Imagine this: Bicycles traveling at speeds up to 50 miles per hour in enclosed tubes hanging above the streets. That’s the vision of Chris Hardwicke, a Toronto architect who is promoting his idea as Velo-City.
It’s worth a listen (it’s the first segment in the show’s audio file [mp3, 14M]). But I find a flaw in the logic. The idea is that we’ll build grade-separated bikeways because we can’t remove auto lanes to fit in bike lanes. But the only way I can see us making that level of investment in bicycle infrastructure is in a world of very expensive gasoline. Of course, if gasoline is that expense, we should have plenty of auto lanes to turn into bikes lanes. I think I’ll plan to stay on the ground for now. Not that it’s not a cool idea.