China Announces World’s Longest Cycling Skyway

China is well-known for its cities with smog problems, but Xiamen, in the southeastern province of Fujian, is determined not to be one of them.

The port city on Xiamen Island is known as one of China’s most livable and cleanest cities, with its mild climate, as well as its relatively low pollution. 

The city has already taken anti-pollution measures, with a ban on motorbikes and mopeds since the 1990s, but now it has taken an even bigger step: The installation of the world’s longest elevated bike path, resembling a winding viaduct and stretching almost five miles to connect cyclists to all five of the Xiamen’s residential areas. At its highest point, the bicycle path rises 16 feet above the ground, but it is actually protected by an even higher road, where Xiamen’s rapid transit bus lanes are accommodated. 

cyclist

Photo Credit: Screenshot from YouTube video

With a speed limit of 15 miles an hour, the path can potentially handle 2,023 bikes at one time. The longest suspended cycle path in the world, it also conveniently has 11 exits, which connect to 11 bus stations and two subway stations. According to Xiamen City Public Bicycle Management, the path will be open to all kinds of bikes from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. during a month-long trial.

Privately-owned bikes are welcome, and there are also over 300 for-hire bikes available for sharing. In addition to the bike-share docking stations, the path also has plenty of space for bike parking, and some bike-centric service pavilions.

Elevated Bike Paths Around The World

This is only the first of possibly many more cycling skyways.

The cycleway was designed by Dissing + Weitling, a Danish architectural firm, who also created the award-winning Cykelslangen, or Cycle Snake, an elevated orange bike lane that spans Copenhagen’s harbor.

Other cities outside of China have introduced ideas for similarly suspended cycling infrastructure. This includes Melbourne, Australia, where a plan for a $100 million ‘sky bike’ super highway is being considered.

And in the U.K., a project dubbed “SkyCycle” is the dream of Norman Foster for London. The huge highway in the sky would be suspended on pylons above the city’s existing train tracks; it would be 49 feet wide with over 200 access points, and would allow for up to 12,000 cyclists per hour.

Of course, elevated bike lanes don’t have to soar above cars. Just raising bike lanes at or close to curb height and including a strip of buffer zone between the bike lane and parked cars would also make conditions safer for cyclists. Such designs have been used in U.S. cities such as San Francisco and Chicago, as well as in European bike-friendly cities like Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Berlin.

Let’s hear it for green transport!

Photo Credit: Screenshot from YouTube video

66 comments

Marie W
Marie W6 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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M D
Monica D7 months ago

This sounds very good! Thank you.

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Margie F
Margie FOURIE9 months ago

Good for China.

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Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran9 months ago

nice!

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Ruth G
Ruth G9 months ago

As this awful animal torturing country can manage such large scale creations & technology , its a pity it cant use its power & wealth to get some decent animal welfare laws in place & enforce them as well as being creative in stopping its destruction of the worlds wildlife! just as important as cycling facilities

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Jeff C
Jeff Creech9 months ago

That's Cool.

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Nang Hai C
Nang Hai C9 months ago

Thank you for posting

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heather g
heather g9 months ago

Cyclists need protection from cars and pedestrians.
Why they would ban mopeds and motorbikes is perculiar...... Cars pollute more!

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Danuta W
Danuta W9 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Debbi -
Debbi -9 months ago

The cycleway looks wonderful and so much safer for cyclists.

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