03 November 2009
Copenhagen vs London 2: Cycle Superhighways
London's forthcoming cycle superhighways are clearly inspired, at least in part, by Copenhagen's splendid cycle lanes. They will incorporate many of their features.
On the right is a short section of blue lane in the Danish capital, just in front of the main square. They use these blue strips to mark out cycling territory at junctions and suchlike. They're wide, straight, and marked with cycle symbols big enough to be seen from Google Earth.
When the first of London's two superhighway routes arrive next year (Wimbledon to Bank, Barking to Tower Hill), we can look forward to this kind of cycle facility, eagerly anticipated by many bloggers.
Not as regards the width, obviously. Or the priority over traffic. Or the straightness and smooth corners.
The cycle symbols will be quite a bit smaller too. And our lanes might disappear a bit here and there where some cars or motorbikes need to be parked, or some rubbish needs to be left.
Indeed, you'll notice that, in the recent YouTube video helpfully posted by TfL about the superhighways, the emphasis is gradually being shifted away from words such as 'wide', 'useful', or 'safe', and more towards concepts like 'clearly signed'. And 'blue'.
So don't worry! We'll beat Copenhagen where it really counts. Our cycle superhighways will be EVEN BLUER than theirs!
Ours will be painted in a special shade of azure, designed in conjunction with leading experts in hue and saturation. They will be cooler and trendier and more ultramarine than anything those socialist old bacon-slicers can come up with!
In fact, London's cycle superhighways will look very much like these three on the right.
Hah! Take that, Aksel! Eat cobalt, Frederik! Stick that indigo in your pecan pastry, Jeppe!*
*Note for the dozier readers of the Guardian blog: this is satire, meant not to incite ridicule against the Danes, but to expose the folly of London's poor cycle facilities. Just in case you were thinking of running a cartoon campaign or something.