For a cyclist, apart from a drop dead bike that runs like the blazing wind, what is even more important are the roads to ride. For a city biker, in this part of the world, you are either chased if you are non-brown or honked upon for using “their” roads. Though there have been instances in various cities in India where cycling lanes has been created but even they have proved to be useless. Why I mention useless is because of the fact that at frequent places they merge into the road where cars and buses ply, only endangering the cyclists life. The other reason, these lanes have gradually transformed into parking lanes for happy-go-lucky bikers. So, the cycling lanes are there but you can’t ride on them.
As a non-complaining biker, what has caught my fancy is the $1.5 billion that the London mayor is going to spend to develop cycling highways in the capital.
The plan includes the creation of a 24-km “Crossrail for the bike,” substantially segregated from road traffic, connecting the suburbs of East and West London as well as fully-segregated routes. A part of the money will fund eight police officers dedicated to collisions involving bicycles and heavy goods vehicles. Over the next four years London will open a range of high-quality new cycle routes parallel to, and named after, Tube lines and bus routes, so everyone knows where they go.
The reason I am spending almost £1 billion on this is my belief that helping cycling will not just help cyclists. It will create better places for everyone. It means less traffic, more trees, more places to sit and eat a sandwich. It means more seats on the Tube, less competition for a parking place and fewer cars in front of yours at the lights. Above all, it will fulfil my aim of making London’s air cleaner. If just 14 per cent of journeys in central London were cycled, emissions there of the greatest vehicle pollutant, NOx, would fall by almost a third and over the years literally thousands of lives could be saved.” – The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson
I don’t need a $1.5 billion cycling highway, all that I ask for is, a perfect lane for cyclists without the happy-go-lucky fellows and yes some trees please. Is that too much to ask eh!