I agree with a possible "limited" use of viaducts for bikeways. Put sidewalks on them too (with a very significant barrier between sidewalk & bikeway, of course), if they're in Midtown, because the tourists would love them. Unlike highway viaducts, these structures can be light and mostly non-obtrusive, so neighborhood blight wouldn't be much of a concern.
Yes, an approach ramp might be a bit of a climb, but many cities have similar ramps to access rail-trails and change-of-elevation junctions, and no one complains. If designed well, they work nicely without presenting much difficulty.
It's also worth noting that the city once had many, many more elevated train lines than it does now, particularly in Manhattan. The city was fine with them, and still is fine with the remaining ones (which were mostly constructed over 80-100 years ago). There is probably great potential in making street-friendly structures with modern architecture and materials if you don't have to build it to support tractor-trailers or heavy subway trains.
Posted on October 10th, 2012 10:46am