|City of London - map of the proposed new contraflow cycle streets|
Source: City of London
The City of London has now released plans to turn a further 30 streets two-way for cycling. What's more, I understand (unofficially) that a further half dozen or so are in the pipeline and due to open next year.
But none of this will happen without your help:
When the first contraflows opened up in the Square Mile, there were dire warnings of 'illegal cyclists' hitting pedestrians and an array of voices ranged against opening up streets for cycling. This, despite the fact that in cities like Paris, every single one-way street for motor vehicles (with the exception of major A-road equivalents) is now two-way for cycling. Fortunately, the facts rather disproved the naysayers. The first contraflows resulted in a 60% increase in cycle traffic along those routes and City Police were quick to point out that there were no collisions and that the contraflows "[provided the ability] for cyclists to avoid busy streets [which would be} be a contributing factor in improving road safety in the City'.
|The City's main roads are pretty bad news for|
safe, convenient cycling. This is Cheapside AFTER
it's been made safer for cycling, can you believe.
But it's in the City's main roads that the real problems lie. Pictured left is a typical scene on Cheapside - the road that runs between Bank junction and St Paul's. The stated aim of the plans to enhance Cheapside when it was redesigned a couple of years ago was to 'Reduce motor vehicles dominance and traffic speeds' and to '[improve] the safety and convenience of the travelling public, especially those in buses and those on pedal cycles'. My own view is that Cheapside has been made significantly worse to cycle on, there's just as much motor traffic but everyone's thrown together in a much narrower, more intimidating, less practical and more dangerous space. And the City is planning much much more of this stuff.
Anyhow, for now, let's focus on the positives. Please take five minutes to write to the City of London and support the cycle contraflows. Please send your emails to email@example.com by November 2nd and quote "cycle permeability" in your subject line.
For more details on the plans, you can also see the City of London cycling transport page.