London cycling

melanie

London cycling

Post by melanie »

Hovis Freewheel was a fantastic success with 40-80,000 cyclists of all ages and bikes form road racers to a penny farthing.

Clearly there is a demand for dedicated cyclist road space but in London it will never happen.Outside london it will because planners can incorporate generous cycle lanes in new developments.

What London cyclists need is just two criss crossing dedicated continous roads running midcentre North South ,East West where cars are limited to 5mph enforced by loads of speed cameras.Cars will probably give it a wide berth but tourists especially with children who want to cycle ,London cycle commuters will have something that will get them 80% of the way in a London in safety.Also it is cost effective.

Also we need more underground /rail cycle parking in London next to cctv
camera's and the police need to have a officer who leaves an expensive bike with a tracker device.if bike thieves know decoy bikes are used may discourage their stealing bikes which is a big reason people do not cycle in London
spindrift

Post by spindrift »

melanie, we have a dedicated network of cycling facilities that cover the whole of London.

They're called roads, and are much safer than cycle lanes.
fatboy
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Re: London cycling

Post by fatboy »

melanie wrote:Clearly there is a demand for dedicated cyclist road space but in London it will never happen.Outside london it will because planners can incorporate generous cycle lanes in new developments.



No they can't and no there isn't and no it doesn't happen. We might get a few bits of paint but in terms of anything useful they don't exist. And yes we do have things called roads that are fine for most.....
"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is the bicycle puncture repair kit." - Billy Connolly
melanie

Post by melanie »

Roads rather then cycleways-debatable.
see p18 Evening Standard 2page excellent article on cycling by Andrew Gilligan Tues 2 Oct 2007

Compares Hackney and the City proves segregated cycleways attract 100's more cyclists then roads-would you send your kids on London Roads(suicide)bearing in mind pm 10 particles from bus emissions and the lack of safety?

see www.hackney-cyclists.org.uk/
glueman
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Post by glueman »

melanie wrote:Roads rather then cycleways-debatable.
see p18 Evening Standard 2page excellent article on cycling by Andrew Gilligan Tues 2 Oct 2007

Compares Hackney and the City proves segregated cycleways attract 100's more cyclists then roads-would you send your kids on London Roads(suicide)bearing in mind pm 10 particles from bus emissions and the lack of safety?

see www.hackney-cyclists.org.uk/


A fair point melanie. Unfortunately the roads v paths debate is an emotionally loaded one. I've asked the question myself: would people send out their children on the road or a cycleway, whatever its shortcomings?
One can only assume respondents do not have children or aging relatives. Whatever their limitations (and there are many) paths and tracks do encourage cyclists to have a go and that has to be a good thing. There's a good deal of romantic idealism on both sides but if not cycleways you have to ask where the prompt to start riding will come from in a car bound world?
dave holladay
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Post by dave holladay »

The really big revealation from Freewheel AND TdF on Sat & Sun in July was that removing the motorised traffic from London's core makes it a much more civilised and pleasant place to be and how huge numbers of people can move around faster and happier.

In the US some 20 years ago there began a movement which started by closing off a multi (seriously multi) - lane freeway on a Sunday and turning it into a giant skate-park/cycle route general open space and everywone rolled and strolled as they chose. From one sunday every couple of month it grew to a monthly closure and then a closure every Sunday, and a gradual dawning that there might not actually be a need for the road at all, so that in a number of Cities (including San Francisco) elevated freeways have been demolished and removed.

It may be slow but you can all play a part, as people like John Grimshaw have done in his own street - where they now promote regular private road closures for street events - Glasgow School of art now closes the street outside all day for the Degree shows and the result is amazing - perhaps soon they will fully close the street to through traffic, and such a closure will be founded on a proven fact taht the street can be closed to motor traffic and the sky does not fall in.

Next year we want ken to have a Freewheel Sunday somehwre in London every month - imagine what it would be like closing Marylebone Road South of Regents Park, and perhaps spreading this over to Swiss Cottage and down Portland Place.... or closing Mare Streetthrough Central Hackney...

Me - I want to have the Kingston Bridge (M8) closed and given over to mon motorised travellers for a day...
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Post by George Riches »

melanie wrote:Roads rather then cycleways-debate.

Where people stand on cycleways depends on how often cyclists have to give way to motorists.

Where cyclists only have to give way every couple of miles - no problems.

Where cyclists cannot ride 10 metres without giving way - every cyclist complains.

Somewhere in the middle - the faster the cyclist the more they complain, the slower the less.
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CJ
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Post by CJ »

melanie wrote:Roads rather then cycleways-debatable.
see p18 Evening Standard 2page excellent article on cycling by Andrew Gilligan Tues 2 Oct 2007

Compares Hackney and the City proves segregated cycleways attract 100's more cyclists then roads-would you send your kids on London Roads(suicide)bearing in mind pm 10 particles from bus emissions and the lack of safety?

see http://www.hackney-cyclists.org.uk/

Thanks for that link Melanie. When I folllowed it to their what's new page I found that Hackney Cyclists, whilst generally welcoming the article, say that Gilligan's claim that that Hackney's cycle routes are "largely segregated" is wrong and quibble with his simplistic assertion that the secret of Hackney's relative success is "cycle lanes".

Hackney Cyclists wrote:In fact, for years our approach has been to reject tokenistic devices such as "cycle lanes" (have you noticed the absence of grit-strewn dooring lanes in Hackney, as compared to neighbouring boroughs?), in preference to engineering that reduces motor traffic speeds, opens up route choices for cycle traffic through increased permeability, and improves the streetscape in general, especially for pedestrians.

Looks like were all singing from the same hymn sheet after all.
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glueman
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Post by glueman »

George Riches wrote:the faster the cyclist the more they complain, the slower the less.

Precisely. The idea of The General Public, kids and grannies taking to main roads is as preposterous as 23mm shod roadies going by Sustrans. Ain't gonna happen.
Cyclists need options.
Last edited by glueman on 18 Oct 2007, 8:11pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jeremy Parker
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Re: London cycling

Post by Jeremy Parker »

melanie wrote:Hovis Freewheel was a fantastic success with 40-80,000 cyclists of all ages and bikes form road racers to a penny farthing.

Clearly there is a demand for dedicated cyclist road space but in London it will never happen.Outside london it will because planners

[snip]



Only one road was closed, in the middle of London. Essentially all those forty thousand people must have got there by riding on roads that were not closed.

As far as I can tell, those forty thousand cyclists had almost no effect on the other traffic. Perhaps that's not surprising, because on a normal weekday I think the number of commuting cyclists is five or six times as many.

They didn't have to block the trains to cyclists as they do for the London Brighton, and did in Kent for the Tour de France

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CJ
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Post by CJ »

glueman wrote:
George Riches wrote:the faster the cyclist the more they complain, the slower the less.

Precisely. The idea of The General Public, kids and grannies taking to main roads is as preposterous as 23mm shod roadies going by Sustrans. Ain't gonna happen.
Cyclists need options.

Indeed, but British cycling farcilities are so badly surfaced, indirect and interrupted, that it isn't just the 23mm roadies who find them impracticable, but anybody on any kind of bike who wants to get somewhere with reasonable expediency!

It doesn't have to be like that. In several other European countries, well-surfaced, direct cyclepaths, that maintain right-of-way over side roads, provide facilities that are used with pleasure by virtually everyone on a bike.

Our execrable paths set up conflicts between those who regard anything as better than nothing and cyclists who really use their bikes to get places. These existing cyclists are dismissed with a wave of the hand and an "oh they can take care of themselves", ignoring the very real conflict that any visible alternative path (however awful) generates between motorists and any cyclist who is brave enough still to use the road.

Do not forget that despite building them on the cheap (mostly painting rather than buiding!) Britain remains an awful long way short of constructing a complete network of cycling facilities. So the majority of people using bikes must for the forseeable future be willing to mix it with traffic to some extent. So criticism and resentment towards such facilities can be predicetd to increase rather than diminish whilst more are built - or painted!

To approach the ideal of cyclepaths "like in Holland" by aiming to provide a network that is reasonably complete before it is of reasonable quality, we maximise dis-satisfaction and conflict between different classes of road user. These conflicts are not only cyclist v cyclist (which the authorities either don't care about or are happy to exploit) but also cyclist v pedestrian and cyclist v motorist.

To minimise conflict, cycling facilities must be built to the European state-of-the-art, so that the overwhelming majority of cyclists will find them of comparable utility to the adjacent road. And this work should not start with roads that lots of cyclists are happy to use already (where it is patently for the benefit of motorists instead), but roads that cyclists are presently inhibited from using by the volume and speed of other traffic. If that means it'll take longer to complete the network, so be it.
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Post by glueman »

CJ wrote:To minimise conflict, cycling facilities must be built to the European state-of-the-art, so that the overwhelming majority of cyclists will find them of comparable utility to the adjacent road.

That, I agree with. Sadly, hard core roadies and traffic jamming commuters are highly (over?) represented in media like this. My impression is the inadequacy of cycling provision - and gawd is it poor - provides the perfect excuse for such people to not even contemplate specialist access. Which leaves droves of the sensitive, not-sure and would be out in the cold.
I had a discussion on this topic elsewhere and while the tango was involving and logic and romance thrown like confetti, in the end the party admitted they rather liked the gung-ho aspect of street riding and the minority feeling that came with it. I suspect the same attitude lurks under the skin of many peerlessly argued campaign discourses.

To be even handed, good bike lanes in inner cities, London being the most obvious example, are hard to draw up and other factors have kick started a riding mass, though a far from critical one imo, which provides a certain group succor. Nevertheless, that leaves a lot of space in the 'burbs for good paths where they are most needed.
Out of town, the areas where we're currently most likely to get decent runs of adequate track, a comprehensive lane network makes a fair stand in.

I've yet to see any argument that disuades me the best way to get real numbers using bikes as an everyday tool is a comprehensive system of well maintained bike paths. And I say that, as ever, as a road cyclist of middle years. I'll wager a house that if that 2-lane, swept twice daily, joined up, well lit bike path that went places people wanted to go was an option, existing cyclists wouldn't want it, to the detriment of the rest.
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Post by Jeremy Parker »

glueman wrote:I've yet to see any argument that disuades me the best way to get real numbers using bikes as an everyday tool is a comprehensive system of well maintained bike paths. And I say that, as ever, as a road cyclist of middle years. I'll wager a house that if that 2-lane, swept twice daily, joined up, well lit bike path that went places people wanted to go was an option, existing cyclists wouldn't want it, to the detriment of the rest.


Perhaps you would tell us what lessons we can learn form the half dozen or so "new towns" that have systems. Are the systems good enough to meet your criteria, and if so do they attract the traffic that you expect?

If one or two of the towns fail to produce the traffic that you think they could, what needs to be fixed?

And which is Britains's best urban bike path network? And what specific bike facilities help to produce the usage in Britain's highest bike usage towns?

Jeremy Parker
glueman
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Post by glueman »

Don't know,
Don't know,
Don't know,
I'm no expert,
High bike usage seems a mixture of factors. Flatness of terrain helps in the case of cities like Cambridge and York, as does a youthful demographic but most of all tradition plays a part. If it's normal to ride a bike there is no stigma or status anxiety in cycling.

I won't be cornered into a blanket pro-lanes stance, the majority are lousy, unswept, pinched, absurdly brief, go from one dumb place to another by a circuitous route and are designed to keep bikes out of the way of motor cars. None of those things of themselves are an argument against specialised facilities, just a damning indictment of what's allowed to pass for provision.
There's no enthusiasm for them because the worst have become metonymic, getting planners off the hook. The very notion of off-road paths is held in suspicion and campaigners resort to slogans to reinforce their view of tracks as necessarily bad while denying, or at best ignoring the miniscule numbers cycling.

It seems there are psychological factors at work too, with cyclists concerned about the suburbanisation or sanitisation of cycling, as though leaving the roads reduces us to Stepford spouses, a little more conformist, a bit less angry-saxon.
What's needed is a minimum statutory standard for paths and tracks with speed limits where those can't be implemented but I don't hold any hopes. Cycling, and attitudes towards it are hidebound at every level.
keepontriking
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Post by keepontriking »

dave holladay wrote:Me - I want to have the Kingston Bridge (M8) closed and given over to mon motorised travellers for a day...


I'd settle for the roads of Hampshire being closed to motorised traffic :D
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