SkyCycle puts London bike paths in the clouds

A revolutionary proposal to transform London's cycling infrastructure would place wide bike paths above the city's rail network.

Carren Jao
2 min read
Foster + Partners

Move over Mary Poppins, the skyway might be getting a little more crowded. British architect Norman Foster has unveiled a plan to build a highway for bicycles that will have the cycles gliding over London rooftops without competing with agitated car drivers.

Who among us hasn't fantasized about flying in the air to avoid traffic? We'd have to huff and puff in this scenario, but Foster's renderings make it seem like a breeze, and one that hopefully shave time off a maddening commute.

SkyCycle, proposed by Foster + Partners, along with landscape architects Exterior Architecture and transport consultant Space Syntax, envisions a network of elevated bike paths free of cars.

The wide, secure deck would span more than 130 miles and be suspended above London's existing suburban rail network with over 200 access points. The network would be built to accommodate more than 12,000 cyclists per hour, the designers say. The project already has the backing of the Network Rail and Transport for London.

Foster's proposal is, at least in part, an answer to the spate of cyclist deaths in London November last year, when six cyclists died within a two-week period. A BBC poll (PDF) found that 20 percent of cyclists in London stopped cycling to work following the accidents.

If approved, the routes could be in place within 20 years, though by that time, flying bikes may already be filling the air.

(Via Dezeen)