Monday, October 15, 2007

Cycling Safety Analysis

Alan has a nice summary of cycling safety issues up on Grist.

One of the comments is to the effect that they think that bike lanes are counter productive, in that they don't allow drivers to learn how to interact with cyclists as part of traffic. With this point I agree. However, there is something to be said for having a wide margin to the right of the lane that a cyclist can use without being in the door-zone if traffic on the road is heavy or much faster than the cyclist. There are some roads that I commute on in Warwick, RI that I don't feel safe on, and even the addition of a bike lane wouldn't really help. They're busy arteries through business districts where traffic regularly moves at 40+ mph, and the right edge of the lane is a curb. If traffic is very heavy, I'll ride on the sidewalk to protect myself, but I'd rather be in traffic, forcing the drivers to learn to deal with me, and being part of traffic feels to me to be safer for dealing with entering and leaving traffic for all those businesses.