It is about delivering a cohesive network and the terminology you use to describe network sections pre-supposes the type of user you expect to be using it. The reality is that you need to define the base user. I would suggest an 8 year old on a bike. If you deliver a network useable by an 8 year old, you deliver a network useable by all. In a recent interchange about a new network scheme I am coming up with, it was suggested that I remove “child-safe”. It took me sometime to realise, that removing “child-safe” would allow a poorer standard of network delivery. Delivering a “child-safe” network is much much much harder to do, than one suitable for a 23-50 year old fit male in lycra.
This is a piece about the unhelpful problems Transport for London have (partly) created for themselves by developing separate ‘Superhighway’ and ‘Quietway’ concepts, but it’s more broadly about terminology, and how we should think not in terms of separate classes of provision for cycling, but in terms of a uniform network, suitable for all potential users, even if it is composed of a variety of types of treatment.
Some of these problems originate with the Mayor’s Vision for Cycling, which contains some curious distinctions.
We will offer two clear kinds of branded route: high capacity Superhighways, mostly on main roads, for fast commuters, and slightly slower but still direct Quietways on pleasant, low-traffic side streets for those wanting a more relaxed journey.
Here we see a puzzling split – that Superhighways are for ‘fast commuters’, while Quietways are for those ‘wanting a more relaxed journey’. This distinction is reiterated, in different…
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