12 March 2010

Copenhagen Blue Arrives in London

Copenhagen Signals
The trademark "Copenhagen Blue" ®/™ bicycle lanes that cross intersections - as above - have arrived in London, it appears.

As part of a test phase for the new 'bicycle highways'.

Not a particularly elegant paint job, but lovely all the same.

23 comments:

SteveL said...

There is a UK word to describe these lanes, "bollocks". A red lane, a green lane or a blue lane doesn't stop vehicles driving or parking in there, doesn't make it survivable. Two cyclists have died in London this week -Crap cycling in waltham forest covers it.

Phil said...

Yeah, it's very frustrating. Would be helpful if a cycle lane was defined as an area that is seperated by physical barrier, rather than a splash of paint down the side of the road.

Amsterdamize said...

Mikael, this is really a case to look into further, the way London is planning to implement this will actually hurt CPH's reputation (short- and long term). It's really just window-dressing of the same ineffective infrastructure.

Kim said...

Copenhagen London, there is no comparison, it is just a wee bit of blue paint, not real thought out cycling infrastructure. There simply isn't the political will to make any serious improvement to cycling infrastructure in the UK. If you really want to know what the British political classes think of cycling read this.

Amsterdamize said...

Kim, that's telling, indeed. Over here politics and cycling generate different kind of news :)

London cyclist said...

You should have called the thread "Spot the difference"!

Another London Cyclist said...

Got to agree with the other posters –there would be a riot in Copenhagen if they tried to fob you off with this shite. I’m a firm believer in the need for proper, segregated wherever possible, cycle infrastructure as the only means to get the masses on their bikes, but I do think it’s something you have to do properly or not at all. Our esteemed mayor says he wants to see a ‘cycling revolution’ in London that will by 2026 result in at least 5% of journeys being made by bike – he won’t even get near such a pathetic mode share if he sticks to half arsed efforts like this.

Mark said...

Mikael, you've touched on a roar nerve with this one...

The Mayor of London launched his 'Cycle Safety Plan' this week: it gives no timetable for implementing measures and is therefore at risk of never being done. Meanwhile, two cyclists were killed by tipper lorries in separate accidents this week (the 3rd this year) They've also tried to scrap the police unit that deals with dangerous lorries (the biggest killer of London's cyclists) and decreased the road traffic safety budget by £10 million.

As such, a lot of London cyclists who would otherwise usually happilly encourage cycling here are getting angry with the spin being presented with the implementation of the blue cycle lanes - sadly they are just a re-branding of existing cycle lanes and offer no real security, just perception of... a 'bluewash' if you like.

Of course, if we had lovely wide cycle lanes like yours (just look at the size of that big blue junction!) that might be a different issue...

Anyway, us cyclists are getting our priorities messed up - these lanes would be 'okay' if there wasn't such a threat from the worst offending road users: ban HGVs and tipper trucks from central London roads during peak time and already there would be more cyclists because it would be so much safer to cycle.

Damn it, I should be Mayor!

Mark said...

Oh, and just to clarify: that's not a test phase for the bicycle superhighway, that's it!

This is one of the (two-way!) pre-existing cycle lanes about to be painted blue and re-branded:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/44947134@N08/4401694231/

burrito said...

Vancouver BC faces similar issues - painted lanes as bike infrastructure. The City is starting to move on seperated lanes but it's taking time. I guess in the meantime, as a chicken cyclist, I'd rather have some painted lanes than nothing.

In London do the powers that be really think that painted lines are sufficient or are they doing that as a first step in a longer-term program?

Another London Cyclist said...

It’ll take at least 5 years for all of the Cycle Superhighways to be completed (there will be 12 in all), who knows maybe the later ones will be better, but somehow I doubt it. I think the powers that be (or at least some of them) know that they’re not really good enough, but aren’t prepared to start taking space away from cars in order to provide decent infrastructure that will really do the job. I guess you could be generous and say that this is a step in the right direction, it just seems such a waste of time and money to do a job badly just to come along later and try and do it better, or not as the case may be.

Klaus Mohn said...

"Lovely"? Ask David Hembrow about it. He knows the UK and cycle lanes. "superhighway" my arse.

dyrlægen said...

But at least it's a start.

Ed Scoble said...

Worse cycle lane ever.

it's not even a Superhighway, it's just a repainted, extended bicycle lane that's blue instead of green.

I rather them not to have those, it just encourage higher chance of injury, even death due to undertaking all the vehicle as much as possible, including HGV, as well as left turning vehicle and all the biscuit.

Beowulf said...

Painting the road blue will change little. There are already red, green and black cycle paths around in the UK and precious few work. The point about damage to Copenhagen's brand is also a good one. One obviously wants to get maximum exposure, but there is no point franchising your brand if it is going to get trashed. It looks as though the "chavs" in London may be about to "do a Burberry" on Copenhagen's cycling brand.

Rob said...

The first blue swatch, as far as I know, was by Westferry DLR station about three weeks ago... and that looks even crapper.

David Hembrow said...

Klaus suggested asking me. I've written about these "superhighways" twice before, here and here. They are really not what is needed.

It would be great to have something really positive to say about London, but unless they really need to try a lot harder than this before the results are praised.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I love Copenhagen. I was there last year. If you want to see a lot of photes from there, then see this web site. It's a grate site. The adress is www.cph-visual.com

Peter

Anonymous said...

The problem with ‘at least it’s a start’ is that the crappyness of the ‘superhighways’ means that they’re unlikely to encourage a significant number of people to get on their bikes. It also means that at least in parts cyclists will favour the road rather than stop-start too narrow ‘cycle lane’. What then happens is your typical whinging motorist/idiot journalist will turn around and start spouting a load of ‘well they spent hundreds of millions of pounds on cycle superhighways and nobody uses them’ nonsense, hampering efforts to turn the ‘start’ into anything decent. They also let BoJo off the hook; he can say he’s investing in cycling without actually taking any real steps to make cycling a more attractive transport option or discourage car use.

Cait said...

ey, you really have touched a raw nerve indeed. I read the post on my RSS reader and thought I'd come along to say that these blue stripes certainly seem thus far to be a pointless waste of money.

no, it's much worse than that. The overall budget for maintenance of bike lanes across London has been reduced, and with zero marketing or clear information, totally ignored blue stripes, sporadically painted with no real reference to anything have been appearing.

I doubt if you'd find a regulary London cyclist who is optimistic about the project, which is really depressing. So the money's not just been wasted as such, it could have been appropriated by making existing services way safer, adding more cycle friendly street furniture... *anything*, really.

I've got very mixed feelings about the whole bike-rental thing too, when it opens. Two experienced cyclists killed last week - what happens when a bunch of inexperienced cyxlists are let loose on the roads - roads, lest we not forget, which are frequented by a large number of lorries?

Lauren said...

I was in London last week, staying near Russell Square, where there is some half-decent *separate* infrastructure for bies. But it's of no use if you can't get around more widely.

The friend I went to see used to cycle commute, but stopped after one too many near misses. Blue paint won't help. I admire those who cycle in heavy traffic, but I don't do it - and inexperienced people on hire bikes really shouldn't be trying it either. Wobbles and trucks don't mix well. (I witnessed a fatality once. Not something you ever want to see.)

Will Pugh said...

With all this talk about the pointlessness & inefficacy of the Cycle 'Superhighway', have we Londoners not overlooked one insidious element of this campaign?

The bright blue is a terrible colour to have in London - it has nothing to do with our traditional London colours. It clashes wildly with the trees, the Georgian and Victorian buildings, the other green & red lanes and the other road signage. So why is it BLUE and precisely why is it THAT shade of blue?

Oh wait, look... it's sponsored by Barclays! That wouldn't be BARCLAYS BLUE would it? Wake up people, it has NOTHING to do with Copenhagen, are we really that blind?

That's the last straw for me - I don't care about the efficacy of the lanes, I will continue to cycle around London as I have always done but I OBJECT to Boris Johnson covering great swathes of our great historic city in the colour of a BANK. What, so now every time I use a road, or even walk by one, I have to think about a BANK?

I can't believe no one is saying anything. The gradual corporate branding of British Culture has to stop. It is flagrant institutionalized corporate corruption. 'O2' Arena, 'Carling' Academy, 'HMV' Forum, 'British Gas' Great North Swim, the list is endless - how about 'MacDonalds' Olympics? Motorola Glastonbury? But wait... hang on, THIS isn't a joke, THIS is real! I'm not dreaming! We now have 'Barclays' Cycle Lanes with Barclays Blue f**king PAINT EVERYWHERE! It's too much. I want to kill Boris Johnson, he has single-handedly destroyed the visual pleasure of looking at London!

What has he done to our city? Why are there not riots on the streets?

Anonymous said...

'Not particularly elegant'. That about sums up London's roads. They are gnarly, potholed, narrow, street-furniture-cluttered obstacle courses. Add to that some of the most aggressive driving in the world and you have a city that couldn't be more different to Copenhagen. Unfortunately.