I do love a kind of good cycle related idea here on this blog. There was the bicycle elevator, the flying bicycle cableway, and the PRT pods. And who can forget these crazy ideas for getting dolphins from one side of America to the other?
And here is another one – Toronto’s Velo-City. Its cycle paths as “active transit”. Like a subway or street-car network, but where you don’t just sit on your backside, but you pedal.
Essentially it is a double directional tube system where cyclists are separated from the weather. Winds and rain aren’t a bother anymore and because everyone is headed in the same direction cyclists, creating their own wind, only ever have tail winds.
It’s a particular Canadian thing I think to want to get in out of the weather. It’s apparently been raining in Nanaimo for 17,603 days straight now. Downtown Montreal has all the buildings linked underground for pedestrians. Downtown Calgary is all linked at the first floor level, turning it into a giant shopping mall, which means at ground level it is probably the most boring city on the planet.
The Velo-City never got up, mainly because it’d be hugely expensive and the map shows it was to be really extensive, but maybe Toronto’s cars just need to give up a bit of road space to the more energy-efficient bicycle:
I reckon most cyclists would settle for putting up with nature’s own wind and rain, if we could just get separated bike paths, where we won’t get run over by cars, SUVs and trucks and don’t have to put up with their noise and their stink. It’s as true in Toronto as it is in Wellington, and as true as it is in Groningen or Copenhagen.
Apparently there’s even more than one scheme for living in plastic tubes in Toronto.
No I’m not making any of this stuff up.