Dissing+Weitling is a Danish architecture firm that is becoming very well known for creating bicycle pathways for cities to help alleviate automobile traffic and provide more environmentally forms of transportation. In Copenhagen, the firm created The Bicycle Snake and The Super Bicycle Pathways, which have helped the city become the most bicycle-friendly city in the world, according to some rankings.
It is this experience with creating bike-specific infrastructure that led the Chinese city of Xiamen to enlist the firm to help it create a better environment for bicyclists. Xiamen’s infrastructure was mainly focused on cars and buses, which makes it difficult and hazardous to bicycle along the city’s main arterial routes. The solution to avoid traffic and the hazards associated with it was to raise the bike lane off the ground and create a dedicated bicycle skyway on raised platforms.
The skyway, which, in addition to being China’s first suspended bike path, is the longest elevated bike path in the world, runs along and underneath the city’s existing overhead Bus Rapid Transit system in the central part of the city. The green-floored path is 4.8-meters-wide and its record-breaking 7.6 kilometer distance covers the city’s five major residential and three business centers.
There are 11 different entry points along the path that correspond with 11 bus stations and two subway stations. For anyone who is interested in using the path as a greener alternative to driving a car or taking public transportation but doesn’t have his or her own bike, the new path will provide 355 cycles for hire. Additionally, 253 parking spaces for private bikes on seven separate platforms will be provided.
The entire 7.6-kilometer path was designed and completed in just six months and is currently in use. The Xiamen City Public Bicycle Management Company operates the path for the city’s 3.5 million residents.
Image courtesy of Dissing + Weitling.
For more images of the completed path, click here.