Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on October 25th, 2006 at 11:22 pm
Vancouver (WA) transportation planner, Europhile, and innovative bike infrastructure guru Todd Boulanger just sent me a link about an interesting device called The Bicycle Lift.
The lift operates with a key card purchased at a local bike shop. Then you, “put your right foot on the foot rest and sit back on your bicycle seat while you glide up the 130 meter hill at a comfortable speed of 2 meters a second.”
It’s made by a Norwegian company and so far there’s only one in everyday use. It’s in a Norwegian college town called Trondheim, which is the third largest and most bike-friendly town in all of Norway (coincidence?). Here’s more on the town’s website.
I was struck with the simplicity and utility of The Bicycle Lift because I know that, for many people, hills are a huge barrier to cycling. Sometimes, one significant incline is all that stands behind a potential bike commuter and another car on the roads (sad, but true).
According to the manufacturer they’ve had over 220,000 people use the lift since 1993 with no accidents.
I can think of at least two places in Portland where this would be absolutely perfect; the Mississippi/Albina hill and Interstate Blvd. from the Widmer Brewery to Kaiser Hospital.
It may not be as cool or high-profile as the new Tram, but it wouldn’t cost nearly as much either.