London thoughts

  • The streets in London are smooth. I didn’t see a single pothole or patch.
  • The Underground is more than 100 years older than DC’s Metro. And it seems infinitely more reliable.
  • Underground trains come every two minutes. There is no crowding on the platforms because there’s no time for a crowd to accumulate.
  • With that level of train frequency, why would you ever want to drive?
  • I wonder how many billions of dollars we could save if DC’s Metro trains ran every two minutes.
  • Horn honking in London is not much of a thing, mostly because drivers seem to obey the rules. (Truer still in Stockholm.)
  • I didn’t hear anyone cuss out a cyclist in my seven days. They often use bus lanes and the bus drivers just go with the flow.
  • Bromptons are very popular in London.
  • Bike theft is apparently a problem; people lock their bikes with serious hardware.
  • People in London walk fast. They seem to be underdressed for the temperature.
  • I have yet to figure out if walkers should stay to the left or the right. When on an escalator, you stand on the right.
  • Footbridges across the Thames are the best. They seem to be about the length of the Key Bridge between Rosslyn and Georgetown.
  • I don’t quite understand why the platforms and the train floors are not at the same level. “Mind the gap.”
  • You can actually understand the announcements in the tube stations and on the trains. I wonder if they could send someone to DC to teach Metro personnel how to pronounce “L’Enfant Plaza”.
  • Curbstones are not nearly as high as in the US. And the buses come right to the very edge of the curb.
  • I’ve now been to five left hand drive countries. It still confuses the hell out of me.
  • I was hit by a wrong-way cyclist on a one-way street in Boston when I was in college. I now look both ways all the time, regardless of traffic flow. Without this I would have been roadkill in London.
  • The entire time we were in London, the temperature varied only about 10 degrees F. And it was warmed than DC despite being at the same latitude as Labrador.

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