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Norman Foster Proposes Massive Elevated Bike Network in London

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Check out this futuristic eye candy. Design firm Foster + Partners has proposed a 137-mile network of elevated bicycle lanes over commuter rail lines in London.

Dubbed the SkyCycle, it could accomodate up to 12,000 cyclists per hour, making getting into and around the city a breeze.

When will we be able to go for a spin on the SkyCycle? London's mayor supported the idea when he met with the SkyCycle team back in 2012, so there's hope that the city will take Foster's plans seriously. Yet with funding still murky, we're looking at a decade or two at least before it opens. In the meantime, we can dare to dream that other cities will follow suit.

Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure, and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.

Photo credit: Foster + Partners

How Many Economy Seats Are in a Business Class Seat?

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Here's a head scratcher: What do you get when you take away one business class seat? Three economy seats, of course!

The math comes from an announcement that Delta Air Lines is drastically reducing business-class seating from its aircraft. On an unspecified number of B777 planes, 23 economy seats will squeeze into space formerly taken up by only seven premier seats. On B767s, Delta will scrap twelve seats from the business class cabin.

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State Department Issues Travel Alert for Russia Olympics

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The U.S. Department of State issued a travel alert today for Americans planning to attend next month's Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Six potential risks spurred the alert: untested medical treatment facilities, terrorism, petty crime, unpredictable public demonstrations, lack of proper accommodations, and Russia's newly imposed law banning LGBT "propaganda" in public.

The Olympics are always an "attractive target for terrorists," the alert states, but an uptick in deadly suicide bombings in Russia within the past month has officials on guard.

Given these factors, the State Department urges U.S. citizens to "remain attentive regarding their personal security at all times."

T+L has been following the Russia situation closely, and will continue to do so. For up-to-the-minute information, follow the State Department and U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul on Twitter.

Peter Schlesinger is a Research Assistant at Travel + Leisure, and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.

Photo credit: iStockphoto


Bangkok Braces for Massive Protests

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Bangkok is bracing for a massive round of protests on Monday, and the government has deployed nearly 15,000 police officers to maintain order.

As we explained last month, anti-government activists have been calling for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's resignation since November, alleging that her brother-in-exile, and ousted former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra is leading the country from afar.

Monday's protesters will target government buildings and several major intersections, complicating local transit and forcing schools to close.

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New Eye Tracking Technology May Soon Replace Border Patrol in Airports

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Biometrics have been hot at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, with everything from brain wave monitoring headbands that train you to de-stress to mobile wallet alternatives activated by touch. But the one innovation that’s caught our eye will literally catch yours, too, when you see it deployed in airports and airlines in the not-so-distant future. Eye trackers zoom in on your visual movement, letting you control things literally by looking around—imagine selecting options on your TV by simply affixing your gaze to them, and you’ve got the right idea.

EyeTech, the leader in eye tracking technology, is bringing them to the travel world in partnership with in-flight entertainment company Thales and the University of Arizona.

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American Airlines Launches Roomy New Airbus

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The battle for transcontinental business travelers got a lot more heated this week with the launch of American Airlines's new A321 jet on flights between New York and Los Angeles. (Come March, the plane will make its debut on New York-San Francisco routes.) The new aircraft—the only three-class plane making the transcontinental trip—takes American's commitment to front-of-the-plane fliers to new heights.

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Rare Viral Disease Outbreak Spreads in the Caribbean

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This week, the Center for Disease Control reissued its Travel Watch to St. Martin, urging US citizens to take precautions against mosquitos in the Caribbean, responding to a viral disease currently spreading in several islands.

As of January 2nd, 122 cases of chikungunya have been confirmed in St. Martin (98 cases), St. Maarten (1), Martinique (13), Guadeloupe (3), and St. Bart's (7). According to the CDC, chikungunya's symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, and muscle and joint pains. Though rarely fatal, infected individuals can suffer from joint pain for months after the initial sickness.

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Tech Travel Trends You'll See in 2014: Remote Viewing

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Tech experts are swarming Las Vegas this week for Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014, and T+L is on the ground to bring you the latest travel trends of the year. Here, a peek at some of the hottest tools so far.

Remote viewing: A slew of new tools will help you stay on top of your shows while you’re on the road. (If I’d been aware, I’d be watching the Downton Abbey premiere here in Vegas.) The frontrunners you need to know:

Dish Network
Just yesterday, the satellite provider one-upped their streaming capabilities so that now you can transfer any recorded shows to your mobile devices before you leave for a trip and watch them offline—no Wi-Fi needed.

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Tech Travel Trends You'll See in 2014: Ultra HD

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The digital cognoscenti have officially descended on Las Vegas for Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014, and though the event’s barely started, there’s already much to report. Here, a look at the tech trends that’ll shape the way you travel—delivered straight from the conference floor.

Ultra-HD: That beautiful HD-TV you bought on Black Friday? It’s so last year’s news. 2014 will be the year of Ultra-HD, also known as 4K, and it’s making its way onto your portable screens, too. Also trending: flexible, curved screens, for cinematic-quality viewing even on a compact device.

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Alternatives to New York’s Soon-To-Be-Banned Central Park Horse Carriages

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New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, often bemoans a “tale of two cities”—one rich, one poor. But lately he has been lamenting a different kind of tail—the ones on the horses that for decades have pulled the iconic tourist carriages through Central Park. De Blasio plans to ban the horse-drawn hansoms because, like many New Yorkers, he thinks the horses are undernourished, mistreated, and overworked, not unlike your typical Manhattan freelance fact-checker. And so, to keep the tourists coming back to the Big Apple, here are my alternatives to the Central Park horse-drawn carriages.

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