Blackfriars; let's make it a bridge for you and me

The battle for Blackfriars rumbles on...

We've established that TfL's proposed designs are anti-cycling, anti-pedestrian and can't demonstrably be shown to make things better for air quality, for safety or even for the economy.  (Indeed, the last person to be hit on the northern junction was an eminent Doctor - how much is her recuperation time costing the economy?)

There's a risk, outside of cycling circles, that we forget what a tabloid view some of our movers and shakers who run London actually have about cycling.  To them, we don't count because we're a bunch of bearded yoghurt-knitting harpies who don't deserve to be taken seriously.  They could never imagine that these packed bike racks could be at one of the Square Mile's most prestigious firms, or that the chief correspondent for the Evening Standard might also be a cyclist, or a famous Hollywood A-lister likes it best when he makes it around London on a push bike.  Even the president of the Automobile Association rides a bike here and thinks Blackfriars needs to be improved for cyclists.

People who care about Blackfriars (you, my dear readers) and recognise that it is just the tip of the TfL 'network assurance' iceberg - have been doing a fantastic job of writing, petitioning and protesting.  Indeed, I've never experienced so many cyclists in London all agreeing at the same time that 'something' must be done.  But sometimes these more traditional means of protest are not enough; sometimes we need to show the faces of the everyday and ordinary cyclists and pedestrians who want to see change in our city.  Those tabloid views of our safety and comfort somehow not being important need to be challenged outright.  So the London Cycling Campaign is leading the way and stepping the Blackfriars campaign up a gear...

On the issue of Blackfriars the LCC have been proactive and professional throughout and I've been more impressed with them on this issue than I have been before.  And having launched a new, fully interactive website, they're now taking a step in the social media direction with the latest part of their Blackfriars campaign.

They want you, the people who care about Blackfriars, and space for people, and safe cycling conditions, and a better city for all, to show your faces and send a photo message for the Mayor, Boris Johnson.  From street sweepers to executive bankers, the LCC is inviting us to snap a picture and send it to them for their photo petition.  Hopefully enough people will join in and send a clear and truly spectacular message that lots and lots of us want change.  Maybe we can get enough photos to line the entire length of Blackfriars Bridge itself?

Snap your kids on their bikes, take a photo on your commute home, sit for a portrait in your office.  Be as creative or as sensible as you like, and email your photo to the LCC via their website, here. In the age of camera phones and digital snappers, how hard can it be?

Tell your friends and get going; if we all keep plugging away at this issue, who knows, we might just win the battle for Blackfriars!

Share |


ndru said...

This is a great idea. Just a piece of advice - let's keep it cycle chic rather than tour de france :)

ibikelondon said...

@Ndru It can be cycle chic, it can be roadie chic, it can be cargo bike couture - I think the important thing is that we show there are lots and lots of cyclists (and indeed pedestrians!) who care about this issue and that we are by our very nature a diverse bunch. The important thing is that we all just do it!

christhebull said...

I was going to suggest you make a video showing deeply unfashionable and outdated clothing and other items from the 1960s and 70s, and then compare them to TfL's plans for the bridge as well as their overall policy in regards to other locations like Parliament Square and Elephant and Castle, but this is an ideal opportunity to get out the leisure suits and flares and ride a Raleigh Chopper.

ibikelondon said...

@christhebull Funny idea, I look forward to your unfashionable photo shoot!

Some great pictures have already started to trickle through to the LCC office, I'm really looking forward to seeing more!