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Thursday, August 14, 2014

This Bright Orange Skyway Is Copenhagen's Newest Bike Lane | FastCompany

This elevated track is the city's latest attempt at creating a cyclist's heaven.

When Copenhagen started building a new network of separated bike lanes in the early 1980s, it quickly became a model of how to take a city back from cars. Now, more people bike than drive in the city center, and in the city as a whole, more people commute to work by bike than in the entire U.S. combined.
But the city is aiming for even more bike commuters, and keeps building new infrastructure to make cycling as easy as possible. The latest: An elevated roadway that speeds cyclists over an area that's usually crowded with pedestrians.
The Cykelslangen, or Cycle Snake, designed by architects at Dissing and Weitling and completed earlier this summer, winds through buildings a single story above a busy waterfront shopping area.

"There was a missing link that forced bicycle users to use the stairs or make a huge detour around a shopping center," says Mikael Colville-Anderson, Copenhagen-based urban design expert and CEO of Copenhagenize Design Company. "This solution provided a fast A-to-B from a bridge to a bicycle bridge on the harbor, while freeing up the harbor front for meandering pedestrians."
It's not only easier for bike commuters to use, but also more fun: In a city that's flat, the long orange ramp offers a little bit of a hill to coast down, and cyclists can check out views of the harbor without worrying that they're about to crash into a pedestrian around a blind corner.
The city doesn't plan to build any other elevated ramps, since this one is intended only to solve a very specific problem. "Bicycles belong on cycle tracks on the streets, where they have been since the bicycle was invented," argues Colville-Anderson, who has criticized Norman Foster's plans for what he calls the "ridiculous" Skycycle in London...
Read the rest and see more photos at FastCompany

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