Institutionally unwilling to learn

Four and half years ago, Lucia Ciccioli was killed by a lorry driver at Lavender Hill. At the Inquest, the Coroner recognised that the junction layout was a contributory factor and asked Transport for London to rectify this death trap.

Last year we wrote how Transport for London failed to design a safe junction layout in the timescale they had promised.

Gareth Powell [Managing Director of Surface Transport at Transport for London], is taking advantage of a broken system. The Coroner issues a request to fix a life-threatening situation but has no power (and/or interest) to follow up; so the relevant authority plays the game: writes a letter with empty promises and then ignores them.

It seems that our blog post has spurred TfL into action: it has been reported that they have finally prepared a design, although it has not been published.

Caroline Pidgeon, London Assembly member asked this pertinent question to the Mayor:

What steps has TfL taken to identify where other similar layouts are in place on TfL’s road network, so that similar improvements can be implemented?

The answer from the Mayor is appalling (but not unexpected from someone who has no understanding of Vision Zero:

The sites in Transport for London’s (TfL’s) Safer Junctions programme are determined using Excess Harm by applying a weighting to casualties based on severity and annual average daily traffic flows to determine total harm per million passenger journeys for each location. Excess harm is the additional harm observed per road segment compared to expected harm.

TfL has mapped the Casualty Harm Rate and Excess Harm data to highlight the most harmful roads and this information is available to the boroughs. Sites have not been identified where there are similarities to those found at the Lavender Hill / Elspeth Road junction because Excess Harm assessment is better for reducing road casualties. Similarly, TfL works closely with boroughs and encourages them to use a similar evidence-based approach to identifying priorities to reduce road danger on roads they manage.

As an answer to a follow up question, the Mayor adds

I understand that this is an experimental methodology and was used in conjunction with an existing framework to prioritise funding for existing schemes.

You can read a short explanation of TfL’s Excess Harm methodology here. This is the key formula:

In other words, TfL calculates the expected casualty rate on the network, allocates it according to road type, and will intervene only if the KSI rate on a stretch of road is higher than the expected one.

This shows that Vision Zero is NOT really one of the Mayor’s policies. Because if it were, the second part of the numerator would be zero and the methodology would become meaningless.

Let’s summarise:

  • Transport for London still equates casualties with danger: if they don’t see a corpse they will not fix it
  • Transport for London refuses to learn from failure and actively encourages other transport authorities in London to abstain from learning from failure
  • Transport for London adopts an experimental methodology that contravenes the most important principles of its core road safety policy and calls it evidence-based approach

Sadiq Khan is not an idiot; he is an arrogant liar who thinks he can fool Londoners; just like his predecessor.

London needs an Independent Road Crash Investigations Board

The present system of road crash investigation is broken, because it is parceled out among different agents who have no incentive to reduce road deaths.

We are calling for the future Mayor to set up an Independent Board, similar to those in charge of investigation in the Air, Rail and Maritime System, with the goal of being a central pillar of the Vision Zero Strategy.

The present system is broken

What happens after a crash which results in a fatality or serious injury

The Police conducts a Criminal Investigation, to determine whether the crash was the consequence of unlawful, careless or dangerous driving. If they deem there are not sufficient evidence to charge someone, they will close the investigation and the file will be passed to the Coroner’s Office. From that moment on, the Police main preoccupation will be to justify their decision not to prosecute; the incentive is to blame the victim, who is often no longer there.

At the same time as the Criminal Investigation, a Traffic Management Officer, from a different branch of the Police, will investigate the scene of the crash to evaluate whether the road layout, or other external elements were contributory factors. The goal of the investigation is to prevent future occurences. In our experience the quality of these investigations can vary considerably. The reports are forwarded to the Coroner, who may or may not disclose them at the hearing; in any case they are not published.

The Coroner, who is not an expert in road safety, being presented the results of the two investigations may decide that the status quo is dangerous and may issue a Prevention of Future Deaths report. That is essentially a request to the relevant Transport Authority to look at the issue and propose remedial action. The Transport Authority has 60 days to respond. Both the request and the response are published here

Once the Transport Authority has responded, the system breaks down. Nobody checks the answers and nobody checks whether the Transport Authority actually carries out the work.

What is Transport for London doing

Investigation of failures is a key pillar of Vision Zero; however Transport for London doesn’t seem to feel that fixing the broken system requires urgency.

In 2018 the Department for Transport gave £500,000 to the Royal Automobile Club to carry out a four year study on the cost-benefit analysis of setting up a Road Crash Investigating Board. It sounds the typical English exercise of kicking the can forward, in order to do nothing.

TfL has asked to do a pilot study within this RAC project.

We have conducted various investigations highlighting dangerous roads, junctions, signals, etc… Transport for London and Local Boroughs have been very slow in adopting changes that would prevent avoidable deaths.

What London needs

London has a very different KSI profile from the rest of the country. Close to 70% of fatalities and serious injuries are experienced by citizens while walking or cycling, a much higher percentage than the rest of the country.

We are asking the future Mayor of London to set up a pilot Investigations Board, in one area of London, as soon as feasible. As well as providing valuable safety lessons, the pilot will also enable the Mayor to structure the Investigations Board so that it suits the characteristics of London.

The Independent Road Crash Investigations Board will be an essential pillar of the Vision Zero Strategy.

Appendix – Advice from Simon French, Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents

This presentation succintly lists all the benefits from having an Independent Investigator, as well as some advice on how best to adapt the lessons from Rail to Road

  • Insights
    • The site phase is the tip of the iceberg – the issues that lie beneath take much more time.
    • In pure safety terms, you can learn as much from smaller incidents and near misses as a major one – harder to get people to take remedial action though!
    • Many of the accidents investigated by the RAIB were not predicted as credible by any formal techniques applied by designers, maintainers or operators.
    • Most investigations reveal how combinations of factors combined to create a dangerous event – including human factors.
    • Investigations highlight the vulnerability of existing risk mitigation measures and assist the design of new measures.
    • Investigations provide valuable intelligence to those with the responsibility for safety.
    • Investigations demonstrate to those affected and wider society that action is being taken and lessons will be learnt.
  • Characteristics of investigations
    • Independence from industry, also prosecution and law enforcement bodies
    • The purpose of any investigation is limited to the improvement of safety – no blame is attributed, issues of liability are never considered
    • Investigations are undertaken by specialists (with inputs from industry and external experts)
    • Industry is obliged to notify certain types of accidents and incidents to the relevant AIB, and to provide certain types of safety data
    • AIBs have powers of entry and the right to seize evidence
    • AIBs have the right to carry out interviews of those who may be able to provide evidence – those interviewed must answer questions put to them (it is an offence to refuse to answer a question or to mislead an AIB inspector)
    • Witnesses are protected from ‘self-incrimination’ – statements made to AIBs are not shared with other agencies (except by order of a high court)
    • Collaboration, and consultation, with industry and external experts
    • Those involved in accidents are kept informed of progress and key issues
    • Although AIBs play no part in the prosecution process, they will share most technical evidence with others that have a duty to investigate (unless this is legally prohibited)
    • If requested by a coroner AIBs will give evidence at an inquest
    • The outcome of all AIB investigations are published in the form of a report
    • Where appropriate AIBs will make recommendations to improve safety by:
      • reducing the likelihood of a recurrence;
      • reducing the severity of an accident should it occur;
      • improving the emergency response; or
      • addressing any other safety issues
  • Lessons for Road Crashes
    • Top-level principles of independent, no blame and specialist investigation are applicable to any mode.
    • This approach can be applied to the analysis of individual accidents or larger data sets drawn from numerous investigations.
    • A supporting safety system across the industry is needed – to turn learning and recommendations into action (eg RAIB/ORR/RSSB).
    • Challenges
      • Infrastructure and regulation
        • Many infrastructure owners, manufacturers, maintainers, and regulators.
        • Numerous different parties (eg private motorists, highways authorities, commercial organisations).
        • Many rules – that are not necessarily easy to change eg TSRGD, DMRB, Highway code.
        • The sheer number of road accidents = massive data sets.
      • People and vehicles
        • Diverse users of the highway – including vulnerable users – cyclists and pedestrians.
        • Many amateur drivers – with no CPD or ongoing assessment.
        • Newer and faster-changing “rolling stock” and rapid changes in technology.
        • Culture: many road accident investigations (but not all) address questions of blame and liability.
    • Base assumptions:
      • Proportionality
      • Sampling those cases where the potential for safety learning is highest.
      • To be of value, investigations must be:
        • Independent.
        • Supported by suitable legal powers
        • Conducted by specialists/trained investigators.
        • No blame.

Sadiq Khan fails to deliver StreetSpace promises

After European countries went in lockdown in March last year, many cities started to implement measures to promote active travel, from widening pavements to converting lanes on busy roads to cycle lanes.

For many weeks there was silence from London’s City Hall. Then finally on 15th May the StreetSpace initiative was launched with the usual “world-beating” exaggerations

So how much has actually been delivered by Transport for London in the past ten months?

Here is a list of promises made in May:

  • Quickly building a strategic cycling network, using temporary materials and including new routes
  • Some of the largest car-free zones in a capital city in central London.
  • Some streets will be be limited to walking, cycling and buses. This is now planned for streets between:
    • London Bridge and Shoreditch – i.e. Bishopsgate
    • Euston and Waterloo
    • Old Street and Holborn
  • Waterloo Bridge and London Bridge may be restricted to people walking, cycling and buses only

A map was provided at the time of the announcement but it has strangely disappeared from TfL’s website. Instead they point to a map by Sustrans which of course does not show what was promised

Let’s see what has been delivered

  1. Quickly building a strategic cycling network, using temporary materials and including new routes
    • FAIL – No semblance of a network anywhere. a few measures here and there that dump people in dangerous circumstances.
      • Example: protected cycle lane on North side of Euston Road ends suddenly at British Library; no indications telling people how to progress East
  2. Some of the largest car-free zones in a capital city in central London
    • C – Car-free zones in Soho, Covent Garden and the City are welcome. Not enough to make the bombastic claims
  3. Bishopsgate limited to walking, cycling and buses
    • B – The scheme was implemented, but a judge ruled that it was unlawful to ban taxis (under appeal)
  4. Euston and Waterloo limited to walking, cycling and buses
    • No Grade – It is unclear what it was meant, There is already a mediocre quietway through Covent Garden and Bloomsbury.
  5. Clerkenwell Boulevard limited to walking, cycling and buses
    • FAIL – Absolutely nothing done
  6. Waterloo Bridge limited to walking, cycling and buses
    • FAIL – The anti-terror barrier have been pushed to where they should have been set in the first place. Nothing has been done at the danger points at entrance and exit of the bridge. Scandalous.
  7. London Bridge limited to walking, cycling and buses
    • FAIL – as Waterloo Bridge, protected lanes in the middle of the bridge (where danger is least) are rendered useless by no measures at either end. There are clear conflicts between paths of cyclists and buses

We have commented before about the PR (i.e. BS) exercise that was the Park Lane cycle lane.

Dangerous pinchpoint on Theobald’s Road
Clerkenwell Road, at the spot of a fatality and a serious injury. Nothing done
Good luck here, North end of Waterloo Bridge
London Bridge – an “accident” waiting to happen

It is difficult to understand why Sadiq Khan has not been taken to task for such a poor score card.

In our opinion the guy is not to be trusted. Please don’t waste your vote in May; there is a good Green candidate.

Diverting citizens disrespectfully

In Summer 2018 Will Norman opened the Eastern stretch of Quietway 14, which connects the Millennium Dome to the Woolwich Ferry, all along the river.

Then in Autumn 2019, the last two hundred meters had to be closed to allow the construction of a new development.

Some signs were prepared and a diversion set up.

Naturally they couldn’t resist placing their favourite sign.

So Isabelle Clements, founder of Wheels for Wellbeing, and featured in this Department for Transport ad on exactly the same Q14, would not be allowed to use it any longer.

And it gets worse. The diversion follows in parts the four-lanes “murderous Woolwich High Street” (not our words)

There is plenty of space on Woolwich Road / High Street to take a lane out, move the bus stop 100 metres back and create a new temporary cycle lane.

But that was too revolutionary in pre-Covid times.

And so nothing was done and people walking and cycling had to share a cramped pavement.

Then in May 2020 Sadiq Khan announced TfL’s Streetspace programme of reallocating space for active travel. But this is a backwater, not sexy enough for fancy photos like Park Lane. Will Norman has probably forgotten about it and TfL probably does not have a system to mantain the network of Quietways/Cycleways.

And so the active citizens of Woolwich are still confined to a narrow pavement.

The tyranny of space: everyone crammed into 1.5 meters, so that a few can drive at speed.

The building work was expected to end in October 2020, but hey, we know that these are empty promises. The path is still closed.

So, to summarise: lots of time was spent to make fancy videos of the new cycle route, but no money or thought has been spent to ensure that the cycle route is fit for purpose at all time.

This is the consequence of treating citizens with disrespect.

TfL’s lazy approach to remove dangerous signals costs lives

In the past three years, two people have been killed as a direct result of the design fault inherent in Pelican crossings.

Daniela Raczkowska was killed by a lorry driver in Knightsbridge on 18 January 2018, as she was crossing on a green light. Read here how the coroner blamed her for the failures of a broken system.

These pedestrian signals are a symbol of the nastyness of the English class system: pedestrians are considered second class people and a system was designed to ensure that first class people driving vehicles would not be overly inconvenienced by the second class people crossing the street. While the pedestrian is still crossing the street (and indeed has a green signal), the motorist is allowed to drive ahead, by showing him/her flashing amber lights

[Incidentally this is an example of conflict between signals, which we are constantly told by English traffic experts is not allowed in this country, as an excuse for not adapting the universal system of green pedestrian lights in the same direction of green vehicular traffic]

The Pelican design is particularly dangerous on wide roads with two or more lanes in each direction. A pedestrian may be crossing the first lane, where a large vehicle may have stopped to let her cross; this may obstruct the view of the driver of another vehicle on the second lane, who can interpret the flashing amber lights as a signal to proceed, and thus crash into the emerging pedestrian.

The Department for Transport removed pelican crossings from their list of approved designs for signalised crossings in 2016. The last pelican crossing to be installed on TfL’s road network was in January 2012. Some London boroughs continued to choose pelicans as the design for crossings on their roads. The last new pelican site was installed in February 2015 by London Borough of Barnet. Additionally, there are several crossings which had already been programmed before the January 2012 cut off date which is why they have an installation date of after January 2012.

There are still 847 pelican crossings in London, 167 of which are directly managed by Transport for London and the rest by the Boroughs.

Through Caroline Russell, we asked the Mayor how quickly he is planning to remove these death traps. Here is his response:

London has a legacy of pelican crossings which are gradually being replaced through various investment and modernisation programmes. TfL will be upgrading at least 40 in 2020/21, not including those that are part of wider TfL investment projects or borough schemes.
TfL takes a risk-based approach to the prioritisation of investment funding, and its Vision Zero policy places a high priority on improving locations on the road network where risk is highest.

Of course the Mayor, in typical English amateurism, does not explain how he assesses where “risk is highest”. We know that his poodle Will Norman, when he started in his post, wasted a lot of time and money producing a report linking danger with black spots with high KSIs and then packaged this discredited analysis with the name of “evidence based approached”

So we can only assume that Sadiq Khan is waiting for people to be killed before removing pelican crossings. That is NOT a Vision Zero approach.

But we know that #VisionZeroLDN has nothing to do with Vision Zero. It is a hypocritical, amateurish exercise that is failing. Last month Transport for London finally released the KSIs for 2019, which showed a 26% INCREASE in pedestrian fatalities.

Daniela Raczkowska survived Nazi horrors during the Second World War but she was killed by English nastiness and laziness.

UPDATE: A further Question to the Mayor has revealed the future plans by TfL to remove these lethal signals:

  • Question
    • Thank you for your response to my question 2020/1012 on the modernisation of pelican crossings. Given that pelican crossings are no longer approved in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD), how are your prioritising their modernisation, and when will they all be replaced?
  • Answer
    • As set out in my earlier response, Transport for London (TfL) takes a risk-based approach to modernising its traffic infrastructure, prioritising locations that present the highest risk to the public. TfL’s risk criteria includes, but is not exclusive to, the age of the equipment, the obsolescence of the equipment, the critical failure rate and associated risk of the equipment to the general public. As of April this year, TfL has 847 pelican crossings within London, out of around 5,000 sets of traffic signals.
    • Crossings make up 55 per cent of the total number of sites being modernised, of which half are Pelican crossings. As such, replacing Pelican crossings is a high priority for TfL.
    • Given its current financial position and the ‘safe stop’ period during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, TfL has had to reassess the number of sites it can modernise this year.  Initially it planned to upgrade 40 Pelican crossings this year, but has had to revise this to 22 upgrades. Replacing aging and higher risk infrastructure is key to Vision Zero, and TfL expects to replace a further 60 Pelican crossings in the next financial year to ensure the overall programme remains on track.

In other words, TfL plans to remove half of the pelican crossings on its roads by April 2022. No words about the hundreds of pelicans on Councils roads (“It is someone else’s job”)

Everyone has different abilities. Don’t discriminate against some of us.

Cycles provide enhanced mobility to all of us, especially now that most types are available also with electric assist.

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Amsterdam. By @quixoticgeek

The Beyond the Bicycle Coalition has been lobbying transport authorities, both at local and national level to keep in mind the needs of people who use cargo bikes and specially adapted cycles, when designing road infrastructure and incentive schemes.

Too many safe routes become unusable when narrow pinch points are built. This is very important now, as the pressure to build fast may lead people not to think about all the details.

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Courtesy of Ellis Palmer

Sustrans have listened and have embarked on a national programme to remove discriminatory barriers to the National Cycle Network

Coalition member Wheels for Wellbeing has posted a manifesto to ensure transport authorities don’t fall into discriminatory practices. Here are the asks:

We urgently ask for Central Government to:

  1. Engage with Disabled people’s organisations to ensure Disabled people are not locked out of their communities over the long term.
  2. Take measures to tackle the infrastructure barriers to Disabled people’s wheeled mobility:
    • Publish the reviewed national cycle design guidance (to replace LTN02/08)
    • Improve footways safety for all by explicitly allowing the use of mobility scooters in cycle lanes and rename “cycle lanes” as “mobility lanes” or “micro-mobility lanes”.
  3. Take measures to tackle the cost barrier to Disabled people taking up cycling:
    • Extend financial support for electric-cycles, adaptive cycles and cargo-cycles, to Disabled people in self-employment and those who are not in work
    • Support our call for Motability to extend its offer to include adaptive cycles
    • Require (& resource) local authorities to provide cycle training on Electric-cycles/adaptive cycles and inclusive cycle hire centres.
  4. Recognise the fact that cycles are mobility aids for many Disabled people and develop a blue badge for Disabled cyclists
  5. Run a national public education campaign (inspired by RNIB’s call for a Covid Courtesy Code)

Further we ask Local Authorities to:

  1. Involve local Disability organisations in the access-auditing of temporary schemes & in co-production of all permanent schemes.
  2. Prioritise safety and accessibility of all temporary walking and cycling footway widening & temporary Cycling schemes. We recommend the use of TfL’s Temporary Traffic Management Handbook.
  3. Carry out Equality Impact Assessments for all temporary schemes and apply inclusive design principles, referring to our Guide to Inclusive Cycling.
  4. Retain essential car access for pick up, drop-off and Blue Badge parking, including on otherwise car-free streets.
  5. Provide for accessible cycle parking for longer/wider cycles in town centres and on residential streets/estates/developments.

 

Gareth Powell is in contempt of court

Gareth Powell is Managing Director of Surface Transport at Transport for London.

On 25th July 2018 (nearly three years ago) he wrote a letter (pdf) to the Assistant Coroner of the Inner West London Coroner’s Court, to explain what Transport for London was going to do to prevent a repeat of the avoidable killing of Lucia Ciccioli on Lavander Hill in October 2016.

Lucia was killed by a lorry driver who was talking on his mobile phone at the time.

Here is a media clips gallery and here is RoadPeace report of the Inquest

The junction’s poor design was in the Coroner’s view a major contributory factor to the tragedy and TfL was summoned to explain what they would be doing to fix the dangerous design that forces people riding bicycles to merge in front of motor vehicles.

Google Maps0320

Specifically the Coroner wrote:

The narrow aspect of Lavander Hill immediately past the junction places cyclists in a vulnerable position when they arrive in Lavender Hill from the Junction. There is no cycle lane provision in Lavender Hill immediately after the junction.

Graphically this is the problem:

Vision_Zero_-_Ciccioli_crash_map

In his response to the Coroner, Gareth Powell outlined the solution: reduce the number of motor lanes from two to one before the junction and design a cycle lane before and after the junction. It is really not a difficult intervention.

However, in typical TfL fashion, Powell didn’t seem concerned about the urgency of fixing this death trap. He said that it would take 18 months (!!!) to prepare the revised design; a consultation would follow, and construction “could begin in 2020”.

So December 2019 was the promised deadline to show the new design. However December came and went and no announcement was made. We wrote to Stuart Reid, Head of Vision Zero at TfL, asking to see the plans but received no reply. We chased him twice and still no information; so we issued a FOIA request and TfL tried to weasel out citing Covid. We pressed them and finally got the answer:

We do not hold the information you have requested. We continue to work on the design of the junction which, despite our best endeavours, we were unable to complete at the end of last year. The design we are currently working on will be modelled to consider the impact upon things such as bus journey times and the needs of pedestrians in the area. However, under the current circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, this work has been delayed. Any final design will be subject to consultation.

Did Gareth Powell write to the Coroner apologising for breaking his promise? Did he write to the family of Lucia Ciccioli to apologise that he has not done what he promised to do?

We doubt it. Powell is taking advantage of a broken system. The Coroner issues a request to fix a life-threatening situation but has no power (and/or interest) to follow up; so the relevant authority plays the game: writes a letter with empty promises and then ignores them.

This is England: systems designed to fail so that the elites cannot be taken to account. A fantastically corrupt nation in denial.

A monument to Bullshit London

UPDATE 26.05.20 The work to extend the cycle lane to the whole length of Park Lane and to link it with existing cycle tracks is underway. It is promising that the bus stops bypasses are built in asphalt.

It is also good to see that the speed limit has been lowered to 30kph. It now needs to be enforced.

The main point of article stands: to open a half finished cycle track next to the fastest street in Central London for publicity purposes is very foolish, against Vision Zero principles, and characteristic of our Mayor.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

London is the world capital of two things: recycling dirty money and bullshit. It is a stinking place of foreign thieves and local lying politicians.

Londoners seem to be happy to pinch their nose and carry on. After eight years of the King of Bullshit, they were happy to elect an ex-lawyer, who says that building a massive tunnel under the Thames for motor traffic is carbon neutral.

Khan’s idea of planning is

  • make an announcement of an ambitious scheme
  • covertly encourage someone to oppose it
  • blame the opponent for not allowing him to be of service to Londoners

Just look at his various steps over the saga of the Oxford Street pedestrianisation.

There, the virus has effectively done what Khan was afraid to do.

Khan is not having a good crisis:

  • In early March while the virus was quickly spreading in the capital and Ireland was readying itself to lockdown, Khan announced that the St Patrick’s Parade would go ahead (he was later forced to backtrack),
  • At the beginning of the lockdown, he had evidence from cities like Milan and Barcelona that the number of public transport passengers would plummet to 5% of normal. He could then forecast almost to the day when he would run out of money. On day 2 of the lockdown, he should have gone to the Chancellor and said “either you give me £x billions or I need to shut down tube and buses”. He didn’t and he ended up being humiliated by the Clown,
  • Most seriously, under his watch, dozens of bus drivers and tube workers perished as they were asked to work without proper protection (follow this scandal here),
  • As the media reported on myriads of interventions in all continents to make walking and cycling safer, not one word from City Hall or Palestra House. The optimists were hoping that staff were beavering away on some phantasmagorical plan.

When Schapps and Gilligan announced that the Government was providing funding for urgent interventions, a week passed and still nothing from Khan,

Then he gave the cheerleaders what they wanted. A big ambitious plan. “Wow” “amazing” “game-changer”.

These people had learned nothing in the past four years. If one counts the cycling schemes that he axed or that he manouvred to be opposed, Khan’s tally of newly designed AND built cycle tracks is negative.

To give Khan the benefit of the doubt is a losing bet. To prove his mendacity, one just has to look at the short stretch of cycle track that has been built on Park Lane.

IMG_20200514_192048

One needs to overtake the bus to reach the start of the track. Obviously five lanes are insufficient to build a by-pass

There is a strong argument to intervene here: the N-S cycle track in Hyde Park is too busy and has been ruined with humps by the asocial sadists at the Royal Parks; Park Lane, the parallel route, is a no go Mad Max zone with drivers confident that speeds of 130km are tolerated.

So what did TfL do? they built a totally pointless track for a few hundred metres half way up Park Lane.

park-lane-simon-still.png (572×753)2217

What is Khan’s equivalent of “taking it on the chin?” Image by Simon Still

Why there? Because it is the only spot that they could find that met these criteria

  • somewhere recognisable by the world media
  • somewhere central (Khan had heard that Paris was shutting rue de Rivoli to cars)
  • somewhere with no bus stops

IMG_20200514_190840

Did you like that? Good now, enjoy racing with the Lamborghinis, and don’t forget to kiss Khan’s ass

So Khan found his stretch of few hundred meters where he could crow how much the “best big city in the world” was doing.

Did he think of linking his little track to the existing tracks? If he did, he must have been too busy designing and affixing his beautiful sign “StreetSpace for London”

park-lane-streetspace-london-04

The monument to Bullshit London (Photo by Road.cc)

Did he think that Vision Zero would suggest not to open the cycle track until it was ready, rather than opening it as the death trap it is now?

You are having a laugh. This is politics; the track’s purpose is to make Khan look good, not to help Londoners.

Don’t let the Covid crisis go to waste

We will have to live with the virus until Summer 2021 at least. The next twelve months are a golden opportunity to transform our cities. Many mayors around the world are grasping the moment. Alas, Khan has so far been silent.

This is an evolving post.

The main reason to transform our cities is that in the UK in 2019 more people have died because of air pollution that the probable death toll from Covid19.

Initiatives around the world

Berlin

Coronavirus pandemic gives cyclists more road in Berlin – DW

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Pop-up bike lanes help with coronavirus physical distancing in Germany – The Guardian

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Bogota

22km of temporary bike lanes

Brussels

Centre of city – priority for people walking and cycling. 20kph speed limit – Le Soir

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Dublin

Parking spaces blocked to increase space for pedestrians. However not enforced.

London

  • For latest updates read this report from RDRF
  • TfL – Mayor announce StreetScape initiative: BikeBiz
    • Strategic cycling network using temporary materials, building new routes
    • Traffic lights are being altered to reduce the time Londoners must wait to cross
    • Some roads may be restricted to bus lanes and bikes only at certain times of the day.
    • More space will be given to pedestrians to reduce crowding at busy transport interchanges
    • UPDATE 15.05.20: Details and map published. Report by LCC
      Emerging London Streetspace Plan for Cycle Routes1612
    • UPDATE 19.06.20 £22m allocated to Boroughs for emergency interventions like strategic cycle routes, school streets, low traffic neighbourhoods and pedestrian space in town centres – Road.cc
  • **City** – Plans to pedestrianise main streets around Bank – FT
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  • Croydon – Several residential streets closed to prevent rat running – Council
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  • Greenwich – Widening footpaths in town centres and around Greenwich Park filtering more residential streets to reduce through traffic, creating more School Streets bringing forward plans for the Greenwich to Woolwich cycle route – Council
  • Hammersmith – Pavements in King Street and Uxbridge Road are to be temporarily widened to help with social distancing, by reducing two-lane roads to single lanes
  • Hackney – After Councillor Burke’s plans for extensive temporary filtering has been blocked by the Chief Executive of the Council (allegedly following legal advice), Burke and Mayor Glanville have written a letter to DfT Secretary Shapps to ask for clarifications
    • UPDATE 29.04 The Council has decided to widen pavement at seven sites near supermarkets and to close Broadway Market to through traffic
  • Lambethreleased £78,500 to enable immediate changes to the highway to allow physical distancing to take place at high priority locations

Milan

Milan announces ambitious scheme to reduce car use after lockdown – The Guardian

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Copenhagenize likes it, with one exception:

New York

Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Member Carlina Rivera to Introduce Legislation to Open City Streets During Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic – Press Release

New Zealand

New Zealand has become the first country to provide funding to make tactical urbanism into official government policy during the coronavirus pandemic – Forbes

Paris

Mathieu Chassignet on Twitter_ _[Thread] Liste des collectivités françaises, par ordre chronologiq

As well as many other French cities:

Philadelphia

City Announces Closure of Martin Luther King Drive, in the interest of facilitating social distancing among trail users. The 24 hours per day closure will last until further notice. – Municipality

Vienna

Several streets pedestrianised – Map

Birgit Hebein (@BirgitHebein) _ Twitter23

Rome

Rome Mayor @virginiaraggi pledges to build 150km of cycle lanes during Phase 2 of Covid response. BikeItalia

UK

Cycling UK is mapping various initiatives

  • For latest updates read this report from RDRF

See also this comprehensive spreadsheet