Large-scale studies have found that protected bike lanes are needed to reduce the number of roadway accidents between cars and bicycles. Bike lanes not only protect cyclists, they are also useful for reducing congested in high traffic areas. More cities are being petitioned to put in bike lanes to keep pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists safe on the road.
Benefits of Bike Lanes
Protected bike lanes are painted street lines that divide automobiles from bicycles. The division keeps cars safely away from bicycles while they share the roadway. Bike lanes also encourage more cyclists on the roads. Riding a bicycle in lieu of driving a car has a positive environmental impact. Local businesses also can benefit from bike lanes. In New York City, the Department of Transportation reported an increase of 49 percent in business on 9th Avenue after the addition of protected bike lanes.
Bike Lane Safety Studies
Bicycle lanes have been tied to a dramatic decrease in roadway accidents. In 2019, a study published in Accident Analysis and Prevention found that drivers passed cyclists 1.25 feet closer on streets without bike lanes compared to those with protected lanes.
Furthermore, studies have shown that drivers are less likely to speed on narrow roads or roads with obstacles. Since bicycle lanes narrow the roadway, fewer incidences of speeding occur.
In 2009 after bicycle lanes were added to certain streets in Philadelphia, traffic crashes on those streets have decreased by 30 percent. A new bill in Pennsylvania is asking for bike lanes measuring between 8 and 10 feet to be installed throughout the state.
Cyclists are required to take safety precautions regardless if roadways have bike lanes. Although bike lanes are safer, accidents can still occur if motorists have poor visibility and don’t notice the cyclists on the road. Bright reflective clothing and reflectors installed on a bicycle can help. Although motorists should yield to bicycles, cyclists should always signal to let others know their movements.
Antymateria, a leading maker of custom bicycle, recommends choosing the right model bike to stay safe. Consumers should select a bike with the appropriate safety features to make sure they are seen easily on the roadway. Lights, reflectors, and bells can all be added onto a bike as a way to alert drivers. Cyclists should test out bikes to ensure they feel comfortable on them. For instance, Antymateriaoffers city models with lightweight frames and high maneuverability.