In some ways, London and New York have each leapfrogged the other when it comes to bike policy in the past few years. London’s bike-share program launched back in 2010, but its bike lanes remain largely sub-standard, with little in the way of physical protection. Here in New York, the bike lanes are gradually forming a safe, useful network, while bike-share is a few years behind London.
If New York’s next mayor doesn’t keep up the pace on bike infrastructure, though, London may soon take the lead on both counts. Yesterday, Mayor Boris Johnson announced an aggressive plan for a comprehensive bike network, including protected bike lanes.
“Cycling will be treated not as niche, marginal, or an afterthought, but as what it is: an integral part of the transport network,” Johnson said. ”I want cycling to be normal, a part of everyday life.”
- The flagship initiative, a 15-mile separated crosstown route connecting western and eastern suburbs via central London and business districts including the West End and Canary Wharf.
- A network of “quietways,” akin to bike boulevards, that will connect suburban and central London neighborhoods.
- Adding physical separation to the existing “cycle superhighways,” which sometimes offer little more than a stripe of paint on some of London’s busiest roads.