I covered London's proposed "cycling superhighways" before, showing the less than wonderful sketches made of what this infrastructure was supposed to be like. They've moved on now, and have some new images. Velorution pointed out that these look a bit like a bad high school project, but these really are what the transport professionals of London, 27th largest city in the world, thinks "superhighways" ought look like:
This shows a cycle path which is too narrow and has inadequate separation from the road. Our local standards call for a minimum of 2.5 m width for single direction cycle paths with 1.5 m separation from the road. For two direction paths, 4 metres is required. It looks like this. We're also not shown how this integrates with junctions. Something like this would be better.
This is again rather too narrow, and has an "interesting" turn left or right for cyclists wanting to go from the advanced stop box onto the cycle path. Left they've got a 90 degree bend, right there is a small island in the middle of the street.
Cyclists in the UK quite often have problems with buses, and cycling in bus lanes in Britain can be a thrilling experience. A bus lane is not a "cycling superhighway" even if there is a blue stripe in it. (Over here they keep you away from buses for good reason, even when there are works on the cycle path). PRESTO, a European programme to encourage cycling "For everyone as a daily transport mode" specifically recommends against combining buses and bikes.
This cycle path disappears and reappears on the pavement, and gives cyclists an opportunity to collide with bollards. Again it's much too narrow and inadequately separated from the road.
Extremely narrow cycle lanes, complete with railings on the pavement to make any collision with motor vehicles even more lethal.
Narrow cycle path gives way to side road. Over here you generally have priority over side roads. See the first link for examples in the city, and this link for the countryside.
Narrow on-road lanes with confusing overall design. Also note the extremely narrow width of the pavement used by the blue pedestrian on the left. However, there is still room for three lanes for cars.
Immediately after negotiating the crossing, cyclists are supposed to hop up onto the narrow blue part of the pavement by turning at exactly the right time on a very short piece of dropped kerb.
A junction at which cyclists may well have to stop more than once to get across. It doesn't have to be like this.
Merely putting blue paint on low quality infrastructure will not result in a boom in cycling. The majority need cycling to both feel safe and be convenient before they will take part. There are many much better examples which London could try to emulate.
For more on the London "superhighways", click here.
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