diamond geezer

 Friday, November 01, 2013

So the Cycle Superhighway 2 extension opened yesterday, but not officially. Cones were removed and cyclists started riding along the segregated lanes, but nobody came along and cut a ribbon. TfL were definitely planning a launch and "media event" on Thursday, but they missed the deadline and this never materialised. I can't say I'm surprised. Even last Sunday CS2x was far from finished, and a 50-strong hi-vis army was busy repositioning kerbs and painting tarmac. The work's still not complete - at least two of the junctions aren't ready and not enough signs are in place. I hope the contractors are being duly fined for their tardiness. But one further weekend blitz should do it, and then the media can turn up next week and focus their cameras appropriately.

As a local resident I got a leaflet through my letterbox yesterday exhorting me to try "your new way to get around" and "discover the joys of cycling". No thanks, not while the rest of CS2 is so inadequate, not a hope. But I did go for a walk yesterday along half the extension, from the Bow Roundabout to the Greenway and back again, to see how the project's stacking up. It was the height of the evening rush hour and eastbound traffic was jammed solid, so my experience probably isn't representative. But here are some things I spotted along the way, some of which weren't what I expected.

Cycle early start, westbound
This is the updated approach to the Bow Roundabout, very similar to the double lights that've been on the eastbound for a year. Traffic holds back while cyclists filter in front, then they get away first when the lights change. Except it's not working like that. I stood around for a few minutes during which time three cyclists turned up, and every single one of them jumped the final red light. They did this safely, because no traffic was coming round the roundabout at the time, but that's not how traffic lights are meant to work. Admittedly this is a tiny sample, entirely statistically inadequate, but it matches behaviour I've seen repeatedly coming the other way. TfL will tut and say they've built something that's safe if used properly, but I'd argue their early start design actually increases the number of red light jumpers, so is far from being an ideal solution.

Bow Flyover bus stop bypass
The idea here is that cyclists nip round the back of the bus stop, which has been pushed out towards the traffic making space for a narrow bike channel behind. There is a designated crossing point for pedestrians, but as yet there are no markings on the ground nor any signs to indicate to pedestrians where that crossing point is. This blue hump in the blue cycle lane is especially hard to see after dark. Also somewhat hard to see, it seems, is the entrance to the bus stop bypass itself. The blue lane veers left into a channel in the surrounding pavement, but many cyclists are riding straight past towards the bus stop itself. Maybe they think it'll be quicker, but then they end up in the wrong place for the cycle early stop lights ahead and lose out. I'm surprised there isn't an arrow or a logo or something painted at the entrance to the bypass lane, because I don't think the way to go is entirely obvious, especially not after dark.

Westbound segregated lane
It's an impressive width, this. In many places you could park a car between the barrier and the kerb, which leaves plenty of space for cyclists, even for cyclist to overtake cyclist if necessary. The blue lane's a bit intermittent in places, breaking for every sideroad and access point along the way, so it's no panacea. But compared to the original CS2 you'd feel pretty safe here, I reckon. So it was a surprise to see quite how few cyclists were taking advantage. I walked up CS2x for ten minutes at "going home" time, and only fifteen bikes went by. Maybe that's because this was the "into Central London" direction, but I was expecting Stratford High Street to be much busier with cyclists. When you're on a bus queuing in the two lanes alongside, you have to wonder if blue paint is the best use of the entire third lane.

Greenway puffin crossing
Hurrah! Atempting to cross Stratford High Street at the Greenway has been impossible for years, with a barrier along the centre of the road forcing awkward diversions to left or right. A straight-across crossing was installed for the Olympics, then barriered off immediately afterwards, now re-engineered into two staggered sections. And it's open, actually open, which is excellent. The driver of this change is joining up both sides of the Greenway for cyclists, with pedestrians the added beneficiary. Never mind that the Greenway into the Olympic Park has been closed for years, and will be for two more while Crossrail do their stuff... this is thinking ahead. But the lights have been timed to allow pedestrians an interminable time to cross. Maybe someone at TfL thinks they're being very kind to the elderly, but I watched a mother cross with a toddler, and they could easily have walked back again in the time it took before the traffic moved again. Forget "smoothing the traffic flow", instead TfL's new puffin crossings unnecessarily slow it down.

Eastbound segregated lane
I expected this to be much busier. Half past five in the evening, the heart of the rush hour... but barely any cyclists passed. Again I walked alongside CS2x for ten minutes, and again only fifteen bikes went by. Worse, about half of them weren't even using the new blue lane. Two were riding on the pavement, which to be fair is vast here, indeed it's odd that CS2x's blue lane wasn't carved out of the mega-pavement instead. The other five were in the road, weaving through the traffic, which I thought was odd until I realised where they were coming from. These were cyclists who'd chosen to ride over the Bow Flyover rather than following the blue line round the Bow Roundabout, so they'd arrived on the wrong side of the traffic away from the blue strip. TfL's designers have been good and left a big gap in the barrier, but these cyclists weren't seeing it, or weren't wanting to use it. All in all, the brand new Cycle Superhighway extension was getting less than one user per minute. That might improve, indeed should improve, once word gets out that Stratford High Street's much safer to ride. But CS2x isn't yet properly signposted, nor fully integrated into its surroundings, so let's give it time. Best I come back later and report properly.

» Day 1 report and video from the London Cycling Campaign

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
life viewed from london e3

email    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

What's on this weekend?
Wed 19th - Sun 23rd October
Bloomsbury Festival
It's free to visit the Foundling Museum this weekend.

twenty blogs
ian visits
blue witch
city metric
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
london museums
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
The DG Tour of Britain
Comment Value Hierarchy

read the archive
Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

diamond geezer 2015 index
diamond geezer 2014 index
diamond geezer 2013 index
diamond geezer 2012 index
diamond geezer 2011 index
diamond geezer 2010 index
diamond geezer 2009 index
diamond geezer 2008 index
diamond geezer 2007 index
diamond geezer 2006 index
diamond geezer 2005 index
diamond geezer 2004 index
diamond geezer 2003 index
diamond geezer 2002 index

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
capital ring
river fleet

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards