The western world is in the midst of an obesity crisis, coupled with rates of heart disease and diabetes spiralling out of control. Personal, mortgage and government debt are at levels never seen before and day after day we all crawl about our daily lives stuck in time and cost consuming traffic congestion. Our sedentary, stressful and economically unviable lifestyles are slowly, but quietly, killing us.
In an attempt to address the many issues our modern lifestyles have created, I have developed a visionary concept for city building and personal travel which could transform our cities and towns, our lifestyles and our health, and revolutionise the way we travel, forever. This vision is of a network of Cycling Super Highways – 7.7 metre (25.26ft) wide dedicated cycle paths completely separated from parked and moving vehicles and safe enough for everyone to use regardless of age, physical abilities or cycling skills.
Cycling Super Highways are not about cycling at high speed or riding an expensive bicycle nor are they about ‘existing cyclists’ cycling more. They are about improving safety so a broader range of people start cycling more often; kids to school, mums with cargo bikes to the supermarket, or time-poor professionals unable to go to the gym cycling to work.
The 7.7 metre width would provide space for two cyclists to cycle side by side (because cycling is the most sociable mode of transport!) and for faster moving cyclists to safely overtake. The width also caters for rising populations, changes in travel behaviour and supports land use intensification. These Cycling Super Highways would be surrounded by Transit and Bicycle Oriented Developments, adaptable, affordable and climate responsive housing and car–free or low-car mixed use commercial and residential developments.
Increasing populations and the dense use of urban land has introduced many problems to society, including obesity, poor health, rising transport costs and car dependency. My vision of Cycling Super Highways can help to address these.