Wednesday, April 08 2009 @ 06:21 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
I really have to question the conclusions of DC Examiner on the NYC bike crash study.
Only one fatal crash with a motor vehicle occurred when a bicyclist was in a marked bicycle lane. Bicycle lanes aren’t a luxury; they’re a necessity. Riders should use bike lanes when possible.
A total of ten other fatalities occurred near a bike line per the report, why were these cyclist out of the bike lane? We don't know but I seriously doubt that it was because the cyclists had no reason what so ever. Cars parking in bike lanes is a major problem in NYC and IMHO cyclists weaving in out of hazards is a problem while I support bike lanes I would not make the same assertion as this author, if anything to me this says that NYC should get cranking on keeping those bike lanes clear. IMHO
it is hazardous for cyclists to pick their path x feet from available space on the right, it should be a straight line (x feet from the stripe on your left that avoids upcoming hazards on your right.) Also bike lanes that I have seen in NYC do not solve the intersection problem, extra care needs to be applied at intersections for bike facilities and not just dumping cyclists into an undefined space and expect them to fend for themselves. There is nothing here that supports bike lanes make cycling safer, just as sidewalk riding is safe till you have to leave the sidewalk to cross a road, bike lanes are similar but with the exception that you can be seen by and merge with turning traffic. This works as long as it is clear that is the expected behavior. If the expected behavior is that cyclists must stay out of the way of motorists at all costs you get accidents when their pathways merge.
Nearly all the bicyclists who died--97 percent of them--were not wearing a helmet. A good reminder that cyclists really ought to wear a helmet. As I’ve written about before,
there’s a lot more to bike safety than helmets. That said, urban
cyclists who leave home without them should be aware of the risk.
While I do encourage wearing a helmet, helmets do not prevent crashes, preventing crashes should be the priority not "safe" crashing, this looks like the only point we see eye to eye on.
Nearly all bicyclist fatalities--92 percent of them--occurred as a result of crashes with motor vehicles. Protected bike paths free of traffic are critical.
I do not agree with this conclusion especially since the author just asserted that regular bike lanes are safe, I will assert that just as j-walking is the result of poor to nonexistent accommodations for pedestrians as well as poor to unsafe driver behavior around pedestrians it is the lack of accommodations and the lack of enforcement of traffic laws that make our public roadways unsafe for the vulnerable user. Protected bike paths do not solve the intersection problem and sometimes they can make it worse.