January 10, 2014 – A series of old suburban railway corridors covering 220 kilometers (136 miles) may be the place where Londoners will be able to ride bicycles without fighting automobile and truck traffic if Foster & Partners and Space Syntax, two U.K. companies have their way.
The proposed SkyCycle network would consist of raised decks riding above the rails. Cyclists would be able to access the network from 200 entrance points. Within the catchment area 6 million Londoners live and this is expected to grow to over 8 million in the next two decades.
Each SkyCycle route is designed to accommodate 12,000 cyclists per hour. With London’s transportation network at capacity the addition of a dedicated right-of-way for cyclists should make commuting much more palatable. The move to cycling solutions and pedestrian-friendly cities is seen as a way to improve the quality of urban life. The SkyCycle repurposes corridors already dedicated to transportation, taking up no additional space, and minimizing the friction between bicycles and cars on city streets, a common problem. That’s because in the past decade cycling on major urban streets in London has increased by 173%. And London is well behind other cities in Europe where cycling is far more common as the transportation mode for commuters and shoppers.