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Cycling in the sky designs similar to those mooted for London

Melbourne urban planners are considering a two-kilometre elevated cycle path, running alongside an existing railway viaduct, similar to plans that were showcased for a network in London.

Here's a video explaining it better than we ever could:

According the the Australian blog The Urbanist: "Elevation isn’t strictly necessary – that’s just a way of providing a freeway-like bicycle path (segregated, limited-access) in a location where retro-fitting infrastructure is hard. Elevation offers advantages though.

"If the path can be hung off an existing rail line, or erected on columns like a monorail, it’ll have no steep hills, no cars or intersections, and (possibly) no pedestrians with dogs. It’s really just another way of separating cyclists from traffic.

"But there are issues. One is the impact on the streetscape. Bicycle paths need to be reasonably wide so in some circumstances they’ll exacerbate the visual impact of existing rail lines and affect the privacy of adjoining uses."

The blog also points out that a conservative estimate of cost would be around £38m per km, much more than painting a few white lines on a road and letting people get on with it.

But the article's author writes: "Cycling will only be viable in the foreseeable future if it creates a dense network of safe cycle routes. The only way that could realistically be achieved is by converting road space to cycling."

The reason for this, he says, is a need for cyclists to have flexibility about where they ride, and a segregated elevated route would limit that.

He says: "Cyclists don’t cover such long distances and easy, direct access to main routes is extraordinarily important – limiting access would have a significant negative effect.

"There are certainly trunk routes that attract a lot of cyclists, especially for commuting, so they require high capacity, but what’s needed is something in the nature of a road dedicated to cycling rather than something as elaborate as a freeway."

The SkyCycle route in London are being proposed with a per-journey charge of around £1. Would you be prepared to pay for segregated cycleways, even if they didn't take you exactly where you wanted to go? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

15 comments

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southstar [11 posts] 5 years ago
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Just another attempt to ignore the problem

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PaulVWatts [111 posts] 5 years ago
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Just read the london article. A toll for a cycle path? They must be taking the Pi..

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Campag_10 [153 posts] 5 years ago
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Cart-before-the-horse thinking! If there was more space allocated to cyclists then more people would cycle.

We have seen huge growth in cycling in London in recent years, even though there is insufficient road space allocated for cycling.

With generous, segregated cycle lanes, all those people who believe that cycling is 'too dangerous' would find cycling a more appealing mode of transport and would be less likely to use a car. So there wouldn't need to be the same allocation of road space to motorised transport. This applies to all town/city centres.

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Gkam84 [9110 posts] 5 years ago
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I think this is the sort out "outside the box" thinking that is needed.

The problem being that cyclist's do not have the road space in some places to make it very safe to cycle there. But with the infrastructure of some places. There will never been enough space to give cyclists anymore room on the road.

Its all fine and well saying ban cars....etc. In built up area's as seen in this video, Its almost impossible to do anything with the current road layout. So putting a cycle lane above road level for the 2km as planned, Takes you away from the traffic and round routes which may be difficult on the road.

I think its a great idea for area's where nothing else can be done.

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handlebarcam [1076 posts] 5 years ago
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It's almost as if all these local politicians haven't even seen the "Marge versus the Monorail" episode of The Simpsons. Either that or they have and think we haven't.

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cool guy 999 [54 posts] 5 years ago
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save money on your transport by cycling and spending £1 evey time so you don't get mowed down by a truck

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ragtag [219 posts] 5 years ago
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Fair enough, can provide a quick and direct route from one side of a city to another, but it doesn't answer the problem for 99% of bike trips which are local. And charging is a joke.

And sorry, Gkam84, there is always something that can be done, it is down to political will.

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JohnS [198 posts] 5 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

I think this is the sort out "outside the box" thinking that is needed.

The problem being that cyclist's do not have the road space in some places to make it very safe to cycle there.

Then get the £ü0kin' cars off the road. They're the ones that waste space.

That's thinking outside the box.

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JohnS [198 posts] 5 years ago
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Ohmigosh another stupid sci-fi solution to a problem that can already be solved by existing technology.

Put this in with MagLev trains, monorails, personal jetpacks and flying cars.

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JohnS [198 posts] 5 years ago
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handlebarcam wrote:

It's almost as if all these local politicians haven't even seen the "Marge versus the Monorail" episode of The Simpsons. Either that or they have and think we haven't.

 21

Indeed. And have they thought how riders who wanted to go somewhere halfway along this bike path in the sky - like popping into a shop or dropping in on a friend - would get off it? Bungee? Parachute?

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OldRidgeback [2847 posts] 5 years ago
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I think pedal-powered helicopters are the way ahead for the cycling masses and the answer to the problems of bicycle/car interactions on the roads.

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pmanc [210 posts] 5 years ago
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I can't believe I'm bothering to answer seriously, but why does no-one mention access?

There would need to be ramps (or lifts?!), and they either need to be very steep, or take up lots of room on the ground.

And then you can only join or leave at those ramps, which may well not be where your journey starts and finishes, so the idea is to spend loads and charge users for facilities which still take up space on the ground and are of limited use.

Just close a few car lanes, and kerb them off for bikes, like we should have done years ago.

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pmanc [210 posts] 5 years ago
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OK, the urbanist article does mention access (oops) but this is still the main thing which breaks it for me.

Basically, what he said:
http://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/how-seriously-should...

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JohnS [198 posts] 5 years ago
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pmanc wrote:

I can't believe I'm bothering to answer seriously, but why does no-one mention access?

[Ahem]

"have they thought how riders who wanted to go somewhere halfway along this bike path in the sky - like popping into a shop or dropping in on a friend - would get off it? Bungee? Parachute?"

My post, 10.41 yesterday.

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antigee [454 posts] 5 years ago
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just moved to Melbourne and there is already a suspended section of bike route under at least one of the freeways - would seem to be a good solution in the location - if a bit narrow.

would i pay to use one - only when the road space allocated to cyclists and ped's exceeds that allocated to motorised vehicles - plenty of roads go were cyclists want to go - problem is aggressive driving and the more lanes devoted to vehicles then the more the belief that the road isn't for cyclists or pedestrians to use

just left Sheffield and still fuming that near Hillsborough stadium the A61 has been widened to 4 lanes to allow cars to queue for lights (peak periods only) while cyclists have been given the benefit of a 4ft wide shared pavement with "slow" painted on it