Do Elevated Cycletracks Solve Problems or Just Create More?

An interesting look at some of the issues around the idea of elevated cycle tracks in urban areas. On one hand, I can see how the vertical separation might enhance safety. On the other hand, riders would be disconnected from the experience and the amenities of the city. As the article notes, there are no easy answers here, and I have a feeling the debate on this topic is only getting started. If you have any thoughts on this, let me know in the comments.


SkyCycle London’s proposed SkyCycle, from starchitect Lord Norman Foster / Foster + Partners

This year, two designs – one proposed and one built – for elevated cycletracks, which create bicycle highways above street level, have gained considerable media attention. They highlight questions at the heart of urban design: Should cities blend or separate transportation options? How can cities best mitigate the hazards created when cars, bikes, mass transit, and pedestrians mix? How can cities create low-cost transportation networks in increasingly dense urban cores?

In January, Exterior Architects and Foster + Partners unveiled their design proposal for the London SkyCycle, a 220 km (136 mile) network of elevated cycletracks following existing rail services with over 200 entry points (see image above). The design team claims that each route will be able to “accommodate 12,000 cyclists per hour and will improve journey times by up to 29 minutes.”

This vision even extends…

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