Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Pacific, WA
Bikes: Custom 531ST touring, Bilenky Viewpoint, Bianchi Milano, vintage Condor racer
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Originally Posted by Bug Shield
I just spent a day riding in Tucson evaluating the cycling infrastructure including some new features like cycle boxes, green bike paths, etc. I was quite surprised that with such an active cycling community and a group of engineers putting obvious effort into bike-ability there, how often the infrastructure led the unwary cyclist into traps. I think the same could be said for each of your cycling videos above.
Not just you, and not just Tucson.
Green lanes and bike boxes are associated with increased accident rates in Portland.
Lusk et. al. recently documented significantly increased accident rates for cycletracks in urban street grids. (Overall, they found cycletracks safer, based on the extremely low accident rate of fully-separated suburban facilities with very low intersection density. Cycletracks on urban street grids have more than ten times the accident rate of their suburban counterparts.)
Germany has seen enough damage from its mandatory bike lanes that they've changed the law to make them optional unless there's specific signage requiring use of the segregated facility.
Data from Belgium show that segregated bicycle facilities on dense urban grids have higher accident rates than no bicycle infrastructure at all.
So, why do they continue?
From the perspective of a novice cyclist who doesn't recognize the many dangers lurking in intersection conflicts, it *feels* like separation from motorists should be safer.
That means that all of these facilities, while increasing actual risk, decrease perceived
risk, and drive increased mode share for cycling.