#64: GREAT IDEAS CUT THROUGH THE CONFUSION. There’s a reason why technical breakthroughs often take a while to catch on. The worse a problem gets, the more it cries out for a solution, and the more and more people wade into the fray to try to help. Inevitably, bedlam is the backdrop to important discoveries, with countless ideas flying around and everyone talking frantically past each other.
The invention of the bicycle was characterised by such pandemonium. Before the first true bicycle came along in the late 1860s, there were countless inventors in the picture, and a bewildering array of human-powered vehicles on the market, in various zany shapes and sizes. But none of them did the job as exquisitely as the pedal-powered two-wheeler, which went on to become arguably the greatest invention in history.
Like the bicycle itself did, Simon Parker’s London Cycle Map has cut through the confusion. Currently there are numerous campaign organisations, authorities, politicians and bloggers all shouting past each other about the best way to take cycling in the capital to the next level. But one idea promises to settle the debate.
Just as no other human-powered machine matched the simple efficiency and beauty of the bicycle, no other proposal for taking cycling forward in London matches Parker’s London Cycle Map. No other supposed solution will generate the marvellous outcome of enabling new cyclists to navigate on safer, quieter streets throughout the entire capital while remembering just a few coloured routes.
As the policy melee in London eases gradually, all eyes are turning the London Cycle Map Campaign.