The City of Westminster’s deeply hostile attitude to cyclists and pedestrians is no secret. But today I came across an example which exemplifies car-centric thinking so much, I simply had to blog about it.
I was travelling in the north of the borough, along a marked cycle route, which as you can see on the LCN+ map is part of the London Cycle Network.
The road is a backstreet which runs north-south directly between the A5 (Highways Agency managed trunk road) and the A41 (TfL managed trunk road). The junction that I have photographed is respectively 0.1 and 0.4 miles from each of these roads.
Let’s take a look at some photos and some problems:
1. Someone at Westminster has taken the extraordinary decision that the optimal design for users of this very wide, residential street is to shove a lane of cars down the middle of it:
Even with the extraordinary decision of allowing cars to park down the centre of the carriageway, it is clear from this photo that the lanes are still much wider than a car-width and unmarked, encouraging high speeds.
2. There is actually considerably more potential space that could be used. Let’s accept for a moment that, for some reason, it is essential to the lives of the residents of Maida Vale that they own enough cars to take up both sides of the road and the centre of the carriageway. There is still easily enough space for some sort of cycling infrastructure:
3. Finally, at this wide, busy rat-run with no speed cameras, bumps or any other type of speed reduction or enforcement, Westminster are not even good enough to provide a zebra, pelican or other pedestrian-focused crossing (this is a residential street within 1 mile of three primary schools):
Oh wait, hang on a second. Westminster have thoughtfully added some provision for pedestrians:
Advice that perhaps Westminster City Council could do with taking on board.