Cycle superhighways latest letdown

This is a repost from Crap Cycling and Walking in Waltham Forest blog. I decided to repost it because I think there is no better way to put it in my own words and I also wanted to share a video at the end.

Twelve routes from outer London into the centre will be developed, with the first two in place by next summer.

They will be wide lanes painted blue on major roads, and at least 1.5m wide.

One point five metres wide? There’s nothing remotely super about that. As has been well-established, cycle lanes narrower than two metres increase a cyclist’s exposure to risk and would be better off not existing.

And this is very revealing, from the Mayor’s latest Greater London Assembly question time:

Question No: 2713 / 2009
Valerie Shawcross
Will road space be allocated to the cyclist from motorised traffic on your planned cycling Superhighways?

Answer from the Mayor:
Cycle Superhighways will be designed to minimise impacts on other road users, while ensuring the provision of safe and continuous routes for cyclists. The aim of the scheme is to increase the number of cyclists on London’s roads without adversely affecting traffic flows or traffic and bus journey times.

In other words, no.

Which is very interesting, as the London Borough of Waltham Forest is currently proposing a massive re-allocation of footway and carriageway space from the pedestrian and cyclist to the motorist, by way of creating hundreds of new on-street parking bays.

In short, car dependency and fossil fuel addiction continues to be fed and pampered at every level. London hasn’t even begun the process of moving towards the Copenhagen/Netherlands model and shows no sign of ever doing so. Instead all we get is spin, gimmickry and transport planning which continues to prioritise private car ownership and use over walking and cycling.

At the same time as I came this post I also found this video of cycle lanes in New York

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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3 Responses to Cycle superhighways latest letdown

  1. MarkA 27/10/2009 at 12:14 pm #

    Great re-post – I’m following the development of our ‘super’ highways closely too and am growing increasingly concerned at what is emerging. Most worrying of all is that new cyclists may be drawn to use these when they may turn out to be nothing better than death-traps. Or, no one will use them in which case nobody will build any more in the future… Tsk tsk Mr Mayor!

  2. Jamsie 20/07/2010 at 12:10 pm #

    I recently decided to make use of the Cycle Superhighway from the City to Balham rather than my usual cycle route 3. I was very dissapointed to find that the Cycle Super Highway is essentially the same A3 painted blue and that there has been no attempt to improve safety for cyclists at the various hazardous junction in particular Oval and Stockwell junctions. In addition there has been no guidance provided to cyclists or drivers as to who can use the all new blue lanes and I noticed a number of unexperienced cyclists assumed they were safe from mopeds and motorcyclists who also seem to think they are able to weave in and out of the superhighway as well as bus lanes and the road.

  3. Robinson 31/08/2010 at 9:19 am #

    The Narrow Street cycle scheme is a joke – the road itself is the same with wheel bending speed bumps but now also disfigured by random blue blobs installed overnight by dumb people with no sense for aesthetics. Come on Boris this is just a cheap useless gimmic.

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