05 October 2009

Copenhagen, Queensland

Under the headline "A little bit of Copenhagen comes to Brisbane" Bicycle Queensland reports on some new bicycle infrastructure in the city.

"As well as the sensational opening of the State Government's Kurilpa Bridge this week, Brisbane now has its first taste of sophisticated European provision for cycling, thanks to Brisbane City Council's implementation of what's known as "Copenhagen" bike lanes in Tank Street (above) and George Street. The scheme gives segregation between traffic and cyclists via a median, and allows riders to ride "contra-flow" in safety in busy city streets. BQ congratulates both the State Government and Brisbane City Council for their initiatives to make Brisbane a better place to live, and to cycle."

And here's the new bicycle and pedestrian bridge, the Kurilpa Bridge. Architecture is a matter of taste like anything else, but at the very least the bridge is a fine and prominent symbol, which is a very important thing. Telling people that bicycles are included in the mindset of the politicians, which helps to foster respect for the bicycle as an accepted and respected transport form.

Thanks to the splendidly named Unity Finesmith at Auckland Cycle Chic for the link.


kfg said...

Perhaps the taste will be acquired?

Anyhoo, it's nice to see. I spent college years blocked from civilization by a bridge I was not allowed to cross on my bicycle (for fear that I might leave it in the middle, on purpose). It was twenty miles to the next bridge.

During those college years I also had Bucky as a lecturer for one summer semester and ended up designing some recumbent trikes using tensegrity. Maybe now that we have Kevlar string I should have another go at it.

Kiwehtin said...

Funny how just after the Danish Ambassador to the US (Mr. DK in DC?) pops up on the Cycle Chic page with his Pedersen, we have a post about bridges with a comment bringing up tensegrity and bike designs... It's not exactly the same thing, but Pedersen designed his bike to get maximum compressive strength from the triangle-based frame, and designed his comfort sling saddle on the basis of compression. There is even an old Pedersen poster with a chiffon-bedecked woman hoisting a Pedersen bike comparing it to a steel frame bridge in the background...

kfg said...

"It's not exactly the same thing . . ."

No. It's a space frame, more closely related to Bucky's geodesics. In a space frame, because all the members are rigid they can handle loads in either tension or compression (and typically do in both). or even a bit of bending if you've had to compromise the design for some reason. Grand Prix car designers didn't start to get with this program until the 1950s, to show you how far ahead of the game Pedersen was.

In a tensegrity structure the trick is that you have to arrange things so that the stringy bits are NEVER loaded in anything but tension, or the whole thing is likely to make a "sproing" sound as it comes apart, which would be bad. This generally means using diamond structures (rather than just a triangle) so that there is a countering tensile member for any load that would be compressive on another.

This bridge "cheats" by using the rigid bridge deck to alleviate the need for the other half of the diamond. It's "semi-tensegrile."

The modern double diamond bicycle frame is a space frame as well (in its very simplest form), as is the mixte (in slightly more complifacted form) except it doesn't merely cheat, it gives up the game entirely with the fork. Pedersen didn't. Brilliant man.

txell said...

mikael, you're travelling a lot! my boss is going to la rochelle tomorrow (in order to present the "red de ciudades por la bicicleta") with the mayor of san sebastián and i've seen that you're also in the programme. hope to see you soon in barcelona :)