Thursday, June 03, 2010

The thick blue line

I was quite excited when I started noticing some buzz about Boris' fabled Cycle Superhighways in London. I have been doing a lot more cycling on main roads since the move South, and I am aware that my risk of accident and/or injury is higher than it was previously. Unfortunately, there just isn't a nice, quiet, straight road that goes directly to my work like there was when I lived oop Norf.

[think of the cake Kelly, think of the cake!]

Cycle superhighways! Don't they sound super-whizzy and safe? Doesn't it conjure images of some sort of futuristic elevated monorail type thing far above the traffic and particles and stop lights and clueless f*ckers pedestrians? It does for me. I could picture myself sailing along the Cycle Superhighway to work, a gentle downward slope obviating the need for pedalling as I high-five other like-minded cyclists all the way. Rainbows would shimmer on the horizon as the sunlight winked off lovingly buffed spokes and handlebars.

The reality is turning out to be somewhat different to my shiny happy daydreams. Somehow this initiative - which, bear in mind, may cost as much as £150m - amounts to painting the side of some roads blue. Not even clear roads at that; roads which have parking bays along them for Chrissake, which renders the whole exercise depressingly futile. Not to mention, it's a blue freakin' stripe. This isn't a toothpaste commercial, Boris. How is a blue stripe going to protect me from homicidal bendy bus drivers? How is a blue stripe going to make my journey any faster, especially when I am still weaving around traffic and parked cars like a third class citizen of the road-nation? How, in fact, is this any different from my commute right now, except that I will have a different colour to gaze at while I lay on the ground waiting for the ambulance? "Oh look, a bit of blue to comfort me before I die of being run over by a bus. How nice and calming. Reminds me of..." [fade to black]

If you want to discuss a more sensible mono-rail cycling system, Boris, you know where to find me. I am prepared to be flexible on the rainbows.

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