Sep. 7, 2012, 3:40 PM
London could be home to an aerial network of bike highways by 2015.
Architect Sam Martin calls his idea to build elevated tracks around the city as corridors for pedal powered transportation “SkyCycle.” And London Mayor Boris Johnson likes the idea.
The network, still early in the conceptual phase, would be made of steel and glass. It would not be enclosed, despite the renderings.
Like a conventional highway, it would have entrances and exits at regular intervals, and riders would pay a toll of around £1 to enter.
Martin, the director of Exterior Architecture, says building SkyCycle would cost “tens of millions of pounds,” the Daily Mail reported, and would take about two years. But he argues that with corporate sponsorship, construction would be feasible.
Martin’s argument that “you can’t realistically build more cycle lanes on ground level” is dubious, but the idea of opting for dedicated cycling roads over separated lanes has worked in other cities.
Minneapolis is home to the popular Midtown Greenway, an old depressed railroad corridor converted into a road for cyclists and pedestrians that crosses the city.
SkyCycle, however, would require new infrastructure: “It is much more expensive and ambitious,” Martin told the Daily Mail.
A spokesperson from Johnson’s office called SkyCycle “an exciting idea that his team are looking into.”