Olympic countdown - Reasons for a London Cycle Map, #69: Some tins of paint would do it.

#69: SOME TINS OF PAINT WOULD DO IT. 100 people daubing a paint marker on the road every 20 metres, at a rate of 100 markers per day, would need just 20 days to cover virtually the entire London Cycle Network (plus a few other streets) with the route markings corresponding to Simon Parker’s London Cycle Map.

With the markings in place, cyclists could ride from anywhere to anywhere in the capital on streets which are generally safe and quiet.

A typical cycle journey would involve consulting the London Cycle Map, remembering a few coloured routes and where to change from one to the to the other, then following the corresponding road markings before exiting the network at the closest point to your final destination.

Of course, I’m not recommending that cyclists break the law by painting London’s streets! I’m just illustrating how simple Simon Parker’s proposal really is. The fact that none of the major cycle advocacy groups want to open up London’s safest cycle routes to the general public in this way is quite bewildering.

That said, if anyone can think of a way of getting Parker’s routes functional without breaking the law, I’d be all ears!



Hi Ben,

Hi Ben,

A repeat (or route confirmation) marker on the road every 20 metres is generous, particularly on the back streets, but your point is well made.

Like you, I am totally baffled at the way the various cycle advocacy groups have responded to this proposal. One could say, as David Arditti does, that any infrastructure improvements which essentially involve nothing more than a bit of paintwork are, in the case of main roads, a second-class solution, and in the case of back streets, a third-class colution, neither of which will achieve their objective. But since no way of thinking should be trusted without proof, I am inclined to regard this view as prejudicial.

Obviously it very much depends what one's objective is. In the first instance, I am looking (in accordance with the very best Dutch advice) for the authorities to establish a cycle network by doing as much as possible at least cost first. Once the network has been established, I would like to see them move towards David Arditti's "first-class solutions".

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