Weekend Links: Protected bike lanes improve safety and increase ridership, and LAPD cops buy girl a new bike

Better bikeways really do improve safety.

In an editorial in the American Journal of Better Health, authors John Pucher and Ralph Buehler argue that bike lanes encourage more people to ride while improving safety, as the following chart shows.

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Even auto-centric Los Angeles, with its disconnected non-network of mostly door zone bike lanes, has shown a significant improvement in safety while more than doubling ridership.

However, the point of the article is that it’s the type of bikeway that matters.

The safest kind of facility, by far, were cycle tracks, which are on-street bicycle lanes that are physically separated from motor vehicles by raised curbs, bollards, or concrete barriers.

The authors note that riding in a cycle track is 89% safer than riding on a major street with parking and no bike infrastructure; regular painted bike lanes on streets without parking were 53% safer.

Note the key words “without parking.”

Thus, removing car parking and replacing it with cycle tracks is an ideal way to improve cycling safety on major streets.

They also observe that lightly trafficked residential streets with no infrastructure were 56% safer, suggesting that you’re right to seek out back ways that allow you to avoid major streets. And that traffic calming is key to improving safety on local neighborhood streets.

They conclude,

It is crucial to provide physical separation from fast-moving, high-volume motor vehicle traffic and better intersection design to avoid conflicts between cyclists and motor vehicles. More and better bicycle infrastructure and safer cycling would encourage Americans to make more of their daily trips by bicycle and, thus, help raise the currently low physical activity levels of the US population.

Which is pretty much what we’ve been saying all along.

………

Local

Bighearted LAPD officers pitch in to buy a new bicycle for a teenage girl whose bike was stolen on her birthday; oddly, while the LA press hasn’t picked up the story, a station in Atlanta did. Thanks to Sgt. Helper for the heads-up.

The Santa Monica Police Department received a $300,000 grant to help prevent traffic injuries and deaths.

 

State

A San Diego seminary student thinks it was divine intervention that saved her cell phone from thieves, although those same divine forces didn’t seem to care so much about her bikes.

A two day radiothon raised enough money to buy 400 bicycles and helmets for fourth grade kids in the Coachella Valley.

 

National

Bicycling offers the warning signs of hypothermia. Which isn’t normally something you have to worry about it Southern California, unless you ride in the mountains or get soaked by rain.

Corvallis OR and Oregon State University team up to tell bike riders and pedestrians to “Be bright, Be seen.” Because there’s no point in expecting drivers to actually pay attention, evidently.

Denver TV viewers pitch in give a college student their own pickup and mountain bike after his car and bicycle were stolen two days apart.

A San Antonio bike rider is caught in the middle of a legal dispute after her bike was mangled in a crash while on the front rack of a city bus; the bus company refused to pay for damages, blaming the other driver.

The four Kalamazoo cyclists struck by a hit-and-run driver Thursday night had lights on their bikes and reportedly were doing everything right.

At least one cyclist was seriously injured when anti-bike terrorists struck again, this time tossing tacks into the path of a Florida triathlon; over a dozen riders were treated for abrasions and impact injuries.

 

International

A pro cyclist and entrepreneur is starting a new insurance company for cyclists and other people with active lifestyles in the US and Canada.

Toronto’s Globe and Mail looks at the new Complete Streets promising to end the reign of car as king in the city, while giving unprecedented respect to pedestrians, cyclists and transit users.

Get your resume ready. British Cycling is looking for a new CEO.

Cycling Weekly says Barcelona should be your next cycling destination.

An Israeli father is on a crusade to ban ebikes from the country, calling them a menace to children.

Another day, another Aussie cyclist attacked by a magpie.

Pro cyclist Rebecca Rusch will lead an eight-day, 340 mile ride along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos to raise awareness and funds to remove unexploded ordnance that remain from the Vietnam War.

 

Finally…

Nothing like getting dropped by a koala. If you really want to be seen, maybe you need a brighter bike.

Or maybe you just need to ride with a soccer ball on your head.

 

2 comments

  1. Ralph says:

    Keep preaching Ted. The more we can get connected safe infrastructure the better for all.

    As for the lights on bikes. Yes we need them. I don’t think it is putting more onus on cyclist to have lights. Now the bright clothes probably. Cars and trucks have lights so we can see them also. I just wish more of our bike lights were of a slightly larger area with a good lumen level. I think that some of the small ones are hard to see against all the other road distractions. That is not saying drivers shouldn’t be paying attention. I would like to see bike lights to be a minimum of 2 inches wide, with some percentage of side showing.

    But it just doesn’t matter is the driver has their head… somewhere else…

  2. Ralph says:

    A note on the lightly trafficked streets with no cycle lanes being a good option. To some degree yes, however in many places as newer developments went in those developments were set up with housing backing up to arterial streets with some interior collector streets. My town of Sunnyvale has areas like this. IF you are riding to get somewhere you might have a painted bike lane on the collectors but a relatively high speed (wide = fast) or a painted bike lane usually substandard on the arterial. You can’t get places on teh lightly trafficked interior streets because they are designed to halt any cut through traffic. Routes tend to be circuitous or you can’t go in the direction you want. This works well for stopping cut through traffic but it also means that cyclists and pedestrians must get out onto the faster streets and hope for safe accommodation.

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