The Landscape Guide

17.15 Cycleways

Contents list

Upward links to Alexander's Pattern Language

Local transport area (11), Network of paths and cars (52).


Very few Western cities have good cycleway systems, despite the cycle's status as the Great Green Machine. A large shift from motorized commuting to cycling would do more to make cities green, in the environmental sense, than any other single policy. Cycling helps to conserve energy resources, improves physical fitness, limits noise, limits air pollution, and reduces damage to the ozone layer.


Spend more of the city's transport budget on cycleways than on roads. As climatic conditions can make cycling less than pleasant, different measures should be taken in different countries, to give protection, as required, from rain, sun, snow or wind. In temperate climates, the long-term aim should be to create a network of roofed, sheltered but unwalled cycle paths. When cyclepaths are segregated from roads, they must follow a route that is more direct than the road. The network can partially overlap other types of greenway. Narrow old roads should be made into cycleways instead of being widened and modernized.

Downward links to Alexander's Pattern Language

Main entrance (110), Arcades (119), Quiet backs (59).