Wednesday 18 May 2011

Cycling on the pavement

Erin Gill cycles on the pavement:

It may be an unpalatable truth for some, but there are reasons why cyclists opt for the pavement.

One of these reasons is

irrationally designed road traffic systems that keep us from riding directly toward our destinations. Chief among these are archaic one-way systems.

I don’t myself think this planning is irrational. It’s perfectly rational if you believe that maintaining motor vehicle flow is the most important priority when planning personal mobility in a dense urban area. The problem with Transport for London is that it is not remotely interested in discouraging car dependency. That said, I agree with the thrust of Erin’s article. Cycling on the pavement is symptomatic of individuals responding to a transport infrastructure which systematically marginalises the convenience and safety of cyclists and puts motor vehicle flow first. One-way streets and gyratories are a very visible expression of this.

The Vauxhall Gyratory supplies one glaring example.

Apparently removing the gyratory isn't a goer as it would require a 36% reduction in motor traffic in the morning forcing motorists to reconsider their mode of transport.

For a brilliant critical analysis of how Transport for London designs its streets, in the context of just one local example, you can’t do better than this.

Incidentally, one-way systems are not archaic in Outer London, because councils like Waltham Forest are building more and more of them. Even when it involves roads previously identified as part of the London Cycle Network.

And now for something completely different - some snaps of the Agar Grove entrance to a prize-winning permeability route.

I am sorry to say that someone spoiled my pics by cycling past at the time. On the pavement. As if he didn’t feel that Agar Grove was a safe road to cycle on. Naughty, naughty, naughty… (More shocking photographs of pavement cyclists here)