— Urban Transport
Elevated Veloway would take cyclists above and beyond city traffic
Melbourne's proposed Veloway bicycle freeway would stretch 1.7 km (1.1 mi) over the city's traffic below
Melbourne, Australia, is the latest to experience a push for elevated bike highways, with a consortium of architectural and engineering firms advocating the Veloway as a means of improving safety for cyclists, while also creating a vital transport link across the city.
Promoted as a way of circumnavigating chaotic city traffic, raised paths dedicated to pedal-powered two-wheelers are gaining traction in various cities around the world. In the works for more than two years, the proposal for Melbourne's Veloway involves a route measuring 1.7 km (1.1 mi) in length that would run from Southern Cross railway station in the city's west, to Flinders Street Station on the southern fringe of the CBD.
With the rail between the stations already supported by a viaduct, the Veloway would be tacked onto its side, providing a route for cyclists that would keep them separated from the cars, trams and foot traffic on the ground below. Constructed using lightweight composite plastic, the structure would also feature wind deflectors and solar-powered lighting.
With populations of many cities set to explode, planners, architects and lobby groups are looking to the sky to inspire new ways of transportation. While some are further along than others, there are similar proposals in place for cities such as London, Toronto and Auckland. Meanwhile, residents of Copenhagen have been pedaling along the Cykelslangen for a little over a month now.
It is estimated Melbourne's Veloway could cost up to AU$25 million (around US$23 million). The consortium is now looking to obtain $480,000 from the Melbourne City Council and Victorian State Government to conduct a full feasibility study.
Source: Victorian Cycling Network, via Herald Sun
About the Author
Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. Having worked for publications such as The Santiago Times and The Conversation, he now writes for Gizmag from Melbourne, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, the city's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches.
All articles by Nick Lavars
So far bridges made out of lightweight materials haven't worked real well.
If these cycleways are to be a success, they are going to need to attract the working population, many of whom are required to be smartly dressed, especially shop workers. They will only achieve this if they are protected from the elements by means of there being a cover of some sort. I also imagine that the overwhelming number of bikes used on them will be hire bikes in support of commuters who have travelled in by train or car, and if so, they must have chains that do not chew trouser legs or smother them with oil.
Elevated bikeways are the cheapest and best solution to urban gridlock. Because bikes don't bunch up, they can be built far lighter than pedestrian bridges. They are the cheapest way to increase road area by far. They are faster than congested traffic. They don't compound parking problems like cars do.
Cycle commuting integrates stress-releiving exercise into your day while actually saving time, and you don't have to start early in case of snarled traffic, and then waste time waiting if there's none. The health benefits and savings are obvious, as are the environmental issues, but if you ride enough for basic fitness, using an electric booster for more range becomes more efficient than burning food from most popular sources.
Comment that a cover would be required are not warranted... cyclists know how to protect themselves appropriately from the elements. new cyclists are mostly traffic wary. this will never fly in the US except for in forward thinking cities...where congested roads are the norm. Sad..but true. Even in Canada it will only happen in pocket cities. Elevated walkways and bikeways sound great...except the policing of these eleveated areas could be problematic.
Expand this to these cities
& tailor to city needs, locale./
Anything that will get the cyclists off the roads is a great improvement. Not only for the safety of the bike rider, but for the peace of mind of the drivers. Not sure if the costs involved make economic sense.........
Who that's expensive it cost 16 times more then the most expensive cyclepath in Holland
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