A nearly five mile long commuter cycleway has been built in China, connecting the main residential areas of Xiamen with key transport nodes in the city.
Authorities are turning to cycle infrastructure as a way of mitigating the polluted conditions of Chinese cities, and accommodating rising levels of cycling precipitated in part by the dockless shared bikes revolution.
Snaking through the air at up to sixteen ft, the suspended cycleway weaves through a dense urban fabric, hanging just below the BRT, a raised bus lane. At sixteen ft wide and accommodating up to 2000 bikes per hour, it is well equipped to alleviate vehicular congestion on the roads of Xiamen.
Along with adequate lighting for night cycling, the bridge incorporates smart city elements in the form of sensors that will monitor usage, linked to gates that can close if the cycleway becomes congested.
Designed by the same Danish firm as Copenhagen’s ‘Cykelslangen’, the structure claims to be China’s first aerial bike path, and the longest in the world.
Such a bold structure might be seen as a symbol of the return of the bicycle to what was once known as the bicycle kingdom.