August 25, 2016

Improvements in bike lanes

Christian Science Monitor -  Cities across the globe are building "protected" lanes or "cycletracks" to build barriers between cyclists and automobiles. These barriers can be concrete curbs, fences, planters, or even parked cars.

"For 50 years, we've just been putting down a stripe of white paint, and that was how you accommodated bikes on busy streets," Martha Roskowski, director of People for Bikes, a Boulder, Colorado-based advocacy group that's calling for better designed bike lanes, told the Associated Press. "What we've learned is that simply doesn't work for most."

The amount of people commuting to work via bicycle rose by about 60 percent from 2000 to the 2008-2012 period, according to the US Census Bureau. But with that shift come more fatal accidents with cyclists and cars.

In already bike-friendly European cities, like Copenhagen and Amsterdam, protected bike lanes have been around for decades. But other European cities are increasingly following suit. London, for example, has opened "cycle superhighways" that are planned across the city. On these lanes, a curb separates the bikes from the cars.

But the United States has been a bit slower on the uptake. New York started setting up protected bike lanes across the city in 2007. By 2013, there were about 100 miles of protected lanes in 32 cities across the country, according to People for Bikes. Now there are about 240 miles in 94 cities, but that's still just a small portion of all bike lanes, according to Roskowski.

Plans are in motion to expand these protected lanes in large cities across the country and at least two dozen citi

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