Why Bike Share is a Boon to the Safety of All Cyclists
"It took only a few days for reports of the first cycling accident involving New York’s new bike sharing program to begin circulating. But experts and growing experience from bike sharing programs in other cities make clear that bicycling can be a safe mode of transportation, and the presence of a bike sharing program is a boon to the safety of all bicyclists," reports Sophie Egan.
“A number of studies have looked at increased biking, and the result is that the more people bike in a community, the less likely they are to collide with motorists,” said David Vlahov, the dean of nursing at the University of California, San Francisco. “It is likely due to motorists becoming more aware or expecting more to be riding bicycles.”
"Transportation departments across the United States have begun to respond with creative improvements for safer roadways," Egan explains. "The National Association of City Transportation Officials has developed an exhaustive urban bikeway design guide based on a worldwide literature review, experiences from its 22 member cities and collaboration with traffic engineers, city planners and academic researchers. The guide informed new citywide bike safety plans for Seattle and San Francisco."
"Recommendations include protected or buffered bike lanes, colored pavement, shared lane markings, special intersection signals and detectors for bicycles, and bike boxes, the painted areas before intersections that allow bicyclists to get in front of the line of cars at a red light," she adds. "In addition to infrastructure, education and policy play a role."
Not only is such infrastructure good for cyclists, it improves the safety of all road users.