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Beijing officials ramp up plans for city’s first bicycle-only highway

Cyclists will soon be able to take the high road

Flickr/Rich Bee
In a bid to ease traffic congestion and curb the number of bicycle collisions, Beijing officials have given the go-ahead for a new bicycle-only expressway. In an announcement by Beijing city director Gan Feng, construction on the city’s first bicycle highway will begin next year and is set to connect the predominantly residential area Huilongguan with downtown university hub Zhongguancun. Spanning a total nine kilometres in length, this purpose-built track will be partly elevated, measure in at approximately five to seven metres wide and feature two-way cycle lanes.

With almost 2.4 million share bikes in the capital alone, this highway marks a mere fraction of Beijing’s overall strategy to reduce traffic congestion and take the strain off existing public transport services. By the end of this year, Beijing officials have planned on completing construction on a whopping 600 kilometres of pedestrian walkways and cycle lanes around the city, with an overall goal of 3,200 kilometres of pedestrian and bike paths by 2020.

However, in news reported just last month, Chengdu has already started construction of the world’s longest urban cycle lane network. With a proposed total length of 17,000 kilometres, Beijing city planners have got some catching up to do.

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