Benefits of bicycle lanes


Bicycle lanes are designated by a white strip with a symbol of a bicycle and signage that helps to alert people that a portion of the road has been keep for exclusive use of the bicyclist. In general all bicycle lanes are located adjacent to the motor vehicle travel lanes and it flows in the same direction as per the motor vehicle traffic.

Sometimes the bicycle lanes are marked on the left side of the one-way streets, where there are more transit stops or significantly more motor vehicles on the right side of the driveways.

Bicycle lanes enables the bicyclists to travel at their preferred speed and also allows predictable movements and behaviors between the bicyclists who cycles through this lane.

Bicycle lanes are typically 4 to 6 feet wide. However wider bicycle lanes which are more than 6 feet provides additional operating space and also lateral separation from moving and parked motor vehicles that increases the bicyclist’s sense of comfort and reduce the risk of “dooring’ from parked vehicles.

In many places contrasting or colored paving materials are used in certain situations to distinguish the bicycle lanes from the motor vehicle lanes.

Here are some of the additional benefits of having bicycle lanes on the driveways.

Inspires more people to ride bicycles

Times and again cycling studies have illustrated that adding bicycle lanes inspires more people to ride on their cycles. For example in New Orleans there was a 57% increase in bicycle riders, just six months after the bicycle lanes were marked by the civic authorities. Similarly there was a 52% percent jump in the number of bicyclists in Los Angeles after the introduction of bicycle lanes. In New York City it was noted that the number of bicyclists nearly doubled within a few years after the introduction of bike lane. So in a country like US where people are plagued with obesity, the health benefits of bicycling should not be diminished as it aids in keeping the population healthy and fit.

Boosts local economy

In a recent study it has been found that bicycle lanes have a positive effect on sales of products from the shops those that are located beside the bicycle lanes or rather on the left side of the streets. Per say in Manhattan, streets those have bicycle lanes showed more than 50% rise in their sales than those that do not. Similar results were also found in Portland, where businesses flourished on the streets which have bike lanes.

It’s safer for cyclists

Accidents on the roads does always happen, but still then researches have confirmed that cities those have bike lanes have reduced the rate of injuries to the cyclists by more than 50%. In fact it has been further noticed that in those places which has protected bicycle lanes (lanes that have barriers which divides the cyclists from vehicles) cuts down the accident rates of the cyclists by even 90%.

It’s safer for the motorists

While sharing the same road with cyclists, motor vehicle divers often tend to have a difficult time gauging as to how much space they must allow for the cyclists. However when the bicycle lanes are well demarked car drivers know how much space to allow and are so less likely to unconsciously swerve into the bicyclist’s space.

It has an impact on the environment

As cycles do not leave behind carbon foot prints by burning fossil fuels, so if people use bicycles instead of their motor vehicles for making close trips, this would definitely be a boon for the environment by facilitating the green choice.

Apart from the above stated facts bicycle lanes encourages the cyclists to obey traffic rules when roadways are marked exclusively for their use.

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