BY MORGAN CLENDANIEL Mon May 16, 2011
A designer proposes a simple way to explain the best bike routes around London, and makes a beautiful map to go with it.
London has been on a bike-lane building tear recently, to coincide with the explosion of popularity of their Boris Bike bike share. They've even built bike "superhighways" to easily zip cyclists from the center of the city out to the edges. But the city lacks a helpful bike map, instead supplying just a Google map buried deep on the city's transportation website. Now, designers have proposed a new solution:
The map was designed by Simon Parker in an attempt to codify the various bike routes of London, which he found to be confusing and poorly marked. It's inspired by the iconic London tube map, which is credited with making the tube more accessible and increasing ridership.
Parker has created various routes, which he's color-coded and numbered. There are four possible colors--orange, red, cyan, navy, and green. The number 1 of each route goes through Hyde Park (near the top of the bottom left quadrant). The subsequent numbers are parallel routes.
The idea is that for people strange to cycling--or strange to the city, like Olympic visitors in 2012--can simply memorize a few simple letters (the C1 to the N1 to the O6) instead of trying to figure out complicated street names and signage.
Now all that's required is the City of London adopting it. There is a petition to get the city to do just that. More likely, they'll co-opt it. Either way, the city will get an easier to use guide to biking.