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经济学人:骑行在伦敦 车轮上的野心

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Cycling in London

骑行在伦敦

Wheel ambition

车轮上的野心

Gradually, the capital is becoming a better place for cyclists

渐渐地,首都变成了一个更适宜骑行的地方

TWO things are commonly seen atop the head of Boris Johnson, London's mayor: a mop of unruly, peroxide-blond hair and a cycling helmet. Since coming to office in 2008 Mr Johnson has tried to make London a better city for two-wheeled transport. He has been only partly successful. But on February 4th Transport for London, the city's road and rail authority, signed off on two “cycle superhighways” that will be the mayor's most visible legacy to his city.

伦敦市长鲍里斯·约翰逊头上总顶着两样东西:染过的蓬乱金发和自行车头盔。自从2008年上任以来,约翰逊就试图让伦敦成为一个更适宜两轮交通的城市。他仅成功了一部分。但在2月4号,该市的道路铁路当局—伦敦交通局同意建设两条“自行车超级高速公路”,这将是市长为该市留下的最显而易见的馈赠。

Cycling in London is less pleasant than in many European cities. Main roads teem with lorries; winding back streets are hard to navigate. The number of bicycle journeys has nonetheless doubled since 2000. Nationally, just 2% pedal to work. In Hackney, in London's East End, fully 9% do. But the capital's cyclists mostly seem to resemble Mr Johnson. Only 2% of women cycle to work in London, compared with 5% of men. Blacks and other ethnic minorities are reluctant to do it, too.

在伦敦骑行和许多欧洲城市相比,并没那么愉快。主要大道上挤满了卡车;里弄小巷又很难导航。尽管如此,骑自行车出行的次数自2000年以来还是翻倍了。就全国而言,仅有2%的人骑自行车上班。在伦敦东部的哈克尼区,有近9%的人这样做。但首都的自行车骑行者貌似大多数都和约翰逊相似。在伦敦仅2%的女性骑行上班,与之相比男性有5%。黑人和其他的少数族裔也不愿骑行。

The mayor oversaw the introduction of a bike-hiring scheme, which was started by his predecessor but quickly became known as the “Boris bike”. He pushed for bright blue cycle paths on some busy roads. But the new cycle highways are far more ambitious and permanent. One will run east-west through the City and the West End. Another will run two miles from Elephant and Castle in the south to Farringdon in north London.Four existing routes will also be improved, while around 30 of the city's busiest junctions will be made a bit less perilous.

市长监督着自行车租借计划的引进,这是由他的前任开启的,但后来很快就被称为了“鲍里斯自行车”。他积极推进在一些繁忙道路上建设宝蓝色的自行车通道。但新的自行车高速公路要更具有野心也更持久。一条将东西横穿整个城市和伦敦西区。另一条从南边的象堡到北伦敦的法灵顿,延伸两英里。四条已存的道路也将升级,与此同时该市约30个最繁忙的交叉路口将被整顿,变得没那么危险。

The new superhighways ought to be much safer than London's existing cycle lanes. A raised pavement will keep cyclists away from cars and lorries. Junctions will be redesigned and some parking bays—including a few for the disabled—will be removed. Cars will be prevented from turning down certain streets. Similar schemes exist elsewhere: since 2007 around 30 miles of protected cycle lanes have been created in New York. In Amsterdam, where lanes have existed for decades, old people and women are far more inclined to cycle.

新的超级高速公路应该比伦敦现存的自行车道更安全。高于一般路面的自行车道将使骑行者与汽车和卡车保持距离。交叉路口将会被重新设计,一部分包括少量残障人士专用的停车位将被移除。在某些特定街道汽车不允许掉头。类似的计划在其他地方也可以看到:自2007年,纽约建造了约30英里的受到保护的自行车道。在阿姆斯特丹,自行车道已存在了数十年,老人和女性尤其倾向于骑自行车出行。

Greens have long lobbied for cycle paths on the grounds that moving people out of cars cuts air pollution. A series of highly publicised accidents, including one involving a newspaper journalist, and several deaths in the city have also put pressure on the mayor to make London safer.

环保主义者基于人们不开汽车可以减少空气污染的观点,很早就在游说要建设自行车道。包括一名新闻记者以及几起死亡事故在内的一系列受到大众关注的交通事件也给市长施加了压力,要使伦敦变得更安全。

And the social transformation of the capital has encouraged officials to smile on cyclists. The population of inner London is rebounding as affluent folk move in (see article). The new inhabitants want cleaner streets and fewer cars, which are viewed as suburban. Cycling was once a means of transport for the poor. But it has become an important marker of an affluent world city, argues Isabel Dedring, the deputy mayor for transport. “There's more pressure on cities to be nice places to live,” she says.

伦敦的社会变革也促使政府官员对骑行者展露笑颜。随着富人的搬入,伦敦中心的人口数正在回升。新的居民想要更干净的街道和更少的汽车,这看起来更像郊区。骑自行车曾是穷人的交通方式。但这已变成了富裕的国际都市的一个重要标志,交通部副部长伊莎贝尔·黛德林如是说。她表示:“城市面临的更大压力是如何变得更宜居。”译者:王颖 校对:胡雅琳

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