Sunday, 24 October 2010

Oh no – not more ‘improvements’ for cyclists

The latest issue of the council’s propaganda rag has more bad news. Yes, Wood Street is to undergo even more "improvements" including “Changing cycle lanes to make them safer”. And how will that be achieved? That’s right – building parking bays next to them and pushing cyclists nearer to overtaking traffic. It's part of another fabulous local development scheme which will see the construction of a new plaza in attractive cement grey with anti-tank blocks and the usual ineptly sited lighting column. I am not sure if those strange white feathery objects are fountains or Dementors looking for Harry Potter.

Of course the London Borough of Waltham Forest is outer London’s most cycling-friendly borough, which never stops helping cyclists. Naturally no one ever stops to ask why all these improvements have resulted in the total stagnation of cycling in the borough for decades, with modal share stuck solidly at one per cent.

The council is also “widening and renewing pavements” – but only in order to create parking bays there. And for all those suckers who like car-centric Green tokenism there will be “an Electric Vehicle charging point”.

(Below) The imaginative use of space in urban planning. This recent street ‘improvement’ features four holes for trees, subsequently planted with tarmac, some heritage railings, and a fake heritage bench on which the weary pedestrian can rest and admire the traffic speeding past. Church Hill E17.