Monday, March 12, 2007

The dangers of segregated bike lanes

You'll often hear in greater Miami a non-rider saying something like, "If they'd just build bike paths I'd use my bicycle more. I really don't feel safe on the streets." Well, you might actually be safer on the street than on such a path. A study from the city of Salzburg, which tried to increase use of bicycles by building segregated bike paths, reveals that users of those paths had substantially more accidents than cyclists who stayed on the streets. The problem was the complexity of the intersections, where cyclists and motorists were more often caught blindsided by someone making a turn. Helpful charts at John Allen's website make it all clear. Thanks to Florida cyclist Kimberly Cooper for pointing this out.

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