Olympic countdown - Reasons for a London Cycle Map, #49. Salient cycling.

#49. SALIENT CYCLING. A London Cycle Network organised in accordance with Simon Parker’s London Cycle Map blueprint would be a beacon for cycling in London.

The streets would be emblazoned with clearly visible signs, periodic road markings, and beads of light studded into the tarmac. Each of the junctions on the network would feature a tall totem-like signifier, like the ‘roundel’ signs outside Tube stations, as well as a mounted London Cycle Map accompanied by local cycle route information.

Then of course there’d be the cyclists – floating unmissably along the routes, like colourful autumn leaves on the surface of a river. As the routes became more popular, more and more cyclists would fall in line: nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.

Everything about a London Cycle Network as such – from signs to cyclists – would declare: this is a place where cycling belongs.

Granted, the same was supposed to be true of TfL’s Cycle Superhighways; but, alas, being based on main roads and major junctions, these routes seem to be sending out a message to cyclists too: this is a place where HGVs, buses, motorcycles and cabbies belong.

With far fewer of the juggernauts of the road present, the routes on Parker’s London Cycle Map would be a cycling oasis in the midst of a capital city that can otherwise be hostile to bikes. A fully comprehensive network where cycling is salient. Now that’s an idea which would encourage regular Londoners to take up cycling.


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