04 Jan The Many Virtues of Protected Bike Lanes
It’s no surprise that bike lanes that are protected from cars result in more and safer bicycling. But protected bike lanes also protect pedestrians from bicyclists, and pedestrians from cars.
Consider that when bicyclists and pedestrians don’t have to share a piece of narrow infrastructure, bicycle–pedestrian collisions are reduced dramatically. And the more complex infrastructure makes people pay more attention – when there are car lanes, protected bike lanes, and sidewalks all mixed together, people tend to be more alert when crossing other well-defined transportation routes.
Protected bike lanes are usually accompanied by narrower car lanes, which communicate to drivers that they should be more cautious and drive more slowly. (Studies have confirmed that road design is more influential than speed limits in determining driving speed.) And with narrower car lanes, pedestrians can much more easily get from one side to the other without being hit by a car.