IN LONDON BORN UNDERGROUND BIKE PATHS, GREEN AND HYPER
"LONDON UNDERLINE" AIMS TO DECONGEST THE CITY TRAFFIC. THE PROJECT INVOLVES THE REUSE OF OLD DISUSED SUBWAY TUNNELS TO TURN INTO REAL UNDERGROUND BIKE PATHS, WITH LOTS OF SHOPS, RESTAURANTS AND BARS. With increasing world population and the consequent problems of urban mobility, multiply the possible solutions to the congestion of cities. To reduce traffic and, consequently, the emission of pollutants, in London some have even thought of converting the old abandoned subway tunnel in walking and cycling routes. A massive underground network which would take the name of London Underline. Created by the architectural firm Gensler – in collaboration with Pavegen Systems and Momentum – was awarded to the London Planning Awards and is only one of sustainable mobility projects that should see the light in London in the near future. THE BRITISH CAPITAL IN FACT, CONFIRMS ONE OF THE MOST BIKE FRIENDLY CITIES IN THE WORLD. "Now that London has reached the highest level of the population in its history (it is the most populous city in Europe, with nearly 8 million and a half inhabitants, ed.) We need to think creatively about how to maximize the potential of our infrastructure, "emphasizes Ian Mulcahey, Gensler London co-director. RECOVER OLD SUBWAY TUNNEL. The London Underline project involves the reuse of old underground tunnels, to be transformed into real underground bike paths, accompanied by the presence of shops, bars and restaurants. "The adaptation of the abandoned subway tunnels and railway tracks surplus – continues Mulcahey – could be a quick and easy solution to upgrade our network infrastructure." Comparing the numbers for a taxi ride, and they used to cycle along the underground tunnels is difficult to understand the reasons for this choice. Those of Gensler make us see it as, in the face of 28 minutes and a cost of twenty-eight pounds, we can reach the same destination in the saddle to our two wheels in just seven minutes, without spending a penny and virtually eliminating co2 emissions. On the other hand, as mentioned, it is known the interest of Londoners for alternative mobility solutions, bike in the first place. In addition to the London Underline project within the next year it may rise in the British capital the Cycle Superhighway, a highway dedicated exclusively to bikes. About 30 km, from the center to the periphery, for what may become the longest cycle path in Europe. To all this should be added also SkyCycle Norman Foster: a bike causeway, growing above the suburban rail lines, it promises not to interfere with the traffic. SELF-SUFFICIENT AND CARBON NEUTRAL. "The bicycle is clearly important transportation option, with more than 170,000 trips taken through the center of London every day," explains Peter Hendy Transport for London. "These projects will help to transform the city making it a bicycle-friendly, safer and more open to an increasing number of people." And an underground bike path also open to pedestrians is certainly an original way to do it, using the abandoned tunnels and allowing them not only to reduce the environmental impact, but also to produce clean energy. THE INSTALLATION OF A PARTICULAR PAVEMENT IN FACT, COULD MAKE THE FULLY SELF-CONTAINED NETWORK. It is called Pavegen the surface provided with sophisticated sensors that, by exploiting the movement of pedestrians and cyclists, is able to convert the kinetic energy into electrical energy and store it for future use. The rental of commercial space then, with the proliferation of shops and cultural centers, as well as making it more attractive and secure tunnels, should lead in the municipal coffers enough money for its maintenance. FROM THE CENTER TO THE PERIPHERY: A CITY WITHIN A CITY. A network of underground roads then. A city within a city, dedicated exclusively to cyclists and pedestrians. Enormous advantages: in this way encourages the use of the bicycle, while freeing up the roads and thus increasing security. In addition, it enhances an asset already available to the city, since it would be used and unused infrastructure ready. The trimming work should not be to influence the viability and a big hand would be given also to the environment, with a substantial decrease in emissions of polluting gases. Several tunnels identified by Gensler team for retraining. Two major: on the Piccadilly Line – which runs from Holborn to the abandoned station of Aldwych – and the Jubilee Line from Green Park to Charing Cross. To connect strategic pedestrian destinations later, it was also thought of the minor routes, as Goodge Street – right in the city center – and in Stockwell, south London.