Cycling superhighways announced for London
Recently we noted that In London, they say "Cycling is now mass transport and must be treated as such" They are certainly backing up those words with action; Boris Johnson has just approved a cycling superhighway along the Thames embankment. Because, as he noted last year when the scheme was proposed,
Getting more people on to their bikes will reduce pressure on the road, bus and rail networks, cut pollution, and improve life for everyone, whether or not they cycle themselves.
© Transport for London
Lots of people don't like the idea; it will add six minutes to a drive across town. (Where I live, the mayor ripped up fresh bike lanes because they were purported to add two minutes!) The taxi industry is demanding a judicial review that could delay the project and possibly kill it. But with the City growing so fast, cycling is seen as an important alternative, especially to public transport. One cycling advocate noted earlier:
[London’s Transport Commissioner] Sir Peter Hendy has warned that overcrowding on London’s public transport system could lead to riots. If we want to avoid disorder or people taking to their cars to get to work – causing even more congestion – then investing in cycling superhighways like these is an absolute must.
@CookeeeMonster spot on the cycling minority are very over represented!— The LTDA (@TheLTDA) January 27, 2015
LDTA (The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association) repeats what the Dorothy Rabinowitzes everywhere say: that cyclists are a loud minority that are being given too much real estate these days, that there are not enough of them to justify all these bike lanes. They miss the point that if you build the bike lanes, the cyclists come; they need safe infrastructure as much as cars do. Other cities have to start thinking like this. Fast.
More at the BBC.