Since the debut of the first large Bike Superhighway routes in London two years ago, the results are impressive. The number of bicyclists entering Central London is approaching the number of cars. At rush hour 70% of all transportation over Blackfriars Bridge is bicycles. And the current administration has budgeted $169 million pounds per year towards continuing to build out their bike network and superhighways, according to Will Norman, London Mayor Sadiq Khan's Walking & Cycling Commissioner.
There are some drawbacks and criticisms. The lanes, although impressively wide, already can't contain the numbers of rush hour cyclists. The speeds of riders can be brisk, which can be troublesome to pedestrians and discourage new cyclists from trying the commute. And bike advocates say the network implementation needs to be sped up and connected more strongly so that "the brave" aren't the only ones out there.
But the visuals of cyclists being posted in clips on Youtube and Twitter showing the riders streaming over the routes is breathtaking. I was there in 2015 and I thought then London had a healthy dose of bikes. So Streetfilms decided to take a quick look while in London on a Friday in June. We talked to some people on the government side, the advocacy & research groups and most importantly the riders themselves to get their take.