Norman Foster: SkyCycling utopia above London railways #ThinkBig

Or how to put DCC and NZTA to shame for their dangerous, low-design segregated cycle lane solution at Dunners. See the latest DCC / NZTA report, Summary of Cycle Safety Options Made Public, at Comments.

Foster SkyCycling utopia above London railways []Foster SkyCycle [click to enlarge]

So Big Norm’s a cyclist, and when he gets a wee bit of work in New York City from time to time he likes to travel The High Line [Wikipedia]. But then. He had a gazumping thought about London congestion.

Foster is the only architect on Britain’s rich list.

### 2 January 2014
Norman Foster promotes “cycling utopia” above London’s railways
News: British architect Norman Foster has unveiled a concept to build a network of elevated pathways above London’s railways to create safe car-free cycling routes, following 14 cyclist deaths on the city’s streets in 2013.
Entitled SkyCycle, the proposal by architects Foster + Partners, landscape architects Exterior Architecture and transport consultant Space Syntax is for a “cycling utopia” of approximately 220 kilometres of dedicated cycle lanes, following the routes of existing train lines.
Over 200 entrance points would be dotted across the UK capital to provide access to ten different cycle paths. Each route would accommodate up to 12,000 cyclists per hour and could improve journey times across the city by up to half an hour.
“SkyCycle is a lateral approach to finding space in a congested city,” said Foster, who is both a regular cyclist and the president of Britain’s National Byway Trust. “By using the corridors above the suburban railways, we could create a world-class network of safe, car free cycle routes that are ideally located for commuters.”
If approved, the routes could be in place within 20 years, offering relief to a transport network that is already at capacity and will need to contend with 12 percent population growth over the next decade.
“To improve the quality of life for all in London and to encourage a new generation of cyclists, we have to make it safe. However, the greatest barrier to segregating cars and cyclists is the physical constraint of London’s streets, where space is already at a premium.”
According to the designers, construction of elevated decks would be considerably cheaper than building new roads and tunnels.
Read more


### 28 November 2013
Sandwichbike flat-pack wooden bicycle by PedalFactory goes into production
A flat-pack wooden bicycle that can be assembled in less than an hour has gone into production. PedalFactory claims the Sandwichbike can be unpacked and put together in just 45 minutes. The single-speed bike is constructed from 19 parts that are packaged and delivered in a box along with the tools required to assemble it. The Sandwichbike was launched in Amsterdam on Sunday 1 December 2013. This innovative wooden bicycle is now being shipped.
Read more + images/slide show

Sandwichbike delivery box by Pedal Factory []Sandwichbike by Pedal Factory []“If you can make a sandwich, you can make a Sandwichbike.”

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images via


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Fun, Geography, Innovation, Inspiration, Media, Name, People, Pics, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design

3 responses to “Norman Foster: SkyCycling utopia above London railways #ThinkBig

  1. Dunedin City Council Media Release
    Summary of Cycle Safety Options Made Public

    This item was published on 19 Dec 2013.

    A summary is now available of the more than 2000 submissions received on two preferred long-term options for improving road safety for the one-way sections of State Highway 1 through central Dunedin.

    The NZ Transport Agency (Transport Agency) has been working with the Dunedin City Council (DCC) to improve road safety on State Highway 1 between the Dunedin Botanic Garden and Queens Gardens. Public consultation on two separated cycle lane options opened on 8 November and closed on 6 December 2013.

    Transport Agency Projects Team Manager Simon Underwood says the response from the community has been great.

    “We appreciate their invaluable feedback and that will be used to help develop a preferred separated cycle lane option. A working group comprising representatives from the Transport Agency, DCC and consultants will work on developing this option,” Mr Underwood says.

    There has been strong support for a separated cycle lane on both the north and southbound one-way streets through central Dunedin. Some submitters regarded that as the safer of the two options. Both the Southern District Health Board (SDHB) and the University of Otago support this option, along with some major businesses with vehicle access points across the cycle lanes.

    Generally, retailer and business submissions supported retaining the status quo or a single separated cycle lane allowing cyclists to travel in both directions.

    Mr Underwood says other safety concerns raised by submitters were skateboarders using the separated cycle lanes, and the lanes attracting younger and less skilled cyclists into a busier inner-city traffic environment.

    DCC Transportation Planning Manager Sarah Connolly says there are a lot of submissions around the potential loss of on-street parking. Smaller retailers along Great King Street, Cumberland Street and Castle Street were concerned about the potential loss of handy, short-term, on-street parking near their premises. Access for delivery vehicles that service their premises was also seen as an issue.

    Several larger business on the one-way highway system expressed similar concerns.

    Ms Connolly says the SDHB supports separated cycle lanes on the north and southbound one-way streets through central Dunedin because of the road safety benefits. They also see this option as offering people wanting to visit Dunedin Hospital with better choices around active forms of transport, such as walking and cycling.

    The University, which also supports this option, believes the current reliance on on-street parking is not consistent with its long-term sustainable travel targets for staff and students. The University also sees cycling, through the provision of improved cycle infrastructure, as a credible alternative to vehicles.

    Mr Underwood says further work to gain more detailed information, additional research, and testing of options will continue through January/February 2014. It will include more detailed cycle counts, right-turn traffic counts (those who would cross the cycle lane), and parking occupancy assessments. There will be further investigation of alternate parking proposals to see how many extra spaces could be made available, where those would be, the cost of creating additional spaces, who they would be used by and to which part of the highway they would relate. There will also be further conversations with affected businesses about these parking proposals.

    In April 2014, the Council is expected, via its Infrastructure Services Committee, to be given a progress report on consultation to date. It is then proposed to consult further with businesses and property owners who would be directly affected by the option that has been developed at that point. A further report, recommending a preferred option, is likely to be presented to the Council in May/June 2014.

    Any implementation of an option would be subject to future funding processes, primarily those around the National Land Transport Programme for 2015 -2018, Mr Underwood says.

    A copy of the summary report on submissions on the two separated cycle lane options is available at

    Contact Transportation Planning Manager on 03 477 4000.

    DCC Link

  2. Calvin Oaten

    It was always going to be thus. So Dave, Jinty and Spokes will have their way. Personally, It doesn’t matter one way or the other to me, but I will be counting the days till the next fatality and will be interested in the comments.

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