London launches ‘comprehensive’ online survey to promote city cycling

Cycling lanes on Colborne Street in London. Ozioma Ibeto/980 CFPL

The City of London is hoping to get more people cycling and to do that, they need to gather feedback from cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists alike.

The City of London, alongside Western University, has launched an online survey to gather that information in what officials say will result in the most comprehensive research ever undertaken on cycling in London.

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“It is all about people’s perceptions, their attitudes, their beliefs on cycling here in London,” said Jay Stanford, director of environment, fleet, and solid waste with the City of London during an appearance on London Live with Mike Stubbs on Friday.

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According to a release, the intention of the survey and study is to understand public perceptions and concerns as part of a push to get more people on bicycles.

“We want to hear from some cyclists, for example: How often do they cycle? What factors actually encourage them to cycle and conversely, what factors are a concern to them when they’re out there cycling in London? Comments on our current cycling infrastructure in London and what they want to see in the future,” Stanford said.

“Same thing with motorists; when motorists are out, are they comfortable when there’s a bike lane right beside them? Do they have the information available to understand how they have to share a road? A bike lane is very important, but there’s certain things that they have to understand when they come to an intersection.”

This kind of survey was suggested as part of the city’s Cycling Master Plan completed in 2016. Since then, the city’s undertaken several cycling-related infrastructure projects, including dedicated lanes on Colborne and King streets.

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“Now’s a good time to get a good read on that as the city goes into multi-year budget planning to help us where we should put our resources, where we need to perhaps provide more of some things and less of something else. It’s about trade-offs as well too, and the best way is to get that information from the community and their thoughts.”

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As of the end of 2018, there were 286,200 light-duty vehicles like cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs in London — that works out to 0.95 or slightly less than one vehicle per adult age 20 and over in London.

There are 3,693 lane-kilometres of road in London and 220 lane-km of on-road or in-boulevard cycling infrastructure including 148 lane-km of bike lanes.

A lane-km is defined as “a kilometre-long segment of roadway that is a single lane in width,” meaning a one-kilometre stetch of a four-lane road would count as four lane-km.

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