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Last Week In London Cycling (26. - 05.)

If you thought the Beast from the East was going to stop cycling from making the news, you thought wrong. Here’s everything that happened in London cycling this past week:

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It hasn’t been a good few days for TfL. London cyclists took to social media “after large parts of the capital’s cycle network were left under snow and ice while adjacent roads were cleared.

And while Transport for London claimed that all cycle lanes had been de-iced or gritted during the week, several Twitter accounts (such as the Hackney Cyclist) have managed to gather photos from around the web that claim otherwise.

What’s your experience been like this past week?

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On Wednesday, Mayor Khan presented his “bold strategy” for the future of London’s transport to the London Assembly, with its final publication expected in the next few weeks.

The Strategy is meant to be a building block for Khan’s long-term vision for transport, which is that 80% of all trips in London will be made on foot, by bike or public transportation by 2041.

To get there, the plan includes, among other things, “the transformation of London’s streets to make walking, cycling and public transport the most appealing and practical choices for Londoners”.

And while that sounds jolly good in theory, the current and ongoing quagmire with the development of both CS9 and CS11 (as I wrote about here) clearly show that the ‘Amsterdamization’ of London will be much easier said than done. After all, even the Mayor seems to think as much.

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Speaking of the cycle network, the TfL also published the long-awaited results of the consultation on SC9 that took place last autumn. Drum roll please…:

We received 5,388 direct responses to our consultation, of which 59 per cent supported or strongly supported our proposals. 39 per cent did not support them, while two per cent said they neither supported nor opposed the proposals.”

And that's not even the best part. Among the 39% opposed, some concerns proved much more...creative than others.

In particular, the Chiswick & Turnham Green Conservatives seem to believe that not only would CS9 somehow "damage Chiswick’s cafe culture’’ and "disrupt activities at the local Catholic church", but would also lead to more crime in the area, as (i’m not making this up) cycles could be "used for snatch thefts and for planned heists from high-value retailers such as jewellers".

As @lastnotlost sums up, cyclists appear to be ‘godless thieves who don't drink coffee.’

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Two years after a driver pushed his bike and ‘used inappropriate language’ (and was subsequently jailed) in a local road rage incident, BBC’s Jeremy Vine shared his views on cycling in the capital at a London Assembly transport meeting Monday.

"It is a great shame to say this but there are drivers who don't like cyclists” said Mr. Vine, “they are in charge of two tons of metal and they are a danger".

He also commented that “on any one 13-mile commute he sees 30 to 40 incidents if close passes are included. "I'm not asking for the world, just one route”, he pleaded when talking about London’s cycle network.

When asked if safety is the main barrier to more people cycling and nothing else, Mr. Vine simply said:

"I do."

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A great video published by a fellow Londoner earlier this week, demonstrates how London's roads have changed in the past 3 years to accommodate the development of the East-West Cycle Superhighway.

The 7-minute clip juxtaposes video footage of the CS3 route before construction started in 2015, with how it looks today. The side-by-side shots are nothing short of incredible, and a great example of what can be achieved when there’s enough political will involved (looking at you, Regent’s park).

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It’s been 4 years since Waltham Forest, Enfield and Kingston councils won the ‘Mini Holland’ competition, receiving £30m each for local cycling projects. So...how are things going?

In a great piece on Monday, CityMetric explores the current and future impact of these and other outer boroughs’ cycling schemes.

At the moment, Waltham Forest is leading the charge, having already spent over ⅔ of the project’s budget (compared to only ½ spent by the other two boroughs), despite also facing the fiercest local opposition to the Mini Holland scheme.

Looking past the Dutch for inspiration, they’ve also installed “dozens of blended ‘Copenhagen’ crossings”, which give priority to pedestrians crossing side streets on main roads.

And while lots of work remains to be done, all three boroughs have also been actively involved “in a series of smaller projects such as training workshops, organised rides and new cycle hubs”.

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And finally - is it just me, or is there an uplifting cycling story featuring Lambeth almost every week now?

This time around, the Lambeth Council announced it’s partnered with a local design duo Eley Kishimoto, to paint the two Bikehangars on Railton Road that have often been the target of, dare I say, some rather uninspiring graffiti vandals.

As a deterrent, the hangars have now been coated in “the iconic ‘Connect Brixton’ pattern”, which is said to represent the multicultural spirit of Brixton.

As one local resident notes, the design introduces “a lively upbeat feel to the street”:

“I think it looks as though somebody cares for the way the street looks.“

It sure does.

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That’s it!

Did I miss anything else that happened in London cycling this week? Do let me know in the comments.

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