Bridgette Meinhold

London's Bicycle Superhighway Opens Today!

by , 07/19/10
filed under: Green Transportation

london, bike superhighway, bike lanes, bicycle network, bike commuting

As a way to encourage bike commuting and improve safety for bicyclists on the road, London is opening a series of bike superhighways along important commuter routes. The first two Barclays Cycle Superhighways just launched today to mark the beginning of what London Mayor, Boris Johnson, calls a “cycle revolution“. Painted a bold, bright blue, the cycle highways are 1.5 meters wide and they provide a safer space and more efficient routes for cyclists to travel.

london, bike superhighway, bike lanes, bicycle network, bike commuting

London isn’t the only locale pumping up its bike infrastructure. Other cities, like New York and Los Angeles are working on setting up biking networks, widening traffic corridors, and adding more lanes. London’s new bicycle superhighway network has 12 planned routes in all, but the first two are ready as of today. The first route, labeled CS7, starts in Colliers Wood, a London suburb, and travels 8.5 miles to the city center along a busy commuter route, while the second one runs from Barking, in east London, to Tower Gateway.

The new bright blue bike lanes are designed to provide efficient thoroughfares for bikers, and more importantly, provide them with a safe space in which to ride. With 13 cyclist fatalities in 2009 alone, the city of London acted to help ensure the safety of their bikers while fostering a growing community devoted to low-carbon travel. It may take some time before the cars get used to staying out of the blue lanes, but eventually the city will grow accustomed to them and learn to share the road better. The bike lanes are just part of the London cycling revolution, which includes a city-wide bike hire scheme, a new cycling police unit, 66,000 extra bike parking spaces before 2012, and better strategic planning.

+ Barclays Cycle Superhighway

Via BBC News

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13 Comments

  1. CathS February 9, 2012 at 6:46 am

    20 months on, I’d love to know (from users)how the `bike super highways’ are working. Do they get too congested at peak hour? Is it difficult to cater for the differing speeds of cycling road users? Are car drivers staying out of them? Have the motorcyclists tried to use them? Did wet days prove to be a problem? Feedback please :-)

  2. milehimom August 3, 2011 at 10:59 am

    How does bright blue paint provide a “safe space?” At best, it may make some drivers more apt to notice bicyclists, but it’s not a physical barrier between cars and bikes. Unfortunately, until bike commuting can be as safe as other transportation options (or other options become too expensive), most of us won’t bike to work.

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    [...] first bikes will roll out within 12 to 18 months, with the full program ready to go in two years. Stay [...]

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    [...] the hunt for an e-bicycle that doesn’t have a drab, traditional hybrid frame? Then check out Derringer Cycles, a line [...]

  5. peter johnson July 23, 2010 at 6:34 am

    For all of you who dont know about London. These blue lanes are basically the existing bycicle green lanes with a new paint color (the color of the bank that sponsors it and conveniently the color of the political party of the present mayor). The only addition is on the crossings which I welcome.

  6. davidwayneosedach July 22, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    How attractive! I can’t wait to try it next time I’m across the pond.

  7. Green Idea Factory July 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Hello!? Can we have some journalism here? There is no standard definition of a “bicycle superhighway”, so please qualify it.

    There is huge criticism of this new infrastructure, see one example at http://hembrow.blogspot.com/search/label/london%20superhighways

  8. Frankh July 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Adding sand or grit to paint is straight forward and often done for decks, stairwells, etc.

  9. XenoSilvano July 21, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    FINALLY, London gets proper bicycle lanes!

  10. velocitygirl July 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    i’m with booger. i think it’s a fantastic idea but not so sure about the fully painted lanes… typically when it rains the paint on street gets slick with standing water. in addition, when the oils rise up from the rest of the asphault they tend to stand on top of the the paint because it’s not permeible, causing very slick surfaces.

  11. Boooger July 19, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    I like the concept but just how slick is that blue surface when wet?

  12. Rach Stevo July 19, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    HELL YEAH.

  13. victoriaklein July 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    What a super-swank idea! I hope that cities like NY & LA really do move forward with adding their own cycling superhighways – it would be a fantastic sign & example for other US cities.

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