Cycle tracks: safe or dangerous?

Most people’s gut response would be “Of course separating bikes from automobiles would prevent injuries to cyclists.”

But it is not that easy as Gene Bisbee points out in response to a new Harvard study that concludes “cycle tracks should not be discouraged.”

It’s just the lates salvo in an on-going struggle between those who think bicycles can safely share the roads with automobiles and those who want to build separated paths.

Think of our trails in the valley on that first warm Sunday in April with more pedestrians per square foot than Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Then put that path along an residential street with driveways and intersecting streets and you may begin to recogize the problem of separated trails for bicyclists. Nothing like a nice long paved trail through the woods along a stream but for transporation cycling, is a separated path really safer? –Corrie


Those findings run counter to previous studies that cycle tracks are more dangerous for bicyclists, especially at intersections [see John S. Allen helmetcam video at left showing hazards on a Montreal cycle track].

via Biking Bis – Bicycle Touring and More :: Cycle tracks: safe or dangerous?.

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