Cycle lanes for Tower Bridge now!!!

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Monday 18 July 2011 3.05pm
In my mind the money spent on the recently completed paint job on Tower Bridge could have been better spent on improving conditions for the hundreds of cyclists which cross it daily. Though there is a 20 mile an hour limit on the bridge both lanes are narrow, and on the southern approach traffic merges from 2 lanes to 1 and cyclists often weave in and out between cars both on approach and whilst crossing. Vehicles often travel too near the kerb forcing cyclists to overtake on the outside, for example.

I have commuted to work by bicycle across Tower Bridge for a number of years, and over the last 2 years in particular have witnessed a sizeable increase in volume of pedal powered traffic using it, and adding dedicated cycle lanes would be of benefit to all. There is plenty of scope for the pedestrian walkways to be narrowed to provide room for the dedicated lanes, and at the same time the nasty railings - which for some reason escaped the paint refurb - could be replaced. The cycle lane on the southern side needs to start on approach so as to enforce lane discipline on vehicles merging to the single lane from Tower Bridge Road.

Transport For London, are you listening?
Monday 18 July 2011 3.22pm
mirageman have you ever driven across Tower Bridge? There is no room for seperate cycle lanes and you can't widen the lanes on the bridge. That doesn't mean the bridge could be closed to vehicular traffic and only used for cycles...but there needs to be another crossing and Boris cancelled the proposed Beckton crossing a couple of years ago. If that was possible it would help save the bridge itself and offer a safe route across for cyclists.
Monday 18 July 2011 3.27pm
I would have thought it impossible to add cycle lanes to Tower Bridge, though I agree it is very dangerous. The pavements aren't that wide either and are always rammed with people in any case.
Monday 18 July 2011 3.33pm
Besides the obvious dimensional constraints of this beautiful bridge I am not sure what is meant by the phrase "forcing cyclists to overtake on the outside".

No cyclist is ever forced to overtake, it's a choice, the other choice being to halt or decelerate. And overtaking is on the outside; overtaking on the inside is known as undertaking.

Also I would have thought that the very high speeds of the wide single lanes for the half-mile south of there, and the gyratory to the north, are bigger dangers.
Monday 18 July 2011 3.41pm
Tower Bridge is clearly an exceptional historic bridge and the lanes were not designed with 21st century transport in mind. If cyclists wish to do what I do on my scooter. ie: queue with all the traffic then they can use this crossing in complete safety. Only those cyclists or others on two wheels (and some pedestrians) who dodge and weave in this packed traffic must take responsibility that they may not be as "safe" as they would wish to be. Tower Bridge is certainly not dangerous, impatient behaviour is inherently unsafe in any vehicle, be patient, be safe.
Monday 18 July 2011 4.05pm
Jerry wrote:
Tower Bridge is clearly an exceptional historic bridge and the lanes were not designed with 21st century transport in mind. If cyclists wish to do what I do on my scooter. ie: queue with all the traffic then they can use this crossing in complete safety. Only those cyclists or others on two wheels (and some pedestrians) who dodge and weave in this packed traffic must take responsibility that they may not be as "safe" as they would wish to be. Tower Bridge is certainly not dangerous, impatient behaviour is inherently unsafe in any vehicle, be patient, be safe.
Spot on.
Monday 18 July 2011 8.11pm
it isnt wide enough for cycle lanes...fact
Monday 18 July 2011 8.27pm
I stopped cycling to work because of too many deaths on the road with 800m of my front door, and too many close calls on tower and london bridge. All my incidents involved people passing me dangerously close rather than me being a two wheeled psychopath (who I despise as much as careless drivers by the way). I'm now on foot, and am regularly shouting and swearing at the cyclists jumping the red lights, riding on the pavements, and going the wrong way down one way streets. I've come to the opinion that it isn't necessarily that one group is to blame... it's more that some people are just inconsiderate idiots.

Anyway... Tower Bridge...

The southern approach is particularly bad as the cycling gutter has an awful camber. You are forced to either cycle to the left of the camber and risk clipping the kerb with your pedal, or cycling on the right of it and getting too close to traffic. It doesn't help that far too many people gawp out of the window when driving across the bridge either.

I disagree that the pavements are too small. They are *huge*. I'll take a guess that they are about 8-10 feet wide on each side. The fact that everybody managed to survive perfectly well with only one of the pavement for the best part of the last 18 months is proof that we can make do with smaller pavements. They could easily widen the road by 2-3 feet at either side and set aside a dedicated cycle lane. There is a pinch point as the road passes through the archways, but that could be handled with yellow hatched boxes if necessary.

One thing that always cracks me up is the disproportionate time and resources that are given to motor vehicles in london. The sheer volume of people on foot and bikes that cross the bridges during the rush hour totally dwarfs the number of people in vehicles. I walk across tower bridge every day and the number of cars queuing up with just one person in is unbelievable. The amount of space they take up is ridiculous. When I get to Tower Gateway, you typically see about a hundred people huddled together squeezing between the two single occupant cars than have crept through the lights and got stuck in the middle of the crossing. A hundred people squeezing between two peoples massive tin cans. It's stupid.

I was an avid cyclist and hated people in cars. I'm now an avid pedestrian, and hate the people in cars and fruit cakes on bikes, but I do have sympathy for something being done about the bridges. Too dangerous.
Monday 18 July 2011 9.01pm
What I have found to be particularly dangerous on Tower Bridge, which I do my best to avoid when on two wheels, are the deep ridges that have formed in the tarmac on the edge of the road next to the pavement. It can be scary stuff and difficult to manoeuvre. I would rather stay in the middle of the road and hold up the cars than have them squeeze past me. The 20 mile an hour limit does mean that cars can never justifiably get too pissed off if they are stuck behind you.

I think Mutton you are the type of pedestrian I try to avoid too - though sometimes on the rare occasion that I take the pavement and meet someone mouthing off, I wonder why I take such care to miss them...!

By the way, there are more and more streets that are officially encouraging and authorising cyclists to ride against the traffic. I don't agree with it, do think it's dangerous as there are often cars that haven't realised this is allowed. But this is a definite trend, Tabard St and Bermondsey St being good examples.
Monday 18 July 2011 9.11pm
Quote:
"it isnt wide enough for cycle lanes...fact"
Maybe the road is too narrow for motor vehicles?
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