Friday, November 9, 2007

Bikelanes aren't necessarily the answer

CycleDog has a nice post up that discusses why he and the group he is involved with for bicycling advocacy are opposed to bike lanes. The author discusses the statistics of car/bike crashes, the increased spending on cycling specific facilities ineffectiveness and fostering higher cycling numbers.

Some of the points raised in the post address some conflicts I have have with being an occassional commuter and bicyclist. In many cases, I specifically choose to ride on certain roads in order to make the other people there aware that cyclists exist. On some days, I'll feel like not taking a chance and will ride the sidewalk (in a non-business district) along a very busy 2 lane road. And other times, I'll make sure my route is on less busy side streets where I can have a full lane most of the time. Its interesting to see that riding on the sidewalk is considered three times more dangerous than on the street. I've ridden in areas where I could see this being the case, busy roads with lots of driveways and businesses, cars pulling onto the sidewalk to try to enter traffic. (85% of crashes occur at intersections, there are more intersections on a sidewalk is the logic behind the tripling I believe).

I'm surprised that the author doesn't point out the problems attendant with the typical "door zone" bike lane explicitly in the list of problems with cycling facilities.

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