|The bit under the pavement? That used to be a bike lane. |
Pic by @hackneycyclist and via ibikelondon blog
Two years ago, I wrote, full of praise, about how the City of London had finally grasped how to make junctions safer for cycling. At the western end of the Beech Street tunnel, the City authorities turned what used to be a horrible two-lane approach to the Barbican station junction into one lane for motor vehicles and one for bikes.
This is a very busy cycle route. it is on the Mayor's proposed central London bike grid. The new scheme at the western end made the tunnel massively safer for cycling, it made it easier to cross the road, and it improved motor traffic flows. You could now cycle safely through the tunnel and get to the junction, without putting yourself in harm's way. Really, genuinely, a very positive piece of work.
In that context, it is simply astonishing to see just how the City of London is about to completely undermine that progress by creating a daft, dangerous pinch point at the eastern end of the tunnel. Mark Ames at ibikelondon has profiled the new scheme in a lot of detail.
Basically, the same City authorities that give you safe cycling at one end of the tunnel, have removed safe cycling at the other end of the tunnel. You will now be forced to swerve into the path of buses and lorries, acting as a human speed bump that makes drivers slow down and exposing you to considerable personal risk in the process. Yes, almost unbelievably, the City is building a new pinchpoint into a central London bike grid route that is busy with buses, HGVs and masses of black cabs. And it's not as if the City proposes any other decent east-west options for cycling. I'd have a good read of ibikelondon's analysis and then I'd do something about it.
What I'd do is come along to the City of London cycling forum on 31st July in the City Marketing Suite, which is on the corner of Basinghall Street and Guildhall Buildings (on the eastern side of the Guildhall complex). Tea and coffee and an opportunity to talk informally with City Members and officers will be available from 6.00 p.m., with the formal business commencing at 6.30 p.m. and concluding at 8.00 p.m.
|This is how the City want people to cycle on roads made deliberately|
more narrow, exposing you and drivers to unnecessary danger
Topics on the agenda include:
Quietways and other implementation of the Mayor’s Cycling Vision in the City (superhighways and Better Junctions). Beech Street being a perfect example of how not to do it.
20 mph implementation, which is due to come into effect today, I believe.
Casualty trends and road danger reduction approach
Education, training and publicity (remember the eggs, anyone?)
Public and private cycle parking improvements
Cycle hire intensification.
Please come along if you can. Especially if you don't think the City should be pulling out bike lanes on busy bike routes like Beech Street.