Beijing Opens Bicycle Highway

China has opened its first bicycle highway, a 4-mile road that connects Beijing’s Huilongguan residential area to its Shangdi industrial zone.

Developers says the dedicated road will cut rush hour travel times in half or more for bicycling commuters. Usage is limited to manually powered bikes; electric models and pedestrians aren’t permitted.

The three-lane road, which is elevated in several areas to cross over vehicle highways, is equipped with traffic signals to reverse the direction of traffic in the center lane to meet changing demands at different times of the day. About 16% of Huilongguan residents work in Shangdi.

A second phase of the project will connect Huilongguan to Zhongguancun, which is known as China’s Silicon Valley.