Bike Lanes Proven To Make You 50% Safer

Not how to safely use a bike lane.

New research has further proven what everyone already knows to be true: bike lanes tend to make people safer. Leave it to Canada to produce a bunch of helpful but extremely neutral research.

According to a new article in the American Journal of Public Health, a study of cyclists in Toronto and Vancouver indicates that riding in a bike lane reduces your chance of injury or accident by 50 percent, compared to what it would have been on a similar road without designated bike space. Protected bike lanes (with barriers like the spectacular one on Flushing Ave) reduce chance of injury by a full 90 percent.

While this study does, essentially, seem to be proving what common sense already indicates, the data has apparently come as a big surprise to people whose job it is to monitor public transportation.

Atlantic Cities reports this study represents a big industry shake-up, as transportation engineers have for years “argued that you’re actually better off learning to ride alongside cars than having your own bike lane.” The concept, known as “vehicular cycling,” became popular among researchers 40 years ago, and the study’s author calls it “a very often repeated philosophy.”

Which, you know, makes basically no sense and probably offers a hint as to why something as basic and easily-agreed-upon as standard bike lanes has taken (or is still taking) so long to get off the ground. In any case, good news for those of you who follow these things.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.

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  1. Study was in Canada. If this was in Brooklyn or the east Village, the result would have been that bike lanes are proven to be 50% more dangerous, because of the self-entitled hipsters wit their fixie bikes who do not yield to pedestrians or other vehicles that have the right of way and do not stop at red lights or stop signs. Fuckin’ hipsters and trust-fund babies.

  2. Perhaps it wouldn’t seem like faceless “self-entitled” hipsters were not yielding to you if you would occasionally perk your head up from your stupid iphone and make a minimal effort to pay attention to /all/ of the traffic in the road you are in the process of entering.

    I don’t know where you live or where this anger comes from, but if you live or even hang out in either the east village or brooklyn and it’s just dawning on you that one of the most expensive places to live on the planet is filled with “trust fund babies” you’d probably best get with the fucking program, or move your ass to philly or baltimore where “fuckin’ hipsters” will invariably be replaced by flash mobs, shuddered homes and businesses, and bars that close mad early.

  3. @ Frankie Teardrop Try reading again — those trust-fund hipsters with their fixie bike that who do not yield to those — pedestrians or other vehicles that have the right of way and do not stop at red lights and stop signs. Go back to Podunk Midwestern, and ask mommy and daddy for more money to spend on PBRs and skinny Jeans, and fixie bikes, fedoras, bitch. You’re a danger to NYC community, fuckwad. This anger comes from hipster trust fund kids like you who slums it in NYC with no regards to those who were before you. Keep fucking that hipster chicken, i.e. the Hanna Horvarts of NYC.

  4. I live in Williamsburg, I own a bike, I pay attention to the rules of the road – oh and I have a job, my parents stopped giving me money when I turned 18 and graduated from college. I don’t understand the hate, I don’t understand the grouping of everyone into one category. I see a ton of bike riders all over the city. Lawyers living in the UES, Mom and Dads in Brooklyn, Delivery men in every part of this city. “Hipsters” are not the only ones riding bikes. I think everyone on the road – cars, bikes, pedestrians are a danger. Each person needs to take full responsibility for themselves and be highly aware of each other person on the road, look both ways, follow all road laws, be cautious at all times. And please, to treat others with respect, even if they are different then yourself and you dont necessarily agree with them.

  5. lolzies. born and raised in BK buddy. I think pedestrians /always/ are supposed to have the right of way once they enter the cross-walk, however, that still doesn’t give people an excuse to not pay attention to their surroundings for their own safety. What’s even more ironic about your complaint is that I can categorically say most of the worst offenders of traffic law I have observed have been black bike messengers.. riding on fixed gear bicycles.

    You’re entitled to be bitter about how much this city has changed in our lifetimes. But, the fact of the matter is there’s really not much you can do about it. Bloomberg’s policing and developing strategies have truly changed the ethnographic topography of this place, and unfortunately if you don’t like it you must either leave or shut up and deal with it. THAT or run for office.

  6. I commute by bike. To work. I love the bike lanes. I don’t hit pedestrians, but occasionally they don’t seem to get that bike lanes are for bikes. I ring my bell to remind them that I am there. Mostly they respond and when they do, I say “Thank you”. Been riding in this city for 30 years, pre- bike lanes, pre-fixie bikes.

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