Bike lanes can be pretty confusing, can't they? They're, like, a part of the road, but they're... not for cars? I mean what's that about?
Little wonder, then, that stuff like this happens.
— Ants on Screen (@antsonscreen) August 3, 2013
— Man-Denis (@ManDenis) November 2, 2015
It happens in New York, too.
— Alexandra Loxton (@inthebikelane) December 9, 2015
And on the outskirts of Boston.
— Matt Roy (@mm_racing) August 14, 2015
And in Brazil, where some of the locals are getting pretty angry.
— Taras Grescoe (@grescoe) July 29, 2015
Anyway. London is trying to get around some of these problems by replacing tiddly little cycle lanes with giant, unmissable cycling superhighways. Sometimes these are painted blue:
This is a cycling superhighway, honest. Image: Danny/Cyclists in the City/Wikimedia Commons.
But that gets confusing because sometimes they're also just bits of a main road, and painting a road blue isn't enough to stop cars from going in it.
So TfL is thinking again. The new generation of cycle lanes are segregated. They include one which'll cross the city from north to south, and another going from east to west.
An new lane, nice and wide, entirely separate from the scary bit with all the cars in it. You'd think that'd be make everything clear, right? What could possibly go wrong?
Tailgated by more clowns driving in the segregated superhighway this evening. Where do these people come from?? pic.twitter.com/acNXkWcL3l
— Alec James (@AEWJ) January 17, 2016
Oh. Still at least it isn't a regular-
— Richard Reynolds (@Richard_001) February 2, 2016
Since cars are very definitely not allowed to be there, shouldn't the authorities be doing something about this, we asked TfL?
Nigel Hardy, Head of Sponsorship at Surface Transport for Transport for London, said: “We expect it to take time before all road users become accustomed to radical changes, such as bi-directional cycle tracks, on major roads in a world city. Isolated incidents of motorists using the new segregated lanes have been brought to our attention and, working alongside with the Met Police, we have an extensive education and enforcement campaign aimed at preventing this."
Well that's good, I guess, but “education and enforcement” is a bit weak, isn’t it? I mean, if a car was driving at 30mph along an area set aside for pedestrians, you’d hope for a bit more than “education and enforcement”, wouldn’t you?
“We'll consider further measures if this persists.”
Let that be a warning.