Creative and forward thinking cycling infrastructure play a major part in safety. Boston is a shining example of this. In 2007, the city was rated the least bike-friendly major city in the United States. Seven years, 82 miles of bike lanes, 1500 bike racks, a few bike paths later, and countless hours of work later, we are now one of the best! Check out some even more futuristic infrastructure that could make cycling in our community even safer:
Protected Cycle Tracks
While several neighborhoods in the Greater Boston Area do boast one or two cycle tracks, most are not as advanced as this one in Brooklyn, New York. The Sands Street cycle track, which was built in place of a median, helps cyclists navigate this tricky and congested corridor. The two-way path runs down the middle of the street, as opposed to traditional cycle tracks on sidewalks or next to parked cars. Cyclists no longer worry about cars cutting through bike lanes as they exit and enter the major thoroughfares along Sands Street. Instead they can ride easy knowing they are protected by concrete barriers and fencing.
Boston already has a subway AND a highway that go underground, so the next logical step could be a cycle tunnel, such as the Maastunnel Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Finished in 1942, the path was used by over 40,000 cyclists per day in the 1950’s and still sees thousands of local cyclists each day. Escalators at ground level of the take riders down to the river floor where they traverse the 1400 meter bikeway to the other side. Perhaps one day in the future we’ll see a bike-dedicated tunnel of this capacity underneath the Charles River or in the Boston Harbor!
This awesome piece of infrastructure in Trondheim, Norway is like a rope-tow for bikes. Imagine you live on top of a hill. You might be stuck commuting on a flatter main road where cars travel faster and more frequently than the steeper, less congested street. The Trampe saves its 20,000-30,000 yearly users the sweat and the time of struggling up this precipitous roadway.