Category Archives: news

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Our feeder ride to RideLondon Freecycle

in_contentPoster design by Eliza Southwood – www.elizasouthwood.com
Like other LCC Borough Groups, we will be running a led ride to RideLondon Freecycle.  It may be hot on Saturday so you may want to bring water and/or sun protection.

Gather this Saturday August 9, from 10.00am for a 10.30 start at Highbury Fields – War Memorial End. We will lead a safe ride for families and inexperienced cyclists to St Pauls. You’ll be able to explore the extra attractions in the city (new this year) and a slighty longer traffic free journey passing many famous London sights. See the pdf here PRL_FreeCycle_Route_Map_2014. There’ll be a return from St Pauls at 3.00pm.
If you haven’t used your bike for a while have a look for some hints here.
A few tips about cycling with lots of others…
o stop at red lights unless directed through by marshals
o leave enough room to stop, a bike distance apart from each bike
o give way to pedestrians
o no overtaking
o no need for signalling (handled by leaders and marshals)
o cover brakes at all times
o Children (with accompanying adults) and slow riders will be asked to be at the front of the ride
o We will try to keep the ride wide and short – think elephant not cheetah!

Thank you to Oliver O'Brien and the wonderful http://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/casa

New census data argues for more active street designs.

Our roads are designed for driving, but we walk and cycle far more.

Last week, new census data was released highlighting where people work and how they get there. Then the wonderful people at CASA.UCL made a map for us simpletons to easily see what is happening.

The data is quite extraordinary. Having crunched the numbers, its clear that the overwhelming majority of Clerkenwell and Bunhill residents walk and cycle than get the bus or drive.

  • 6483:   Walk or Cycle
  • 3335:   Bus
  • 234:      Car or Taxi

Of course, this isn’t a completely full travel picture: we all vary our travel routines, and it’s just working age adults commuting, but it is undoubtedly indicative of general trends.

There are two lessons from this fascinating data set:

1. Many journeys by bus and car could easily be walked or cycled (proven by our neighbours making the same journeys).

2. There is now an overwhelming argument to use TfL’s £2m to make cycling and walking the most convenient, obvious modes of travel in the area. Islington Council pioneered 20mph zones, and now they have a strong mandate to develop the most liveable streets in London.

With careful planning and a few planters or “modal filters”, we could cheaply and easily re-focus our streets to reflect the growing demand for active travel. Our planned layout can be seen here:

Please get in touch to add your voice of support for our plans, or to hear more about our work, please do get in touch through

https://www.facebook.com/IslingtonCyclistsActionGroup or

@IslingtonCycle

 

 

 

 

Whitecross St / Beech St

A constructive solution for Beech St

Beech St. Cyclists Dismount

Dear Messrs Simmons and Presland,

I am writing to you regarding the current changes to the street layout at the Beech St/Silk St junction. The aim seems to be to widen the pavement and simplify the pedestrian crossings outside the new Barbican cinema, according to your website; https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/transport-and-streets/traffic-management/Pages/silk-street-enhancement-works.aspx

As a member of the Barbican, I welcome these changes to what has been a very unsatisfactory street layout. It is quite a positive step in creating a more attractive place.

However, I can’t help but notice that the worst bits of Beech St will remain: the ear splitting noise reverberating around the tunnel, air pollution that drips from the ceiling, and pavements so narrow that I am frequently forced onto the road at busy times when walking between the station and gallery. So a while small fragment of the street-scape may become more attractive,  it really seems a missed opportunity for creating a pleasant, healthy, or “liveable” environment

More dispiriting and perplexing though is that the pavement changes come at such a high cost to cycling along Beech St.  Whereas a month ago, people could cycle in their own, dedicated cycle lane all the way to the Whitecross St junction (going east), they will now be dangerously squeezed into the motor traffic as we can see in the picture below.

Beech St Cycle Lane End

So my 60 year old dad will probably no longer be willing to cycle along Beech St – which up to now has been one of only a handful of routes he is happy to use, precisely because he isn’t required to share the road. Having finally persuaded him to get back onto his bike after 30 years of driving, this is a blow to my skills of persuasion and to his health.

This damaging impact on the cycle lane is important. Beech St provides the only east-west cycle route through the city. The Central London Cycling Grid,  London’s vision for a network of quiet, welcoming cycle network really does rely on this route as seen in TfL’s map of the grid.

Grid with Beech St

More bizarre still, is that Beech St cycle lane has been so successful. As Mr Gilligan wrote in 2007, the City won an award for the lane from TfL. And the scheme was improved further in 2012 to much acclaim as seen in this blog and this video .

Indeed, this bike lane has helped Beech St see cyclists make up 20% of traffic and 30% in peak hours (almost certainly understimated), and these numbers would probably be higher if Chiswell St (immediately to the east of Beech st) had any provision for cyclists.

You may have seen that others have criticised your scheme here and here.

Without wanting to add to their flames too much, I urge you to consider a constructive solution. There is a way for the City of London to go beyond these aesthetic changes and create a more environmentally pleasant environment that is genuinely conducive to walking and cycling.

My solution? Keep doing what you are doing right now: keep the road closed.

During the building work, we have all seen how little traffic there is on Beech St and the other roads that spoke out from the junction. Indeed, it was bliss to walk through the tunnel, for the first time being able to hear my friend speaking about the gallery as we walked to the station. Cycling along Chiswell St felt safe and civilised, such was the transformation.

I hope you agree that the benefits of closing the road to through traffic permanently are extensive. Only a bus bollard is needed to let the 153 through, to filter other motor traffic out. The traffic could use London Wall instead, which according to DFT traffic counts, has seen a reduction of c.30% traffic since 2004.

Although this would only be a small change, I appreciate there may be concerns about the impact of traffic displacement from such a modal filtering scheme, but I hope you agree that with the road closed now, we have the perfect opportunity to do a trial and gather empirical evidence for what the effects would be.  My own hypothesis, would be that it would greatly improve traffic flows around Moorgate, Smithfield, and north into Islington which all suffer from too much traffic and high pollution.

I look forward to discussing my constructive proposal to this scheme and other quietways at the City Cycling Forum, 31st July.

Yours faithfully,

 

Tom Harrison, Committee Member for Islington Cyclists

The junction of two quietways. Amwell St and River St. There is so much potential to create something that benefits cyclists and the Amwell village residents.

Getting the Quietways underway for a more liveable Islington

Getting the Quietways underway for a more liveable Islington

 

The junction of two quietways. Amwell St and River St. There is so much potential to create something that benefits cyclists and the Amwell village residents.

Those of you who were at our ICAG meeting with Andrew Gilligan, or heard him speak at the end of the London Cycling Campaign’s Big Ride last month will be eagerly awaiting a new network of quiet routes. Aimed to attract a more comfortable, less lycra intensive cycle style across the capital.

As the grapevine buzzes with speculation about what we can expect from these “quietways”, we wanted to share what we know so far in order to start a discussion around what changes we want to see to attract “inclusive cycling” and ensure the proposals benefit all residents, whether or not they are regular cyclists.

Before diving into the detail, it’s worth bearing in mind a few extra principles:

  • Transport planning like this poses a wonderful opportunity to add value to the wider public realm than just being cycle friendly: by re-routing traffic, we can make streets quieter, create public spaces in the heart of residential areas, reduce pollution. With the right measures, streets can become nicer for everyone, especially local residents, cafes, pubs, and shops. In short, with the right imagination, these schemes aren’t just for cyclists, but promise to create more liveable streets for all Islingtonians.
  • It would be good if we can get to the route: far more people can benefit if the “quiet” route can be comfortably accessed by streets not directly on the route. We therefore need to think not just about the route itself, but the area surrounding it too – often known in the jargon as a “cell.”
  • We, as members of The London Cycling Campaign recognise that for a cycle route to be adequate it needs to be separated from other traffic, either by kerb segregation, or by reducing the amount of traffic on streets.

So, what’s the plan so far?

There are two routes that we expect to be developed first. The first, currently called “Quietway 38” is set to run between Southgate Rd/Northchurch St in the east to Calthorpe St in the west.The second, (as yet untitled) will go between Finsbury Square and up through Penton St.

No detailed plans have emerged so far, but initial suggestions from the council were for

  • traffic signal alterations
  • traffic management improvements
  • cycle facility upgrades
  • surface repairs
  • cycle contraflow lanes

A map of the the first route is below:


View Quietway Route 38 in Islington in a larger map

We’ve colour coded where we think the priorities are for changes to make the routes acceptable.

  • Red shows streets which dont need any change.
  • Light Blue denotes the route is pretty good but could be better.
  • Dark blue shows where there is currently too much traffic and changes are required.
  • Green highlights where other desire lines or planned routes intersect Quietway 38, such as on Amwell St for the route from Finsbury Square.

Since there probably isn’t the space to install segregated tracks, a few strategic “filters” or planters to close through traffic would be all that is needed make a much more pleasant walking and cycling environment. This approach is tried and tested already along the route, helping De Beauvoir to be one of the most pleasant places to live and travel through in London.

 

Image borrowed from Vincent Stops, http://cycleandwalkhackney.blogspot.co.uk/2013_03_01_archive.html

London’s most famous and successful 4 way road closure creates bliss for residents, cyclists, and pedestrians alike. This scheme in Hackney is also part of Quietway 38, and we could do something similar in Islington.

For more detail on what changes we suggest are made, click on the link for the larger map. If you agree or disagree , please get in touch and join the debate.

Two really exciting, innovative changes for us are the potential to create public squares in the heart of both Amwell and St Peters. By installing cheap bollards, “pocket plazas” can quickly appear, as recently occurred in Exhibition Row (pictured below). What’s more, done correctly, traffic does not need to be pushed onto other residential roads.

 

Closing small sections of streets to through traffic allows a liveable public area to grow as happened here in Kensington.

Could this come to Amwell St and St Peters St? Closing small sections of streets to through traffic allows a liveable public area to grow as happened here in Kensington.

Best of all for Islington Council, are proposals are incredibly cheap: TfL have allocated £1m/mile for the quietway network, which works out at £1.5m for Quietway 38 in Islngton. But our measures would probably cost less than £50,000.

We would love to continue the discussion, with cyclists and “non cyclists” alike, so please get in touch by commenting below, or through facebook or twitter @IslingtonCycle
clkwll 1

Something’s got to change

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The idea of this post is to show the volume of cyclists using Old Street – Clerkenwell Road route.  Seeing is believing – 22 slides to support improvements for cyclists along this route…

But we have a man with a plan – Andrea Casalotti – who has a scheme called Clerkenwell Boulevard.

Seeing as you ask…these shots were taken between 6.10 and 6.35pm on June 25 2014 at the traffic lights, junction Old Street, Helmet Row and Whitecross Street. I included only shots with 6 or more cyclists – with one exception; I’ll leave someone else to count the total!

BikeWeek_rgb

Bike Week 2014

Great to be working with LCC members from Haringey and Hackney last Sunday

Great to be working with LCC members from Haringey and Hackney last Sunday

We had a steady stream of visitors during the day

We had a steady stream of visitors during the day

They found plenty to interest them

They found plenty to interest them

Haringey Council had a stall, but Islington didn't

Haringey Council had a stall, but Islington didn’t

But we were visited by four Islington Councillors; here Nick is talking to two of them - Gary Heather and Caroline Russell

But we were visited by four Islington Councillors; here Nick is talking to two of them – Gary Heather and Caroline Russell

Islington Cycling Club is going from strength to strength – a handful of members last year and around 240 now – with a significant number of women cyclists.

There was a long queue for Doctor Bike all day and the Police “Changing Places” was popular too.  (“Changing Places” lets cyclists sit in the driver’s seat of a huge lorry and to see how much (or how little) the driver can see of cyclists on the near side of the lorry.)

For the first time, we ran out of membership application leaflets.  Normally we have to cajole people to take them; instead people were coming to the stall saying, “I’d like to join LCC.”   We must be doing something right!

It looks like this event will be a regular fixture on the calendar – it could be bigger and better next year.

 

Pavement Artist - Olly Kenyon

Pavement Artist – Olly Kenyon

As usual, plenty of interest...

As usual, plenty of interest…

Bent backs courtesy of the bike mechanics

Bent backs courtesy of the bike mechanics

Croissanted!

Croissanted!

Family commuters - with croissant!

Family commuters – with croissant!

Another cyclist has been croissanted!

Another cyclist has been croissanted!

Numbers are up!

Numbers are up!

Only 17 in this shot - Suzy works the queue

Only 17 in this shot – Suzy works the queue

Micheal listens...

Micheal listens…

The joys of security marking

The joys of security marking

Pastries by Euphorium

Pastries by Euphorium

A police information bike outside the Town Hall

A police information bike outside the Town Hall

 

CYCLE SAFETY AND SECURITY OPEN DAY Islington Police Station, 2 Tolpuddle Street, N1 0YY at 10am-4pm on Saturday June 21
- Free cycle security marking and registration
- Cycle security and safety advice
- Recovered bicycles display

Our warm thanks to everyone who made all this happen.

Space4Cycling Little Event Poster

Islington #space4cycling Ride, Saturday 10th May

 

#space4cycling

Saturday 10th May

Photo by Victor Heng

Photo by Victor Heng

Photo by Victor Heng

Photo by Victor Heng

This is the press release that was sent to The Islington Gazette and The Tribune

On Saturday May 10th, Islington Cyclists Action Group took to the
streets and visited locations that are difficult or dangerous for
cyclists to negotiate. The group ended up at the Town Hall (photos
below). The group is asking candidates to support specific measures in
each ward which will enable everyone to feel safe on a bike, from
8-year-old children to 80-year-old grandparents. Voters can find out
more about the measures at the Space for Cycling website

Tom Harrison (ICAG) said “One of the simplest and most effective
actions the council could do is make the roads safer and more
comfortable for older people to walk and cycle. This means separating
walking and cycling routes from busy traffic areas by closing
residential streets to through traffic, installing more seating areas,
and providing protected cycle tracks on busy roads which makes the
streets navigable by those of us with slower reaction speeds.”

John Ackers said “There are still councillors that regard cycling as a
niche activity for relatively fit people. But  actually cycling
is for everybody and it’s the answer to many of the borough’s
problems. Cycling improves people’s long term health, reduces
congestion, reduces air pollution, reduces obesity, reduces travel
costs and encourages social cohesion. We can learn much from
Copenhagen and Amsterdam.”

 

Join us on a ride from The Sobell Centre to the Town Hall

women cycling

Show your support and celebrate #space4cycling

The route of the Islington #space4cycling ride.

The route of the Islington #space4cycling ride.

Next Saturday, 10th May, join us to celebrate what #space4cycling really means!

We are asking candidates to support specific measures in each ward which will enable everyone to feel safe on a bike, from 8-year-old children to 80-year-old grandparents.  Join the Islington LCC on a ride as we visit some of the sites where we’re asking for change.

We’ll be meeting at the Sobell Centre for a 9.30 breakfast (free pastries!). The ride starts at 10.00 and will finish at 12.00 outside the Town Hall.

If you can’t join us on the ride itself, just turn up at the Town Hall at 12 to show your support for #space4cycling in Islington!

Can you put up a poster about this on a notice board?  Download here A4 Little Islington Ride

Or is there a place where you can leave fliers?  Download A5 fliers here A5 Little Islington Ride

And don’t forget to go online and ask candidates to pledge their support for our campaign. http://space4cycling.org/

Ride itinerary

09.30 — Breakfast at Sobell Centre
10.00 — Ride begins

1. Seven Sisters Road
2. Drayton Park
3. St. Peter’s
4. Bunhill Row
5. Clerkenwell Boulevard
6. Islington Town Hall

12.00 — Ride ends

Space4Cycling Little Event Poster

Highbury & Islington

Update::#space4cycling

Thanks to everyone who turned up for the feeder ride and made it so good. Special thanks go to Nick for the route and Sergeant Kendall and his team from Islington Safer Transport Team – we haven’t had a police escort van before!  Congratulations to Suzy for a fine speech and Jono for winning the ‘Evans’ Prize.  Photos still on their way…

 

Support Space for Cycling

Amazing!   124 of 177 Islington candidates have supported Space for Cycling. We’re second borough at 70.6% on May 21. 240 of 242 Hackney candidates signed up – giving them the top percentage of 99.17%.  All impressive. 112 of 225 Camden candidates committed to  Space for Cycling, giving that borough a score of 49.78%.

Since the launch, over 82,256 emails have been sent from all over London – by 18.30 on the eve of the polls. Look at the LCC site to see the number updating.

Once the elections are over, we may move into another phase.  We could find ourselves writing to the ward councillors to honour their promises…

Whittington Park

At the LCC office, volunteers are working hard to keep the website up-to-date.  You may have to adjust the view on your computer (Zoom out) to see the pages properly. On the page for each ward, is the “ask” and it also displays the percentage of candidates who are supporting the “ask.”


Support Space for Cycling