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Cycle lanes for Tower Bridge now!!!

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Tuesday 19 July 2011 10.58pm
Mutton wrote:
am regularly shouting and swearing at the cyclists

This is what I was objecting to, though I'm sure I don't need to say so. It is not me that goes round f-ing and blinding at anyone. I love cycling in London (more than 3 hours today), and do within reason on occasions take the pavement for rarely more than 10 metres or so. I also go up roads the wrong way nearly always when authorised to do so. I have rarely had run ins with anyone here. I thought that taxis were notoriously disrespectful to two-wheelers but have in fact never had a problem - quite the opposite as they're the first I ask if not sure where I'm going.

Be careful about generalising when referring to the Continent. Paris is not Amsterdam! Things have changed in Paris dramatically since they introduced the fabulous Boris-bike type scheme. The police have been instructed to clamp down on cyclists - I got fined for jumping the lights when on a brief visit not so long ago. I lived in Paris for years and it was a case of "When in Rome..." My sedate sitting at red lights was soon discarded (I've re-learnt it!) Rules were made to be broken and there was certainly room for everyone everywhere. I scolded a policeman motor-biking down the cycle path - hence my surprise (and frustration) at the fine. But it was also Paris on one of my last visits that I actually had a pedestrian go out of his way to knock into and hurt me. As if I would ever have done such a thing to him...! I was shocked the other day by the aggressiveness of the language a pedestrian who had not stopped to look before crossing hurled at a cyclist. The great thing about Paris, and this will still be true, is that drivers use all their mirrors and therefore although it might appear very haphazard and dangerous, it is in fact safer, as other road-users are aware of you.

I have quite frequently walked over Tower Bridge and found it very uncomfortable at busy times (which is often) when there is only one side open, so I'd just rather they iron out the asphalt. It's true that the slow speed is good.
Tuesday 19 July 2011 11.12pm
I also walk over the bridge at least 10 times a week and agree that the number of tourists would make a cycle lane on one side virtually impossible, especially at this time of year. This is one of the capital's prime tourist attractions and the notion of permanently halving the pedestrian space is a non starter in my view.

At 6.20am every weekday morning I walk past a cyclist who dismounts just before he passes the steps on the southside of the bridge and he pushes his bike over to the north side and gets on again once he passes the steps down to the Tower. Even when the traffic is a bit calmer at that time of day, he obviously doesn't want to cycle on the road. I am always amazed that he doesn't cycle on the pavement as there are hardly any pedestrians, but he pushes his bike every time. Exemplary behaviour!
Tuesday 19 July 2011 11.16pm
This is such a complex topic. I cycle regularly the 6 miles across Central London to work, run the same route a few times a week, occasionally pinch my wife's car for the journey, and I drive a fire engine while I'm there. It gives me a broad view of road use as a whole and, simply put, all groups are as bad as each other. I can't think of one faction that has, IMHO, a larger proportion of idiots than any other.

I'd like to think that my road awareness has kept me out of trouble and you do certainly develop a 6th sense for people who may not be indicating left but who, you feel, are going to turn left when they reach the junction.

One big issue that I see and this is one that I don't think is present in the cities that London is trying to imitate is that our cycle network has been largely bodged to fit in and around the motorised vehicles. I understand, although I have no direct experience so I am open to corretion/criticism here, that places such as Holland are far better equipped to cope. London's network is very much an afterthought. Paint the lanes bright blue. Does f all other than create a gimick.

SBR, where I live, is great as is the bridge, until you get to Marshalsea Road travelling south(I live right by that junction and it's scary). Cyclists going straight on are in my view undertaking if they pass cars waiting to turn left. Cars than try to turn left run the risk of hitting the near constant (during rush hour) stream of bikes. It's a fatal accident waiting to happen.

Apologies for the War & Peace. I could go on even more, but I won't. This is something I feel strongly about both from a personal and a professional POV.

The bottom line here? Road awareness for all. As an erstwhile motorcyclist I think the lessons learned there would be of some value to the cyclists. Ride to arrive. Nowt will make you later for work than a Range Rover across your legs.
Wednesday 20 July 2011 5.45am
many posters seem to be under the illusion that London = Amsterdam or Copenhagen. it clearly doesn't. some roads in London are ill-suited to cyclists, and the stretch between Tower Bridge and Algate (which i drive everyday) is obviously one of these.a cycle lane on Tower Bridge is just not practical, the bridge itself is hardly fit for purpose in a modern mega-city(to use A. Marr's term)- what is needed is a a couple of road bridges over the river at say. Rotherhithe and Blackwall,to take cars, at speed and to leave Tower Bridge to the tourists and cyclists. who fancies paying for that though?
Wednesday 20 July 2011 6.41am
I'd be quite pleased if they sorted out the tarmac, it's a bit of a menace at the moment as it's hard to find your position on the road.

Would it be TFL who are responsible? I'm pretty sure there's a red line snaking over the deep grooves in the road surface.

I think we might need a photo posted of Mullet in his fire engine.
Wednesday 20 July 2011 8.06am
EleanorT wrote:
Mutton wrote:
am regularly shouting and swearing at the cyclists

This is what I was objecting to, though I'm sure I don't need to say so.

In fact, Mutton's original quote was: "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. "

Which, imho, is entirely reasonable, and which you have quoted quite out of context.

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 20 July 2011 11.35am
boroughpaul wrote:
many posters seem to be under the illusion that London = Amsterdam or Copenhagen.

Amsterdam and Copenhagen were not Amsterdam and Copenhagen either, in 1970. They achieved what they had because they decided to stop building roads, find a better way (urban density, cycling, walking) and got on with it.
Wednesday 20 July 2011 12.37pm
Reversing the 20mph speed limit would be a step backwards. Driving in a car I don't think I've ever been in a position to go much above an average of 20 mph anyway.
Wednesday 20 July 2011 1.10pm
meanwhile, the council's transport plan, while it proposes 20mph limit borough-wide, has no workable solutions to the cycling and pedestrian safety
Wednesday 20 July 2011 1.19pm
From my experience the majority of the pedestrian traffic is on the west side of the bridge, facilitating entrance to the exhibition. Also all the posing a photograph taking is focused mainly on the Tower of London etc. In San Francisco on the Golden Gate, there is a pedestrian side and a bike side. (The pedestrian side being that which faces back toward the city).
I think the east side of the bridge would be better suited to conversion into a bike lane. Simply saying a bike lane is impossible or unimportant goes against everything the city is trying to achieve in becoming more European (like Amsterdam or Copenhagen)
Also throughout the repainting parts of the bridge were closed and there were hardly pedestrians tumbling of the side of the bridge due to having less room for them.
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