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Bikway: The shortcut to city bike lanes?

Modular bike lane that can be used to test routes around town

A new Danish start-up company thinks it has the answer to urban cycle paths - a quickly-fitted, modular, removable bike path that sits right on existing roads, coloured to keep other traffic at bay.

Bikway is described by its CEO Simon Hansen as "a new way of constructing bike lanes radically cheaper and faster than the conventional methods."

Simon contacted to tell us more: "We're currently in the prototyping phase, where a lot of the attention is going into elevation of the track, but also how to create a safe way to entering and exiting from the tracks. So a lot of alteration might be coming in the future, but it is our ambition to reach the goal imitating the Copenhagen bike track in terms of a dedicated track only for cyclists, that actively discourage drivers to park or drive their car on the track, thus the elevation which can be modified in the height.

"Our vision is to provide the same kind of infrastructure as there is in Copenhagen, a real segregated road for cyclists, since we believe that the safety and comfortability this kind of infrastructure design is offering for especially young kids and elder people  is higher than the painted lane. We're currently working close together with Copenhagen municipality's office of cyclists (Cykelsekretariatet), so that we will be able to achieve the high standard of design that is here in Copenhagen," he told us.

It's effectively a platform that's fixed to the road by the kerb, and costs 335,000 Euros to lay per kilometre, as opposed to 670,000 Euros per kilometre for traditional tarmac path. It also involved no heavy machinery and takes less than half the time.

What's more, should the route need to be altered, it's easily taken up and refitted elsewhere.

On the downside, the path, although slightly raised from road level, doesn't have the same traffic protection as those sections of Cycle Superhighways that are elevated to pavement height.

But half the cost could mean twice the volume of bike paths, which can only be a good thing.

The Bikway founders aim is: "To make an immediate impact on the city, by establishing a full bicycle network between 100-200 km within a 6 months period."

It's ambitious, but undeniably innovative. Would you like to see it rolled out in the UK? Let us know in the comments below.

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