Monday, 21 November 2011

Colour choice for Cycle Superhighways

I've just discovered that Mauve dye was invented on Cable Street, now part of CS3. What a shame TfL didn't pick up on that to personalise the paint on this route.

It reminded me that in January 2009, when the Cycling Superhighways were still an unknown thing that I wrote a spoof press release, for a cycling forum, which TfL may wish to refer to in their junctions review:

Details of first London Cycling Super Highway announced.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Transport for London have announced plans for cycle highways - a set of twelve high-profile radial routes into and out of Central London that will concentrate cycle flows and provide a fast and efficient way into the centre.

Each route will have a clear identity, e.g. 'Docklands Cycle Highway' or 'Northern Line Cycle Highway', with consistent and easy to follow road markings and signs.

The first to be created is planned to be the Northern Line Cycle Highway, initially between Tooting Broadway in South London and Camden Town in North London. The ambition is that it will open in autumn 2009, with work commencing in the spring.

A spokesman said, "This can be implemented easily and cheaply. The Highway will take the existing TfL Red Route along the A24 from Tooting Broadway past Tooting Bec, Balham, Clapham South, to Clapham Common. It will then take the A3 Red Route past Clapham North to Stockwell.

From Stockwell the Highway will take the route planned for the Cross River Tram, which the Mayor and TFL stated last November will no longer be taken forward. It will follow the A3 through Oval to Elephant and Castle, then cross over Waterloo Bridge to Aldwych and up Kingsway to Mornington Crescent, Euston and Camden Town.
The proposed Cross River Tram was expected to carry 9,000 people per hour per direction in peak periods and the Mayor had committed to assess alternative solutions. The Cycle Highway is able to exceed the capacity of the Tram for a fraction of the cost. As well as conventional bicyles, electric bicycles and mobility chairs will be allowed to use the standard lane-width Highway to ensure the widest range of people can benefit."

In a radical departure from conventional cycle lanes, the Cycle Highway will have dedicated use of the central lanes of the road in each direction and these will be designated with coloured tarmac. There will be marked feeder lanes onto and off the Cycle Highway at each junction for cyclists to merge into the Cycle Highway traffic. All motorised vehicles will use the lanes adjacent to the pavement and will have to give way to cyclists using the feeder lanes.

To avoid lengthy delays at bus stops the old Routemaster buses will be reintroduced, pending delivery of the new design, allowing pedestrians to board and alight whenever the bus is stationary. As cyclists will not be filtering on the inside of the buses the Routemaster design is safe to use.

At most cross-roads motorised traffic wishing to cross the Cycle Highway will have to give way until a suitable gap exists to cross, as will traffic wishing to turn across the Highway. The intention is that cyclists will, with one or two exceptions, not have traffic lights hindering their progress.

Journey time for an average cyclist between tube stations is calculated to be similar to the time taken by tube and faster than existing road traffic.

Ambulances, Fire Engines and Police Cars responding to emergencies will use the Cycle Highway. Motorists will have to stop in their lane and cyclists stop on the edge of their lane or in gaps in the motorised traffic until the emergency service vehicle (which is limited to 30mph on the Highway) has passed.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, is understood to want to create original 'Grands Projets' in the manner of former French President Francois Mitterand. Cycling Super Highways, expected to be known colloquially as Bicycle Only Journey Options (BOJOs), are to be his first.

TfL have neither confirmed nor denied that it is intended that the Cycle Highways will have tarmac the colour of the matching tube line on maps. Specialist cycle clothing company Rapha are expected to be interested in sponsoring this first route if the official Northern Line colour can be changed to Metrosexual Pink, through a simple swap with the Hammersmith and City Line, and rumours are now circulating that Rapha/Condor could secure options on the sites of the former Woolworth stores along the routes in a bid to challenge dominant retailers Halfords and Evans. Wiggle were a possible source of sponsorship, as the Highway is likely to form part of the English side of the London to Paris cycle route. However it is now thought that this part of the route is too direct to suit their brand image.

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