Excellent Idea of the Day: Bike Lanes in the Sky

/ Source: Discovery Channel

A London architect is hoping to take cycling to the next level: the sky.

Sam Martin, director of Exterior Architecture, gave up biking in the city out of fear for his safety. Since then, he has designed space for bike lanes far away from auto traffic. His renderings and video of elevated glass tubes over the city look futuristic, but he has a goal of installing them by 2015.

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"SkyCycle is the next logical step, because you can’t realistically build more cycle lanes on ground level," Martin told the Daily Mail.

Riders would pay a fee to use the lanes -- a pound per ride, for example. The project would not be cheap to build, obviously, but Martin hopes the city could offset some of the estimated "tens of millions of pounds" through corporate sponsorship. Barclays sponsors a bike rental outfit in London. 

Some of the network would run near old railway lanes, but much of it would require new infrastructure, Martin said. The elevated system would be a first, although it's been compared to New York's High Line.

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London Mayor Boris Johnson, who says he "is determined to turn London into a cyclized city," has called the idea "very interesting" and is considering it.