Bicycles outnumber people in Copenhagen. Statistics show that almost 40% of people ride their bike to work, so creating an infrastructure that caters to cyclists is a priority.
But even congestion can affect the city’s bike lanes, with up to 40,000 people traveling on the busiest one.
Enter the Cykelslangen (soo-cool-klag-en), or Cycle Snake, a new elevated skyway designed exclusively for cyclists with the idea of keeping bike traffic moving.
“Underneath, there’s a harbor front, so there are slow moving-pedestrians,” says Mikael Colville-Anderson, CEO of Copanhagenize, a Danish design company. “It wasn’t a smooth commute for the cyclists. The people on bikes want to get home and the pedestrians want to saunter.” Pedestrian-cyclist conflict was never an issue, but cyclists couldn’t pedal at a constant speed, and they had to deal with stairways. The new roadway, which runs one story above the ground, lets them move without interruption. At just over 13 feet wide, there’s plenty of room to pass even a double-wide cargo bike.
Imagine the social and environmental impact if cities in the U.S. would take on this kind of innovation. We’re not holding our breath though.