First we build bridges, but what about building a bike lane in the sky?
You heard it right, Copenhagen, the biking capital of the world, is building an even more astonishing bike lane which hangs between two residential/office towers, 65 meters high! For traveling, for looks or for just plain artistic affects, these plans are astonishing!
Looking in from the outside, Copenhagen’s lifestyle and infrastructure may seem weird to some.
For others, however, the infrastructure fulfills more than an aesthetically pleasing purpose. A portion of Copenhagen’s structure serves a useful purpose as well. Bike lanes are an integral part of the Swedish culture, and they are becoming more creatively designed and catered to the rider.
Using bikes as the main means of travel, for those in Copenhagen, makes more sense than driving an automobile. In fact, more parking spaces are designed to hold bikes instead of cars. With this being said, designer, Tom Holle will revive his plans, from back in 2008- for the ultimate bike lane bridge.
The Copenhagen Gate Project
After being put on hold, construction of the Copenhagen Gate Project will finally start. In 2016, two support towers will be built and connected by two cable-stayed bridges which meet in the middle, high above the harbor. Cafes and restaurants will be built into the Seaward tower, complete with a deck shaped as the prow of a ship. This construction may seem a bit unbelievable, but no worries.
This sort of construction would never be done on a roadway. The pedestrian/bike lane bridge will neatly line up with the towers holding the bridge’s suspension cables. But I guess, no matter how stable the descriptions try to be, it’s still scary to think about, right?
Other Interesting Facts
You might wonder how the cyclists will get from the original bike lanes, up to the bridge in the sky. Cyclists will have to load their bikes in the elevator and travel up to the tower entrance. There, they will enter the pedestrian/bike lane and move to the other side of the harbor. To some, this may seem like too much work, but for the breathtaking views alone, it’s worth it.
The main argument used for the creation of the bike lane bridge revolves around residential/travel issues. Copenhagen law requires all residential areas to be within 500 meters of public transportation. The southern tower is located way beyond this point. By connecting the towers, the problem is immediately solved. This will also bring residents closer to the upcoming Nordhaven metro station. With the bridge in action, Copenhagen will be free to continue residential development in the area.
Why so high?
The main reason for the height of the new bike bridge is to accommodate passage within the harbor. Copenhagen’s port remains active for cruise ships. The sky lane connects the two harbors without blocking taller ocean liners.
Among these practical reasons for the bridges development, it’s nice to just appreciate the beauty of the idea. Riding high above Copenhagen and feeling the ocean breeze is priceless. Even if new bus stations were built and other means to solve the residential problem suddenly became an option, the bike lane bridge would still be intriguing. When the Copenhagen Gate is finished, we are surely in for the ride of a lifetime.
By Sherrie H.