One small step for in Hackney: improving Regent’s Row

To my regret, I’ve not had much positive to say about conditions for people walking or on bikes in my home borough.  In fact, things look pretty terrible, whether it’s the apparent overall strategy of the borough, or the inexplicably dreadful Wick Road plans.  So it’s nice to be able to recognise somewhere Hackney Council are doing things right: this post celebrates a small but important improvement.

Regent’s Row was one of the many foetid little rat runs, full of drivers rat-running at speed, which run parallel to Regent’s Canal.  I don’t much like cycling down the canal and avoid it at all costs at the weekend when it’s too busy to get anywhere on a bike, but I hated cycling down this road more: it’s about as wide as a vehicle, and its high kerbs left nowhere to escape when facing (or chased) by hurrying drivers.

What have Hackney done?

The first part of the scheme removed the fencing that run all along the canal and created three access points for people on bikes (or in wheelchairs, with pushchairs, etc.).  They have also put in planters, which will no doubt be lovely once filled (and if looked after).

More importantly, a gate at the junction with Marlborough Avenue makes the road access only.  (There was never any reason to do otherwise, since there are two busy parallel roads within a couple of hundred metres in either direction (Pownall Road and Whiston Road)).

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Another thing that made the road unpleasant to cycle down was the cobbles running the whole length.  These have been removed (although little attractive rows remain which presumably have a speed reducing effect.

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Overall, Regent’s Row has gone from unpleasant rat run into an attractive parallel stretch for people on bikes, leaving more space for families (and joggers) on the canal towpath itself.

So what next?

1) How can we make Regent’s Canal better?

This weekend, a petition cropping up asking Google Maps not to show Regent’s Canal as a cycling route.  I’m no fan of the existing situation along the towpath (and I walk down the towpath more than I cycle) but this seems entirely the wrong way to go about things.  When cycling, if there were any viable traffic free alternative, I would be happy to take it – but there isn’t one,  This is a small start of a few hundred yards, but perhaps its time Hackney, Camden, Islington and Tower Hamlets got together and created a genuinely traffic free, desirable alternative parallel route (with the help of the Canals and Rivers Trust).  (It’s always worth creating an attractive carrot before reaching for the stick).

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In need of some love and fewer rat-running drivers.

2) How can we make Hackney better?

There’s a lot of pride in Hackney about the filtering of roads to create safe space for pedestrians and people on bikes.  This is a fantastic example.  Yet unfortunately it can occasionally feel as though pedestrian and cycling campaigners are criticised for their ingratitude if they demand more or faster improvement to Hackney’s streets.  Firstly, let me say, again, this is great.

But it’s not enough.  This (to my knowledge) is the only filtering scheme that will go in this year among the hundreds of streets Hackney manages.  (The Middleton Road filtering that was promised as part of Quietway 2 has been delayed, with no firm date, until after the Quietway launches).  Given that filtering is frequently referred to as one of Hackney’s great achievements, it would be great to see a plan which categorised every access road in Hackney as such (using the same principles as the Dutch CROW manual) and then planned to filter them and remove rat-running drivers from every single one, at a rate of dozens per year.

So, a small step forward – time for a big leap.

Quietway 2 – an embarrassment to all

Quietways always sounded pretty rubbish.  I use the vestiges of the London Cycle Network frequently – as with so much cycling in London, as a least-worst option – and I never cease to resent the wiggly routes it takes me on and the rat-running drivers I have to contend with in amongst the parked cars.

I thought Quietways might be a step up.  I’ve always seen them as a cop-out, avoiding TfL’s and the boroughs’ responsibility to provide safe space for cycling on main roads.  But at least I thought I might be able to get around the indirect and inconvenient routes safely and comfortably.  Here’s what TfL promise:

Quietways will complement Superhighways by providing a network of cycling routes through less heavily trafficked streets…  They are aimed at new cyclists who want a safe, unthreatening experience.

(London Cycling Design Standards)*

London Cycling Campaign, rightly, expected something clearer than this:

To actually be ‘quiet’ the routes need to restrict through motor traffic (rat-running) and provide separation where required (where speed limits are above 20 mph or traffic volumes are high).

(LCC)

So to Quietway 2

This is a pilot route, being delivered by Camden, Islington and Hackney, with the assistance of Sustrans.  I should probably have seen the writing on the wall when Camden consulted on the Guildford Road section – a choked rat-run and taxi route with car parking space – in which they promised a speed table or two and some painted signs.

Looking through Islington’s Consultation document (and let’s take a moment to note that it’s in nineteen separate pages, such that only really interested people are going to bother), I was disappointed, initially, to note no filtering, just some signs and some new road humps.  Sadly, the next page offered the same.  I got to the third page, and there were some more signs and new road humps…  You get the idea.  Nothing.

Here’s a fairly standard extract, showing the extent of what is to be done:

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Signs and raised entry humps on side roads.

 

For the benefit of those unfamiliar with the route as it stands – notably whoever designed it, let me take you down it.  This was yesterday on the way to a meeting – a random Tuesday morning – so unfortunately, some bits which are often horrible and choked were less so.  On the other hand, I got close-passed in an area which is usually fine, so it balances out.  This post focuses on Islington, with two exceptions, but I’ll start with something nice:

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Filtering in De Beauvoir Square – good for skateboarders too.

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Welcome to Islington!  The driver on the left is stationary, of course… (Northchurch Road)

The route takes a dog-leg diversion in the wrong direction and back on to the main road, which I didn’t bother to follow.

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This isn’t on the Quietway, this is the direct route. But it shows you the number of vehicles going down these back roads (and on to Prebend Street, which is on the Quietway). Drivers aren’t happy either – you can’t hear the driver on the right of the picture tell someone on the left to ‘F–k off’ as he passes (Basire Street meeting New North Road)

Back on the proposed ‘Quietway’ route.

 

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Lots of rat-running drivers. (Prebend Street)

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Lots of rat-running commercial drivers (Colebrooke Row)

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Four more rat-running drivers queued up behind people on bikes (Margery Street)

 

 

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See those drivers queuing up opposite – that’s what you’ll be joining to make it here from Camden’s side (Calthorpe Street)

At this point, my camera ran out of battery – which is fine, because this is the borough boundary.

My point is that these routes were all busy.  It’s probably true to say they are “less heavily trafficked streets” but only because the main roads are so heavily ‘trafficked’.  It’s certainly not true that they will offer a “safe, unthreatening experience” as the driver of 7861H was kind enough to demonstrate Middleton Road.

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What happens when you have lots of drivers mixing with people on bikes at a range of speeds? Close passes. And collisions. And injuries. And deaths. 

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Risk dooring or risk being knocked down – not a choice I’d ask a child to make.

[This part of the route, where I was close-passed, may be modally-filtered – although the works notifications have gone up in Hackney Today before we see any plans for this, which makes me nervous].

This new route won’t make it any safer or more pleasant to cycle, because it won’t provide any new space for cycling which isn’t already busy with drivers.  The only people it will help will be people unfamiliar with the route, due to the signs.  But why would anyone else bother with a  round-about route which is neither safe nor pleasant?

There are excellent parallel routes which drivers are free to take.  Islington is encouraging and continuing to allow rat-running commercial drivers to use these back, residential streets.  De Beauvoir shows what could be done here.

At the moment, we are looking at more money spent for absolutely no gain.  TfL can claim they have succeeded – these streets are “less heavily trafficked” – but only by comparison tot he main roads.

Thankfully, Islington claim they are willing to listen.

I would urge everyone reading this to oppose this scheme outright.  The money will be wasted and we will benefit not at all.

In contrast to the consultation plans, the consultation response is very simple.  To finish by the 17th May.

* I’m not even going to get into the ridiculous idea that new cyclists and existing cyclists want different kinds of infrastructure.

A question for National Express on the safety of people on bikes

At the TfL board meeting on 7th February 2015, your chair, Sir John Armitt, said: “I would say the biggest danger to cyclists on the roads in London are actually themselves.”

This is directly contradicted by the research. For example, this paper from the Transport Research Laboratory, shows that over 60% of collisions are caused by drivers not looking properly.

This article in The Times reports on a study by Westminster Council which says that only 20% of collisions are caused by cyclists.

As someone who cycles daily along roads used by National Express coaches, I found your chair’s disregard for the evidence (or ignorance of it) alarming. It suggests to me that National Express’s culture does not prioritise the safety of vulnerable road users sufficiently. Naturally, I avoid spending money with a company which endangers me and others.

I tweeted National Express at the time, to say that I was not prepared to travel with the company until the chair had apologised for, and retracted his statement. I did not receive a response.

I have to make a journey next week which, for the last six years, I have always taken by coach. I wanted to check whether the chair has apologised for and retracted his comments, and what he has committed the company to do to promote the safety of people on bikes. If you are unable to confirm the former and inform me about the latter, I look forward to taking the train instead.

Many thanks,
Harry

Is there space to segregate people on bikes from people in cars in Hackney?

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Ordinary weekday – no resident using these parking bays.

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Ordinary weekday – no resident using these parking bays either.

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Usual, heavy traffic up Victoria Park Road.

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Cyclists are permitted the use of this shared use path – an admission that no one wants to share with drivers and that it’s impossible to get around here on-road Victoria Park is closed.

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This is day time and a bus has just gone. As you can imagine, trying to cycle past this bus stop when anyone is waiting is impossible. Ample road-space though.

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Weekday morning – residents have no use for this parking space – could fit in a generous segregated track in both directions, without harming bus reliability or pedestrians.

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Unfortunately, occasional cars parked in the parking bays mean that cyclists must merge with the fast moving, non-stop traffic.

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Why is all this space wasted when residents don’t need it?

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Another example why no one wants to share the road along Victoria Park Road – even if a cyclist used the empty parking bays, the zebra crossing forces them into passing (often speeding) drivers’ paths.

Why I joined Hackney People on Bikes

A big reason why I moved to Hackney a year ago was it’s status as the *best* borough to cycle in in London.  But I knew really, that best really meant *least worst*. I’d like to see that change.

I’d previously lived in Haringey and Tower Hamlets: when I say ‘best,’ Hackney was way better than their utterly forbidding or completely inconvenient cycle routes.  There were filtered streets without cars, through which I could patch a route away from through traffic.  There were parks, easy to cross.  There was always the canal.  I used to cross from the Wild West environment of Tower Hamlets backstreets into Goldsmiths Row with a sigh of relief.

But, the longer I’ve lived here, the more it’s felt like *least worst* is the more accurate term.  There is no journey I can make across the borough without at some stage fearing for my life or limbs.  While I can ride through London Fields, De Beauvoir Town or some of the back streets, in relative safety, no journey avoided main roads entirely (the clue’s in the time).  I spend a lot of time visiting friends in Haringey: I could choose direct routes like the A10, among speeding cars and buses, weaving around the parked cars; and others like Mare Street, or slightly quieter roads like Well Street, parking on both sides, drivers zooming past, often far beyond 30mph.  Or I could use the true backstreets – often with rat-runners squeezing past me as fast as they dared, taking far longer and never quite getting me where I wanted.  I appreciated small things like the 100m of safe space in Goldsmiths Row, but I realised Hackney was no better than the other boroughs for end-to-end journeys or for genuine safety.

I thought about joining the Hackney Cycling Campaign, but they seemed to want the opposite of what I wanted.  I hoped that Cycle Superhighway 1, up the A10, would finally bring safe segregation, separating me from drivers.  I found out that they had campaigned against this – returning the route to the inconvenient, dangerous backstreets of London Cycle Network Route 10.  I read that HCC felt there was no space for segregation: but I looked at the streets around Victoria Park introduced parking controls and saw acres of space in unused parking spaces – and yet the one-way system so fast and busy that almost everyone I saw cycling was on the pavement.  I read that they believed sharing was fine: but I found myself frequently terrified – many drivers are kind, considerate and careful.  But it only takes one to end my life or at least my career.  Reading that Hackney was in the top five boroughs for hit and runs suggested that my own experience was not unusual.  And seeing the construction of great infrastructure in Camden and on the new cycle superhighways, I felt sad that Hackney would be left out.

But I couldn’t face starting a one-man campaign, given the apparent determination of a few people in the borough and Hackney Cycling Campaign to ensure people on bikes mixed with people in vehicles.  When Hackney People on Bikes came along, I jumped at the chance to contribute to something which would make the borough safe enough that I (and children, and old people, and everyone) could cycle around it and feel safe.  The popular reaction has been amazing, from individuals telling us what a difference this would make to them, to gaining almost 250 followers in three days.  It’s clear this campaign has widespread support.

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Hackney People on Bikes are taking this message to the Hackney Cycling Campaign at its monthly meeting on 3rd December (7.30, Marcon Court Estate community hall).  I hope that a strong showing of people will help to evidence the demand for change in the borough.  This is just the start: they have more plans afoot to help ensure the council and TfL make the borough safe and pleasant for everyone.

Hackney People on Bikes letter to Hackney Cycling Campaign can be found (and signed) here.

Hackney Cyclists has chronicled a good deal of Hackney’s problems here.

Here’s another reflection on the stance of Hackney Cycling Campaign from the Alternative DfT.

CS2 Upgrade Consultation Response, from a local resident

Comments on individual sections of the route (Sections 1 – 7)

1 Do you support the proposals for Section 1 (Aldgate to Whitechurch Lane) of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade?

Yes

Please give any comments on the proposals for Section 1 (Aldgate to Whitechurch Lane) of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade below:

These proposals are generally very good.

2 Do you support the proposals for Section 2 (White Church Lane to Cambridge Heath Road) of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade?

Yes

Please give any comments on the proposals for Section 2 (White Church Lane to Cambridge Heath Road) of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade below:
As a cyclist, I’m very much in favour of these proposals. As a pedestrian, I understand and partially share the Mayor of Tower Hamlets concerns at this point. This road is very, very hard to cross at present and this will make it harder. This does not reduce the need for these cycle improvements, but further pedestrian crossings would certainly be desirable.

3 Do you support the proposals for Section 3 (Cambridge Heath Road to Beaumont Grove) of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade?

Yes

Please give any comments on the proposals for Section 3 (Cambridge Heath Road to Beaumont Grove) of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade below:

This proposal substantially improves this stretch of road for people on bikes and pedestrians (subject to my overall comments on wands and junctions).

Again, it draws attention to the need for general improvements on roads such as Cambridge Heath Road and Sidney Street.

4 Do you support the proposals for Section 4 (Beaumont Grove to Westfield Way) of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade?

No

Please give any comments on the proposals for Section 4 (Beaumont Grove to Westfield Way) of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade below:

I strongly oppose the flawed design which leaves cyclists unsegregated from motorists along this part of the route. Why? 1) I have been cut up dangerously by bus drivers along this route in the bus lanes. 2) I have had a number of terrifyingly close passes by taxis along this route in the bus lanes. 3) Along Mile End Road when bus lanes are not in operation, one is frequently left picking one’s way around parked minicabs and having the prospect of speeding, undertaking vehicles approaching rapidly from behind. 4) At this point in the route, there is a gap of over 30m between buildings. Expecting cyclists to share with drivers so close to the site of Brian Holt’s death is particularly crass. This one weak-point will serve to invalidate the route for many families and those who, for obvious reasons, do not wish to cycle surrounded by traffic. Segregation must be included along this stretch to make this upgrade worthwhile.

Otherwise, this proposal significantly improves the area, including the junctions, subject to my overall comments regarding wands and junctions.

5 Do you support the proposals for Section 5 (Westfield Way to Merchant Street) of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade?

Yes

Please give any comments on the proposals for Section 5 (Beaumont Grove to Merchant Street) of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade below:

As far as Burdett Road, the proposal remains strong, although please see my general comment about left hooks/encroachment at junctions due to removal of segregation in the approaches.

At Burdett Road, I am pleased that we will finally see the proposals consulted upon eighteen months ago implemented. I hope that the parking permitted along Burdett Road to the North of Mile End Road can be limited to ensure the advisory cycle track remains useful. (This also highlights the need and space for segregation along the whole of Burdett Road, although this is one for another day).

Further West, I approve of the proposals, subject to my general concerns about wands.

6 Do you support the proposals for Section 6 (Merchant Street to Bromley High Street) of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade?

Yes

Please give any comments on the proposals for Section 6 (Merchant Street to Bromley High Street) of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade below:

Eastbound, I would be concerned about the left-hook risk at Bromley High Street, caused by the wide radius left for turning motor vehicles.

Outside Bow Church DLR, a 1.5m lane is far too narrow for the number of people who are likely to wish to use this. A single-stage crossing for pedestrians would obviate the need to waste space in the middle of the road on an island.

Otherwise, these proposals appear generally good, although please see my general comment about wands.

7 Do you support the proposals for Section 7 (Bromley High Street to Bow Roundabout) of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade?

Yes

Please give any comments on the proposals for Section 7 (Bromley High Street to Bow Roundabout) of the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade below:

It’s disappointing that more is not being done at Bow Roundabout, but perhaps as more people are able to cycle the perception of pressure on roundabout capacity will reduce and it will become more politically possible to put in safe crossing facilities for pedestrians and people on bikes.

Overall proposals and About you

8 Do you support TfL’s overall proposals for the Cycle Superhighway 2 upgrade?

Yes

Do you have any comments on the overall proposals?:

When I first saw CS2, I thought it was a joke. I subsequently spent a year and a half living three minutes from Mile End Road and I swiftly learned to avoid it unless there was no other way to reach my destination – which, unfortunately, was often the case. I now live a little further East and still use it only when I have no choice. I would welcome the chance to turn the Superhighway into something which I and others could use without fear of taxis, buses, car doors and (most dangerously) rapid under-taking vehicles outside bus lane hours. Therefore, overall, I support these proposals very strongly.

Across the proposal:
– I am concerned about the reduction in width of the cycle track to 1.5m at a number of points. Even now, horrible as it is, this road is heavily used by people on bikes. 1.5m is too narrow to accommodate the growth we will surely see once people are able to cycle safely.

– I am concerned at the reliance on paint rather than segregation at junctions. As on CS2X, there is a removal of segregation in the approach to possible left-turns by motorists. Leaving segregation until nearer the junction would reduce turning radii and ensure vehicles do not encroach on the cycle lane in advance of their turn. This could be topped by wands to avoid damaging encroaching vehicles if necessary.

– I have limited confidence in wands. The destructive effect drivers have over street furniture over time is clear across London. Clearly it’s preferable to have a wand in between me and speeding vehicles, but I suspect the wands are likely to prove both insufficient and expensive – subject as they will be to repeated replacement.

I’m pleased about the inclusion of a number of banned turns, which may begin to reduce the rat-running in some of Tower Hamlets backstreets, many of which are forbidding for bicycles. However, this proposal draws attention to the need for an overall strategy to improve these routes, notably by creating a safe, segregated connection between CS2 and CS3. This could be achieved by segregating Burdett Road (as proposed by the LCC as their Ward Ask and for which there is ample space) or by removing through motor traffic from Sidney Street and segregating Cambridge Heath Road. Either way, to realise the potential of CS2 greater attention is needed to the routes across Tower Hamlets to enable people to reach their destinations safely beyond CS2.

I suggest it’s worth considering these proposals http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/exempting-people-cycling-from-signals-and-how-that-can-benefit-people-walking/ regarding junctions.

East-West Cycle Superhighway Consultation response

I use the routes proposed for the East-West Cycle Superhighway a lot and this is a big step forward for people on bikes and for London.  It’s taken a long time to go through the plans and examine the details – so I thought it might be worth posting this for others to consider and consult.

East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 1: Tower Hill gyratory
1 Do you support the proposals for Section 1 (Tower Hill gyratory) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Yes

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 1 (Tower Hill gyratory) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway? :
I use this junction frequently on a bicycle and on foot. These proposal represent a significant improvement to what is currently a terrifying and dangerous junction.
Cycling up Mansell Street, drivers often jostle dangerously over the junction, with each other and with people on bikes aiming for the current advisory lane. This proposal will retain this danger as the mandatory lane starts too far North. I would welcome either starting the lane earlier, or continuous markings across the junction.
This said, I am very pleased at the inclusion of an island to prevent U-turning drivers from swinging into the path of cyclists at the top of the street.
3m seems too narrow for the narrowest points (e.g. the bus-stop bypass) if the cycle tracks are as popular as one would hope.
East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 2: Lower Thames Street – Tower Hill

2 Do you support the proposals for Section 2 (Lower Thames Street / Tower Hill) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Yes

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 2 (Lower Thames Street / Tower Hill) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?:
This proposal is a world away from the current lethal jostling with construction lorries, taxis and buses required for people on cycles in this area and I welcome it.
3-3.7m seems very limited, but I suppose it’s a start and this is a very busy area. Nonetheless, I wonder whether removing a lane in each direction might be something to work towards…?
The arrangements for crossing Great Tower Street are unclear (notably, where cyclists are held travelling West at the crossing). How is conflict with buses prevented, for example?
East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 3: Upper Thames Street (Lambeth Hill – Arthur Street)

3 Do you support the proposals for Section 3 (Upper Thames Street: Lambeth Hill – Arthur Street)?
Yes

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 3 (Upper Thames Street / Arthur Street)?:
This is a huge improvement on existing provision and I support it as such.
I am against the introduction of cyclist ‘early start’ provisions – a few seconds with motorists racing to get away behind you offers very little – at the cost of always stopping. I am also not clear as to how cyclists turning left onto Southwark Bridge from the new superhighway are provided for.
2.7m around a coach stop for a two way track is a joke.
East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 4: Upper Thames Street / Puddle Dock / Castle Baynard Street

4 Do you support the proposals for Section 4 (Upper Thames Street/ Puddle Dock/ Castle Baynard Street) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Yes

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 4 (Castle Baynard Street)?:
This is a big improvement on the existing situation. I am not familiar with Castle Baynard Street – ensuring that it is kept clear (for example, around the conference centre) from taxis and delivery vehicles is likely to be a challenge. I wonder whether it would be more productive to use a permeability treatment on Castle Baynard Street midway along in order to ensure it remains clear of traffic?
East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 5: Victoria Embankment (Temple Avenue – Blackfriars)

5 Do you support the proposals for Section 5 (Victoria Embankment: Temple Avenue – Blackfriars) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Yes

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 5 (Victoria Embankment / Blackfriars)?:
I was very nearly killed by an idiot in a van and a hurry in Blackfriars Underpass recently who forced me to the side of the road and then passed me within inches. So it may not be surprising that I am in favour of this proposal. I particularly like the connections with the N/S route, which will begin to create a useful network for cyclists.
The junction arrangements at the slip road connecting the N/S and E/W routes look, frankly, finicky and unclear. Whether this is an issue of signage or, perhaps, an over-reliance on separate signalised lanes I’m not sure. I suspect you can rely on cyclists to find their way through, without separate islands as you need for motorists.
East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 6: Victoria Embankment / Temple Place east

6 Do you support the proposals for Section 6 (Victoria Embankment / Temple Place east) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Yes

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 6 (Victoria Embankment / Temple Place east)?:
This looks like a good, segregated track.
I am unconvinced as to the merits of creating a 2.5-3m kerb to protect a 4m (or less) cycle track. Creating more space for people on bikes is surely a more useful use of space.
I am also unconvinced by the case for raised tables at bus-stop bypasses, particularly those serving only night buses and coaches. Could the whole cycle track not be raised to the same level, gently – at times other than coach stops, this will merely be a hindrance; when coaches have stopped, weight of numbers will lead people to use the whole track to cross anyway.
East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 7: Victoria Embankment / Temple Place west

7 Do you support the proposals for Section 7 (Victoria Embankment / Temple Place west) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Yes

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 7 (Victoria Embankment / Temple Place west)? :
This is a good proposal. Again, reducing the width of the segregating island and increasing the space available to cyclists would certainly be an improvement.
Is it worth mentioning there should be cycle use of the Garden Bridge here…?
East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 8: Victoria Embankment / Savoy Place / Savoy Hill / Savoy Street

8 Do you support the proposals for Section 8 (Victoria Embankment / Savoy Place / Savoy Hill / Savoy Street) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Yes

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 8 (Victoria Embankment / Savoy Place)? :
Again, reduce the kerb-width, increase the cycle track width!
I am not clear how cyclists from Savoy Street are supposed to access the E/W superhighway. Is there a risk of conflict with left-turning motorists?
East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 9: Victoria Embankment / Northumberland Avenue

9 Do you support the proposals for Section 9 (Victoria Embankment / Northumberland Avenue) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Yes

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 9 (Victoria Embankment / Northumberland Avenue)?:
Again, reduce the size of the kerb, increase the size of the cycle track
Again, I question the merits of the raised table approach at infrequently used bus stops – raise the whole cycle track and enable crossing all around.
East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 10: Victoria Embankment / Horse Guards Road

10 Do you support the proposals for Section 10 (Victoria Embankment / Horse Guards Road) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Not Answered

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 10 (Victoria Embankment / Horse Guards Road) :
The cycle lanes on Horse Guards Avenue should begin at the junction, not beyond it. If it were possible to include kerb-segregation for these lanes, that would be appreciated – I am particularly nervous about the actions of taxis in cycle lanes (mandatory white lines notwithstanding).
Otherwise I am in favour of this proposal.
East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 11: Victoria Embankment / Westminster Bridge

11 Do you support the proposals for Section 11 of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Yes

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 11 (Victoria Embankment / Westminster Bridge)?:
This seems like a very good solution to a number of issues at this junction. Again, the amount of time spent at traffic light phases may prove an issue for people on bikes. As someone who also uses this area as a pedestrian, I am delighted as to the improvements proposed at this junction for pedestrians. I wonder what prevents conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge crossing – there seems very limited space for cyclists waiting to turn right onto the Embankment – could the crossing be moved further South?
East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 12: Parliament Square/ Great George Street

12 Do you support the proposals for Section 12 (Parliament Square / Great George Street) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Yes

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 12 (Parliament Square)?:
Again, as someone who has had to cross those five lanes of traffic to cycle around this roundabout, going as fast as I can to avoid the taxis and cars behind me, this is a massive improvement. I am also pleased to see pedestrian access to Parliament Square being proposed.
I am opposed to the use of ‘early-start’ facilities, which provide for additional delay with limited safety benefits. I’ve not seen the monitoring report on Bow, but I have read this http://diamondgeezer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/bow-roundabout-cycle-priority-lights.html which suggests that they are not as good as they’re cracked up to be.
It is very disappointing that no link on to Cycle Superhighway 8 just a little further along, and, indeed, by narrowing the road on St Margaret’s Street, that people on bikes are placed in the path of the steady flow of taxis and motorists along this road. This seems a massive opportunity missed to start to connect up genuine, safe cycle networks.

East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 14: Hyde Park Corner
13 Do you support the proposals for Section 14 (Hyde Park Corner) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Yes

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 14 (Hyde Park Corner)?:
A number of improvements here which will make this crossing far more pleasant.
Again, the cycle track should not be as narrow as 2.7m, particularly if existing cycle tracks are being converted to footway.
Being able to make more of these crossings in fewer movements as a pedestrian will be an improvement.
East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 15: Hyde Park

14 Do you support the proposals for Section 15 (Hyde Park) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Not sure

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 15 (Hyde Park)?:
Suggestions – the track needs to be accessible 24 hours a day. Quite why the route can’t run up Park Lane I’m not entirely clear.

East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 16: Lancaster Gate
15 Do you support the proposals for Section 16 (Lancaster Gate) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Partially

16 Do you prefer route option 1 (Bathurst Street) or route option 2 (Stanhope Terrace) for southbound cyclists?
Option 1 (Bathurst Street)

17 Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 16 (Lancaster Gate)?
Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 16 (Lancaster Gate)?:
While the provision of segregated tracks through this area is clearly a huge improvement on existing facilities, this whole arrangement appears to be complicated
and fiddly. Further simplification, with fewer traffic signals, would seem desirable.
There appears to be a left-hook risk at Hyde Park Gardens with motorists turning across the ‘superhighway.’ The paint should be replaced with kerb/bollard segregation to encourage drivers not to cut the corner and to reduce their speed.
The route on West down Bayswater Road past Lancaster Gate has a pinch point before widening again to two lanes – this should be removed.

East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 17: Westbourne Terrace
18 Do you support the proposals for Section 17 (Westbourne Terrace) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Partially

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 17 (Westbourne Terrace)?:
The segregated tracks are clearly good and appear to be of a fair width.
The junctions are a bit of a dog’s breakfast of old-fashioned and dangerous design. Inviting vehicles to merge with people on bikes into a left-hand turning lane is a recipe for fear and disaster and should be removed. Worse still is the build out on cyclists’ left to push them towards drivers, just at the point the kerb-segregation disappears.
Providing a disappearing second lane East of Cleveland Terrace invites the unpleasant experience of being trapped and surrounded by merging drivers in a hurry to undercut vehicles in the outside lane of the kind which makes CS2 so vile.
Please amend this design, or, if necessary, wait for the Westway section.

East-West Cycle Superhighway Section 18: Westway – Acton

19 Do you support the proposals for Section 18 (Westway – Acton) of the East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Yes

Do you have any comments on the proposals for Section 18 (Westway)?:
Overall Proposals

20 Do you support TfL’s overall proposals for a new East-West Cycle Superhighway?
Yes

Do you have any comments on the overall proposals?:
I have cycled along almost every part of this route on numerous occasions. Almost without exception, I have found this to be terrifying, polluted and dangerous. I would never, for example, cycle with my girlfriend along much of this route. These proposals are a massive step forward for London and I am delighted about them – I would happily use them myself on a far more frequent basis, and would be equally happy to encourage relatives less fit than me to do the same – so the health and wellbeing benefits are likely to be enormous.
Most of the design far outstrips almost everything I’ve ever seen proposed by TfL and the planners should be commended for their boldness and understanding of what safe and pleasant cycling requires.

This said, I have two underlying concerns about the plans, namely:
1) Width. For something which will be a huge benefit – the only safe East-West cycle route through the city, three metres in both directions, or even 2.7m at narrow points, is incredibly limiting and I suspect the route will soon be overwhelmed. It’s worth remembering that, although this takes away one lane along most of its route from motorists, every other road through the City remains available to them (and unsegregated for cyclists). Would a lane in each direction be too much to ask? I recognise that this is a big step forward for TfL but I suspect you will be back at the drawing board, as mass cycling is unleashed, in a few years time, to make this much bigger. I also fear that this may design in conflict unnecessarily for cyclists.

2) Traffic light phases. The scheme relies very heavily on traffic signals – I haven’t counted, but scores along the whole route. The phasing of the lights is not specified in the design. This can cause serious problems if motor vehicle traffic flow is used as the key factor. Currently, along CS3, beside Cable Street for example, cyclists appear to receive something like nine seconds in about every ninety. It’s not enough, and it’s not fair! It’s important that the wait times for people on bikes are accorded equal (or better) priority to those of drivers, rather than leaving cyclists idling beside drivers and tempted to treat the signals with contempt.

Nonetheless, these proposals would be a great benefit, and I wish TfL the best in implementing them.