superhighwayTransport for LondonThis week, London opened the first two of twelve planned “cycle superhighways,” which Mayor Boris Johnson hailed as the dawn of a “cycle revolution.” To keep bikers safe and speedy, the two eight-mile tracks use the innovative technology of … bright blue paint. Otherwise, they look a lot like any other roadside bike lanes, lacking even the physical barriers and elevation that cycletracks use to separate bikers from traffic. (Even stranger, the tracks have bikers on the left side of the road.*) The “highways” at least form continuous routes that minimize stops and let drivers know where to look out for bikers.

“No longer will pedal power have to dance and dodge around petrol power,” the mayor told the Guardian. “On these routes the bicycle will dominate and that will be clear to all others using them.”

Bike infrastructure advocates — always easy to please, of course — greeted the tracks by calling them “a marketing gimmick” and saying the title “superhighway” is overly generous. Perhaps, though the term is memorable and might help drivers remember to expect cyclists near them.

mapTransport for London

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*It’s a joke.