An Olympic Park legacy for cycling

Green Party Assembly Member Darren Johnson urges London's Mayor to seize chance to build "an amazing post Games legacy for cyclists"

by   September 12, 2012  

River Lea and Olympic Stadium (copyright Simon MacMichael)

An amazing post Games legacy for cyclists is within easy grasp of the Mayor and Transport for London, writes Green Party Assembly Member Darren Johnson. They have the chance to bring Amsterdam’s cycle friendly roads to a whole area of east London. The London Legacy Development Corporation, run personally by the Mayor of London, has the ability to build whatever kind of roads it wants.

They could have a complete network of cycle tracks going to and from every door. They could give cyclists priority at every junction and make the entire area 20mph from the start. They could have cycling or walking as the default option for local residents and design everything accordingly. No talk of streets too narrow for cycle lanes, or traffic modelling that reinforces the status quo. No talk of people not cycling because it is too dangerous. The Mayor only has to say the word and the plans are his to change.

Change is essential. At present, it is all depressingly familiar and designed as if the London 2012 Games had never happened. Cycle lanes are the 1.5m minimum and squeezed onto a few roads around the Park. Cyclists don’t have automatic priority at junctions and there are no plans to make the whole area 20mph. There will be so called ‘accidents’ and people will get hurt on the roads. The current plan assumes that there will be half as many people cycling in his new Park, as currently cycle on the roads of neighbouring Hackney. Transport for London have stuck to the car is king assumptions, but as a hands-on chair of the London Legacy Development Corporation, he can now change that.

The London 2012 Games was an amazing success, especially for our Olympian and Paralympian cyclists. I will be questioning Boris at the London Assembly meeting on the 19th September about how he can deliver a legacy worthy of that cycling success.

5 user comments

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An excellent initiative. The biggest obstacle to progress we face is traffic planners and highways engineers. Until elected politicians challenge them to think in a different way we will only get token measures for cycling, invariably added as an after-thought.

posted by Campag_10 [153 posts]
13th September 2012 - 7:46

4 Likes

A Great City with better solutions.

Ah! hate it when I do that I've gone and reduced a considered piece of political thinking about the games legacy in London. All Mr Johnson has to do is put 'The Green Party for a' at the start the sentence and zap we have a predictable and rather boring slogan.

I do worry that all the talk about the games legacy is very London centric as if Britain is irreverent, and does not warrant inclusion in any Olympic legacy. Perhaps we have London a modern City state.

THE ONLY WAY IS BIKE

posted by lushmiester [156 posts]
13th September 2012 - 8:28

2 Likes

lushmiester wrote:
A Great City with better solutions.

Ah! hate it when I do that I've gone and reduced a considered piece of political thinking about the games legacy in London. All Mr Johnson has to do is put 'The Green Party for a' at the start the sentence and zap we have a predictable and rather boring slogan.

I do worry that all the talk about the games legacy is very London centric as if Britain is irreverent, and does not warrant inclusion in any Olympic legacy. Perhaps we have London a modern City state.

The Olympic legacy is London-centric because London was the host of the London 2012 games. The Olympics are hosted by a city, not a country.

posted by Mr Will [91 posts]
13th September 2012 - 9:05

5 Likes

All that, but what I really want is the one mile road circuit promised so I can go fast every now and then. Impossible to get a clear, safe, repeatable mile in East London anywhere!

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [305 posts]
13th September 2012 - 10:49

6 Likes

Mr Will wrote:
lushmiester wrote:
A Great City with better solutions.

Ah! hate it when I do that I've gone and reduced a considered piece of political thinking about the games legacy in London. All Mr Johnson has to do is put 'The Green Party for a' at the start the sentence and zap we have a predictable and rather boring slogan.

I do worry that all the talk about the games legacy is very London centric as if Britain is irreverent, and does not warrant inclusion in any Olympic legacy. Perhaps we have London a modern City state.

The Olympic legacy is London-centric because London was the host of the London 2012 games. The Olympics are hosted by a city, not a country.

I don't particularly mind the 'London-centric' nature of much of the discussion around improving things for cyclists. The capital city seems most likely to lead the way. If new infrastructure is successful in London it gives the rest of the country less excuse not to catch up.

posted by don_don [149 posts]
13th September 2012 - 16:23

3 Likes