Barclays Cycle Superhighways Launched

The first two of twelve total “Barclays Cycle Superhighways” were launched in London this week. The so-called cycle superhighways are continuous 5′ wide bike lanes painted bright blue. The first starts in a London suburb and runs 8.5 miles to the city center, while the second runs 7.5 miles from Barking to Tower Gateway. The bike lanes are part of the City’s “Cycling Revolution” plan that also includes a bike-sharing program and 66,000 new bike parking spaces.

Barclays Cycle Superhighways
Cycling Revolution London

9 Responses to “Barclays Cycle Superhighways Launched”

  • Rich says:

    I’ve not been on this yet, but, from what I’ve read, its not hopeful. All the broken white lines on the side of the blue lane in this video designate the lane as “advisory”, and not “mandatory”, which is marked by a solid white line. Cars, trucks, HGVs etc still can encroach and even park in this “superhighway”. God only knows was no line means!

    So far, it seems like just a branding opportunity for a bank.

  • sb mike says:

    As with anything new, people can sometimes point to the “I heard/ read that…. insert negative aspect here”. Honestly, i think this is a great start and i really wish we had clearly painted blue bike lanes on all the city streets here in town. And more importantly I wish we had the monetary push for making bike riding more accessible to everyone.
    I get the sense that London is going full fledged on the marketing side of this project with branding it a “revolution, super highway”, with the hope that people will at least try it. And to be honest i can’t fault them for that. The reason being is that i think a large part of getting people on bike is to help them overcome the MENTAL hurdle. I gotta say three cheers for London and I hope it exceeds everyones expectations.

  • François says:

    Do I understand correctly that one of the route is along a large motorway? This would mean maximal exposure to car exhausts pollution. Cyclist routes should ideally be at least one block away from major motorways!

  • Phil says:

    Positives: the bright blue paint makes the lanes easier to spot for drivers and increases general awareness of cycling. They will encourage more people to jump on a bike which can only be a good thing.

    Negatives: As mentioned above, they are advisory, not mandatory. There is break in them for bus stops and car parking (!) and I saw a cyclist in front of me nearly get cleaned up by a bus pulling over across the highway on Monday. Some of the paint used feels a little greasy, so looking forward to that in the wet ; ). They haven’t created any additional space for bike lines in most places, they’ve just taken it from the main part of the road.

    Bottom line, anything that gets more people on bikes is good as it’ll force London to start taking us seriously as a group. This just feel like a marketing exercise though and, for the money (25 million GBP), I think they could have done few lanes better and focused on genuine segregation rather than painting existing bike lanes a different colour.

  • Rich says:

    Good points Mike. I Hope I’m not too negative. Its just that I’ve cycled in London for a few years now, and one of my peeves is cars operating or parking legally in “advisory” lanes or illegally in “mandatory” lanes. The latter is seldom ever enforced, so it may as well be legal. I don’t even understand the purpose of an “advisory” lane.

    I had high hopes, but it seems very little of substance is offered outside of the signage, paint, and hype. While these things could have value in overcoming mental barriers and the adoption of different social norms, etc, bicycles still have to fight for every inch of road in London and I don’t see how these lanes change that. The signage and paint might make it more obvious that bikes belong, but most all motorists in London already know this. A significant minority (white vans) will still be horrible and nasty because its their nature and its the nature of London’s roads. If these lanes do nothing to change this experience for bikes, this takes away from the value of hype in shifting mode share.

    Ultimately, people are not stupid. They will make choices based on what they feel and experience themselves, regardless of the hype.

    Also, I don’t know why they didn’t use green paint, which is the standard colour of dedicated cycle tracks in London and the UK (if they have paint). I guess Barclay’s blue is the new green.

    BTW, I’m originally from Georgia and New Mexico, so I’m familiar with the situation in much of the US. Love the blog and the bike snaps!

  • Frits B says:

    David Hembrow had his say here:

  • » Finding the Buses That Need a Speed Boost says:

    […] Charleston Moves challenges a new ordinance that would outlaw locking your bike to a tree or sign. EcoVelo marks the opening of London's so-called bicycle superhighways. And the Hard Drive details […]

  • Streetsblog Capitol Hill » Finding the Buses That Need a Speed Boost says:

    […] Charleston Moves challenges a new ordinance that would outlaw locking your bike to a tree or sign. EcoVelo marks the opening of London's so-called bicycle superhighways. And the Hard Drive details […]

  • Darryl Jordan says:

    what I’d like to do is to go back and read newspapers of 1900 to 1915 to see what they had to say about building streets for autos and not horses.

    For all the cynicism expressed by drivers and cyclists about bike routes, lanes, or paths; whether they are separate from autos or not; the beginning of the end of the internal-combustion automobile is nigh and the big cities are starting to deal with the over-population of autos. Bicycles aren’t the sole answer but they are a response from many to the automotive hegemony.

    But personally, I want that bike that makes me cycle as fast at that blue streak. Or was that cynic complaining about the bike route speaking a blue streak? ;-)

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