London Cycle Superhighway Blackfriars

Aim for the stars, but don’t demand them all at once

These plans are pretty killer. If my city announced plans to build this, I’d be thrilled to bits.

Huge cultural change takes time, and as long as cycling infrastructure makes progress I’m ok with smaller, if consistent, steps. Afterall, infrastructure doesn’t pop up overnight (but some kinds could). The article on Cyclists in the City that covers this plan from Transport for London is mostly positive, so I’m not taking issue with it in general, but, it does include one passing comment that was the inspiration for this post:

“There are, at some points, far too many traffic lights for my liking as well, so you have a slightly stop-start experience in places rather than a gentle flow.”

Strive for perfection, but let’s be realistic about it. Too many stop lights? You live in a city. A very busy and congested one. There are more than a few intersections to account for, which would generally mean that not everyone can go through them all at once.

I’m not suggesting that we take anything and everything that government throws at cycling infrastructure without it first being reviewed and checked for shoddy or inadequate design. I am also very aware that bikes are not cars, and in some instances the law should reflect this in what they are allowed to do (like designing some intersections so that cyclists don’t have to stop). However, as the social and political mood currently stands with cycling and cycling infrastructure being a fairly hot-button topic, when you get a city that is taking real measures to ensure that a (growing) minority of road users are serviced in this way, do yourself a favour and don’t pick at the tiny thread hanging off of the glorious outfit you’re being presented with.

We demand equality, as we should, but when you’re fighting for an equal share of the pie, don’t try to grab the whole thing. Thank the host for the piece you have been given, show them how you and all of your friends thought it was very nice, and then go back for seconds.

Image: Harriet Barber/Flickr

Image: Harriet Barber/Flickr