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Walk Talk

So You Bike in London?

By Shyam Amladi



Would it not be cool to bike above those pesky pedestrians? Literally fly over them, never having to stop, even if for Briskwalkers? You bet!

From Queen's (soon to be King's!) England comes the news that London is planning elevated bikeways. Architect Sam Martin, of Exterior Architecture, who's spent the last two years developing a concept for bike lanes truly separated from traffic. Martin, like many other bikers, is scared of running into and possibly mauling a passerby and has cut down on his freewheeling ways. Hence his proposals to build SkyCycle, the elevated bikeway.

"It came as all good ideas do," Martin says, "walking to the pub (truly a man after my own heart!!)." London's outer districts are threaded with overhead railways, erected during the Victorian era and still used daily by commuter trains.

Passing under one such viaduct, a young colleague of Martin's, Ollie Clark, mentioned to his boss an idea he had to use that infrastructure for something else -- why not bike lanes, they reasoned. Two years after hammering out a concept, Martin and co. got the chance to pitch it to Johnson and affiliates of Network Rail, which owns the city's overground rail infrastructure. The meeting, he says, went well. "There’s a huge appetite and desire to make this happen, but it needs to be thoroughly tested and we need to identify potential sites." Exterior Architecture is working now on assembling a more concrete proposal. Contrary to reports in the Daily Mail, Martin says, no location has been chosen. It would probably be somewhere in North London