07 September 2009

Bike Monopoly 0: Go

This is a new series of posts. Each weekday for the next eight weeks we'll look at successive squares on the traditional English-pattern Monopoly board game, and examine each of the 40 locations or events from the cyclist's point of view.

Go, well, it just has to be a green signal. That means go. Or, if you're cyclists as imagined by most drivers, a red signal.

So the obvious London location to represent Go is the bewildering Traffic Light Tree (right) at Westferry Circus, on the western edge of Canary Wharf.

(It's on one of the routes in my 50 Quirky Bike Rides book. See map of route)

It's a work of art, constructed in 1998 by Pierre Vivant (born Paris, 1952). The random patterns are meant to represent the restlessness of business there, but now their mixed signals seem a grimly accurate description of the economy.

Other notable green lights include the one you use to cross from The Mall (if you were cycling from your home in Buckingham Palace, for instance) to Wellington Arch (right).

(It's on another of the routes in my 50 Quirky Bike Rides book. See map of route)

It allows you just four seconds to get across, and is London's only pedestrian crossing equipped with starting blocks.


  1. >Update August 2010: Monopoly makers Hasbro have launched a 75th anniversary edition of the game and state that the 'Go' square is, officially, in Queen's Walk, just next to the London Eye.

  2. An announcement that was swiftly and embarrassingly dealt with by the not-so-gullible people of the internet: