Will London’s East-West Cycle Superhighway be too popular?

The Embankment East-West Cycle Superhighway will probably be unsafe for four reasons:

  1. bi-direction cycle lanes are inherently less-safe than uni-directional cycle lanes, according to Dutch cycle infrastructure guidance (CROW)
  2. this bi-directional cycle lane is unlikely to have different tidal flows in morning and evening (as can be expected for the North-South Superhighway south of the River Thames)
  3. the East-West Superhighway is narrow by Dutch standards
  4. the Superhighway users are likely to be a mix of London ‘boy racer’ cyclists + slow and wobbly family groups of overseas visitors many of whom have learned to keep right

I am unsure why the median strip which separates the cycle path from the motor vehicle lanes is so wide. Possible explanations are (1) to stop overhanging loads hitting cyclists (2) to provide parking space for coaches, emergency vehicles and breakdowns (3) to accommodate pedestrians waiting for buses. If any or all of these explanations is correct, I don’t see why there shouldn’t be some variation in the width of the median strip. Also, it should be scrutinised to see if there is any space for planters on the strip. There is a great need for visual and acoustic separation between motor vehicles and cyclists and pedestrians (as in Royal College Street but with a suitable design). Does anyone know who the landscape architect for the East-West Cycle Superhighway was?

Tom Turner

Posted in cycleways

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