A Floating Suspension Bridge That Lets Cyclists Sail Over Car Traffic

A Floating Suspension Bridge That Lets Cyclists Sail Over Car Traffic

Oh, to be a cyclist in the Netherlands. This steel tensioned deck lets cyclists ride high above a busy multi-lane highway in Eindhoven — one of the most bike-friendly areas in the world.

The roundabout was completed last year, but it's back in the news after it was nominated for a Dutch Design Award this month. It's is a simple solution to a complicated planning problem: How to protect cyclists from a complicated four-way traffic roundabout. IPV Delft, the firm behind the project, describes it as a "floating saucer".

A Floating Suspension Bridge That Lets Cyclists Sail Over Car Traffic

The deck itself is suspended from cables that span from a 64m tall steel pylon, in the centre. The cable-stayed design was a bit of an experiment — and, ultimately, it actually had to be modified because it vibrated in the wind. Now, it's used by thousands of cyclists a week in commuter-heavy Eindhoven.

A Floating Suspension Bridge That Lets Cyclists Sail Over Car Traffic

Whether or not we should try to segregate cars and bikes is a major point of contention amongst cycling advocates. On the one hand, separating bikes from car traffic is far safer and easier for everyone in the immediate sense. But some planners argue that it leads to a more insidious effect: That neither drivers nor bikers have enough experience with each other. As a result, when they do end up crossing paths, it's far more dangerous since neither faction is used to dealing with the other.

That's another debate for another time. And, in this case, the Hovenring is a real solution to an un-bikeable piece of urban infrastructure. But it's worth point out that as cyclists colonise more and more cities, the debate over how to adapt our roads is only going to intensify. [Neatorama; Reddit]

Top picture: Imgur


    The central column doesn't seem to have much of a crash barrier around it. Especially since there is no redundancy in the structure.

      How many structures have zero critical components... just design it to withstand impact.
      Although I suspect this was a case of urban planning vs function

        Many, especially important expensive ones!

        Visually stunning though, I'll give them that.

        Functionality IS part of urban planning re-tard. Still at Uni are we ?

        I use the word "re-tard" not "retard" because RETARD is offensive. "Re-tard" sounds exotic. And elevates the words original derogatory intent.

        Last edited 29/10/13 6:01 pm

    The Dutch have well avoided our Nanny State safety obsession, hence the cyclists can be clearly seen riding without helmets. From your post it appears this nanny nonsense is drummed into you from university ... "Especially since there is no redundancy in the structure" Pffft, I'm sure the structure is well over-engineered to hold a truck load of riders, considering the dutch build dykes that hold back the entire north sea.

      What he means is that if a truck takes out the middle pylon the whole thing comes down.... It has nothing to do with the number of cyclists.

    Note: This is a cable-stayed bridge, not a suspension bridge.

    Never work in Aus, would need a 6+foot barrier around the edge to stop mongrels throwing rocks into traffic.

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