We have a London Cycle Network. But how much of it is actually cycleable?
Scrap that, how much of the entire London street network is cycleable?
This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’d love to have a map of the whole of London’s street network (plus cycle-only links), highlighting green anything safe for a competent solo twelve-year-old (the design user of the National Cycle Network, apparently). It would graphically highlight where a person can get to – and where they can’t – using only properly quiet streets, decent segregated infrastructure, or permitted park routes. You could compare boroughs using different metrics, and see at a glance the biggest gaps. It could be used alongside the Propensity to Cycle Tool, which highlights cycling potential and key desire lines.
I might be in a position to make this happen. I’ve been shortlisted for an ESRC Outstanding Impact in Public Policy Prize, which would if I won give me £10,000 to use for impact activities – some of which could potentially support this idea of a London Cycleable Network map. (And if not, maybe I can find a little money from other sources).
With data from researchers at Imperial College, who’ve been working on modelling motor traffic flow across the road network, plus OpenStreetMap data on off-road routes, I’d be able to create an initial map of where the cycleable routes look to be, and where they’re bisected by major roads. (I’m on a QGIS learning curve at the moment – one of the things I love about research is how you have to keep learning new skills).
The idea is then to use some budget to gather together people from all the London boroughs, at one (or more) hackdays, where their – your – local knowledge will be added into the map live.
Does a major road have a safe crossing? New cycle infrastructure? Are there newly filtered routes that are safe and comfortable for cycling? We will be able to colour more sections of the map green. Has a road been re-opened to through traffic? Infrastructure been removed? Are the inaccessible barriers? Routes may go from green to red. This will create a part-crowd-sourced map, that’s available online to use or download data.
Watch this space as I hope to take this project forward later in the Summer, with or without budget (hopefully with!)