Tuesday, 14 February 2012

LCC puts Boris bikes in the picture

I'm always thrilled when my copy of London Cyclist drops through my letterbox, but the latest issue is exceptional. Before going any further sign their Going Dutch petition to call for more safe routes for cyclists in London. Then read the excellent interview with Janette Sadik-Khan, transport commissioner in New York, which includes her plans for a 10,000 bike cycle hire scheme in the Big Apple (not sure it's online yet, maybe you should become a member to get the magazine?).

But perhaps best of all are LCC's proposals for what Dutch-style cycling might look like in London. Consider Parliament Square - a beautiful public square closed to traffic on two sides, with a new fountain and cycle lanes all round. And yes, at the centre of this scheme, a cycle hire dock! It makes sense of course - who needs to dock in parliament? - civil servants, tourists, MPs, Mr Cameron maybe. Seriously a lot of people, not all experienced cyclists, the ideal location for cycle hire. And then see the plan for the Olympic Park post-2012: Stratford High Street calmed with fewer traffic lanes and cycle lanes installed, and at the entrance to the park itself, a cycle hire station of course!

What LCC can see, and I wonder if Boris can't quite yet, is that cycle hire is socially inclusive in a way the traditional lycra-clad London cycling isn't. I'm not against that, but Boris bikes attract tourists, commuters, the curious, families, and more. They need the bikes in the right places, and they need cycle lanes which make them feel confident even if they're new to cycling. I for one give the thumbs up to LCC's plans.

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