Published on November 22nd, 2013 | by Cynthia Shahan2
Lego-Like, Elegant Bike Lanes That Snap Together
November 22nd, 2013 by Cynthia Shahan
Show up at the next city council meeting in your area regarding the improvement of bike lanes. Better yet, show up with pictures of these Lego-like bike lanes! Or get some of the building blocks themselves and pop them together in front of the non-committal committee.
These innovative bike lanes can elevate, separate, and create a bit more definition for a street that autos and bicycles share. The building blocks, essentially grown-up versions of Lego blocks, can be used to construct bike lanes rapidly and efficiently. They also offer lower start-up costs. All of this allows for much easier and cheaper testing of bike lane options in a city or county.
The blocks, clever and fun, easily snap together, while offering more safety with each snap. And you know that clicking sound as you build your bike lane would be extremely satisfying!”The Copenhagenize Flow” is the name for this set of plastic and wood tiles (recycled). Despite its elementary nature, or perhaps because of it, The Copenhagenize Flow may change the way cities think about and test bike lanes.
Rather than traveling over the small painted lanes that often seem invisible, and are level with those troublesome cars whose drivers easily mistake your small part of the street for theirs, one can glide in slight elevation away from the wheel of that passing automobile. A more defined sense of separation makes The Copehagenize Flow lanes appear safer, bringing more bicyclists to the lanes, which is proven to make bicycling safer. Aside from the elevation, their different shapes and colors indicate that they are unmistakably for bikes. No car dare take over this elegant streaming lane. Perhaps auto drivers will really get it with The Copenhagenize Flow. If a test route goes well, that route could be turned into a permanent, separated bike lane for cleaner and more enjoyable travel.
The team of bicycle enthusiasts at Copenhagenize Design Company are specialists when it comes to urban cycling and livable cities. They approach every job from the human perspective — using design, anthropology, sociology, and common sense as their own building blocks. They are the movers & shakers behind The Copenhagenize Flow, which they believe “is the fastest, most effective way to test the effectiveness of cycle tracks in cities.”
Copenhagenize Design Company writes: “The Flow is a system of modules that click together to create an elevated cycle track that physically separates cyclists from the motorized traffic. It is fantastically easy and fast to implement, and is perfect for cities wishing to test the benefits of separated bicycle infrastructure before investing in permanent solutions.”
Fast Company shares some of CEOs Mikael Colvile-Anderson’s thoughts on rapid installation of the lower cost lanes:
The Copenhagenize Flow, a set of tiles made from recycled plastic and wood, are designed to let a city easily and cheaply create separated bike lanes, says Mikael Colville-Anderson, an urban mobility expert and CEO of Copenhagenize Design Co., a consultancy and design company that specializes in exporting Copenhagen’s expertise in urban biking to the rest of the world.
Most of the cities we work with are aware that permanent solutions are necessary to increase ridership, but are reluctant to invest, says Colville-Anderson. Painted lanes are no solid solution for inspiring citizen cyclists to ride. Especially those goofy lanes on the left side of parked cars–I hope someone got fired for inventing those. And sharrows [those arrows that indicate there is a bike lane somewhere in the middle of the car lane] are the unloved, bastard children of bicycle urbanism. The Flow is the gateway drug we have been waiting for.
One kilometer of The Flow is a tenth of the cost of a permanent, separated cycle track, Colville-Andersen says. After it’s tested on one street, it can pop apart and be tested on another, and then another.
So, what are you waiting for — bring this idea to your local city council!
Don’t own or lease an electric car but want to? Complete our EV owner wannabe survey!
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.