Updated London Cycle Design Standards

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Updated London Cycle Design Standards

TfL released the draft of the new London Cycle Design Standards last week. They are now open for consultation until 25th July 2014. These are an updated of the earlier, 2005 London Cycle Design Standards. These new standards have been due for some time and their new form is a product of the Cycle Vision along with a lot of effort from Brian Deegan at TfL and input from the International Cycle Benchmarking Study which explored cities approach to cycling worldwide. The benchmarking study is due to be published soon but is well worth getting your head around by reading about the storify or watching the video in two parts of a Liveable London event in December.

The whole draft comes to 358 pages, which is quite a lot. The first two chapters, which are titled 'Design requirements' and 'Tools and techniques' give a good basic overview and only last a little over 50 pages. The rest of the guidelines describe the particular ways of implementing these requirements, tools and techniques in the case of Cycle lanes and tracks, Junctions and crossings, Cycle-friendly street design, Signs and markings, Construction, including surfacing and Cycle parking plus an appendix which gives guidance for Cyclists at roadworks.

The primary issue I've found so far is that I don't think the text and images gel together all that well in many places, and in some cases it appears that the text is much better at describing a different environment than the pictures used. It seems there is a preference for London or UK examples over international ones. There are also many examples throughout the standards of designs that are demonstrably less safe than the best cycle infrastructure designs available (parking beside painted lanes, pinch points around pedestrian islands, two stage right turns etc.). Though the standards seek to provide safe implementations of these methods, they are still poor. In defence of the standards, reference should be made to how they might score in the assessment tools like the level of service and junction assessment tools to see how they could be applied in practice on cycling schemes.

There is no visualisation of a 'dutch roundabout' as such, but a protected junction, complete with New Routemaster buses is on page 164 (4.4.32)

There are already a few pieces on these new draft standards from LCCRachel Aldred, Kennington People on Bikes and John Dales (on standards and design in general).

It is also possible to download Brian Deegan and Phil Lavelle of TfL's presentation from the Hackney Cycling Conference website. This presentation needs some explanation, which I should have on my blog in a day or two when I finally write up the Hackney conference.

Nerd note: the individual chapter files have marginally better image quality if you're scrutinising small details. Also, two of the links aren't quite right and you have to rename the file extension to .pdf - funny nobody's notice that after a week!