Friday, 1 March 2013

A brief and occasional off-topic rant

My attention has just drawn to this discussion paper on the Urban Design London website

I have an issue with the first introductory paragraph:
Certain aspects of policy are very clear: we want a big increase in the proportion of journeys in London made by bicycle; we want to make cycling on London’s streets safer and more comfortable; we want cycling to appeal to a broader section of society; we want to get cycling provision right from the start for any new developments and improve facilities within existing streets; and we want to achieve these changes while making streets and public places into better places for people generally.
This all sounds wonderful, but the author forgot to add: And we want to achieve all this without restricting in any way the speed or volume or access to all areas of motor traffic, which in fact we also want to prioritise under our smoothing traffic agenda, by which of course we mean real traffic, ie motor traffic.

No administration in London will succeed in its pursuit of the laudable objectives quoted above without curbing motor traffic volumes and speeds. Until that reality is faced, the debate about segregated V: integrated cycle routes is sterile and boring and pointless. Boris is in cloud-cuckoo land as long as he thinks he can go on giving priority to all road users.