China's first elevated cycle track constructed in Xiamen, Southeast China's Fujian province. The track opened to the public in time for Chinese New Year. Image: VCG
Around the globe, cities are entering a new golden age of bicycle infrastructure, building protected bike lanes, bike hotels, and even “cycle superhighways.” The city of Xiamen in southeast China has another impressive addition to the list of bicycle infrastructure besides protected bike lanes, bike hotels, and even “cycle superhighways”: the world’s longest aerial cycle way.
The 16-foot-wide bike and pedestrian path, which just began a month-long trial run, rises more than 16 feet above the street at its highest point and extends along a 7.6-km (about 4.7-mile) route linking six public transport hubs.
A large section of the elevated path runs directly beneath an elevated street reserved for the city’s rapid transit buses, which provides shelter from the rain. The cycle way is also outfitted with 30,000 lights so it can be safely navigated at night. When fully completed, the cycle way will have high-tech gates at its on-ramps which will automatically close if the path becomes too crowded with bikers or pedestrians. It’s able to accommodate more than 2,000 bikes an hour.