11 June 2010

Blue square premier: Car-park queries on the CS3

They've just slapped down some nice new blue-paint squares on Cycle Superhighway 3 (Barking to Tower Gateway) here on Narrow St, just south of Limehouse Basin, a couple of miles east of Tower Bridge.

The squares aren't joined up, like most of London's cycling policy, but we assume that in due course, blue strips will extend continuously along both sides of the road. Um, won't they?

(Just west of here, bound up to the Superficial Cycleways route by some arcane 4D Riemann transformation comprehensible only to topographical maths genius Grigory Perelman, is the bizarre Horseferry Road contraflow, which I blogged about in February.)

Now, I'm no expert on etymology, but I suspect it's possible that Narrow Street's name may be related to its restricted width. And at the moment, as the picture (right) shows, it's clearly too narrow to have two Superficial Cycleway lanes, two lines of traffic, and parking spaces.

So what's going to happen to the parking spaces along this road? Will they be removed, and the blue squares joined up, to make CS3 'safe, direct and continuous'?

There may be a satisfactory transformation that doesn't involve losing all that valuable onstreet parking, but you'd need Mr Perelman to work it out. And another couple of dimensions.


  1. There's a contraflow in Tottenham like this, a sequence of widely separated rectangles rather than a lane.

    On-street car parking provision remains one of the major obstacles to the development of safe and convenient cycing infrastructure in the capital. In my part of north east London the council is working hard to create more parking bays. Creating new ones to the left of narrow cycle lanes is particularly inspired.

  2. By the way, Freewheeler, did you know that you got mentioned in the Guardian's cycling blog? It was even on the site's front page. Well done.

  3. Interesting to see that the blue boxes are invisible (painted on the crest of undulations in the road) until you are top of them. A complete waste of time and ugly.
    More important, is the Horseferry Road/Narrow Street facility at which I expect a fatality at some point. Designing in a death trap is just unbelieveable.

  4. Thanks, Hex, yes I had noticed (2,000 hits in 24 hours, crikey! It seems a lot of people have issues with taxi drivers). But evidently I have to thank Andreas of the London Cyclist blog for alerting the Guardian man to my post. So thanks, Andreas.

  5. I live on Narrow Street and find this unbelievable. What an eyesore. They are not put down at the same distance from each other and certainly are ugly as hell! What is this nonsense. Like cyclist don't know where they are going. It is just one straight road into they city.

    I am sorry to say, but the average cyclist in the morning is already a pest enough. When walking the short road from Prezzo to Zizzo, cyclist cannot even be bothered to slow down and cycle on the right as requested by signs.

    These signs just seems to indicated to cyclists that they are more important than cars. Just waiting for screetching tyres and ambulance noise to enter my window!

  6. Cycle on the right!?! Maybe it's because people drive, and cycle, on the LEFT in this country. If the signs tell them to keep right, at least that's one aspect of Dutch cycle infrastructure we've managed to copy successfully.

  7. I am a cyclist and a pedestrian and live in Limehouse and was shocked when these visually offensive bright blue rectangles were laid down one night by a bunch of clearly insensitive workmen... or is it Boris. Because if so he is bonkers and should be brought down here to paint them out. The disregard for the environment in this historic street is breathtaking. At peak times cyclists have taken over the street and footways any way so the last thing we need to encourage is even more hyped up fitness freaks and bankers to make our lives more dangerous.