather see bikes mix with other road users, otherwise you’re playing to the motorist’s view that bikes don’t belong on the road. Make segregation the norm, and cyclists who remain on the road will be treated with even more contempt than they are now.
But…it’s a big ask to expect many more people to cycle amongst the traffic. It’s fine for young, fit, brave types with lightening reactions, but for older people, kids, the less fit, it’s too intimidating. So the alternative is to build cycle paths so damn efficient and comprehensive that using them is by far the fastest and safest mode of transport for everyone. If that means taking over road space, creating more one-way streets, closing roads to cars etc then so be it.
The way I see it, you either change the mindset of a million car, lorry, bus and taxi drivers, or build cycle paths properly.December 7, 2010 at 7:54 pm #79930
As above I’d rather everyone shared the roads so drivers are more aware in general.
Also, bikes suck when it’s raining. I take the tube to work or even walk when it rains. I’ll take my car whenever possible because it’s loads more comfortable, and warm. I can also carry passengers in my car, and put a suitcase in it, or have my rollerblades in the boot, and I can travel much further without breaking into a sweat; something I can’t really/don’t want to do on a bike.December 8, 2010 at 1:44 pm #79931
Drivers will never be aware “enough” and I still truly have trouble with the concept that people would PREFER to cycle amongst buses and taxis than alongside them on a separate path!December 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm #79932
I’d love to have Netherlands-style cycle paths between towns and cities, but even in Amsterdam, within the city itself almost all cycling is on-road. There simply isn’t the space there or here to have decent segregated facilities.December 11, 2010 at 11:53 pm #79933Quote:But…it’s a big ask to expect many more people to cycle amongst the traffic. It’s fine for young, fit, brave types with lightening reactions, but for older people, kids, the less fit, it’s too intimidating. So the alternative is to build cycle paths so damn efficient and comprehensive that using them is by far the fastest and safest mode of transport for everyone. If that means taking over road space, creating more one-way streets, closing roads to cars etc then so be it.
I kind of agreeDecember 12, 2010 at 12:04 am #79934
Another perspective: if a safe and segregated network could be built across London more children might cycle to school. A friend said “the roads are clearer when school holidays start because parents aren’t driving their kids to school”. He put it at 30% which may be an exaggeration. But if kids could cycle safely to school, would they?
+ imageDecember 12, 2010 at 1:07 am #79935
I agree that in an ideal world motorists would be aware of cyclists and there would be no need for segregation – but in real-world London we need segregation. It’s not easy to install, though – London really is a packed city, and I often find myself looking at the roads wherever I am and thinking “how the hell could a segregated cycle path be installed here?”. I really don’t envy London’s town planners!
But having said that, I don’t want to let them off the hook. There are many opportunities for easy improvement (I’m sure you all have your favourite bug-bear). Bollards placed in the middle of the bike lane, 90-degree turns, cycle lanes that disappear without warning – surely fixing these things is cheap and effective?
Long-term, there probably needs to be some sort of law passed recognising cycle facilities as a valid type of transport. It seems to me that in the UK there’s only two types in law – paths for walking, roads for motoring. Cycling seems to be tacked on to one of those as an afterthought, either as a mixed-use zone on the footpath or as a thin strip of cycle lane at the edge of the road. Only when a third category (“cycleway”?) is added will cycle infrastructure be properly considered.
Finally – the most ridiculous thing about Boris’ Cycle “Superhighways” as they stand is the grandiose name compared to the result!December 12, 2010 at 1:24 am #79936
I like the idea of segregated cycle lanes in the middle of the road (no bus stops, no vans parked in cycle lanes, no taxis dropping passengers, no pedestrians stepping out)
The Strand:December 12, 2010 at 3:19 pm #79937
@radii8 – I’m a bit nervous of cycle lanes like that. Its very easy for a car to ride onto it, but if I go off it unexpectedly (pedestrian, cyclist coming the other way), I’m likely to lose control.
I’m not fit, particularly young, and my reactions are at best sluggish (depends on time of day / quantity of wine last night…) but it seems to me that in London bus lanes for the main roads and a bit more tolerance all round for everwhere else works well. Separating everyone out into different domains is almost physically impossible through most of the city, and incredibly wasteful.
Separate cycleways on roads, so you have three domains, makes moving across them extremely difficult – try turning right from Gordon Square into Torringon Pl for a car, for instance, or being a pedestrian around there at rush hour, or, worst of all, turning right out of the cycle lane when west bound.
Something like the picture of the Strand above would very difficult. Cars, having to deal with traffic flowing with them, would also have to deal with bikes moving in and out of those lanes to turn. You’re allowing them to feel that they still have right of way, while introducing another potential source of collision. Better to be in the traffic, or very close to it, travelling in the same direction.
And do what I understand they do in Naples for pedestrians. If you’re a driver, and you hit a pedestrian, it’s your fault unless you can prove otherwise. I found it almost impossible to cross the road until someone told me that, and then realised that you just have to be a bit careful, and walk right out. Brilliant!
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