Bicycle Facilities

In City Planner-speak, bicycle “facilities” are things like bike lanes, bike paths, and the like. Here are some examples.

Existing facilities

  • Bike Lanes. See our separate page on pros & cons of bike lanes.
  • Bicycle Boulevards. These are streets that can be used as through-streets by bikes but not cars. (There are obstructions in the middle that block cars but allow passage by bikes.) This reduces car traffic on the street and makes it safer to bike on. See Wikipedia’s article on the subject.
  • Parking (bike racks). The easy availability of bike parking makes it twice as likely that people will bike to work.
  • Showers. The availability of showers at work makes it five times as likely that people will bike to work.
  • Escalators on steep hills. Here’s a video of a bike escalator in Norway. Without dismounting, you put your foot down on it and it pulls you and your bike up the hill. But it goes only 3-4mph, which is walking speed. At that rate I feel I might as well walk.

Imagined facilities

These facilities have never actually been built anywhere…yet.

  • Sky Cycleways. This is an elevated bike highway. Think of it as a long bridge/tube combination. None has been built yet. Supporters tried to get one built in London in 2012, but ultimately weren’t successful.
  • Wind Tunnel. The Transglide system is an elevated cycleway with powerful fans that help push cyclists along, letting them easily cruise up to 25mph. It’s an interesting idea. Will it work?