In most cities, cycle lanes are the transport plan du jour; a few brave rebels are even looking to cycling highways. But one Canadian architect has gone completely rogue, with a plan to take a cycle lane, freeze it, and encourage people to skate down it.
The idea started with a young man named Matt Gibbs, who dreamt it up while studying landscape architecture at the University of British Columbia. His proposal is to turn 6.8 miles worth of unused rail lines north of downtown Edmonton into a pair of transport lanes, which would be used for bikes in summer, and frozen to form skating corridors in winter. From an interview in Wired:
The Freezeway would look like a big bike lane (and be used by cyclists during the warmer months) covered in ice. To contain the water long enough to have it freeze, you’d have low curbs or strategically placed banks of snow.
There are many ways the idea could play out, Gibbs says. You could keep it simple by just turning on the water, letting it freeze, and calling it done. Or you could add lighting, or even a cooling system or artificial ice to allow skating in warmer months.