#78: COMMONSESE OVER BUREAUCRACY. If we all woke up tomorrow to find the Tube map had been abolished and replaced with 14 separate maps, each covering one small section of London and showing the Underground lines in detailed relation to all the other train lines in the area, we’d think the planners had gone completely mad overnight.
When life for the majority of Londoners involves traversing the city on a daily basis, to get to work, to see friends, and to occupy a home that’s at least vaguely affordable, we need something more than a mapping system which only enables us to plan part of every Tube journey.
Anyone can see that having a single, easy-to-use, stylised visual aid is a million times more useful to users of the Tube than carrying a bunch of complex, confusing and cumbersome local documents. It’s commonsense!
The equivalent for cycling would be a London Cycle Map: one single, unified, stylised visual representation of the network of safe cycle routes that already covers the city in a vast web. If only planners would recognise the simplicity of Simon Parker’s London Cycle Map design, the capital could be transformed – not overnight, but in the space of just a few months.
All that’s required to revolutionise travel in London is the cooperation of the boroughs in creating a city-wide system of signage and markings on the roads, for an initial sum of £50,000 per borough - roughly equivalent to a single senior civil servant’s annual salary.
When it comes to cycling we need less bureaucracy from our bureaucrats and more of that comprehensive vision and organisation which is found in their job descriptions, best intentions and finest administrative accomplishments. And a little commonsense.