Do Something for Cyclists, Bojo
Toyoung, The Evening Standard (London, England)
I WAS intrigued by Boris Johnson's announcement last week that he intends to create more public spaces in London. Top of the list is the plan to pedestrianise the area around Exhibition Road as part of a Pounds 13 million Transport For London scheme to create a "Museum District" in South Kensington. "It is the capital's public spaces that make London such a wonderful, engaging city and help attract millions of visitors every year," he said.
That is all very well but I hope there will be a cycle lane in this new pedestrianised zone. One of the reasons I voted for Boris was because he promised to make things easier for people like me who get around the capital on two wheels. So far, the only thing he's done is to announce that bendy buses will be phased out on three routes when their contracts expire at the end of 2009. That is pretty small beer given that he made the abolition of bendy buses the central plank of his mayoral campaign.
Luckily, I have never been knocked off my bike by a bendy bus, but that is not for want of trying on the part of the drivers.
Their favourite trick is to overtake me as I'm pedalling along in a cycle lane, then immediately pull in and slam on the brakes as a bus stop comes into view. It is rather like being a minnow overtaken by a crocodile, its tail sweeping across your path as it glides past.
This is particularly dangerous at night because in most parts of London there is no law against parking in bicycle lanes after 7pm. …