Monthly Archives: May 2010

Boris and the ass question: Part Two – cycle super highways

  Discussing what is or should be a “cycle route” is one of the more tedious (but necessary)  parts of considering cycling as a mode of transport). All roads except motorways can be seen as “cycle routes”: if you want to use a bicycle to get from where you live to where you need to go, you have to use the public highway.

 That said, there is a plausible case for engineering the highway to reduce danger and inconvenience for cyclists, so there is a need for engineering at particular dangerous or inconvenient locations for cyclists like large gyratory systems. Or a network of signed cycle routes. Or both. In fact, it is arguable that without doing anything special “for cyclists”, all roads should have danger to cyclists engineered out of them as much as possible as a matter of course.

 So what has happened in London? Continue reading

Boris and the ass question

boris-bike-355x235  

 Following the unveiling of the first “Cycling Super Highway” (CSH) in London by Mayor Boris Johnson, the excellent Velorution website declared “Boris is an Asshttp://www.velorution.biz/2010/05/boris-is-an-ass/. . Well, reducing politics to personalities and epithets is not our style.

 Also, we would point out that:

  • Mayor Johnson has done a great service to cycling by cycling daily in normal office clothes (see above): a good example to London commuters.
  •  He says the right things about cycling: “Put simply, it’s the best way to get around our city, and arguably the single most important tool for making London the best big city in the world.” (Cycling Revolution in London, TfL,  May 2010)
  • Any problems with officialdom’s treatment of cycling can often be traced back to other agencies and Transport for London/ Greater London Authority under Boris’ predecessor, Ken Livingstone.

Below we review what has been happening in London since Transport for London came into being. The issue is, when the Mayor, GLA and TfL tell us about their apparently wonderful plans for cycling, are we asses to believe them? Continue reading