Only about 2% of London’s 8 million+ residents ride bikes to get to work each day, according to an analysis by the Transport for London.
Unsafe conditions seem to be a huge reason people stay off their bikes. According to the Department for Transport, London pedestrians and cyclists are 11 times more likely to be killed in a road accident than people who travel by car. Heavy traffic and an obvious lack of extra space in the city make coming up with a solution for safe cycling a difficult task.
A new collaboration from Exterior Architecture, Foster + Partners, and Space Syntax could help to make London’s roads safer for cyclists, in addition to having applications for other major cities worldwide.
They call it SkyCycle, a network of bike paths that would be constructed above existing railroad lines and could put cyclists in the sky.
According to a press release from Foster + Partners, each route could accommodate up to 12,000 cyclists per hour and improve travel times by 29 minutes. It’s an efficient use of space in a city whose population is expected to grow by as much as 12% over the next 10 years.
Plus, developing a usable bike system with 200 entrance points in heavily populated areas could be good for the local economy.
“Early studies of a SkyCycle system indicate that it provides capacity at a much lower cost than building new roads and tunnels,” a press release from Foster + Partners says. “The possibility of the deck providing development opportunities for businesses along the route, particularly where it intersects with stations and bridges, has also been the subject of the study, exploring ideas for public/private commercial growth and regeneration.”
And though there’s no word on when or if the proposal could become a reality, a
spokesperson for London’s Network Rail told RelaxNews, “We welcome the proposals which have been put forward by Foster + Partners and Exterior Architecture and are always happy to look at ways we can contribute to improving travel and transport in London.”
Here’s another look via Exterior Architecture at what London’s SkyCycle could be like:
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