08 December 2009

Elevated Bike Lanes

From Elevated Bike Lanes
Toronto’s transit is dominated by the axis of its subway system, which largely follows two of the longest streets in the city: Yonge and Bloor-Danforth. This infrastructure has resulted in development that has progressed in a similarly linear fashion, creating a dense population of commuters who live along the subway lines. The elevated bike lane proposal is designed to address the vulnerability of the current system by offering a supplementary means of transportation that is accessible at any time. These lightweight covered lanes would allow cyclists to travel across the city unimpeded by traffic lights or precipitation. The design also makes use of solar paneling to power the street lighting, which is integrated into the supporting columns. In a still experimental phase, a titanium-coated fine mesh canopy would stretch over the entire street and extend over most of the sidewalks as well. This canopy would use a thermally-activated wicking system to prevent snow from accumulating on the street, eliminating the need for fossil fuel intensive snow removal machinery and eventually allow these thoroughfares to become restricted to emission-free vehicle usage. With improved transportation options and a better pedestrian experience, the Yonge Street and Bloor Street corridors could accommodate further growth and perhaps enhance linear dynamism as a defining characteristic of the city.

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