Cycling in Sydney Australia
An update on a project that will hopefully inspire Sydney transport planners is London's Cycle Superhighway (CS) concept. (pics below)
Today I rode on the part finished CS8, along Chelsea embankment, one of the busier routes into London from the west. The route I cycled was a 3 mile stretch along the north side of the Thames ending at Parliament (Big Ben)
On much of the route they have taken a lane from the cars and given it to cyclists.The Superhighway surface has improved. On most of it the surface is low rolling resistance paint, but coming to intersections the surface changes to become a lot more gritty/grippy to allow for harder braking etc.
The new route is much wider than CS7 allowing 3 abreast each way in some sections. A great example of "build it and they will come".
Some stats from Transport for London (TFL) on the 2 of 12 completed routes:
Peak hour increases of 100% in some sections of the routes
This years cycling budget for TFL and the Mayor is £116
Coming up to Vauxhall Bridge
Outside Tate Britain on Millbank
wow, that's impressive.
And there I was, proudly showing the Kent St cycleways to some overseas visitors just that day.
Whole lane cycle lanes is definately the way to go. Cheaper to paint up the road than fit it out with traffic calming devices, it has the same effect, and it actually increases the trip capacity of the roads.
Once the cyclelanes are that wide, you don't get doorzone problems or close passing problems from motorists.
Nah, I don't trust the local vandals to leave this alone if it wasn't on a monitored premises like a ... say a servo or similar.
lol, they'd probably install it in the least trafficked part of town, in the middle of the path, at the bottom of a steep hill.
The problem with Sydney is the taxi drivers. If you think they wouldn't swerve violently across this lane to stop and pick up a fare, you haven't been riding in Sydney long enough. (Solution: Much stricter monitoring and penalising of poor driving by taxi drivers.)
I wonder what London cabbies do
The sound of a London black cab's distinctive diesel engine over the right shoulder is a good sound. The vast majority are very patient, if they go past it's at a very slow relative speed and if they have to pull in across the cycles they will indicate and wait patiently for a gap. In general they are very predictable. By far my most favourite vehicle to travel with on the road.London buses are also up there in predicatability. Patient, slow relative speeds, leave gaps for cyclists to filter at the lights and often let cyclists in.
+1. London Cabbies are very good drivers. You won't pick up a cab in London unless you stand somewhere where they can safely pull over. They'll just point you down the road. They also know where they're going and how to get there in the shortest time. (Google "the knowledge" if you want to know what cabbies have to go through to get a licence in London).
From what I can tell in Sydney the only requirements to be a taxi driver are having one leg and two arms. (First ever cab I caught in Sydney, I asked him to take me to the Sydney Cricket Ground and he said "What's that?"!!)