The Bike Path of the Future Could Float

By Larissa Zimberoff |
FWX THAMES FLOATING BIKE PATH

© Jon Sparks / Alamy

The problem with most bike lanes is they either have too many cars or too many pedestrians nosing into them. So architects and engineers in England are designing a path that is well off the busiest streets. Actually, it’s off all streets, because it’s in a river. The proposed path, called the Thames Deckway, would float––close to the river’s edge, and far from river traffic––along the Thames River’s southern bank for 7.45 miles, from Battersea to Canary Wharf. That’s right, the path would float.

Not only will it float, it will rise and fall gently along with the Thames’s natural tide. Without the threat of joggers, dogs and the occasional veering car, the route would take a fit cyclist about 30 minutes to complete. No word on how long it would take people with seasickness to finish the undulating path.

The Thames Deckway is just in the idea stage, but it’s backed by enough respected names that it seems like an idea with legs. The organization paving the way, the River Cycleway Consortium, was founded by architect David Nixon and artist Anna Hill, and includes Hugh Broughton Architects and the engineering company Arup.

In a statement announcing the proposal, the consortium wrote: “The river Thames, London’s main transportation thoroughfare from Roman times up to the 19th century, is overlooked today as a major travel artery except for a handful of passenger boats.”

According to the consortium, the path will generate its own energy through a combination of solar, tidal and wind power. The estimated cost of this engineering feat is probably the biggest hurdle: 600 million pounds, or $960 million, which translates to roughly $130 million dollars a mile.

Right now the consortium is raising funds for a feasibility study. Might we suggest they get this project on Kickstarter?

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