Maybe it’s the philosopher in me, but I’ve come up with a logical challenge to anyone who doesn’t support Simon Parker’s proposal for a London Cycle Map.
If you agree that:
- there should be a signed ‘strategic’ cycle network in London, i.e. one enabling people to make medium-to long-distance (i.e. 2 – 20 miles) cycle journeys from one part of the capital to another; and
- this network should predominantly incorporate the 'London Cycle Network (LCN)' infrastructure already put in place over the last 30 or so years; and
- the signs on the network should be visible, informative and frequent enough to enable cyclists to follow them without needing to know the names of the streets they are riding on; and
- cyclists should be able to make journeys that are as direct (i.e. straight) as possible while avoiding (where practically possible) main roads; and
- although useful, Satnav technology should not be considered sufficient as a navigational tool for cycling in London, because it excludes the poorest Londoners from being able to plan journeys easily;
Can you come up with a better way of fulfilling these criteria than Simon Parker’s ‘London Cycle Map’ with its ‘Compass Colour System’?
I’m not a betting man, but I predict that no-one will. Parker’s system is so efficient. By envisaging the current LCN as a series of long, straight routes that uniformly dissect the capital at five different angles, evenly spread throughout the 360 degrees of the compass, his London Cycle Map more or less guarantees that there will be a direct cycle route connecting wherever you are in London with wherever you want to go; such that most cycle journeys therein would predominantly involve following signs of a single colour along such a route.
In many ways Parker’s proposal is ingenious, bearing the classic hallmarks of an elegant and simple ‘why-did-nobody-think-of-that-before’ solution to a longstanding and complicated problem. His London Cycle Map and its Compass Colour System represents a genuine breakthrough for cyclists in the capital, and possibly the world over.
Yet Parker’s London Cycle Map would also be right at home in the capital. Users of the Cycle Superhighways already get to follow coloured signs to navigate. Parker’s system would simply enable cyclists to do the same on all the routes on the LCN, thus vastly multiplying the available choices.