Sunday 17 October 2010

Cycling to the Olympics?

London 2012 is aiming for 100% of spectators to get to the Games by public transport, or by walking or cycling.

So says the Olympic website here.


Homerton Road

Junction with Eastway

I know I have blogged about this before, but these roads are right next to the Olympic Park, ironically a stone's throw from the Velodrome. It worth a second blog to highlight the huge gap between aspiration and reality.

The traffic along Homerton Road and Eastway is frequently backed up - even before the roadworks it would be queued extensively at rush hour.

The Olympic Delivery Authority are upgrading some off-road cycle routes to the Olympic park and creating a few more along green corridors. Which is very nice. But it supposes that cyclists can magically teleport themselves from their homes and hotels to the corridors without having to endure the crap that masquerades as cycle provision on these roads. 

Homerton road is a great example of the complete lack of enthusiasm for actually creating anything resembling a decent cycling environment. It is used by many cyclists, and is wide enough for a separate quality cycle facility. But instead the road is used for parking on both sides which means that when it gets queued as shown above, the cyclist has a few choices. To wait with the cars, to filter left or filter right. Filtering left is a very poor choice at the moment as roadworks combine with parked cars to make it tight and dangerous. Filtering to the right requires assertiveness as you are then in the path of oncoming traffic, so have to move in and out of the traffic. Filtering right is by far the best choice, but even for a confident cyclist, it can be intimidating. All of this because road space is devoted to parked cars and not a safe cycle path. It is hardly the type of road that I would have enjoyed when I was a novice road cyclist.

Does the Olympic committee think that cyclists won't need or want to use the roads surrounding the park? That they will push their cycles on the pavements until arriving at the cycle paths? It is complete nonsense - there needs to be at least cycle friendly feeder roads to the cycle paths and cycle provision also put in on the roads around the Olympics. Or possibly the Olympic committee are presuming that three lanes of traffic chaos moments from the Velodrome will encourage cycling?

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