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Elevated Cycletracks: Future Urban Staple or Glitzy Dream Project?

With London's proposed SkyCycle and Copenhagen's successful Cykelslangen, are elevated cycletracks a viable transportation solution?
September 4, 2014, 8am PDT | Maayan Dembo | @DJ_Mayjahn
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As Yoshi Silverstein writes for The Dirt, elevated cycletracks are gaining popularity as a potential transportation solution to provide bicyclists designated and safe space separate from automobiles. However, these structures do not blend modes, rather they remove cyclists from the urban fabric of a city. Proposed by Exterior Architects and Foster + Partners, the 220 km network of elevated cycletracks for London would accommodate 12,000 cyclists per hour, but cost a whopping £220 million (approx. $365 million) for just the first 6.5 km trial stretch.

On the other hand, the 235-meter Copenhagen Cykelslangen (Cycle Snake) cost $5.74 million, and tackled a crowded staircase for pedestrians that did not accommodate cyclists trying to pass through. The Cycle Snake bridge glides over the waterfront and connects the region to other pedestrian bridges. Cycle Snake addressed a problematic thoroughfare, unlike SkyCycle, which provides a drastic overhaul for an ailing transportation system.

While cities densify, logistical issues will continually arise, as Sam Jacobs reports in Dezeen, like "how can the variety of road users – pedestrians, bikes, cars, trucks – co-exist in a safe and civilized way?"

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Published on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 in ASLA The Dirt
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