London, England has just unveiled a jaw-dropping new plan to greatly increase the amount of walking and cycling in the city.
London plans to spend the equivalent of almost a billion dollars over the next decade on a series of massive cycling and walking initiatives throughout the greater London area. The schemes include a huge bikes-for-hire system in the city centre, designated cycle commuter routes, bike zones with cycle priority streets in shopping and school areas, and a massive new wayfinding system for pedestrians.
I particularly like the way cycling is seen as becoming a “fully-funded part of the public transport network” — that is, something that is worth significant ongoing funding as part of a coherent transportation strategy. The stated goal is to have one in ten Londoners make a round trip by bike every day.
Meanwhile, in the rest of Great Britain, a plan to build crossings and bridges for walkers and cyclists that create new direct routes to destinations in communities across the nation has just been awarded the equivalent of almost a hundred million dollars. It’s a recognition that pedestrians and cyclists need and deserve their own infrastructure.
Meanwhile, back in Toronto, the newly-named Metrolinx (old GTTA) has started to put out extended discussion papers about sustainable transportation, and is looking for public feedback. Their website is still terrible, so that, in one place, you can download the documents but you don’t know their names, while in another place you can see the names but some published documents aren’t yet available. But it’s still a good thing that they are putting a lot of work into the issue, and especially that they have produced a discussion paper specifically focused on active transportation (walking and cycling). I encourage all transportation geeks to have a look and send them comments.
photo by Graeme