London Needs to Set Walking and Cycling Targets for 2012 Olympics
Model of the London 2012 olympics site. Photo: Flickr, CCWhat You Can Measure You Can ImproveCities lucky enough to host the Olympics have a rare opportunity to improve their infrastructure in a major way. London will host the games in 2012, and it's doing a lot of things right, but it seems like it could do more to make the city friendlier to cyclists and pedestrians (one of the weaknesses of the city's bid to the International Olympic Committee was public transportation). The decisions it makes now will have an impact for decades to come, so it's worth doing it right.Photo: Michael Pead/Wikipedia, CC
The UK Olympics minister, Tessa Jowell, has admitted that she has no targets for the amount of people who will walk or bike to go see the games, and without specific targets, it would be surprising if much emphasis was put on the greenest forms of transportation, and that's a shame.
I hope that they will reconsider and set some ambitious - but realistic - targets for walking and cycling to the games, and do their best to provide the infrastructure and incentives to make it happen. It's a good plan to start a bike-sharing system with 6,000 bikes at 400 locations (though this isn't strictly for the games), but that's only a first step. What London needs is more bike lanes (especially physically separated ones) and maybe even some pedestrian-only streets.
The city will live with the legacy of the 2012 Olympics for a long time. Come on, seize the moment and make London a more bike and pedestrian-friendly city.
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