The Elevated Bikeways of Minneapolis?

Via Streetsblog Network member Twin Cities Streets for People, this vid depicts a fanciful best-case scenario should stimulus funds get funneled to highway expansion at the expense of transit, bike, and pedestrian infrastructure. Talk about unintended consequences. Excellent job by the filmmakers of putting a closed-off stretch of freeway to good use.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Perhaps not so fanciful in some places.

    I was looking at the map of Detroit, which has a massive highway infrastructure to funnel people from outlying areas into the CBD, where no one works anymore. My guess is within the borders of Wayne County about 2/3 of the highways could be eliminated, leaving just enough capacity. I’d basically keep I-75 and Highway 39, and ditch most of the rest within the City of Detroit.

    (The regional beltway could be widened at the same time, since most of what is left is in the suburbs — I-696 north of the city, I-275 to the west).

    Now you have all these six-lane limited access highways, plus certain arterial roads, that are mostly empty. You could throw down a serious grade-separted BRT network, with stations and express service, with grade separated bikeways adjacent, for virtually nothing, allowing a “new city” complete with transit to be built on the foundation of the old, dying City of Detroit.

  • gecko

    The gospel according to reality.

  • Actually, the real elevated bikeway of Minneapolis looks somewhat more like this: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2306/1925173099_551e561018.jpg?v=0

    …though most of the Midtown Greenway is actually in a railroad trench, like this:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/voidoid21/500892113/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/paytonc/1890917632/

  • Chris in Sacramento

    This Who fan loves the Happy Jack-like soundtrack connoting whimsical progress.

    Sacramento has freeways knifing through the heart of the city for which the closure is my dream.

  • Great job Matty, keep up the good work.

  • Eli

    Hah! In more…civilized countries, this is actually real. e.g. here is a link to a brochure about a proposed bicycle highway in the rural Twente area of the Netherlands that I studied in, connecting the city centers of that area:

    http://www.regiotwente.nl/images/stories/Folder_Fietssnelweg.pdf

    (It’s all in Dutch, but there’s Google Translate if you don’t speak it.)

  • gecko

    #6 Eli,

    Actually, elevated bikeways have been proposed here in the US for many years also. Hope this is built and is really successful so we can get there here as soon as possible.

    Personally, I think similar vehicles on elevated monorails are a lot better where Shweeb in New Zealand is the first modern proof of concept in an actual adventure park.

  • gecko

    It’s amazing how many people say this stuff is impossible, even top supposedly forward thinking designers. And, of course we will never fly!

  • J. Mork
  • Pete

    The shweeb in NZ has been designed exactly for a mass urban transit system. The theme ride was only a proof of concept per the inventor whom i met when i rode it. Its efficiency is amazing ie so little energy to move. Even an 85yr old has shweebed apparently. See their tech page!

  • gecko

    There’s alot I could say about Shweeb but won’t, except that it is real exciting, the mayor should invite the inventor here, give him a key to the city, get the funds to build it as a real high-profile demonstration tourist attraction that would pay for itself overnight just like Christos Gates in Central Park . . .

  • gecko

    . . . and, it would be great fun to see Christine Quinn riding one of these things!

  • Flyby

    The shweeb is up for franchise overseas apparently. Anyone with some spare cash???

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