Our 'Beach Town' is so flat and I am not denouncing it to the world as boring. It really is flat. The terrain. It's geography. And! It's a very long, skinny place to live. It stretches along the longest freshwater beach in the world. All this leads me to my main point. Wasaga needs a 'Beach Superhighway'. For bicycles and pedestrians. They did it in Denmark. Why not here?
"Imagine a city fed by dozens of miles-long bike super highways, separate from roads, streetlights, and harried drivers. Imagine living 10 miles outside a metropolis and zipping home from work—faster than you would in a car—on a solar-lit, asphalt ribbon, eliminating one ton of your personal carbon load annually. Witness the latest reason that Copenhagen is officially a bike commuters' Shangri-La: a bike super highway connecting the city to the suburb of Albertslund.
This bike super highway is just the first in a network of 26 total that will feed Denmark's biggest city—a web of bike-only avenues intended for utilitarian commuting, not just weekend joy riding. The Swedes have their own plan in the works for an inter-city bike highway as well. London also has a network underway, with one bike-only road complete and six more expected by 2015."
Every day in Greater Copenhagen, roughly 500,000 people choose the bicycle, in one of the world's richest countries. Here's some footage of rush hour, Copenhagen style.
Bikes already make up around 50 percent of all traffic in Copenhagen, but the authorities think they can raise this even further by creating new cycling highways, making it easier to race through the Danish capital.
"COPENHAGEN — Picture 11 miles of smoothly paved bike path meandering through the countryside. Largely uninterrupted by roads or intersections, it passes fields, backyards, chirping birds, a lake, some ducks and, at every mile, an air pump. The cycle superhighway, which opened in April, is the first of 26 routes scheduled to be built to encourage more people to commute to and from Copenhagen by bicycle. More bike path than the Interstate its name suggests, it is the brainchild of city planners who were looking for ways to increase bicycle use in a place where half of the residents already bike to work or to school every day." - NYTimes
Let's be honest. Not too many of the 16,000 residents here actually commute that far to work. Let's think of this future Beach Superhighway as a tourist attraction, (connecting kids to their schools) health benefit, environmental statement, a way to increase quality of life and property values and finally, for the happiness quotient.
This would not take too much to do. Dot the entire bicycle highway with many trees and it would become a cooling mini-climate-controlled zone too. It could integrate public art, resting gardens, benches, repair kiosks and a perfect place to stay active, healthy and socialized! Viva La Beach!
More interesting information on 8-80 Cities.
Patti Friday, Photojourno, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'.
Image Bobbin Bicycles via Adeline Adeline
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