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M Gee

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cycle commuting in London
« on: February 19, 2018, 17:57 »
Just read this about cycle commuting in London, and I have a question for anyone familiar with the London scene. Am I right to remember reading about London making a big investment in cycle routes? Any idea about dates? I.e. when they got the cycling infrastructure in place, or if they are still building it, etc.

http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/cycling-now-popular-form-rush-hour-transport-londons-streets-report-shows-369879
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    DJW

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    Re: cycle commuting in London
    « Reply #1 on: February 19, 2018, 19:50 »
    There are about 6 cycle "superhighways" which are, for the large majority, now fully constructed.

    https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/cycling/routes-and-maps/cycle-superhighways


    There is fairly decent good coverage between central SW London and central NE London, most journeys East-West or vice versa you could do down a CS.

    My commute is 20km each way down two of these superhighways. For the most part they're integrated into the road and are just a painted over bus lane. Other sections, particularly going East from Tower Bridge, are fully segregated.

    I'd say they're pretty good to use, although they're no guarantee of safety from traffic or other cyclists. There were a lot of issues whilst some of the routes were under construction (some of which persist) where cyclists were forced to move in and out of the traffic because of incompleted lanes. Cars were pretty unsympathetic and paid no attention to this, but I'd say that's mostly resolved now.

    Overall I'd say the investment has been worth it, has encouraged a lot more people to commute by bike and has improved safety, particularly where former "death spots" (looking at you Elephant & Castle roundabout) have been restructured to better suit cyclists. There are a few more proposed routes and cycling is the only growing mode of transport in central London, so I imagine these routes will continue to expand.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: cycle commuting in London
    « Reply #2 on: February 20, 2018, 07:50 »
    My commute is 20km each way down two of these superhighways. For the most part they're integrated into the road and are just a painted over bus lane. Other sections, particularly going East from Tower Bridge, are fully segregated.
    Seriously?!?! :o
    That's not a 'cycle superhighway', that is, at best, a poor cyclepath. :S

    In Copenhagen, as good as every cyclepath, even the most unimportant ones, is separated from car traffic by a solid kerb.
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    L'arri

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    Re: cycle commuting in London
    « Reply #3 on: February 20, 2018, 08:41 »
    Seriously?!?! :o
    That's not a 'cycle superhighway', that is, at best, a poor cyclepath. :S

    In Copenhagen, as good as every cyclepath, even the most unimportant ones, is separated from car traffic by a solid kerb.

    OK but I think the point is to retain a solid route over a longer distance rather than adding streets piecemeal. I don't know Copenhagen but London's urban growth history and scale make it unfeasible to contemplate much else for the moment. So, whatever it says on paper, the plan is in three parts: do something, weather the storm of outrage until everyone gets used to it, then do more.

    It's much the same situation here in Brussels, only I think people are (even) less minded to progressive ideas. Administrative complexity and low trust in authority are vitiating factors. The current transport bod Pascal De Smet is trying to implement a separate cycle path around the city's inner ring and he's getting a whole lot of abuse for it from the usual reactionary gas addicts but also from a population that despises anyone who tries to dictate policy.

    Yesterday the city's principal public transport provider went on strike and the ensuing traffic hell just underlines the need for better solutions. Somewhat hypocritically, I had the misfortune to have to do a simple 50km out of town and back in the car and it took 1.5 hours.

    Anyway, Brussels is OT but I maintain that, while every effort to improve cycling infrastructure is worthwhile, the attitude of other road users is probably always going to be the biggest danger. The stress of urban life has gone too far to pull back.
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    Joelsim

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    Re: cycle commuting in London
    « Reply #4 on: February 20, 2018, 13:03 »
    Seriously?!?! :o
    That's not a 'cycle superhighway', that is, at best, a poor cyclepath. :S

    In Copenhagen, as good as every cyclepath, even the most unimportant ones, is separated from car traffic by a solid kerb.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=london+cycle+routes&client=safari&hl=en-gb&prmd=mnsiv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjK_9zbxrTZAhUHD8AKHa2xBbIQ_AUIFCgE&biw=768&bih=922#imgdii=nszKP8fSm2IJQM:&imgrc=q_xtJnd72gtqqM:
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: cycle commuting in London
    « Reply #5 on: February 20, 2018, 15:12 »
    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=london+cycle+routes&client=safari&hl=en-gb&prmd=mnsiv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjK_9zbxrTZAhUHD8AKHa2xBbIQ_AUIFCgE&biw=768&bih=922#imgdii=nszKP8fSm2IJQM:&imgrc=q_xtJnd72gtqqM:
    Yeah. That's not anything to be proud of, and certainly nothing worthy of the attribute 'super'. That's the bare minimum of cycling infrastructure that a city the size of London ought to be ashamed of to not have had until now!

    And it's also on the wrong side of the road. :P
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  • Joelsim

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    Re: cycle commuting in London
    « Reply #6 on: February 20, 2018, 17:20 »
    Yeah. That's not anything to be proud of, and certainly nothing worthy of the attribute 'super'. That's the bare minimum of cycling infrastructure that a city the size of London ought to be ashamed of to not have had until now!

    And it's also on the wrong side of the road. :P

    That’s why we’re Brexiting, bloody forriners driving on the wrong side of the road.
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  • DJW

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    Re: cycle commuting in London
    « Reply #7 on: February 21, 2018, 07:49 »
    OK but I think the point is to retain a solid route over a longer distance rather than adding streets piecemeal. I don't know Copenhagen but London's urban growth history and scale make it unfeasible to contemplate much else for the moment. So, whatever it says on paper, the plan is in three parts: do something, weather the storm of outrage until everyone gets used to it, then do more.

    I'd agree with this, not ideal but it's a lot better than what existed before. It does make for some interesting situations with cars (particularly taxis) and motorbikes moving in and out of the same lane. The idea of safety in numbers applies a lot - becomes much more of a cycle lane when you're in a group of 15-20 other cyclists.

    The big advantage is that the routes provide quick access to the city down fairly wide roads and without much traffic. Yes, you could probably achieve this without the lanes in some places but in others the road has been widened significantly to give extra capacity.

    Also I think there's something to be said about having very visible cycling infrastructure across the city as a means of making cyclists feel more welcome and changing the attitudes of motorists (slowly).
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  • L'arri

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    Re: cycle commuting in London
    « Reply #8 on: February 21, 2018, 07:58 »
    I'd agree with this, not ideal but it's a lot better than what existed before. It does make for some interesting situations with cars (particularly taxis) and motorbikes moving in and out of the same lane. The idea of safety in numbers applies a lot - becomes much more of a cycle lane when you're in a group of 15-20 other cyclists.

    The big advantage is that the routes provide quick access to the city down fairly wide roads and without much traffic. Yes, you could probably achieve this without the lanes in some places but in others the road has been widened significantly to give extra capacity.

    Also I think there's something to be said about having very visible cycling infrastructure across the city as a means of making cyclists feel more welcome and changing the attitudes of motorists (slowly).

    I haven't ridden in London but I did quite a lot of research when I was thinking of moving back a few years ago. The situation was actually much better than I had expected albeit in very specific areas. That, I guess, could pee a lot of folks off: you do have to stick to particular routes.

    I can't think of a more politically correct way to say it but I guess for me it's like battered wife syndrome: things are so crap in this city that one looks at even modest improvements anywhere else as manna from heaven.

    :P
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: cycle commuting in London
    « Reply #9 on: February 21, 2018, 13:38 »
    I can't think of a more politically correct way to say it but I guess for me it's like battered wife syndrome: things are so crap in this city that one looks at even modest improvements anywhere else as manna from heaven.
    Very much this, yes.
    Compared to Copenhagen cycling infrastructure, Berlin is a nightmare ... so even small things that I'd not even have noticed in Denmark get a thumbs up from me here.
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  • M Gee

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    M Gee

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    Re: cycle commuting in London
    « Reply #11 on: February 22, 2018, 15:21 »
    . . .
     while every effort to improve cycling infrastructure is worthwhile, the attitude of other road users is probably always going to be the biggest danger. The stress of urban life has gone too far to pull back.

    I'd agree with this, not ideal but it's a lot better than what existed before. It does make for some interesting situations with cars (particularly taxis) and motorbikes moving in and out of the same lane. The idea of safety in numbers applies a lot - becomes much more of a cycle lane when you're in a group of 15-20 other cyclists.

    The big advantage is that the routes provide quick access to the city down fairly wide roads and without much traffic. Yes, you could probably achieve this without the lanes in some places but in others the road has been widened significantly to give extra capacity.

    Also I think there's something to be said about having very visible cycling infrastructure across the city as a means of making cyclists feel more welcome and changing the attitudes of motorists (slowly).

    Back when I was an active cycling advocate, I was something of a follower of Forrester. You know, just build the lanes a bit wider, and teach people how to ride properly with traffic. UNLESS you were willing to spend as much on cycling infrastructure as Denmark. Which I figured would never happen, not in a million years. But the pro-bike-lane crowd just kept soldiering on, and it is now looking as though maybe they were (are) right. It's a change I'm glad to see.
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  • Joelsim

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    Re: cycle commuting in London
    « Reply #12 on: February 22, 2018, 18:03 »
    Do I detect a barely suppressed LMGTFY? :D  Ok, ok, I wasn't thinking and a bit lazy! Thanks!

    Pictures. Of different types of cycle lane.

    I have to say I commuted for years but haven’t worked in central London since the new cycle superhighways have been completed so I haven’t actually used them. I cycle round where I live but I take as many back routes and short cuts as possible, funnily enough there is quite a lot of hidden tracks and paths nearby which are much nicer to pootle on.
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