Urban Fold

Bikers Behaving Badly: Is Street Design to Blame?

Cyclists who disobey traffic laws are the No. 1 police complaint among residents of Manhattan's Upper East Side. Could the built environment be the real culprit?

New Urban Network says that while the brouhaha over bicylists is blown way out of proportion (check out their comparison of bicyclist-caused accidents vs. automobile accidents), street design might actually be to blame for some of the clashing behavior:

"...Jim Charlier of Charlier Associates planning consultants in Boulder, Colorado, observed that in dense urban centers, 'all kinds of improvised behavior are going on.' Pedestrians jaywalk. Cyclists go up on sidewalks. If it's 'low-speed behavior,' Charlier said, the danger is less than it might otherwise be. In some instances, the design of the built environment can alleviate the problem. Boulder and some other cities have installed 'contra-flow' bike lanes on some one-way streets so that cyclists can ride legally and safely in the opposite direction of motor vehicles."

Thanks to Renee Brutvan

Full Story: Conflict between cyclists and pedestrians spurs calls for action in New York


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