Bike Lanes – Truth and Fiction

July 23, 2019, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Bicycle Lane on Gray Concrete Road

The Region has been advocating for active transportation for some time now, and is making a concerted effort to include and improve cycling infrastructure. There has been heated debate about whether the Region is doing enough to make cycling safe from cycling advocates. We’ve followed the debate in Toronto closely about dedicated cycling lanes.

There seems to be a great deal of misinformation about cycling lanes. Here are some myths busted.

  1. Cycling lanes increase car congestion and pollution. FALSE
    While it may seem that taking road width away from car traffic will increase congestion the research shows that isn’t true. Traffic engineers have known for years that induced demand – more road space = more cars is true. This works in reverse as well – less road space brings fewer cars. In general, well designed cycling lanes take up little road space.
  2. No one uses bike lanes. FALSE
    Empirical data shows the wherever cycling lanes are built rider numbers increase.
  3. They are bad for business. FALSE
    A recent New York City study found that businesses on streets with separated bike lanes grew more quickly than those without.
  4. Cycling lanes are dangerous to pedestrians. FALSE
    Pedestrians are not in more danger when crossing bike lanes at intersections.
  5. Cyclists break the law all the time and shouldn’t get their own lanes. FALSE
    The rates of drivers breaking the law are very high. In Britain between 52-92% of drivers exceed the speed limit on city streets. Millions of drivers admit to texting and talking on their cell phones. These drivers pose far greater danger to everyone on the road than a cyclist running a red light.
  6. They cost too much. FALSE
    putting in cycling lanes may seem expensive on the face of it, but when compared to the overall budget of road construction and improvement they amount to a drop in the bucket of spending.
  7. We don’t need them. FALSE
    Cyclists need a safe space to cycle in and that safe space is a separate lane. We are spending money intensifying residential use in downtown neighbourhoods and it makes no sense to force those people to drive to their downtown jobs. Increasing active transport is good for health of people and the environment.
Posted under Accident Benefit News, Automobile Accident Benefits, Bicycle Accidents

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