Cyclists can see it

Bicycletecture will be a phenomenon of large brownfield redevelopment sites. Cyclists know why. Those of us who regularly commute via bicycle, don’t ask if our homes or offices are close to a metro, within TODs, or if any of the places we want to go have ease of parking. We ask how many cars might threaten our lives on the way. Additionally, lazy cyclists ask how many hills they might have to climb. Cyclists don’t see brownfield sites in isolation, but as belonging to contiguous networks of current and former industrial land, with tendrils across a whole city. And the best thing of all, is that land is all flat, because it follows old rail lines and waterways. The nearer cities come to transforming all of that land into urban renewal projects and parkways, the nearer they come to creating a cyclist’s nirvana!

I’ve marked the above cycleway map of my city with big black lines, the lower left the remains of a coal skip line since converted into a cycle path, the upper right ones indicating the the former docklands being converted along the lines of contemporary best practice in urban planning. The red shaded areas are residential areas that would be especially desirable to cyclists, because they have ease of access to safe cycling routes. These are the types of places where architects need to consider cyclists’ needs in the design of their buildings. (Sorry, I’m feeling very didactic today. The hit count reminds me I’m mostly writing to strangers. Hi everybody out there!)

And to conclude, another example, the Cal Park Tunnel in San Francisco.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Bike snobbery, and coastal snobbery at its best. What of those of us who choose not to live near the coast? Surely we deserve a 30 second map with black lines and red highlighter too?

    • Steven says:

      May I draw your attention to the scale at the bottom of the map (click to zoom in). I have identified cyclespace as far as 3km inland! But I do take your point, that such settlements as alpine resorts, and perhaps Florence, and one or two other inland centers where a man of your wit might “choose” to live, are deserving of further thought. An honest oversight. On my to-do list. Snobbery not intended I promise 😉

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