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Cycle Superhighways Open in London
The first two of twelve "bike superhighways" were officially launched in London today. Photo via Inhabitat.

The first two of twelve "bike superhighways" were officially launched in London today. Photo via Inhabitat.

“No longer will pedal power have to dance and dodge around petrol power – on these routes the bicycle will dominate and that will be clear to all others using them.”

— London Mayor Boris Johnson on his “cycling revolution”

Today, London Mayor Boris Johnson launched the first two of twelve planned “cycle superhighways,” part of what he’s calling London’s “cycling revolution.”  Transport for London’s (TfL) website says the lanes are part of an effort to increase cycling in London by 400 percent from 2000 to 2025.

The first routes launched cover about 8.5 miles each, linking south and east London to the city center.

The cycling routes as they were announced last year. The two red routes were launched today. Image via news.bbc.co.uk.

The cycling routes as they were announced last year. The two red routes were launched today. Image via news.bbc.co.uk.

TfL emphasizes that the network of so-called superhighways — which are 1.5 meters wide, and look pretty much like normal bike lanes painted bright blue — aim to provide continuous cycle routes that are emphatically marked out, where cyclists know motorists are looking out for them.

This is all meant to support the following larger goals:

  • improve cycling conditions for people who already commute by bike
  • encourage those who don’t to take to pedal power and keep fit
  • help cut congestion
  • relieve overcrowding on public transport
  • reduce emissions

Still, London cyclists have criticized the mayor’s purported “cycling revolution” as a gimmick, saying the new routes may be an improvement but by no means live up to the name “superhighways.” And London’s Green Party says the administration is underspending on its cycling budget.

Watch the Barclays Cycle Superhighways video, from the TfL website:

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