Monday, October 4, 2010

Do Bike Lanes Make Biking More Dangerous?

Some bicyclists seem to think that bike lanes make biking even more dangerous than when biking in vehicular traffic. Check out this video:

I don't know. I kind of think that these guys are failing to recognize a few basic things about anything "new." One is the learning curve associated with those who design, install, use, and generally interact with a bike lane. The designers may have screwed up in a few places. Surely with a little more experience, they'll screw up less in the future. Second, the lanes are going to attract bikers that wouldn't ride otherwise. That's just part of it. Is it not better to have more people out of cars and on bikes? Third, the pedestrians that see the bike lane as an extension of sidewalk will eventually learn to respect the lane and its purpose. Hit a pedestrian if you have to. Get a horn and use it. There will be a period of adjustment. Recognize this.

I think that perhaps these bicyclists that are against the bike lanes have always seen themselves as a small, elite group of badasses. With more people riding, their status is being threatened. But they can hold onto their status if they ride with the taxis. Whatever.

On the other hand, I don't want to completely dismiss these guys' complaints. There is obvious room for improvement on a lot of fronts.

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