BICYCLE HIGHWAYS: NEW PATHS FOR URBAN MOBILITY
More and more experts are focusing on the bicycle as the most suitable form of mobility for individual transport in a city. The healthy movement, affordability and the fast and space-saving way of getting around combined with the low CO2 footprint is in vogue. All of this is very much in favor of promoting this type of mobility in the best possible way.
If one wants to handle more than 50% of urban individual traffic by bicycle, then a quantum leap is needed: an innovative cycle path network, the "bicycle highway", which fulfills various requirements.
Bernhard Dufter has worked out what bike paths on stilts could look like. With these, he wants to encourage commuters in particular to switch to bicycles. Four years ago, he decided to develop his own version of a bicycle infrastructure in the greater Munich area. Together with the Austrian company Bruckschlögl, a subsidiary of the Sunkid company, he drew up a first draft. Normally, the company builds conveyor belts, so-called "Moving Carpet" for skiers, among others.
The concept - "The above-ground solution".
Raising bicycle traffic to a new level - both figuratively and in the real sense:
Already no witchcraft today, but proven technology. This way, the bicycle can compete with the car in the city.
Advantages of an "above-ground solution":
- Reliable in use (independent of weather, time of day and season).
- allows longer distances for commuters - at least a doubling compared to now
- travel at higher speed (also for e-bikers)
- Protection from motor vehicle traffic, rain, ice and slippery conditions.
Many citizens seem ready, but bike mobility is not reliable enough for many people - own car still seems indispensable to many. For people in cities to have a real choice between bicycles and cars, the mobility offer must be right for the average citizen - and not just for weatherproof freaks.
The city of the future
The city after climate change will look different:
1. Actual state
Current division of public space in an example street:
- four lanes for cars
- Pedestrians and bicyclists share the rest of the space, possibly trees "decorate" this space
2. actual state + bicycle highway
Additional traffic space for cyclists accommodates interurban fast cycling traffic in a densifying city. Cyclists are thus provided with an attractive traffic infrastructure that enables them to be more noise-, exhaust- and weather-protected and therefore much more reliably mobile. And thus fully competitive with the car.
3. Room for change
Free choice of citizens. Increasingly, motorists are reliably switching to bicycles, and car traffic is decreasing significantly. Motor vehicle lanes can be reduced. The freed-up spaces can be used for additional trees and other public uses.
4. biogenic design of the public space
Largely shaded public space with high quality of stay and mobility
A concrete plan study by the relevantly profiled supplier Sunkid/ Bruckschlögl in Bad Goisern, Austria, shows how it can be done.
- elevated bike path
- completely enclosed
- two separate directions,
- side by side or one above the other
- shielded against each other with overtaking possibility
- continuously covered with solar panels
- with rescue and safety devices
- fully automatic cleaning
- illuminated and ventilated
The Sunkid/ Bruckschlögl company already has extensive expertise with enclosed and elevated paths in ski resorts. In addition, this manufacturer could build ramps as feeders for the highways and roofing with solar cells.
Possibilities for implementation
- New urban development
Bike highways make cities more attractive.
New construction districts are particularly suitable for this future-oriented modern transport infrastructure. Here, new buildings can be connected with the bicycle highways from the beginning of construction and the new quarters can be connected with the old city.
- Cycle lanes in street corridors
Heavily trafficked roads (arterial roads, main traffic routes) are generally suitable for cycle lanes, but have the major disadvantage for cyclists that they are then exposed not only to the weather but also to noise and exhaust fumes. With cycle highways, these disadvantages are largely eliminated.
Cycle highways offer great protection here
- Solving conflicts
As cities become more and more crowded, conflicts between users of different modes of transport inevitably continue to increase. Cycle highways can protect pedestrians' rights in green areas. Where public transport (buses, streetcars) takes up traffic space, the cycle highway creates an additional traffic area for bicycle traffic.
In addition, space is still needed for motor vehicle mobility.
The traffic area shifted to higher ground allows for climate adaptation measures and an increase in the quality of life below (more trees, watercourses, space for pedestrians, etc.).
"Bike - highways", "bike highways" or "bike highways": whatever term is chosen, the important thing is that elevated bike paths are literally the real highways!