Preprint / Version 1

Are Elevated Urban Pedelec Highways Our Future? – A Conceptual Study


  • Daniel Price None



Battery Electric Vehicle, expressway, Pedelec, highway, elevated highway, bicycle


A network of elevated non-stop small vehicle limited access thoroughfares (SVLATs) similar in function to existing bicycle highways is proposed for construction above existing transportation corridors. SVLATs can facilitate the movement of pedestrians, traditional bicycles, pedal-assist electric bicycles (pedelecs), and other small battery electric vehicles; which helps create an urban user experience that is currently only available to automobile users on urban highways. The resultant transportation mode could gain significant demand once effectively demonstrated, and this can lead to rapid general deployment. A literature review, capacity estimate, sketch study, a project management-based brainstorming process, and discussion of potential high value applications are presented as a comprehensive conceptual study of SVLAT development. The literature review indicates 1/6th lower societal costs and parking land use compared to those of electric vehicles, promotion of diverse active transportation modes at higher speeds, reduction in congestion, resolution of last mile issues, and integration with elevated malls that can help improve urban accessibility. The developed sketches confirm that adequate space exists above city streets to install SVLATs; further, the capacity estimate indicates that the proposed SVLAT network will add significant transportation capacity without permanently disrupting existing transportation networks. The potential auxiliary benefits of the SVLAT structure, such as electric rails, thermal piping, fiber optic cabling, electric cabling, solar panels, package conveyors, running paths, and/or rooftop entertainment venues, can help create additional value. The ability to enclose the SVLAT creates an opportunity to reduce pollution exposure and mitigate other atmospheric challenges as well. In addition, the construction of SVLATs will probably increase small electric vehicle usage in the surrounding city. Indeed, SVLATs can solve the “last mile” issues of mass transit and provide coverage for work commuting at least 4 km (2.35 miles) from the SVLAT highway, which can thus achieve full coverage with relatively sparse spacing.


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