One of the issues that first strikes about the uber-architect’s Sir Norman Foster’s current London infrastructure baby, SkyCycle, is that it sounds like it has something to do with Sky’s proprietor Rupert Murdoch. They should at least consider changing the name, considering the implications and, well … the person.
Another question is simply … isn’t this a bit, well stupid? The proposal is to spend thousands and millions of pounds on a rather, yes, interesting looking piece of infrastructure that removes cyclists completely from combustion-engine (and, increasingly, electric-engine) bastards way. Come on, I mean, it’s fucking Blade Runner shit with pedals! What’s wrong with that? That sounds great!
Apart from the name, those lanes may be completely removed from the reality of where people want to go, and how they want to get there. Sure, some routes will be great, and there will be wonderful novelty factors at first, but they’re rather limiting in where they seem to go and let one on and off. Basically, it’s a tube tunnel for bikes, except that you’re on a bike instead of a train, then? Lets get rid of the tube and cycle underground, instead.
Moreover, London roads are already undernourished, under-maintained, and overwhelmed with projects. I have said it before: London roads resemble patchwork quilts more than roads due to how often they’re dug up. It’s fucking crazy-paving in asphalt out there. But, with a staling GDP, it seems like grand infrastructure programs are the current thinking of how the economy gets moving again – HS2, HS3 (actually … HS3, fair play), Cross-Rail (essentially a tube line from Heathrow to the City), and now – approval pending – SkyCycle.
Do we really need more forms of infrastructure, rather than trying to reformat London to be actually bike-friendly, rather than gimmick? Some things in this style, like the (awesome) floating bridge in Eidenhoven, would be absolutely welcome in places like Old Street roundabout, or Picadilly Circus. But surely, the bikes, busses, cars, and whatever else is out there, would all be better served if they just created better infrastructure for-all on already-existing, but very-malnourished, roads, rather than adding another thing to fall into decay when whatever private company the government employ to maintain it doesn’t do their fucking job? Better roads for all, not silly new projects for some!
Picture is unrelated, but could be London’s future.