London may be the world’s newest best cycling city. Mayor Boris Johnson has announced that the city will be spending a whopping $1.51 billion on better bike infrastructure — including a 15-mile bicycle highway that will connect the west and east sections of the city.
There are, oh, a gabillion reasons why this is a great idea. But here are the reasons Johnson gave for spending all this money on cycling:
The reason I am spending almost £1 billion on this is my belief that helping cycling will not just help cyclists. It will create better places for everyone. It means less traffic, more trees, more places to sit and eat a sandwich. It means more seats on the Tube, less competition for a parking place and fewer cars in front of yours at the lights. Above all, it will fulfill my aim of making London’s air cleaner.
Besides the highway, there will be more fully- and semi-segregated bike lanes pretty much everywhere in the city. Johnson says he’s not promising that London “will become Amsterdam any time soon.” But no one needs London to be Amsterdam. It just needs to be its big, old, messy self — with more bicycles.