|Chicago protected bike lane, courtesy koonce on flickr.|
By the end of this year, Chicago will have built 25 miles of protected bikeway. You can see what the Chicago protected bikeways look like below. Each mile costs £175,000 to build. London has spent up to £2million per mile on vastly inferior bike routes. The London bike routes are, for the most part, blue paint painted on the inside of bus lanes and car parking spaces.
What's very revealing about the plan is that, just like his London counterpart, Chicago's mayor promises to "Improve the reliability and consistency of workday auto travel times on monitored major streets."
London's mayor has a near-identical strategy to "smooth traffic flow [which] will mean less stop-start traffic, more predictable journey times and fewer obstacles for pedestrians."
I've never had a problem with the concept of 'smoothing traffic flow' for its own sake. My issue with Boris Johnson's policy has been the way London's Mayor puts smoothing traffic flow as his absolute key transport objective for London's streets without building any of the safeguards that are needed to prevent a bloodbath. The way that Boris Johnson has implemented 'smoother traffic flow' has been wholly irresponsible so far. Can't cross the street? That's because traffic lights have to be removed to smooth traffic flow. Can't build a protected bikeway like Chicago? That's because we can't take away any space from the motorist because it might disrupt traffic flow. And so on.
|How London designs a Greenway cycle track|
Pathetic isn't it?
Courtesy Crap Walthamstow blog
|How Chicago designs a Greenway cycle track|
One that looks usable and practical
Courtesy Grid Chicago blog