March 1, 2011
Green thinking in cities, Part 7: London
Among other cities paving the way (literally) for higher bicycle ridership is London, England. They're probably better known for congestion pricing for car traffic (one of the first, but not the first, cities to implement it) than cycling, but their current mayor wants to improve their performance with a new plan that includes a 12-route bicycle commuter network radiating from the city centre, a bike-sharing program launched last summer and a new bike police unit.
In place for a few months now, the two new, blue, bike superhighways are quite successful, increasing by a whopping 70% the number of cyclists on the streets compared to their pre-superhighway incarnation (comparing October 2009 to October 2010).
New figures show that the number of cyclists along the first two Barclays Cycle Superhighway routes, which run from Merton to the City and Barking to Tower Gateway, has risen by 70 per cent with increases of 100 per cent or more seen on some sections during peak hours. — Transport for London
It's hard to argue with that. I hope to check them out first hand when I visit the city this spring. Have you been there and tried them out? What did you think?
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Note: I am writing solely on my own behalf, and do not claim to represent the David Suzuki Foundation or its views here.
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I am a communication designer in Vancouver, BC. Most of my writing and community activism are in the interconnected issues of public transit, local eating and food security, politics, health, environment, and sustainability in general. At heart, I'm a geek and a total treehugger. Nature, tea, good food and great company make me happy.