Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Network Roundup

Cycling Up 70 Percent on London's Bike Superhighways

10:33 AM EST on January 12, 2011

Figures are starting to come in from London's investment in "cycle superhighways," and the data make a strong argument for more robust dedicated bike infrastructure. A Transport for London study found that cycling is up 70 percent along routes where the city's beefed-up bikeways were installed, reports Network blog Cyclicio.us. Part of the increase is probably attributable to the debut of London’s bike-share system and all the new “Boris bikes” available to the public since summer 2010.

At the same time, a proposal to create a network of separated bike lanes in Toronto is sparking a debate about their usefulness. Information from London, New York, and other cities that have built more advanced bike lanes should help allay some of the fears expressed by critics of Toronto's plan, who have contended that the new lanes will expose cyclists to dooring and create problems for safety workers and motorists. James D. Schwartz at The Urban Country explains how cycleways can be designed to eliminate such concerns:

false

There seemed to be a variety of arguments against segregated bicycle infrastructure, but most of them seemed to be made by people who have never left Toronto and haven’t seen photos or videos of bike infrastructure in other cities.

First of all, segregated bicycle infrastructure needs to be wide enough to allow bicyclists to overtake other bicyclists - that is true. Montreal and Vancouver have segregated two-way bike lanes that allow bicyclists to go into the on-coming lane (when clear) to overtake a bicyclist (if there isn’t enough space). European cities like Copenhagen or Amsterdam typically have cycle tracks that are plenty wide enough to overtake another bicyclist.

To prevent “door prizes” when parked cars are present, a buffer zone should be built in. New York’s 9th Ave is a good example of how you can have a buffer zone beside parked cars – however, this requires more space. Even if this was considered an issue, you could always use bollards (like they use in Montreal), [or] fences or grass islands like they use in China.

If Toronto area decision makers need further convincing, they need only look to London or New York.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Greater Philadelphia Bicycle News reports that a New Jersey assemblywoman has introduced legislation that would require licensure for cyclists; Cycle and Style outlines the top ten major developments in cycling over the past ten years; and Baltimore Spokes shares a tip on rallying public support around safe conditions for cycling.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

NYC Debuts Public E-Bike Charging for Delivery Workers

Finally, they’re taking charge! The city’s first public e-bike charging station opened in Cooper Square on Thursday — the start of an overdue six-month pilot that is part of a “Charge Safe Ride Safe Action Plan” for delivery workers that Mayor Adams announced last year.

March 1, 2024

Friday’s Headlines Have Questions

What's an optimal rebate to get people to buy e-bikes without wasting money on those who were going to buy one anyway?

March 1, 2024

To Recruit Transit Workers, More Than Just Higher Pay Is Needed

Labor shortages continue threatening public transit systems, and a new report adds another layer to the conversation.

February 29, 2024

Talking Headways Podcast: Streets for Skateboards

Aaron Breetwor on skateboards for transportation and designing streets for safer skateboarding.

February 29, 2024

Agencies Need to Use Federal Funding to Buy Land for Transit Oriented Development

Transit agencies do not prioritize transit-adjacent housing development often because they lack funding to acquire land.

February 29, 2024
See all posts