Bicycle-friendly ideas for development plans is a new mini-series of articles covering measures which can be used in city and town developments plans. The mini-series is aimed at residents, commuters, councillors, planner and engineers who have input into developments plans, which are in the process of being renewed in areas around the country.
Our first idea is about bridges with space for cycling. Getting bridges wrong isn’t a great idea — these are usually expensive structures which can last for centuries. A town or city might think shared use is a good idea now, but if or when bridges get anyway busy, mixing cycling and walking gets uncomfortable.
In Dublin for examples, there’s issues with relatively new bridges across the Liffey. Including two pedestrian bridges (which are all too tempting to cyclists when the detours are relatively long) and two vehicular bridges, the James Joyce Bridge (where the cycle lane northbound directs people into the building line) and the Samuel Beckett Bridge (where there’s not enough space for cycling and walking on the east side of the bridge).
In this post we’re mainly interested in bridges for cycling and walking only. Our good case study examples come from Copenhagen. The main image above is a new walking and cycling bridge planned by the Danish capital. If you look at the detail, it shows how walking and cycling are both given their own space:
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Bridges are often a place where people want to walk across, meander from side to side, take in what’s around the — these are possibly the worst conditions for mixing walking and cycling. Some readers might know that Bryggebroen is beside the more famous and bike-only Bicycle Snake (the snake-like land bridge which bypasses convoluted routes and connects Bryggebroen to a main route on the other side of this area).
We urge councillors and council officials to get bridges right — plan for cycling and walking to have space, not shared space or separation just by a painted line which can be crossed without thinking.
IMAGES: Photos of Bryggebroen by IrishCycle.com; artist impressions of new bridge by Team BuroHappold Limited, via magasinetkbh.dk and Copenhagenize.com.